So you probably know by now that I am nowhere near what could be considered a good food photographer. I sincerely admire the bloggers that take the time to style their plates, set up near some natural light, and take hundreds of great photos. I cook to keep my husband and I fed, and I blog about what we eat if it tasted good. I try to snap a photo before we eat, but I can’t take too long or the food gets cold. (Plus I’m slightly lazy.) So sometimes I take pictures of food that just doesn’t look that great, but I share it anyway. Today I’m exhibiting two of my recent photographic fails. What these recipes lack in pretty, they do NOT lack in flavor. Both of these were birthday treats, and they were both huge hits.
You may have heard me discuss this before, but I am not very proficient at making angel food cake. I’ve tried making it a few times before (it’s one of hubby’s maternal grandmother’s favorites), but something always goes wrong. For her birthday this year, I decided to try this recipe for angel food cupcakes. Not only is it from one of my favorite bloggers, but I thought that I might do better with cupcakes than with a full-sized cake. And while I don’t think my technique is perfected yet, these definitely turned out better. They shrank a bit in the oven, but they had a nice, fluffy texture and a really lovely lemon flavor. The original recipe topped them with a marshmallow frosting, but since Grandma is a diabetic, I nixed that idea. Instead I got some sugar-free Cool Whip and used that as frosting instead. I noticed afterward, that I was supposed to get 18 cupcakes, but I only got 12 plus a double cupcake (which is what I used to taste test!). Still, they were really nice and I’m definitely going to use it for Grandma’s birthday next year.
Pink Lemonade Angel Food Cupcakes (from Table for Two)
3/4 c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. cake flour
1/4 tsp. salt
6 room temp egg whites
2 1/2 tbsp. warm water
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3-4 drops red food coloring (All I had was gel food coloring, so I left it out.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a small food processor, pulse the sugar til it’s super fine. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt with 1/2 the sugar.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water, lemon extract and cream of tartar for 2 minutes.
4. With the mixer on medium, carefully add in the other half of the sugar and beat til medium peaks form. Dust the top of the egg mix with a little of the flour mix; gently fold til combined. Repeat until all the flour mix is incorporated.
5. Once the flour is incorporated, fold in the food coloring. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups, filling til nearly full.
6. Bake 18-20 minutes or til the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center removes cleanly. Cool completely on a baking rack.
Now this next one was my hubby’s special treat for his birthday. He’s not really much of a cake person, but he is an oreo person. I’ve been pinning birthday treat ideas to a special, secret board and this is the one that I chose to do this year. These are what I would affectionately term a “hot mess”, LITERALLY! They’re oreo pancakes layered with an oreo whipped cream. I’m not sure how the original blogger managed to get her lovely photos, but my hot off the griddle pancakes melted the whipped cream into a big ol’ mess. Still, they were delicious, and the hubs really loved them. All in all, they were easy to make and a nice, special treat.
Oreo Pancakes (from Grandbaby Cakes)
For the pancakes:
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
1 c. buttermilk
4 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. chopped oreos
For the whipped cream
1 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. chopped oreos
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and cocoa.
2. Add in the eggs, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and oreos. Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot frying pan or griddle and cook til browned and crisp on both sides.
3. Place in a 225 degree oven to keep warm and repeat with the remaining batter.
4. While the pancakes cook, whip the cream on high til peaks start to form. Add in the confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch and mix til stiff peaks form; fold in the oreos.
5. To serve, alternate layers of pancakes and whipped cream and garnish with chocolate syrup.
Before I leave you for the night, I wanted to share a friend’s blog that’s really been a blessing to me lately. This friend is currently serving at a mission in Japan and blogging about it over at Standing Upside Down. Her posts are sometimes light-hearted and sometimes serious. Two of her recent, more serious posts have really spoken to my heart. In Be Still she reminded me that I can’t do my work for God as well as I should unless I’ve spent quiet time in communication with him. And in Pressed Down, Shaken, and Overflowing she was very honest about a time when she was inwardly complaining, but God blessed her anyway, more than she could have hoped for. It was a beautiful reminder that God blesses us because He loves us, not because we’ve done anything to deserve it.
What are some of your recent blessings?