Posts Tagged ‘Sweet Tooth’
It’s been a long couple of weeks. Multiple days working past midnight, graduation requirements stress, etc. So I decided to decompress by making cookies and cream fudge.
I really like the recipe on the back of the marshmallow cream jar. In my experience it’s super easy, makes the best traditional fudge, and is the easiest to modify for fun flavors. Want peanut butter fudge? Substitute 12 oz of peanut butter chips for chocolate. Mint Cream? White chips, and add a teaspoon of mint extract. Orange cream (my favorite!)? White chips and add a tablespoon of orange extract.
For these I substituted white chocolate, and added an extra half teaspoon (for 1.5 total) of vanilla when making the fudge. I used my mortar and pestle to grind up an entire package of Oreos to sprinkle on top. Easy Peasy. Well, except for grinding up the Oreos. Next time I’m using slightly stale, and softer, Oresos.
I lost my candy thermometer a few years ago, and never bothered to get another. Instead, I stir the mixture on medium high/high heat until it starts to boil, then down to medium/medium low for 5 minutes. That works just fine. I’ve also substituted reduce fat butter for full fat butter and seen no ill effects.
It’s October and time to break out the pumpkin! Pumpkin cupcakes that is. I found the recipe for pumpkin cupcakes online a few years ago. I think I may have changed the recipe slightly. The cake batter recipe was my own idea. I wanted an icing that had a doughy kind of taste (like the crust of a pie) but a little sweeter. It’s not a very exciting recipe, but it is the first one I came up with on my own. The idea to decorate the cupcakes to look like little pies came from the book Hello, Cupcake!.
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup milk
In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl.
In large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat eggs until frothy, combine with butter & sugar.
Blend in mashed pumpkin. Alternate between stirring in the dry ingredients and the milk, blending until batter is smooth.
I fill the cupcake tray 1/2 full instead of 2/3rds so I don’t get the cupcake top, and the cupcake is more pie shaped. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
The secret to the cake batter taste is a touch of anise. I add 1 teaspoon of butter extract and 1/4th teaspoon of anise extract. Anise has a licorice like flavor, so add very little to not overpower the vanilla and butter. The butter extract gives it that nice buttery taste (like dough). I used like half a drop of red food coloring, and 3ish drops of yellow to give it a batter-like color.
- 1 cup butter
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon butter extract
- 1/4 teaspoon anise extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
Beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar slowly, mixing it in with the butter. Add extracts, salt and milk. If your frosting is too thick for your tastes, add a touch more milk. If your frosting is too thin, add more sugar.
To get half a drop of red icing, I typically insert a toothpick into the food coloring container, and then wipe said toothpick on the icing to transfer a tiny amount of food coloring.
I noticed a bump in traffic to my blog the past few weeks with a few visitors from Google looking for “Sugar Free Cake pops” and “Diabetic Friendly Cake Pops”. I had previously mentioned that you could use sugar free cake mixes and icing to reduce the sugar, so I thought I would give it a try and see how well they turn out. My only hesitation is that the icing uses Splenda instead of sugar. While I believe Splenda is better for you than some of the other options, any large quantity of artificial sweetener is probably not good. I thought I’d take the opportunity to try a low sugar frosting recipie.
I started with this absolutely sugar free recipe, and substituted whipping cream for heavy whipping cream. The down side is pudding mix contains aspartame. I figure (and I admit I have no real knowledge) that this recipe probably has a smaller amount of artificial sweetener from the sugar free frosting made with Splenda because pudding doesn’t tend to be as sweet as icing. Therefore, one could get away with less. At least in theory.
To make this frosting, mix the pudding mix into the following liquids, and whip for about 5 minutes minutes until creamy.
- 1.5 ozs sugar-free instant pudding mix
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 2 1/4 cups whipping cream
The heavy whipping cream has a lot of fat, especially saturated fat. Given that candy melts are also very high in saturated fat, I decided to go with the regular whipping cream (heavy whipping cream has no sugar, regular has a very small amount). The trade off is the consistency’s not great for icing a cake – but we’re making cake pops so it doesn’t need to be! I probably used a little over half of the icing I made.
The pops were yummy as always. The sugar in the pops are mainly good sugars (from milk) which have a low glycemic index.
Calorie Count (Approximately): 61.7
2.8 Calories from the Pudding
43 Calories from the Cake Mix
0.6 Calories from the Skim Milk
15.3 Calories from the Whipping Cream
Sugar Count (Approximately): 0.4 Grams
0 grams from the Pudding
0 grams from the Cake Mix
0.1 grams from the Skim Milk
0.3 grams from the Whipping Cream
Fat Count (Approximately): 2.4 Grams (1.3 Saturated)
0 grams from the Pudding
0.8 grams from the Cake Mix (0.3 Gran Saturated Fat)
0 grams from the Skim Milk
1.6 grams fat from the Whipping Cream (1 Gram Saturated Fat)
The calories/fat/sugar count of a “regular” cake pop vary by the type of cake and icing you use. I pulled a random box of cake mix at the grocery store to get an estimate of about 83 Calories, 7.2 grams of sugar and 3.8 grams of fat. My goal for low sugar also cut my fat count by a third. The big problem is the candy melts (which I didn’t include in the totals). Wow are they bad for you. They double the fat and calorie count, and add another 6 grams of sugar. Worse still, the fat is almost all saturated fat! I’m also not a huge fan of the taste, so I have plenty of motivation to find an alternative.
Cake pops were a lot of fun, and surprisingly easy! I don’t have a recipe so much, as a set of directions.
- Start with your favorite cake, crumble it up into little pieces
- Mix in your favorite frosting until you can shape the cake and it stays together
- Roll the cake mixture into balls, inserting a lollipop stick. (Dipping the stick in chocolate before inserting into the lollipop can help it stick better.)
- Refrigerate or put them into the freezer for the cake to firm up
- Dip in melted candy melts to coat.
I had a slight problem with the lollipop sticks popping out of the cupcake bite, so I ended up dripping some melted candy melts around the base of the ball and the lollipop stick to glue it together. If you do this, make sure you refrigerator them again! I had a problem where the cake ball ripped by the candy melts on two of my pops.
There are lots of awesome decoration ideas. I’m sure cake pops will become a staple in my baking repertoire.
Oh, one more thing that’s awesome: If you don’t mind making cakes from a box, you can actually make this extremely low sugar. There are some sugar free cake mixes (using sugar alcohol, which is the sugar substitute used for diabetic friendly foods), and sugar free icings (using Splenda).
All I can say is YUM!
To make the sweet vinaigrette dressing combine (wisk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
(Recipe from allrecipies.com)
Pour over freshly cut strawberries & spinach for a wonderful spring time treat. I used an egg slicer to slice my strawberries. If you do that, don’t cut out the white core of the strawberry before slicing. The remaining berry looses all structural integrity and turns into strawberry puree.