I have finally made it to term with my pregnancy! As far as I’m concerned, this little one can come out any time, the sooner the better. Like, really. I’ve forgotten how painful this stage is. Everyone I meet on the street sort of winces when they see me. That’s an awesome feeling, by the way.
I am lucky to have pretty much the most amazing Mom, who’s come out early to help me out in these last few weeks before baby comes. What with X getting even more active, I swear, I just can’t keep up. I can’t even pretend to try to keep up. All I want to do is collapse on the couch and wait this baby thing out, but little man just doesn’t allow it. Having my mom here is so nice, I break into tears every time I think about it (another pleasant aspect of being this pregnant). I’ve been having fun showing her around Geneva, walking as much as I’m able to try to bring this thing on.
I’ve been taking the time I can, when I have the energy, to do some baking and freezing it so I have a stockpile when I’m knee-deep in children. Also, to eat, because I remember with X I had made a really delicious labour cake, but by the time I was home from the hospital I had no appetite for sweets at all. So I don’t want these goodies to go entirely to waste. Here’s what’s been cooking in my kitchen:
I found these beauties on EasyBaked food blog. If you want to see adorable photos of cupcakes, go look on that site. This is the best I can do right now. In this household, we don’t “drizzle” ganache, we spoon goopfuls on and hope for the best. We don’t set up shots, we snap a pic with the iPhone before food is devoured (sometimes). Trust me when I say these are delicious, and that I will never be a food photographer. I went with an irish cream in honour of St. Patrick’s Day. The cupcakes themselves are dense, moist and spiced, and the buttercream frosting is so so so good.
Irish Cream Cupcakes
2 and 1/2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups butter
3 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup Irish Cream (1/2 cup for the cakes, 1/2 cup to pour over the cakes after they have been baked)
2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream-enough to get the frosting to the desired flavor and consistency
For the Chocolate Ganache to drizzle over the top
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips (or if using a bar, chopped)
3 tablespoons Irish Cream
(Okay, I just used some pre-bought chocolate sauce and mixed it with Irish Cream – it’s just easier that way)
Make the Ganache first
In a saucepan bring the cream to simmer over med heat
Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until it is melted and incorporated
Whisk in the Irish Cream
Refrigerate until it has a good consistency to drizzle over the top
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the muffin tins with cupcake liners
In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together the sugar and butter for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy
Add eggs once at a time until incorporated and then mix in vanilla.
Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the Irish Cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 17-20 min
Cool in pan for a few minutes
Using a toothpick poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes and using a pastry brush, brush the additional 1/2 cup of Irish Cream over the cupcakes
Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting
Place butters, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl
Beat on high until light and fluffy
Add Irish Cream a bit at a time until buttercream is desired flavor and consistency
Frost cooled cupcakes using a pastry bag, then drizzle with Irish Cream Ganache
I can’t seem to get enough of banana-based baked goods. This fabulous bread is amazing, originally found on the Food Network. Forget about freezing this – it’s eaten right away!
Banana Walnut Bread
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together. Lightly brush a 9-inch loaf pan with butter. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter, while mixing, until incorporated. Add the bananas.
Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on a rack.