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Cooking Tutorials

Browse free product instructions and tutorials from the Craftster community. For more crafting fun visit the Cooking Forum.

June 11, 2018 01:49:54 PM by redheadedblonde
Views: 3007 | Comments: 12
I've been working on upping my cupcake game for a while.  Truthfully, I'm not a fan of most cupcakes because they are overly topped with super sweet, cloying American buttercream (but I'm a fan once I scrape most of it off!). Smiley  But man, they sure do look pretty with those swirls.  I've started using ermine buttercream in addition to my favorite swiss buttercream because one of my kiddos has a classmate with an egg allergy.  Cupcakes with those frostings are never overly frosted to me.  Grin (Both recipes below--though both cupcakes below used ermine.)

IMG_6077 by Donna Flores, on Flickr

To make super-saturated frosting without having to dye a ton of batches different colors for a rainbow effect, I turned to using dye directly on plastic as frosting "plugs" or "bullets."  Basically, you lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and paint a line of gel dye down the side.  Plop some frosting in the middle, wrap it up in the plastic sheet, and twist the edges shut.  Use the plug in your icing bag directly.  I have never had luck pulling the twisted edge through the piping tip and trimming it that way--I have to trim off the twisted edge before I put it in the bag, but ymmv.

IMG_6083 by Donna Flores, on Flickr

Here's an idea of the painted gel stripes and a softer rainbow stripe after the gel colorant begins to deplete as you frost.

IMG_6074 by Donna Flores, on Flickr

I also recently acquired the Wilton Color Swirl coupler--and I love it.  My boys and I tinted icing three different shades - packed up three different bags and then put them all in one bag with the coupler.  It made a perfect swirl with all three shades and was super simple.  

IMG_0091 by Donna Flores, on Flickr
closeup by Donna Flores, on Flickr
IMG_0098 by Donna Flores, on Flickr
IMG_0105 by Donna Flores, on Flickr

Adorable children in the background eating popsicles while I frost cupcakes because why not have 8 tons of sugar.....check.

My swiss buttercream recipe:
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (slightly soft, but still cold)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a big pinch salt (if using salted butter, omit)

Whisk egg whites and sugar in double boiler until sugar is totally dissolved  (I just cook it in my mixer bowl for ease).  I cook mine to 160 F just to make sure it will be safe for those with compromised immune systems to eat. Let it cool off heat for a few minutes, whisking occasionally.  Then whisk with mixer until stiff peaks form.  Drop in the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, while still constantly whisking.  Allow the butter to mix in fully before adding another piece.  If you're lucky, an amazingly delicious buttercream will emerge.  If, like me, you never allow the meringue to cool enough, you'll end up with an amazingly delicious butter soup.  Don't worry.   Just pop the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes and try to whisk again.  Keep up the chilling/whisking till it's a light-textured frosting.  Use as desired.  Makes enough to decently frost a 9x13/double layer 9 in cake/2 dozen cupcakes.  I'd say about 15 cupcakes with generous swirls.

My ermine frosting recipe is really the NY Times recipe Smiley
5  tablespoons/40 grams flour
1  cup/235 milliliters whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1  teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
 Pinch of salt
1  cup/ 230 grams unsalted butter, softened

Over medium heat, whisk flour and milk in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer, stirring frequently until it becomes very thick and almost puddinglike.
Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and salt. Pour into a bowl to allow it to cool completely. Put plastic wrap on the surface to keep a skin from forming.
Use a mixer to cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add the cooled flour mixture a little bit at a time. Continue to beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy and resembles whipped cream.

July 05, 2018 11:18:41 AM by lindyv321
Views: 1920 | Comments: 8

Calabacitas is a Mexican veggie side dish. Its simple and delicious! Ive been eating this batch all week!

You will need
2-3 Zucchini or yellow squash (or both) cut up
1 Bag of frozen corn
1TBSP Garlic
1/2 Onion, chopped
1 Poblano Chili pepper, de seeded and chopped (I used a bag of frozen blended peppers I found at Trader Joes) you can use more or less depending on how spicy you want it

Heal the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil for about 5 minutes. Mix the zucchini in with the onion and garlic; cook together 5 minutes. Stir the corn kernels into the mixture; add the poblano pepper. Season with salt and pepper; stir. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes.

July 22, 2018 12:42:19 PM by patty_o_furniture
Views: 3706 | Comments: 13
My 12 year old Slytherin girl is an exceptionally picky eater.  She won't really eat cake, won't eat ice cream unless it is homemade vanilla.  She lives on bread and cereal.  I've actually had to say, "No, you can't make brownies, you didn't eat dinner.  You only ate twelve rolls for lunch!" and then laughed for five minutes when I realized what I said.  That story being said, she wouldn't want cake and ice cream for her birthday party.  For her last bday party I made her a giant Reece's Peanut Butter Cup which she adored.  This year her friend party was a bonfire with smores.  She made a side comment, "I want a candle on a marshmallow.  That can be my birthday cake."  But that stuck with me and I saw in my head this whole round marshmallow tier for a cake.  Then as I was developing it in my head I decided it needed a graham base and chocolate layer.  Thus, Marshmallow Cake was born!

No pic of the graham layer, but here's the ganache.  I used three small spring form pans.  One larger for her cake and a taster for me.  Then there was still enough graham leftover for another tester.

My food torch ran out of fuel before a full toasted effect could take, but here's cut through.  Family said it needed more chocolate.  I can do it that way next time, but I was going for Marshmallow Cake, not necessarily Smore's Cake this time.

OMG it was so good.  But so very rich and sweet.

Graham Crust

1 tsp butter, for pan
10 rectangles of graham crackers
6 TBSP melted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350*.  Use 1 tsp butter and coat the inside of a spring form pan.  Crush graham rectangles into crumbs either with food processor, or placed in a ziptop bag and hit with a rolling pin.  Add melted butter and sugar and mix until wet sand consistency.
Press mixture into springform pan.  Bake for 8 minutes and cool.


1 c. heavy cream
1 1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 TBSP honey
Pour cream, chocolate, and honey in an oven-proof bowl.  Place in microwave for 30 seconds and then stir.  Keep heating and stirring in the microwave on 30 second bursts until chocolate is mostly melted.  When mostly melted, keep stirring until mixture is smooth, letting the residual heat melt the last of the chips.
Pour over graham crust in your spring form pan, until as thick as you want your chocolate layer.  If you have any extra, place in a ziptop bag in the fridge.  You may want to remelt leftovers in the microwave at cake serving time and drizzle over the top of your slice.  


1/2 cup water
3 - 1/4 ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin

2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 TBSP vanilla extract
about 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Soften gelatin with cup water in bowl of stand mixer.

In a medium saucepan put 2 cups sugar, cup water, 1 cup corn syrup, and tsp salt.  Bring to a boil at medium to medium high, stirring.  When boiling, place saucepan lid on top for two minutes to let condensation wash down the sides.  Remove lid after two minutes and clip in candy thermometer.  Allow to reach 240* without stirring this time.

Start mixer on low speed, slowly pour in hot syrup into softened gelatin.  Gradually increase speed to high, beating for 8-12 minutes until bowl is softly warm to the touch and mixture is bright, shiny, and thick.

Stop mixer and add vanilla.  Beat again until mixed, about 15 seconds.  Spatula out sticky mixture into springform pan.  Try to smooth top as best you can.  Sift a light layer of powdered sugar on the top.  Let set for 8 hours or overnight on the counter.

Release spring form pan.  Tap or softly sweep off extra powdered sugar from top, and serve.  For an easier cut, set a knife in hot water for a minute and then dry completely.  Let the heat slice through the mallow layer.

You may top with a drizzle of extra ganache if you have any leftover.

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