It’s that time of year folks! The stores are getting in their Christmas merchandise and eggnog, Starbucks is beginning to serve peppermint mochas, and we’ve passed the 6 week unofficial mark to start posting Christmas stuff on our blogs. Yay! I find myself again lamenting the fact that we don’t live anywhere near a Starbucks so that I can join in the festive drink drinking this time of year. Not that I’m usually that big of a Starbucks fan, but there’s just something that makes it feel like winter when you have a pepperminty, chocolaty drink in your hand. I may not be able to get my little mitts on one of those drinks, but I can (and will) bake up a tasty breakfast substitute! Bring on the peppermint mocha doughnuts, it’s Christmas time!
Baked Peppermint Mocha Doughnuts
Makes 6-8 doughnuts
For the peppermint mocha doughnut: 2 tbsp. (30 grams) butter, melted 1 egg 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp. peppermint extract 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder 1/3 cup granulated sugar 3 tbsp. baking cocoa 2 tsp. espresso powder 1 cup all purpose flour
For the glaze: 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar + 2-3 tbsp. 1/4 cup milk Peppermint chips or crushed peppermint candies
Is it just me, or are the days starting to get a lot shorter? I’m not sure how it is for you where you live, but here in Norway we’re entering what I’ve so loving come to call “the dark times.” Sounds ominous, right? Well, in terms of food photography, it kind of is. As you probably already know, the best lighting for food photos is natural lighting. That’s great here in the summer where we only have 2 hours of darkness during the longest days (yipee!). But during the shortest days of winter, it’s the opposite. Yes, that really does mean just 2 hours of glorious, direct sunlight. And, of course, most of those precious daylight hours fall in the middle of the day where many of us are at work. Booooo! For those of you working on your food photography, you’ve probably quickly realized that night photography is a-whole-nother ball game when compared to daylight photography. I certainly know I’ve struggled with it!
For those of you who enjoy cakes (whether it’s eating them, making them, or both) you may have noticed a recent trend in the cake world: naked cakes. I, for one, love naked cakes; I’m a sucker for things that are stunning in their simplicity, and naked cakes definitely fit that bill! If the term “naked cake” is new to you, it refers to a style of cake that does not have an outer layer of frosting, that allows you to see the layers of cake and frosting between them. Personally, I think they make decorating a whole lot easier without loosing any elegance in the process. I call that a win-win! This cake, specifically, is inspired by Jaffa Cakes, an English biscuit made up of a sponge base, orange jelly, and a coating of chocolate. My father-in-law discovered this amazing flavor combination from the Hummingbird Bakery in London, and it seemed like the perfect inspiration for a Father’s Day cake (for those of you that don’t know, today is Father’s Day here in Norway)!
Naked Jaffa Cake
Makes one 6″ four layer cake
For the vanilla bean cake: 1 stick (113 grams) butter 1/3 cup milk 1 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 tsp. baking powder 1 vanilla bean 1 cup all purpose flour
For the chocolate ganache frosting: 3 1/2 bars (12 oz or 350 grams) semisweet chocolate 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Raise your hand if you love chocolate. Are you all raising your hands? Maybe both hands? I definitely am! Chocolate is pretty hard to beat, and chocolaty goodness in the morning… even better! I’m definitely not a morning person (I’m more of a roll over, grunt, and hit snooze sort of person), so any reason to make getting out of bed at 5:30am and trudging to work in the cold a little easier is always good. And I tell you what, triple chocolate doughnuts and a cup of hot coffee are a pretty tasty reason!
Triple Chocolate Doughnuts
Makes 6-8 doughnuts
For the doughnuts: 2 tbsp. (30 grams) butter, melted 1/2 cup milk 1/4 cup chocolate chips 1 egg 1 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/3 cup granulated sugar 2 tbsp. baking cocoa 1 cup all purpose flour
For the glaze: 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/4 milk 2 tbsp. chocolate chips 1 tbsp. baking cocoa
Wow, so this is it, the last Halloween post of the year! And not a moment too soon, right? I mean, I am waiting until the day of Halloween to post it and all. I know, I know, I could have released it sooner and given you more time to work on it, but it just seemed like I ought to post something on Halloween to celebrate. I feel like everyone’s already moving on to Christmas and Thanksgiving at this point, but not here. Nope, not ready to let go just yet. Talk to me tomorrow when we hit November. So, without further ado, I want to introduce you to one of my favorite and slightly more complicated projects this Halloween: season: vintage-inspired Halloween cookie favor cones. Because why not eat the candy container too?
Halloween Cookie Favor Cones
Makes 6 cookie cones
What you’ll need: 18 triangle cookies A batch of royal icing Fondant (homemade or store bought) String/ribbon Food coloring Stamps/stencils Corn syrup Assorted, food-only brushes
Hei på deg! I'm Claire, the baker and blogger behind The Simple, Sweet Life. Whether you like cookies or cakes, baking or decorating, you're sure to find something here to sweeten your day! Get to know me better here.