Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

After another spell of cloudy, snowy weather, I decided it was time to start baking again. I was craving cream cheese frosting, and what suits that better than carrot cake? I wanted to make a moist, flavor-packed cupcake and this recipe sounded like the perfect fit. This batter is not only delicious when licked off a spatula, it makes one of the best carrot cakes I've had.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the ingredients available for Smitten Kitchen's frosting, so I made a basic cream cheese frosting which was delicious and so easy to make. I usually don't have much success with your usual buttercream frostings as I find them too sweet, but I've never made a cream cheese frosting that didn't turn out great.

If you need to make these ahead of time, keep the cupcakes stored in an airtight container up to 2 days and frost them just before you need them. I had 1 leftover cupcake (which I had in the fridge so nobody else coud find it) and it was still great the next day. I also made slightly fewer cupcakes than the recipe suggested since I filled my cupcake forms higher than 3/4 full. Either way you go about making these, they will be a definite hit with any carrot cake fan.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese

It's asparagus season in Switzerland. For 2 or 3 months, fresh asparagus is available where I live, any other time of the year you can forget about finding it. I've kept it simple this time and had a delicious side dish ready to serve in under 30 minutes. My mom often makes her asparagus in a similar style and they're always a hit. And as always, some freshly grated cheese only makes the meal better.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Potato Pancakes

I realize potato pancakes are considered a Hanukkah food, but I absolutely love them and from time to time make them during the rest of the year. They're definitely not something I make often (the cleanup from the frying is a pain), but they're one of my favorites. As always, the sour cream and potato combo has won me over. When I was younger I would only top my potato pancakes with sour cream, lots of sour cream, but now I love the combination of applesauce and sour cream as well.

These are best if eaten straight from the pan. When they're reheated, the initial crispiness is lost. When I make these, I put all dinnertime manners aside serve these the second they're done, which means everyone eats in shifts. If you want to have a more civilized meal, you can keep these warm in your oven while you prepare the rest.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Caramel Apple Scones

I know that apple season is over, but luckily apples are available year round where I live (produce such as berries and asparagus are only sold seasonally). I first made these scones as part of my mom's birthday breakfast when I was visiting her, but I loved the caramel sauce so much that I had to make them again. That said, these scones definitely need the caramel sauce on top to make them as good as they are. I may have even eaten a few spoonfuls of leftover caramel sauce when nobody was looking.

These scones freeze really well if you need to prepare the dough ahead of time. Just freeze the already cut dough and add a few more minutes to your baking time. It's great having these in the freezer on those cool morning when you want a warm breakfast but don't feel like putting the effort into it.

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