Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Pumpkin Cakes

Happy Halloween!  These fun and festive little cakes are super cute and fairly easy to make.  I made mine using large chocolate cupcakes, but you could really use any flavor you like. 

1. Depending on how big you want your pumpkins, make a batch of large cupcakes, regular cupcakes, or mini bundt cakes.
2. Make a batch of your favorite white icing while the cupcakes cool.  Tint the icing orange.  Make sure to serve a small portion of the icing to tint green for the tops, or just buy some green icing in a tube from the grocery store.
3. Take one large cupcake and cut the top off so it is flat.  Cover the flat top with orange icing.  Take another large cupcake and cut the top off.  Place the cut side down on top the icing.  Trim around the edge with a knife to make the cake more round.  Finally, cover the cakes with orange icing and make a stem with green icing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Key Lime Pie

Last weekend we had a dinner party to attend and I offered to make dessert.  We were having a big Southern meal so I wanted to make something that wouldn't be too heavy.  I love key lime pie, but have never actually made it, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  This recipe really is fabulous and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  If you don't want to take all the time necessary to juice the key limes, Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice is a surprisingly delicious substitution and really speeds up the process.

Adapted from Joe's Stone Crab

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons key lime zest (zest of 2 key limes)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice

1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round pie plate.

2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.  Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.  Bake the crust until set and golden, about 8 minutes.  Set aside on a wire rack.  Leave the oven on.

3. Using the high speed of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, 3 or 4 minutes longer. Add the lime juice and stir until combined, then pour the mixture into the crust.

4. Bake pie for 10 minutes or until the filling has just set.  Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate.

5. Once the pie has cooled, whip the cream and confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Spread whipped cream over the pie or pipe around the edges.

6. Before serving, freeze the pie for about 20 minutes, then cut and serve.