Queen Bee Eats for a Day

This ones’s for you, Cupcake July 2, 2010

Filed under: Cakes — haleyhoneybee @ 1:00 am
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Mama B. can’t eat wheat, actually she can’t eat any gluten. It happens… and as a creative cook (well really just of eggs, doctored Amy’s Pizza, chopped liver, and a mean GF banana bread) and restaurant go-er she has grown to find more and more options to satisfy her taste buds. But some things you just miss. Case in point: a cupcake at the beach.
I first realized that the most delicious location for a moist cupcake was seaside while visiting our besties some years ago in St. Augustine, Florida.

The other day my hubby and I went to our local Sprinkles cupcake shop and noticed something new and inclusive to all. They now carry the popular red velvet cupcake in both vegan and gluten free options. (now I must pause for a moment and add that I am really a fan of Sprinkles and I know many people have varying preferences… I have tried Magnolia in NYC, Crumbs in Beverly Hills, Suzie Cakes in Costa Mesa, Luli’s in St. Augustine just to name a few. And I am really a fan of Sprinkles, not too much frosting and a moist delicious cupcake. But that does not mean that I am not in favor of the others, I just really happen to enjoy a Sprinkles cupcake, hype and all.)

So we did a taste test comparison of both the GF and regular red velvet. And although the GF had a ever so slightly different aftertaste (of maybe…mmm…garbanzo bean flour), it was a nearly perfect match. And for someone that hasn’t had a red velvet cup cake in years, it would be a piece of heaven. And so… when Mama B. was visiting last, we swung by Sprinkles, grabbed a few cupcakes and head to Crystal Cove for a hike down the cliff to sit by the tide pools.

This one’s for you, Cupcake…the pictures surely show how much she enjoyed!

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Let them eat (gluten-free) cake March 23, 2009

Filed under: Cakes,Cooking Adventures,Recipes & How-Tos — haleyhoneybee @ 5:43 pm
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As a wedding present for a childhood friend of my hubby, we are making them some cakes to serve at their wedding. We could call them wedding cakes. And this has become a cake baking adventure for many weeks.

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  • The betrothed have very adventurous taste buds and are non-traditional in a fabulous way.
  • Instead of just one cake, we decided to make cakes of various sizes, each with a unique cake stand/plate (most of which are vintage).
  • The Bride has gluten intolerance so care must be taken. For the wedding day only one of the cakes will be GF but for the cake tasting I baked them all GF so she could partake. (This would be a good time to mention that my Mama is allergic to all things wheat, and buckwheat, and totally Celiac…so I have a bit of practice)

The cakes that made the cut for the tasting (recipe links in progress):

  • Black pearl layer cake with ginger vanilla fresh cream frosting
  • Cranberry snow cake with white chocolate Swiss butter cream frosting
  • Lemon Curd layer cake with lemon Swiss butter cream frosting
  • Passion fruit layer cake with passion fruit Swiss butter cream frosting
  • Honey spice cake with cardamom cream frosting
  • Honey spice cake with a thick sugar glaze (made the cake twice because I wanted to try it with garbanzo flour)
  • Molten chocolate mini-cupcakes

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*Note on the alternative flours used: The first five cakes were all made with a white rice flour blend, for one of the honey cakes I used a garbanzo flour blend, and the cupcakes only call for cornstarch.

There was also a red velvet cake with a cream cheese frosting, but that one was nixed during a previous trial – after much research on classic recipes, in the end it didn’t have enough oomph.

 

Clouds of White and Cranberries February 4, 2009

sunset-cover-dec08-m

Returning home from a trip just in time for the holidays, my honey saw a cake on the cover of a magazine, and left it on the table with a note – “lets make this!”.

I am, admittedly, a bit of a holiday grinch – but not when it comes to what we eat. And the theory that must be followed is this: A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch.  ~James Beard

I begin there, and follow up with the description…cranberry obsession snow cake. Layers of pure white cake brushed with creme de cacao, filled with a cranberry jam, iced with white chocolate buttercream,  and topped with shaved white chocolate. It was a divine as it sounds. And pretty pretty pretty.

I made a bit of a modification, however. I boiled down the cranberry sauce until the cranberries were all popped, instead of adding in the additional whole/raw berries. This left out the uber tartness. But I promise it wasn’t too sweet.

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img_6479 And the cake was a hit! My mother-in-law ate it for breakfast and snack the following days. Here she is posing with the cake (the grin is pure excitement for the sweet goodness).

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The dogs begged for crumbs to drop (ok the dogs always beg for crumbs to drop, but this pic is really

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from the night we first cut into it, can’t you just see his effort).

Recipe from Sunset, December 2008

Time: 2 1/4 hours, plus cooling time.

Bakers’ tip: To make a pure white cake, use your fingers to rub off the browned surface of each layer before assembling.

Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 10  ounce  unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 3 1/2  cups  cake flour
  • 4  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 2 1/4  cups  granulated sugar
  • 7  large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Cranberry filling
  • 3 3/4  cups  cranberries, divided
  • 3/4  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2  cups  cranberry or cherry preserves
  • Buttercream
  • 5  large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4  cups  granulated sugar
  • 12  ounces  white chocolate (bars or a block, not chips), divided
  • 1  pound  unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature
  • Assembly
  • 1/2  cup  colorless liqueur such as crème de cacao or kirsch
  • About 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Butter two 9-in. cake pans; set aside.

2. Make cake: In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together on low speed until light and fluffy. Add egg whites in 3 batches, scraping inside of bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture in 5 batches, adding 1/4 cup water after each addition (you will begin and end with flour); make sure flour is completely blended each time before adding water. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Smooth tops with a spatula.

3. Bake until center of cake feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pans on a rack.

4. Meanwhile, make cranberry filling: Combine 3 cups cranberries, the sugar, preserves, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until cranberries pop and preserves melt, 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 cup cranberries, stir to combine, and remove from heat. Transfer to a small bowl and chill until ready to assemble cake.

5. Make buttercream: Fill a 2-qt. pan with about 1 in. water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Put egg whites, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Place bowl over hot water, making sure bottom of bowl isn’t touching water, and heat whites, whisking constantly, until hot to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan and bowl from heat.

6. Put bowl of warm whites on the mixer and whisk on high speed until tripled in volume and side of bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, chop 4 oz. white chocolate, put in a medium metal mixing bowl, and set in same pan of warm water off the heat to melt slowly, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from pan and let cool to room temperature.

8. Reduce mixer speed to low and whisk butter into whites, about 1/4 cup at a time, until incorporated. Continue to whisk on low speed until smooth and fluffy, about 10 minutes (mixture may look grainy at some point but will come together).

9. With a rubber spatula, gently fold melted chocolate into buttercream until completely combined.

10. Assemble: Rub tops of both cakes gently with your hands to remove browned outer surface, then carefully invert cakes and rub undersides so that cakes are completely white. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate, top side up. Using a pastry brush, brush top with half the liqueur. Spread about 1 1/2 cups cranberry mixture over layer with a metal spatula, leaving a 1/2-in. empty border around edge. Place second cake layer on top, flattest side down, and brush with remaining liqueur. Spread top and sides of cake with a thin layer of buttercream to seal in crumbs and chill 30 minutes. Cover with remaining buttercream, starting with the sides and covering the top last.

11. Use the palm of your hand to warm remaining chocolate. Shave smooth side of chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler to make thin curls; scatter curls over cake’s top. Sift powdered sugar over cake. Serve with remaining cranberry mixture on the side.

Make ahead: Baked cake layers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature or in the fridge up to 2 days ahead. Cranberry filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled.

 

Our cake October 13, 2008

Filed under: Cakes — haleyhoneybee @ 4:31 pm
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A jar of honey, two glazes, a special pan, marzipan bees with almond wings – super sticky – but we can handle it.

I think the cake set the mood for the shower as well as this blog – it really was meant to be made. And since it is a commonly known fact that our names actually translate to honey-bee in Greek, the cake was just calling us.

The pan: The beehive bundt cake pan we found (from Nordic Ware) was a little different than the one used to bake the cake we saw on the magazine cover, but it worked similarly. The batter is poured into two halves of a mold that are later pushed together. The cake produced was not quite large enough for the group at the shower, so we additionally baked an 11″ round cake for the base.

The batter: I’ll admit, I think any batter made with whipped egg whites yields a totally upstanding cake. It adds a lightness to a seemingly dense delicacy. The cake also had a nice spiced taste, calling for cinnamon and cloves in addition to honey, but we also added cardamon which in my opinion brings the taste from autumn leaves to Indian summer.

The glazes: There are two glazes here. The first is the honey glaze, this one is sticky and buttery and really too delicious to help yourself from licking your fingers (and then licking the spoon, but hold me back before stick my face into the saucepan – it was a very winnie the pooh experience).

The honey glaze acts as the glue to hold the bundt cake pieces together to form the hive. We found that this glaze also needs a little time to absorb into the cake. The second glaze is more like an icing (this one brings the sweet level up a notch, and although delicious, not completely necessary for the cake to be over the top).

The bees: Little marzipan bees, slivers of almonds as wings, each with a cute little face – not to mention that Meya and Haydn enjoyed eating them – the cake isn’t truly a beehive with out them.

Recipes:

cake and glazes

marzipan bees

 

It All Started with a Cake October 10, 2008

Filed under: Cakes,Welcome — queenbeeeatsforaday @ 1:16 pm
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A honey beehive cake that is…

Honey-Glazed Beehive Cake, marthastewart.com

This cake, to be exact.  Melissa found this recipe for a honey-glazed cake and thought it would be perfect for the wedding shower.  So we did a trial run of the cake in mid-July and it came out wonderfully.  So we knew it would be a hit at the shower!

And so the inkling for Queen Bee Eats for a Day was born.  Because we love to experiment with food, go to fun restaurants, and explore any area that we happen to be in we thought this would be a great way to share our adventures in eating!

So, in the words of Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake!

Hope you have as much fun as we do.