My friend Shirley asked me to make truffles and such for her cousin’s wedding for the wedding favours. However, I was going to be in Vietnam at the time of the wedding. Instead, I ended up baking for the bridal shower! I made 30 chocolate cupcakes and 30 vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream icing. Simple and classy. And of course she wanted 40 mini strawberry oreo tarts as well as 75 oreo truffles. It was the first time I’ve baked such large quantities, and I would say that it was smooth sailing – except it wasn’t. I forgot how difficult it is to bake in the summer while your kitchen is swelteringly hot. Ridiculous. Anyhow, it was a race against time to keep everything from melting. For these buttermilk chocolate cupcakes, I found a really amazing recipe and only had to slightly modify it. The vanilla buttercream icing was easy to whip up, but not to easy to keep from drooping off my cupcakes after piping. And let’s not talk about the chocolate hearts – it took forever for them to set, and when I popped them on the icing, they started melting just from the heat of my fingers. Anyhow, all the sweat (and tears) paid off. Shirley, and her cousin, were happy. This is part one of what I baked for the bridal shower. Part two will come shortly!
- so pretty and so simple. and of course, delicious.
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 1/2 cups pastry flour
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter. softened
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your muffin tins.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave, in 15 second intervals, making sure to stir in between. Set aside to cool down for a bit.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes, until it is pale and thick.
- Add in the butter. Mix until combined.
- Add in the melted chocolate.
- Now, add in the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until well incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 increments and beat until smooth.
- Divide batter into the cupcake tins. This batter made 20 cupcakes for me.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
- In the meantime, with your electric beater, whip the butter until it is creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, making sure to scrape down the sides until fully combined.
- Add the vanilla bean paste. Slowly, add the milk and continue beating on medium speed until fully combined, for approx. 5 minutes.
- Put icing into piping bag and decorate to your heart’s delight.
- As for the chocolate hearts, I just took chocolate wafers, melted them, put the chocolate into a ziploc bag. Snip a small corner off and start drawing hearts onto wax paper. Let cool and set, peel them off and top the cupcakes off!
I’m truly truly sorry for not updating my blog in one month but between school, work, prepping for the trip, more work and work and work, I’ve been able to fit in baking but not the actual uploading/updating/writing of blog posts. I think I have about four blog entry drafts in the form of pictures but sadly, I haven’t had time to write down recipes/stories/rants just yet. And I’m leaving for Vietnam in 4 days, so I don’t know if I’ll have time to update/upload those four entries. If not, please forgive me, and check back on Chocolatefool after Thanksgiving. In the meantime though, keep in touch and read about my tasty travels in Vietnam =)
On another note: The other day I was starving and enjoying my first day off in a year, so I decided to throw anything and everything I had in my fridge to make this scrumptious salad. Yes, I’m featuring a salad on a blog dedicated to dessert. I also haven’t blogged in a month, so chalk this one up to guilt. If I remember, this spinach salad consisted of baby spinach, avocado, strawberries, blueberries, goat cheese tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.
be one with nature, and eat this delicious salad on your balcony
simple and fresh, this salad is to die for
Don’t let the title worry you!
On August 8th, I’ll be flying out of Toronto and into the heart of Vietnam, leaving behind good ol’ Canada for two months! I’m going to backpack from South to North Vietnam for the first three weeks, from Ho Chi Minh City until I eventually arrive in Ha Noi. Once in Ha Noi, the real reason I’m leaving for Vietnam will finally kick in: I’m interning at Vietnam’s VTV6 television news station for six weeks, as part the requirement for the final year of the Journalism Broadcast program at my university.
While I won’t be able to bake cakes or cookies, or indulge in my chocolate/oreo cookie addiction overseas, I decided that food is too big a part of my life to abandon for two whole months. While I won’t be able to bake and therefore update this blog, I’ve decided to keep a blog/diary/photoblog of my adventures in the motherland. You can follow my culinary travails at Chocolate Fool’s Tasty Vietnamese Tales, and read about my take on the Vietnamese people, culture, life and food.
I return back to Toronto on October 8th, and will then vicariously delve back into my baking (and updating this blog) again =)
However, between now and August 8th, I’m sure to update/post on Chocolate Fool at least 4 or 5 more times! Keep checking back for more goodies, and make sure to read about my Vietnamese tales!
Seriously, I have an Oreo addiction, and hereby I solemnly promise to hold off on any more Oreo recipes – right after this post! Summer has finally kicked in for us Torontonians, and the last thing you want to do on a hot and humid day is turn on the stove or the oven. That’s why this recipe is too simple and too delicious to pass up on – the total baking time is 10 minutes! And it’s even more tempting since it combines oreo cookies, strawberries and whipping cream in the deliciousness that is a picnic-perfect pie!
I got this idea from My Baking Addiction and just tweaked it a little bit to embrace the summer and my tastes. I used a salty graham cracker crust to cut through the sweetness, added cut strawberries and strawberry puree to the filling, and used mini oreos instead of the original ones.
These pies refrigerate very well and keep for at least a couple of days – if they last this long. Pop them into the freezer for an hour if you’re planning on taking them to a picnic, and these babies won’t melt on you! It’s light and airy, with the crunch and sweetness of Oreo cookies and strawberries. Enjoy alongside the harbour front!
one pie, two pies, three pies, four pies, all my pies!
but I guess I can share - if you ask nicely
serve by the poolside for a delectable dessert...
....while sipping on your mimosas and catching up on gossip.
or, take with you to a picnic by the lake as a cute dessert...
....and dig in while washing it down with refreshing lemonade!
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bag of mini Oreo cookies (roughly 2 cups), save 24 for decorations, and cut the remaining ones in half
- 8 oz softened cream cheese
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups whipped cream or 2 cups cool-whip
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped into small pieces (save 2 for decoration)
- 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and pureed
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and salt. Press into two 9-inch pie crusts. I wanted mini pies, so I used four smaller pie pans – but I’m not sure of the exact size of them. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, and then let cool.
- In a bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add in the strawberry puree and mix until well combined.
- Switch over to a spatula, and gently fold in the whipped cream or cool whip. Lastly, add in the cut oreo cookies and chopped strawberries.
- Spoon evenly into your two (or four) pie crusts and smooth down. Decorate with the oreo cookies you set aside, and top with half of a strawberry.
- Refrigerate or eat right away, the choice is yours! Or grab your picnic blanket and go outside with one of these pies!