must.love.frosting

There’s a reason I decided to call this post must.love.frosting.

And that reason is must. love. food.

You see … I’m the host of a new tv show on Rogers TV … and it’s called must.love.food.

I think I’m still a little gobsmacked that this is really happening.

You might wonder … “why in the world is Lynne talking about frosting???”

I got to hang with my friends Derick and Lois on Daytime Ottawa today, and while we debuted a clip for must.love.food. we also made some frosting.

But not just any frosting.

We made oreo frosting.

Holy mother of pearl.

I love it so much I’ve made it 5 times in the last 10 days … it all started with a visit to always with butter.  There was a recipe for  oreo frosting that … well it made me stop in my tracks.

First off … it’s oreo frosting.

Nothing wrong with that.

Second of all … it’s super simple.

All you need is a food processor, some oreos, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and cream.

And lastly … IT’S OREO FROSTING!!!!!!!!

(check out the segment here)

As I said on Daytime – this frosting is probably one of the easiest things to make … EVER.  Plus it packs a HUGE punch … which means with very little effort you will impress just about anyone who tries it.

It even smells good.

A million sighs of happiness.

oreo frosting

ingredients:

1/2 package (2 sleeves – about 25 cookies), oreo cookies

1 c. butter, at room temperature

1 tbsp vanilla

couple pinches of salt (to taste)

5 – 6 tbsp cream

4 c. powdered sugar

Grab your food processor and dump the oreo cookies into the bowl.  Pulse until you get a fine crumb.

Baker’s note: It’s important to pulse the cookies first … otherwise they won’t get quite fine enough … and you’ll end up with some larger pieces … which make trying to pipe a cupcake pretty frustrating.

Ok … so the cookies are all crumbly … now toss in the butter (in cubes) and the splash of vanilla.  Add a pinch of salt and then half the powdered sugar.

Turn on the food processor … and let it go.

Add a little of the heavy cream … you’ll see that the batter starts to come together.  Turn it off and add the rest of the powdered sugar.

Turn the food processor back on.  Keep mixing it and adding a little bit of cream (as needed to get the texture you want).

I found that the frosting was a little warm once it was finished … so I put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes and let it cool a little.  Then I filled my piping back … and went wild.

Oh … and if you’ve noticed that the cupcakes in the picture above are not the same ones as I made on Daytime … it’s true.  They aren’t.  I’m saving that recipe for the must.love.cupcakes episode :0)

courgette cake

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe with all of you since May.

Seriously.

You might be wondering how a courgette cake recipe could be on my mind for such a long time?  Well you see … this is the recipe that just keeps on giving …  it worked as a layer cake … and as a bundt cake … then as cupcakes … and cute little pumpkin cakes … and they’ve all worked.   CLAPS!I’ve made it with zucchini and chocolate chips and chocolate chunks and ribbons of melted chocolate. I’ve frosted it with a whipped chocolate frosting … and with a cinnamon sour cream frosting … and finally with whipped brown sugar frosting.  All successes.

Then I thought about it … courgette doesn’t only mean zucchini.  What about swapping out the zucchini for some squash???  And so … with that in mind, I decided to completely twist up this recipe.

butternut squash mini cakes filled with caramel and covered in cinnamon sugar

What?

It sounds like a mouthful doesn’t it?

It is.  But it’s all good.  Really really good.

The inspiration for this one  came from two places… the first was Edgar’s lemon beignets and the second were Golden Eggs - a recipe I discovered this past winter when I read the book Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker (which I LOVED).  I figured by mixing and matching the two ideas together, along with the courgette cake recipe I love so much, that I would come up with a real winner.

I figured this was fall baking at its best.

Butternut squash, caramel, melted butter, cinnamon sugar … DELISH!

And if adding the caramel to the centre doesn’t catch your fancy, the butternut squash option also works really well with a dollop of sour cream cinnamon frosting.

So many options!

The original recipe comes from (no surprise here) the hummingbird bakery’s cake days (I heart that book).  The hummingbird bakery‘s version is a courgette, walnut and cinnamon layer cakeAs you can tell … I opted not to use walnuts in my version, and preferred to swap in chocolate for the zucchini version.  Perhaps the next time I make it with butternut squash I’ll toss in pecans and white chocolate chips … or pecans and dried cherries?  Who knows … Just remember to go with flavours you LOVE.  That’s the joy of baking!

Whatever you decide to do … just know that you will have stumbled on a winner of a recipe.  And you might become as obsessed with it as I’ve become.

Oh … you’ll notice that for these mini cakes I used pumpkin molds – they are basically the same size as a regular cupcake mold – so feel free to make these into cupcakes or even a regular 9-inch 2 layer round cake … it’ll all work

butternut squash mini cakes filled with caramel and covered in cinnamon sugar

ingredients:

3 eggs

300 mL vegetable oil

300 g brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

300 g flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

300 g peeled, seeded and grated butternut squash (or zucchini)

caramel, at room temperature

3/4 c. butter, melted or as needed

cinnamon sugar, as neededPreheat your oven to 325 F.  Spray  each mold in your pumpkin pan or cupcake pan with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla until everything is well combined.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and freshly grated nutmeg.

Add the dry ingredients to your wet mixture in two batches – beating well and fully incorporating everything.

Turn off your mixer and fold in the grated butternut squash.Divide the batter evenly between the pumpkin/cupcake molds (I was actually able to get the dozen pumpkins and 2 dozen mini cupcakes out of this batter).

Bake regular sized cupcakes for 20 minutes and mini cupcakes for 12 minutes.  You know when it’s ready … the tops will be springy to the touch :0)

Turn the cakes out of their pans IMMEDIATELY.  This is the one time you don’t want your cakes to cool completely.

It’s easiest if your caramel is in a piping bag … grab the caramel and stick the piping bag tip into your cakes and fill each centre with caramel.When they are all filled, grab each cake and dip them in melted butter, and finish by rolling them in cinnamon sugar.That’s it.  Simple eh?

And if you don’t feel like a buttery cinnamon sugar treat … this recipe works really well with a cinnamon frosting.  I opted to make a buttercream using cinnamon, vanilla and a solid dollop of sour cream to cut the sweetness factor.

a little gong “show”

update:  thanks platonic jeff for joining me and taking pictures. and making us all laugh.  i think everyone @ daytime loves you too (platonicaly that is) ;0)

I have to apologize… I’ve been baking (lots). I’ve been taking pictures (lots).  I’ve been back on Ottawa Daytime… THREE TIMES!!!  And I haven’t blogged about any of those things.

I think it’s time to get started.Last week I tried to teach Derick, TL and all of their fans how to make powdered sugar-free buttercream

Seriously… the GREATEST buttercream EVER (and I say this knowing most people swoon over a really good cream cheese frosting… but this has it beat). 

The three of us sure had fun (but then again, we always have fun), but I kinda screwed up the recipe.  Just a little…  just enough that if you watched the episode live and decided to follow our (as in my) instructions… you probably would have finished and scratched your head wondering… “did I do something wrong?”

Nope.  Not you.  Me.  I completely forgot an important step in the whole process. 

More milk.

Now if you didn’t watch – I should warn you:  this recipe says NO to powdered sugar and says YES to milk, flour, regular sugar and butter.  No lies.  You basically start off with a béchamel (well not a traditional béchamel – only the flour and milk – no butter at this point), and add that to some whipped sugar and butter.

So I’m here to make it up to you … that way you can enjoy the wonderfulness of this buttercream.  Because it truly is wonderful… amazing… incredible… rich and creamy and fluffy.  In a word: DELISH.

If you want to giggle while you start on this recipe… check out Derick, TL and I as we muddle our way through the recipe (don’t they look like they’re having a blast!?).

And then if you feel up to trying this buttercream (which you should … because it’s that good)… put away that powdered sugar and pull out a small saucepan and whisk.  Let’s get started!

baker’s note:  the recipe I’m sharing is for a dark chocolate buttercream… however the recipe I made for Daytime Ottawa was a brown sugar-cinnamon buttercream.  Omit the melted chocolate and use brown sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon rather than regular white sugar if you’d like to try my “tv” version (which is delicious when paired with a zucchini cake).  Otherwise, the rest of the recipe remains the same (you can also omit the melted chocolate to make a vanilla buttercream too).

(powdered sugar-free) whipped buttercream

ingredients:

4 oz (100 g) dark chocolate, melted and cooled

1/4 c. flour, sifted

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla

1 c. milk, divided

1 c. white sugar

1 c. butter, room temperature

Think of this recipe in stages…

First start with the warm part – melt your chocolate in a double boiler (or in the microwave).  Once melted, set aside and allow it to cool.

Then start on the  faux béchamel.

Grab a small saucepan (as mentioned to Derick and TL, a small saucepan works better than a medium one) and whisk together the flour, vanilla and 1/4 c. milk

Whisk until there are no lumps, then place the pan over medium heat – whisking continuously: slowly adding the rest of the milk (this is the part I left out on the show).   You’ll notice that the mixture thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the saucepan – about 4 minutes.  Turn the heat down to low and continue whisking for another 3 minutes.  Now… remove the saucepan from heat and keep whisking the mixture for another 2 minutes.  This is important.  Otherwise it’ll keep cooking – and you don’t want that. That’s it.

Now – you can either wait for your faux béchamel to cool to room temperature – or do like me – and pass it through a strainer – this cools it down nice and quick and gets rid of any lumps you might get during the cooking process.While you are passing the faux béchamel through the strainer – start whipping your butter and sugar mixture together.  Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, whisk the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy – 7 minutes (that’s normally the amount of time I need to strain the faux béchamel). Turn your mixture down to slow and slowly add the melted chocolate – increase the speed to medium incorporating the chocolate into the whipped butter/sugar.

Once incorporated, return the speed to low and add in your faux béchamel.  Increase the speed to medium and whisk for another 5 minutes.

You end up with something so light and fluffy, so creamy… you end up with this… Frost your cake, or cupcakes… or heck – just dip your finger into the buttercream and enjoy.  Seriously … A-MAZ-INGMake this buttercream and I promise you that you’ll think twice about using powdered sugar again (unless you have some serious piping work to do).