Saturday, September 12, 2009

Challenge Numero Dos! Zucchini Spice!

So, first I was in on this challenge...I kept my eye out for the perfect zucchini....Mr.Byte kept an eye out for coupons (as he does so well) for other items like cream cheese, cinnamon that we needed to replenish etc.  We were doing great!  A grocery run and an accidental stumbling upon a great little green market at lunch one day yielded a fully stocked pantry for this challenge.  
Then - Friday at work - a last minute business trip came up that would have me out of town for the week.  so after canceling the dentist appointments and making arrangements I realized...'oh no, MSC is due this week!'  now - as much as I'm a joiner and wouldn't want to disappoint this particular challenge was going to be fulfilling multiple needs...
1.  the need of keeping me a 'baker in good standing' with the rest of the club.
2. a spontaneous 'judges table' has sprung up in the office to judge my cupcakes each month - much to Mr. Bytes dismay, we do NOT keep full batches of cupcakes in the house with me baking each month ! :) 
3.  I was going to be joining the ladies from Cupcakes Take The Cake on Saturday the 19th at a Brooklyn Flea to sell the remaining cupcakes to benefit a Childrens Cancer Charity.  
So it was a triple whammy of disappointment.  With the corners of my mouth turned deeply south, I sent off emails and made calls letting people know that I was going to have to tap out.

then - i decided to still make a 1/2 batch so that the zucchini wouldn't go to waste.  That, and it would be a nice little treat to leave poor Mr. Byte who would surely be so sad without me all week! :)
So this morning I hopped to it- attempting to get everything done early in the AM so I had time to pack later in the day and relax.  Well , at least I'd fulfill my clubs requirements now....except.....I forgot to take the pictures of the stages in all the rush.  The above photo marks the point in which i realized I'd forgotten this vital step to blogging baking adventures.  It also serves as proof that yes, i really did make them :)
A quick attempt at capturing the 'process' is my 3/4 full cups ready for the oven.  This batter is SUPER moist and wet - nothing thick and manageable about it.  aka - be ready to clean up the top of your cupcake pan if you're a lil messy like I am! :)  
Side note - Big Red wasn't even required in this recipe - so if you are sands hand or stand mixer you're all set...just get those shoulder muscles stretched and get the whisk ready to roll!
And here we have the final.   And now the fun part, about 5 minutes prior to frosting these moist spicy cakes - I was told I no longer was going to need to go on aforementioned business trip!  Mr. Byte and I did the dance of joy as I really wasn't looking forward to going.  So it was truly perfect timing for a cupcake to celebrate!  Good news is - The judges table will be reviewing these cuppies as promised on Monday.  Bad news - I'll be baking them again later in the week to get enough for the bake sale next Saturday! 
So - I Followed the recipe to a T.  The cream cheese frosting is the perfect blend of tart and sweet and cuts through the spices of the zucchini cake perfectly.  These are very similar to Mr. Bytes #2 favorite pumpkin spice cupcakes (not a Martha recipe).  I have a slight preference for the pumpkin as well as I simply cant refuse that wonderfully flavored  gourde! :) 
here nor there - they were loved in our household as the individuals they are.  I'll post a follow up with comments from the work 'judges table'  

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Top Scallop?!

My favorite Top Chef contestant ever, once said on the show
'...this is Top Chef, not Top Scallop...'
so in honor of the new Top Chef Las Vegas premier night Mr. Byte and I decided to honor said favorite contestant guessed it....scallops for the dinner viewing.
I was just IMing with an old friend - (who HAPPENS to work for Google - and i HAPPENED to mention that I can't figure out how to post my pictures in order...yeah he was no help! kidding D! :) ) and realized I never posted up the 4 pics that I took still with the same horrible camera phone. So - we're veering a bit from cupcakes here...whats that you said? that its going away from baking all together? well friend - to keep it eligible for a 'baking' post ... i whipped up a lil desert as well ;)


Bay Scallops with A Garlic and Shallot infused wine reduction (aka wine sauce) over fluffy Jasmine grain bed (aka Rice)

Scallops post pan - pre-sauce with some seasoning

aaaaand....some pâte à choux
filled with chocolate pastry cream and some messy but yummy drizzles to finish it off!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MS Cupcake Club - First Assignement!!

DISCLAIMER- All photos were taking my my camera phone - so they're not fabulous :(
and please excuse the train wreck spelling - yes, I did just see that I wrote "Moose" to describe the frosting" rather than editing I figured I'd leave my first blog post ever in its pure for for historical purposes :) !!!

Ok - I just can't figure out how to edit photos and post them in order. so look at them backwards for now :)
so - above you see all the steps that are documented.
at the end of the day I'm not a huge fan of these as cupcakes...they're more of a candy to me. maybe if they were a larger size? "Mr. Byte" however - loves them! Hope you enjoy!

I will say - the cake is delicious, nice deep chocolate flavor. great moist crumb!
the Caramel - DELISH!!!! more of fa caramel chew rather than a sauce. But a bit too soft to eat as a candy. make sense? Either with or without salt - I'm not afraid of making caramel anymore! super easy and yummy! I'll do this again for sure!
Frosting...more of a moose type of consistency. not super sweet and has that really rich chocolaty taste. which is perfect for this combo with the sweet caramel. but, in my heart, I'm a butter cream type of girl! again - Mr. Byte really loved this!

Align Centera nice pretty shot all done!

and a nice shot of the caramel-ie inside!!!

ready for their close up!

I turned my back to get the fancy salt to garnish and came back to this mystery wrapper! 'Mr Byte' was that you????

Step 3...turn it all over to big red!

Step two..melt it on my make shift double boiler

Time for frosting - step one...GOOOD chocolate!

Carmel filled cuppies

all smooth and just added some flur de sal

and we have caramel folks

starting to turn that yummy amber color
just about there
bubbly bubbly bubbly
and caramel bubbling away

Sugar and water - beginning stages of Caramel
And please note the coffee maker on and ready to go in the background :)

Ingredients all set out and ready to go!

'Big Red' all done mixing wet and dryDry Ingredients ready to go

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cupcakes from Months Past

Margarita and Pina Colada Cupcakes for Kelly's Beach Party Bachelorette in July

Monday, August 10, 2009

Premier Post

So After many suggestions from my facebook page, friends and family, and after discovering my initial blog name was taking....Its my pleasure to introduce to bring you a sort of combo name winner....Baking Bytes...get it, so - Thanks to Teri D. an old friend from high school...she' gets 1/2 the credit for the 'bytes' concept.
I'm sticking to "Baking" rather than more specific Cake, or that I'm covered for other culinary adventures in the sugary rhelm.

So - I'm looking forward to participating in the Martha Stewart Cupcake Online Baking club with Eat My Cupcake. In advance, thanks to everyone for their patience as this whole process (blogging, online baking club etc) it's allll new! so suggestions welcome and expect grammar and spelling train wrecks! It's all a part of my charm! :)