A’Tempting’ Tuesday: The Good and The Bad

Fotor0114132316When I first started this blog, I pledged to myself to share the good, the bad and the ugly — whether it be cooking, crafting, organizational or life attempts.  Whatever it may be, I plan to be an open book because, well, this is a journey to where I want to be.

In today’s A’Tempting’ Tuesday installment, I have both — the good and the bad.

I love to bake.  I love to try new things.  I am always looking for new dishes and new baked goodies.  I have two that I recently tried.

Let’s start with THE BAD.

My hubby is diabetic with a sweet tooth.  I am sure it is complete holy hell for him because I bake.  A lot.  I’ve mentioned many times that baking is a great stress release for me.  I’ve been really stressed lately, so there’s been a lot of late-night baking.  I have really been making an effort to find more diabetic friendly recipes.  I’ve not come up with too many that I would call a success.  This one is no exception.

I found a … yikes, I hate to say it … BOXED chocolate cake mix that is sugar-free and not too bad.  I hate using boxed cake mixes so I cannot add insult to injury and also use an already-prepared frosting.  I found several easy recipes for sugar-free frosting that sounded promising.

Here’s the recipe I tried (I found it on All-recipes.com).

The result was pretty.  It tasted just okay and didn’t really work well with the cake.  I’d say this is one I will not try again.  The consistency was a little like a thin mousse, and way too thin to frost a cake.  It would make a better dessert  or filling, than a frosting.

Sugar-Free Frosting

1 (1.4 oz.) package sugar-free instant pudding mix (I used chocolate)
1 3/4 cups milk
1 (8 oz. package cream cheese)
1 (8 oz. ) container lite frozen whipped topping, thawed (I used sugar-free Cool Whip)

In medium bowl, combine milk and pudding mix.  Mix well and let stand until thickened.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pudding and mix well. Fold in whipped topping.

Cook’s Talk

  • As I said, this probably will not be a repeat.  But if I were to try it again, I think I’d cut the milk in half in hopes of making it more of a frosting consistency.  It might also be better in vanilla.  With the added cream cheese and whipped topping, it really wasn’t chocolate enough when paired with the chocolate cake I baked.
  • The best option would be to prepare an actual frosting, rather than use the pudding as s shortcut.  I’ve found a couple of others I will try soon.

Now, on to THE GOOD.

My children’s birthdays were last week and I decided to make cupcakes.  Cupcakes are so much fun and you can do so much with them.  I also love to find all sorts of colorful liners and creative wraps to make them unique.

I tried a recipe for cupcakes that I found on Pinterest.  They sounded good and were just so darn cute  I had to try them.  The result was a great tasting cupcake that again was “just so darn cute.”

The original recipe came from this BLOG.

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Cherry Coke Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk **see Cook’s Talk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 Tbs cocoa powder
1/4 cup maraschino cherry syrup
24 maraschino cherries

Cola Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs cola (I wound up using 3 Tbs)

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Preheat the oven to 350 F.  In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a second bowl.  In a saucepan, boil the cola and cherry syrup gently for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and melt in the butter and cocoa powder.  Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon, and then add the remaining liquid ingredients, beating until everything is blended.

Pour into the cupcake pans with liners and push a cherry into the center of each cupcake.  (Make sure to remove the stem).  Bake for 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven to wire rack to cool.

For the cola icing, mix the powdered sugar and cola with a spoon until smooth.

When the cupcakes are cool, remove them from pan, drizzle with the cola icing and let dry.  Top with cherry buttercream and a cherry.

Note:  The original post did not include a cherry buttercream recipe, so here is my take:

Cherry Buttercream

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature (Yes, y’all.  Real butter, not margarine)
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs juice from the maraschino cherries
2-4 Tbs heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter in stand mixer or with hand mixer. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, alternating with the cherry juice and heavy cream.  Add salt.  Continue beating for 3 minutes.   You will want a medium consistency (somewhat soft, but slightly stiff) for topping your cupcakes.  You can easily adjust this frosting if you feel its consistency is not quite right.   To thin, add more cream.  To stiffen add more powdered sugar.

I used a frosting bag and larger tip to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes.

That’s it!

And, again …SO DARN CUTE!  They were a hit with my kids and the leftovers were wiped out by hubby’s coworkers in about 5 minutes.

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Cook’s Talk

  • The batter for this cupcake is really thin, but don’t worry.  It bakes just fine and results in a really moist cupcake.  Because all ovens are different, I started checking for doneness at about 12 minutes, but wound up baking for the entire 15.
  • Of course, I forgot the buttermilk at the store.  To substitute, I used 1/2 cup 2% milk (because that is what I had on hand) and added 1/2 Tbs white vinegar.  I let it sit for 5 minutes and voila … a great substitute for buttermilk that saved hubby a last-minute trip to the store.

I hope you enjoy.

Until next time….

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