Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baking Day 3: Chocolate cupcakes, strawberry whipped cream, and butter cookies

Well, I'm on my baking streak. This time was chocolate cupcakes that I made before using the recipe from Cakes to Celebrate Love and Life book. I also stuck on some strawberry whipped cream to top and made butter cookies.

They don't look that pink, but the strawberries did give them a nice light pink color.

For the strawberry whipped cream I wanted to use a stabilized whipped cream to have it hold better, but I didn't have any gelatin so I just went with plain whipped cream. These were for my ex aptmate's dance team so I was anxious for them to eat them before the top melts. Since the cake is very rich in chocolate (it shows up black), I didn't want to put a heavy buttercream frosting on (Plus I hate buttercream and scrape it off). I just whipped a cup of heavy cream and added in approximately 4 tablespoons pureed fresh strawberries. Then put in enough powdered sugar to taste. For me I started at 1/4 cup and then added more to taste since my strawberries were sour ^^;;. The taste was very fresh and melt-in-your-mouth, awesome!

The butter cookies I got the recipe from Food Network. They were ok but.. eh too buttery for me, and just not really the flavor I was going for. Our neighbors give us these AMAZING butter cookies for xmas, and omg so good- better than the tin ones. I was looking all over for frosting recipes but they all said something like taking 15 hrs to dry! I only had about 10 min. So after going through various royal icing recipes I just decided to make my own based off of Martha Stewart's. I didn't need that much frosting so here's what I did.

1 cup of powdered sugar + a little more than a tablespoon of powdered egg whites. Add in just enough water to get a liquid consistency and put food coloring as desired. I wasn't doing flooding or anything, so stiff icing was fine. It dried in about 5-10 minutes.

Okokok Here it is: Zoya Nail Polish Swatch

So I'm finally forcing myself to stop being lazy and write the nail polish review. I mean I've had the pictures done for almost a week so it's mostly out of laziness that I didn't post it up. I know, I know, shame on me. Maybe the reason is that I didn't really see a color from those that I ordered that I'm over the moon about.

By the way, today is insanely cold with the windchill and reminded me why I still need to get earmuffs. My ears get red and cold and since they're connected to the rest of my head, my head is starting to hurt a bit.

So on with these nail polishes from Zoya!
First off, they came with a color plate for the Intimate line and a booklet of colors which I was really surprised about and actually liked because it's super annoying to pore through the colors on their website.


I absolutely adore the lipcolor the model is wearing. And her nail polish as well. They should really tell us what they use so we can all go get it. I think the nail color is Marley from the Intimate line, but well, you tell me, do the pictures match colors? =/. The picture seems to take on this soft lavender with maybe a hint of pink, but the actual color is a straight up lavender. Shame because I'm searching for the muted pink/ lavender color. Well actually I really want the color from the opening of Pretty Little Liars, but I have a feeling it doesn't look like its original color. I should explain first- It's said that Pretty Little Liars TV show uses Zoya colors. Still, I don't see any color like that in Zoya's collection and I have a feeling the color's been altered from original because of all the editing.

If Zoya were to allow me to collab and make a color, that's the color I would go for. I'd call it... I don't know yet, I'll have to get back to you on that one. Secrets and Lies? ~.~ why can't there be one word to sum that up? Full Disclosure? Yep.. gotta get back to you on that one.

One more thing that I'd like to note about the Intimate collection is Gemma. I'm not going to lie, I thought this shade of green was butt ugly. BUUUUT if you look closely, it has a blue iridescence! Absolutely lovely! Although I still don't like the green.

I put in the colors I ordered on the other side of the plate so if you want to check out these colors, shoot me an email at I'll need $1 though to cover stamps. I also have another Intimates collection one, so if you just want that collection, I have that too. Oh right.. err I know these look funny, don't worry, I'll touch them up. They don't dry flat.

So now for the more detailed version of the colors I got.

Adina: Medium purple with green iridescence. Out of all the colors I think I might like this one best. It plays up to my funky side. It may be a bit too funky for me to wear around allll the time though

Happi: Super disappointed in this one. I thought I would like it better than Reece and that it would be a softer pink, but it wasn't. Also has gold? Light green? shimmer. Glad I decided to buy Reece after all

Reece: I think this color's redeeming feature is the green iridescence that you can't really see here. I loove how it makes it a bit different from the norm. Still, I look at it and wonder how many times I'll wear it. It's just not really me.

Shivon: Oh goodness, I don't know what possessed me to buy this. At first I looked at swatches and said, I have too many polishes that look like this, and yet somehow I convinced myself to get it anyways. It appears to be a dark red with gold shimmer, but the red looks a bit cool when compared to others. This is definitely the type of color that needs to be in everybody's collection.. but I have about 5 bottles that look similar. wayy too many.
***EDIT*** now I know what possessed me. I saw a swatch and it looked totally different from mine.  am i right?! this color is so beautiful and I have nothing like it. Too bad it doesn't look like that irl.

Melanie: So I was trying to go for a light gentle pink color with this one. uh,.. yea it was way too light pink. I also originally wanted a cream, but figured, ah what the heck, and got the shimmer anyways because it seems like a color I'd like. Wrong. It's a bit translucent, so it does take a couple coats to get it more opaque. It's not a bad color though, it's like if I had it, I could use it, but ehhh.

I also got color spoons!! Oh my goodness, these things are ingenius! You just put them on your nail and you can see the color! Best part?! they're free! Well you pay for them at first, but free shipping. Afterwards, the amount you spend on them is credited back to your account. So it's like getting them free.

I got Portia, Avril, and Jaime. Oh my goodness, I wish Jaime came in a creme color because I think that's the exact pink I want. I'm temped to order a big bottle, but I stopped myself and am ordering more color spoons to make sure this is the color I want. 

If you want these three I can send them to you for $ .50, but if you also pick up one of the Intimate's color plates then I'll just throw them in for free (They don't really add to shipping).

Also, as I don't think I"ll be wearing them that much, I'll be selling off Happi and Shivon at $4 shipped each.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Preorder for Yesstyle! [CLOSED]

Deadline: 2/26/2011 midnight EST
From: United States
Goal: $22/$150
Payment type: Paypal only (I'll be paying them from my paypal account in turn)

EMAIL ME if interested:
If you comment I might not know for a very long time.

Hi, long time no blog. Sooooo.. I know I owe you all a review of my Zoya nailpolishes and if I can get my lazy butt moving then hopefully I'll have it up by the end of today. Meanwhile, I've decided to order from and was wondering if anyone wanted to join me. They have a shipping fee of $9.99 unless you order $150 so I was trying to reduce some of that ^^;;. Of course this means that if you plan on ordering heavier items or more than that, you may be better off ordering yourself since the shipping from me to you may just end up costing more.

This preorder is more for those people who maybe just want to buy a shirt or a couple pieces of jewelry.
NO SERVICE FEE- because this is doing me a personal favor =). But you will have to pay for the shipping from me to you.

IF THE $150 GOAL ISN'T REACHED: the $9.99 delivery fee from them to me will be split among all participants. Of course I think it makes more sense for those with heavier things to pay more in that case.

The time for this preorder to close and payment is 1 WEEK from today. I was planning to make it a month, but who wants to wait that long? And I didn't want the items to go out of stock =/. (I really really want my item)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Again!

I did more baking. This time I took a shot at this recipe for hearts in cupcakes. Like many others I found that my hearts floated instead =/. So they didn't turn out like they were supposed to. Super yummy though! i left the cupcakes in for 5 min too long, and the harder parts taste like cookies. ^^.

This is my first time ever success with a full cake from scratch. It was soft and fluffy! I put in about 10 drops of liquid food coloring.

They floated so I cut them like this instead.

I guess this is more of what they were supposed to look like ^^;;

Happy Valentine's Day!

I baked red velvet cupcakes using the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Her recipe calls for 3 oz of red food coloring, but I got scared and only put 2. They're still plenty red to me!

Let me preface this by saying this is only my second time making cupcakes from scratch (the first time which I posted about earlier)

The sugar and egg mixture actually thickened and got more viscous! It was liquidy and I just thought that was the way it was supposed to be but we just kept beating until my friend got the food coloring ready and dumped it in. No idea if it matters if you get it to this stage or not.

It's not actually THIS red.. the flash exaggerates a bit.

Friend wanted to make Laffy Taffy icing. Melting the taffy with 2 tbsp heavy cream.

Red velvet minis with laffy taffy icing

Cream cheese frosting! A bit sweet to my taste buds. I can't really taste the cream cheese (maybe because I tasted a bajillion other things) but my aptmate says the flavor is there and it tastes like cheesecake.


Even with only 2/3 the amount of food coloring called for they're still super red, and super yummy. Not that sweet at all.  In pictures I've seen around they all appear much darker so I was afraid the red wouldn't show, but after this, maybe I can cut it to only 1 oz of food coloring. 

I don't have a picture of the interior yet, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I've had way too many cupcakes today and don't feel well at all X_X.

Red Velvet  Cake taken from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 3 cake layers
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.
2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake variation: Since this has been published, many readers have written in to express that it adapts well to cupcakes. The yield is approximately 35 cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way, and the baking time should be between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them 2/3 of the way through in case your oven gets the job done faster.
Cocoa Notes
  • Some red velvet cakes have no cocoa, others have up to half a cup. The less cocoa, the brighter the red, and the less food dye is needed to give it the desired hue. This cake has more cocoa and quite a bit of red dye, but as you cans see from the picture, it is a real stand-out red. Feel free to use less, but make sure you dissolve it in 6 tablespoons of water to compensate for any moisture lost.
  • Dutch versus Non-Dutched cocoa: This recipe uses baking soda, so it calls for non-Dutch-Processed cocoa. The reason is that Dutch-Process cocoa is neutral and will not react with baking soda, so it can only be used in 1) recipes with baking powder or 2) recipes with enough other acidic ingredients that will compensate for the lack of acidity. However, you’ll notice that this recipe has both vinegar and buttermilk in it, or quite a bit of acidity, leading me to wonder if either kind of cocoa could be used with success. I had non-Dutch on hand, so I used it, but if you only have Dutch and try this recipe, let us know if it works. Personally, I prefer the Dutched stuff because it usually is of a higher quality with a more delicate chocolate flavor.

Cream Cheese Frosting: from Food Network

4 oz Butter
4 oz Cream Cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Blend altogether.

Laffy Taffy Frosting