Welcome to "chuff to bits"! My blog about food, crafting, and other wonderful things! Stay tuned to find out what!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I call these "Disaster Cupcakes"....

So, the Pina Colada cake was SOOOOOO delicious, that I thought "I have to try this again!". Me being me, I decided that I should try and cut down on my waistline expansion project.

The last cake was sooooo good that I ate far too much of it. (Is there such a thing?). SO, in my brilliance, I thought that I should healthy up the thing. I decided to make mini cupcakes (any excuse to use the mini cupcake pan really). I used the Pina Colada cake that I already posted but decided to substitute the sugar for splenda, and the icing for a half & half mix of whip cream and coconut cream.

This was not the smartest moment I've ever had.

Now, I should mention that these little beauties were delicious, and we polished off all of them, and I'm sure they were healthier but they were NO match for the original Pina Colada cake. They were drier, not the moist and gooey of the original, and the icing was more bland and not the right consistancy. They froze alright, and were small so they were easy to eat while frozen. All in all, they just weren't that great. So, I'm giving you the photos but I'm advising you to just throw waistline caution to the wind and go whole hog. Make the Pina Colada cake, you deserve it.

Now, gratuitous food porn:

So many chocolate chips, so little time.

Quite frequently, my baking adventures are spawned from a desire for something sweet following dinner.

I'll admit it. I'm a dessert addict.

This is one such dessert.

This one comes from that 350 recipe Taste of Home holiday magazine

Chocolate Chip Raspberry Bars

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
1 egg (I used egg substitute)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (I used seeded)
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I used normal sized)

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg and extract just until moistened. (By this point mine had gone from crumbs to batter, just add more flour). Set aside 1 cup crumb mixture for topping.

2. Press remaining mixture into a greased pan (they used 11 by 7, I used whatever I have). Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Spread with jam and sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes longer or until golden brown.

3. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, return to oven for 30 secs or until chips are glossy. Cool completely on rack. Cut into bars.

I'm not sure about the 30 seconds there, I did that and all my chips fell off when I tried to cut the thing. I think next time I'd mix my chips in with my crumbs and take my chances. It would probably be a chippy, crumby mess, but it would taste goooooooood.

Here it is, fresh out of the oven and half devoured:

And the next day as I attempt to wrap one up for lunch:

Something smells like Cyanide....

Oh yes, THAT'S what's up for today's delicious dish.

Almond Cupcakes

Need I say more?

This recipe is from Canadian Living magazines May 2009 issue.

1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

1. Beat butter and sugar til fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time (I used egg substitute, works just fine).

2. In another bowl whisk together flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of milk (I found that last part of the instructions unnecessary but there ya go). Spoon into baking cups or greased muffin cups.

3. Bake in 350F deg oven until cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean. Transfer to rack and cool.

I put butter icing on mine, but the Significant Other and I both agree that they'd be really good with cream cheese icing.

Butter Icing
3/4 cup butter softened
3 3/4 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. In bowl beat butter until light, beat in sugar 1/2 cup at a time (I just slowly poured it in). Beat in milk and vanilla.

The instructions say that you can pipe it out, but my icing was a little soft for that. Looks beautiful and tasted delicious anyways.

Counting Sheep

So this post is long overdue, for two reasons.

First, I made several dishes long before the "tiny cake incident" and didn't post them. Too wrapped up in tiny cakiness. (cakeiness? cakeyness?) Anywho...the second reason is the obvious "why the hell don't you post more often???" reason.....and I well, I have no GOOD excuse for that....just many many bad ones.

At any rate, I'm hoping to write up a pile of posts today so that there will be at least a few posts in my repetoire that I can send on the days when I'm too tired to do this.

Today's delicious dish will be Shepherd's Pie. This recipe is my grandmother's. She made this many times when I was little, my father makes it all the time, and now, whenever I need the truest of comfort foods, this is my go-to dish.

1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
5 large potatoes
1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
1lb ground beef
2 cups frozen corn
4 tbsp butter or margerine
1/2 cup milk

1. Slice the potatoes into small chunks and boil on high until they're easy to pierce through with a fork.2. While you're waiting for the potatoes, brown the ground beef in a pan on medium high. When that's almost done add the onion and garlic and continue to cook until the onions are transluscent.

3. Mash the potatoes adding butter and milk to your personal taste and consistency. Now I mash my potatoes with this thingy:

Is it a potato masher? Some weird sort of lifter? Something else entirely? Do you own one? If you can definitively answer this question for me, there may be tiny cake slice earrings in your future.

4. Put the corn in the microwave (or in a pot of boiling water) for a minute or two until thawed and warm.

5. Mix 3 tbsps bisto with a small amount of lukewarm water until mostly dissolved. Add this to the beef while mixing like crazy. Add more water or bisto until you achieve a light gravy-like consistancy.

6. Pour the beef mixture into a cassorole dish and spread evenly. Top with corn, spread evenly. Top with potatoes, spread evenly. Sprinkle cheese all over the top....evenly.

7. Place dish in oven under the broiler until cheese is bubbly and just starting to brown on top. (Keep an eye on that sucker because it can go from brown to burnt FAST).

8. EAT! (careful, it's hot!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Cake Is A Lie.

Ok so I know I promised Surprise Muffins, and believe me I know that I make a lot of promises I don't keep, but I promise that Surprise Muffins will be in an upcoming post. I also promise a delicious Shepherd's Pie to go with it. (Wow, that's a lot of promises.)

Today's post however just could not wait. Because, you see, I made two BEAUTIFUL cakes and they just HAD to be shared with the world. Here's cake number 1, a luscious lemon cake:

Isn't it glorious? Soft delicious layers, fluffy frosting, lemon slices you could sink your teeth into. I also made a dark chocolate cake with sugar roses on top. It's divine. "Mmmmm cake" you're thinking. But no, I'm not going to give you the recipe for these. Partially because I'm evil, but mostly because they're not edible. Are you ready for it? They're MINIATURES!

That's right, miniature. Take a good look. Zoom in on that bad boy. It's a complete fake. The size of a nickel. Don't believe me? Check this out:

That's right. That's a slice of cake on the tip of my finger. Here it is beside a standard canadian penny. Is your mind blown yet?

I have this old dollhouse, made by my grandfather. While I didn't play with it much as a child, the time and effort and love that he put into making it still resonates. I was hoping to fix it up as a type of showpiece. Which lead me into the strangest place a crazy metal-head type weirdo like me might go....a dollhouse store. They had miniatures of EVERYTHING. Including food. I was so entranced by the tiny stuff. While I was surfing around some time later, I came across a site that described how to make these tiny cakes out of polymer clay. I was so thrilled with the idea, I made two. Here's some photos of the other cake:

The roses and lemons were so tiny they had to be put on with tweezers.

This is a shot of both finished cakes side by side.

This is the lemon cake on my work surface. That stick in the background is a toothpick.

The lemons themselves took hours to make. Each whole lemon is a perfect scale lemon on the inside, just waiting for the peel to come off so it can be revealed. Each round lemon slice is about 3 mm across and 1/8-1 mm thick. The whole lemon is probably 7 or 8 mm long.

I will definitely be making more tiny food in the future, including tiny cake slice earrings! So stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


"Wait, where am I?" .....(looking around) .......... "bbbllllooooooogggg? What's a 'blog'? Looks like I'm supposed to be writing it.." ....(puzzled scratching of head)......

Ok so I read an article once that had the top 5 things you need to do to have a successful blog. I don't think I've done any of them. I do know that at least one of the things was that you're supposed to write the blog, and fairly often too.

I'm just no good at that kind of commitment.

Anywho, I have an awesome project in the works. You'll be delighted when you see it, trust me.

Also, I'll tell you all about "Surprise Muffins" as soon as I can get the photos. ......Now if that doesn't pique your interest, I don't know what will.

In the meantime here's our Secret Guest Bloggers fantastic recipe for Broomstick Pumpkin Bread.

Broomstick Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 325
3 eggs
15oz canned pumpkin
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp tsp nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cloves

Makes 2 loaves. Grease only the bottom of the pans. Bake at 325 in pre-heated oven for 60-80 mins. Cool for ten mins before removing from pans.

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