Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blackberry Cobbler

I've had a love hate relationship with cobblers. I made peach cobbler three times before I got it to come out right. The first time I didn't use any baking soda (because I didn't realize self rising flour was not regular flour). The second time I used a substitute for the self rising flour and it still didn't rise. Third time was perfect.

For the Blackberry Cobbler, I made the same recipe as the peach cobbler, but it had too much butter, too much sugar, and not enough berries. The second time was absolutely perfect. Here's the recipe:

Blackberry Cobbler,1737,144189-252200,00.html

1/2 cup butter
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups white sugar
2 cups milk
3 1/2 cups blackberries (I used two containers 12 oz each)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Once oven temperature is reached melt butter in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugar and milk; batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour mixture on top of melted butter in baking pan. Do not mix butter and mixture together.
Drop blackberries into batter; if more crust is desired add less blackberries. Bake in preheated oven for one hour or until golden brown.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wine Bottle Tiki Torch

Photos taken by John Cantwell:

I have been wanting to make wine bottle tiki torches ever since I saw this post about them on design sponge: I couldn't get much help at my hardware store so I gave up for a while.

I was in the garden and looking at these old tiki torches that had lost their oil holders and were just looking ugly. I decided to cut off the old cane and see what glass might fit in them. To my great excitement, the Riesling bottles are a perfect fit!!

2 new cobalt blue wine bottle tiki torches: $0.00.

Take 2 old tiki torches:

old tiki torch, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Cut off all the faded and gross cane:

insert the wine bottles:

lampsbench, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Fill with citronella oil and insert a wick. (I didn't have a wick holder so I just used some heavy wire. I'll probably get the real holder, but this works)

tiki bottles Nikon 70-300mm VR, originally uploaded by Cantwell Photo.

Photos taken by John Cantwell:

And light!!

DSC_3241p, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

(except this photo, I took this one)

Irish Car bomb Cake Balls

Irish Car bomb cake balls, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Make the Irish car bomb cupcakes. Then use the extra frosting and the middles from the cupcakes to make balls.

Dip in melted semisweet chocolate.

Car Bomb Cupcake (doubled)
(makes 5 ½ dozen if you use a ¼ cup measure to fill the cupcake cups)

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cup stout (such as Guinness)
2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling : use a double boiler, it never works without it
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 to 4 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

Baileys Frosting (doubled +1)
9-12 cups confections sugar (1 bag)
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
9-12 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 2 cup stout and 2 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.

Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.

Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). cut the holes and fill.

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.

Do ahead: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)

Pennsyltucky Lemonade

This is surprisingly delicious. You can't identify that it has maple syrup, but it makes the drink very smooth, and not so bourbon-y.

Pennsyltucky, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Pennsyltucky Lemonade, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

pennsyltucky lemonade:

1 Cup lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup (to taste)
1/2 to 1 1/2 shots bourbon per glass (to taste)