April 17, 2013

Nutella Swiss Buttercream

I've developed a slight distaste for American buttercream because it is so sweet and the flavor is so-so. For Sarah's baby shower, I was searching for a Nutella buttercream for the Ferrero Rocher cupcakes and I came upon Nutella Swiss buttercream. I've never made any kind of Swiss buttercream up until that point so I was unsure of how it would turn out but I had beginner's luck on my side and the buttercream came out wonderfully well. I was so pleased. It wasn't too sweet but you could taste the Nutella. Plus, it was fluffy and creamy. What more could you ask for?

If you're wondering about the cupcake itself, I cheated. I used a box mix because I've never been truly satisfied with my from-scratch chocolate cupcakes. It saved me some time which is a good thing.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting:

•5 large egg whites
•1 1/2 cup sugar
•4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
•1/2 cup of Nutella

1. Put egg whites and sugar into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees)

2. Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total.

3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes.

4. Reduce speed to low; add Nutella a few tablespoons at a time and continue beating until incorporated.

Easy enough. Look up Swiss buttercream or French buttercream. I think they have a lot more flavor without being so sweet. Let me know how your experiments go!

April 11, 2013

Baby Shower

Like I said on my previous post, I haven't done a ton of baking in the past year and half, but I did one big event: my sister-in-law's baby shower. My family assembles at my parent's house for Christmas and this year my mom and I planned to throw a surprise baby shower for my sister-in-law, Sarah. My brother and Sarah flew in on Saturday afternoon and as soon as they stepped into our newly re-finished basement, we yelled 'SURPRISE!'. It was a shock for Sarah but she was really happy. As one of the hostesses, I couldn't have been more pleased with how everything turned out. We did a French Country/Afternoon Tea Party theme. All of the food was French-ish. I made most of the food myself including French macarons and Nutella cupcakes. We also had baked brie, crudites in French bread, mini-quiches, madeline cookies, and meringues.

The decorations were handmade by my other sister-in-law, Jenny, and myself. We used tons of scrapbook paper and a circle-cutter (if you don't have one, I would suggest investing in one. It makes life so easy.). We created lanterns, place settings, a back-drop for the food table, a banner made out of doilies that said 'Bienvenue Bebe', and circle confetti for the table. We used all of my mom's tea cups and her tea kettles served as vases for flowers. The decorations looked fabulous. Feminine and dainty and nothing screamed "BABY!".

As we all know that baby shower activities and games have been over-done and they can get kind of annoying after a while. I decided to jump on the trend of making baby onesies. I bought onesies of different sizes and a few decorations but I gave instructions to the ladies to bring some of their own like iron-ons, buttons, and other things. We set up the corner with a table and ironing board with an iron. I think everyone had fun making a personal onesie for the baby.

All in all, it was a fabulous party enjoyed by all. In my coming posts I will share the recipes that I used in the shower.

Picture credit: All pictures were taken by my sister-in-law, Jenny.

April 9, 2013

It's been a while

Hello all! It's been a loooong time since I've posted anything on my blog. A lot has happened in the last year and a half. I got rejected and then accepted into nursing school. I moved to Connecticut. I started nursing school and I completed it in about 12 months. I took my nursing board exam (NCLEX) and passed and now I'm looking for a job. It's been a roller coaster of a ride but God has been good to me and has blessed me more than I deserve. Now, I'm back and it's time I start posting regularly again. I haven't done a ton of baking in my one and half year hiatus but I did my sister-in-law's baby shower so I'll be posting pictures of that soon.