Sugar Swings! Serve Some: April 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Game of Thrones Dark & White Chocolate Wine Truffles

Game of Thrones is back people! Season 6 starts tonite at 9 PM EST! WOOOO!!!!

It feels like for ages that we've been waiting for this new season to come back around.  If you don't watch, sorry but it's totally addicting.  The show is based on George RR Martin's Song of Fire and Ice book series and the HBO series has now caught up to the last book and George is nowhere near finished the next book installment.   SO this season starts all new territory for everyone.  There is controversy of course.  Book readers are all sorts of annoyed that the HBO show runners are taking some liberties with the book plot.  I've read the books and love them too, but there is no way they can fit all the detail and intricacies into the series easily so I'm actually fine with the HBO version as well.  
More than anything I want to find out what happens next! I'm giddy with excitement for tonite.  And to welcome the season back I made some chocolate truffles.  

Not just ordinary chocolate truffles - truffles made with wine.  Wine is a common theme in Game of Thrones.  Pretty much everyone drinks wine.  It's grown everywhere and you have plethora of choices from sweet Arbor Gold to the dry and sour Dornish reds.  House Tyrell's motto is "Growing Strong" as they like their sweet and spicy Hippocras or find your favorite bold reds from Volantis or lush reds and white from Lys.  

Whatever your preference there is something for you in Westeros.

So of course I had to make something with wine.  And truffles seemed a perfect fit.  Decadent and something only the Game of Thrones elite would be eating.  

I tried 2 versions.  One with dark chocolate and wine and coated in cocoa powder.

And another with white chocolate + wine 

Then coated in powdered freeze dried raspberry and blueberries

Both very decadent but when we taste tested with some friends the overall consensus was that the white chocolate and wine truffles would most definitely win the Iron Throne! 

Now go get ready for the GoT Season 6 premiere tonite!

Dedicated to Prince - another iconic artist taken way too soon

print recipe

Wine Truffles
  • 260 grams (each)  dark chocolate (70% cocoa) and white chocolate
  • 240 mL red wine
  • 120 mL heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cocoa powder (enough to roll truffles in)
  • freeze dried raspberry/blueberry (enough for rolling truffles in)
1. Finely chop each type of chocolate into separate bowls.2. Combine wine and cream in sauce pan and bring to boil. 3. Add 1/2 to dark chocolate and 1/2 to white chocolate.  
4. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each bowl and mix until smooth.
5. Let set 1 hour or refrigerate 15 minutes.6.  Scoop into teaspoon sized balls and roll dark chocolate truffles in cocoa and white chocolate truffles in freeze dried fruits (crush up the fruit into powder).7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: about 30

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hydrangea Sugar Cookie Cake

Since this Mother's Day we'll be flying back from Orlando, I figured I'd make myself a pretty treat ahead of time.  It's a perfect little treat for Mother's Day or any day actually.  

A sugar cookie cake with homemade vanilla buttercream - the buttercream is tinted shades of blue, purple, and white then piped like hydrangea flowers.  Glory from Glorious Treats made hydrangea cupcakes way back in 2010 - and I tried them back then here.  The same technique is used for this cookie cake by using a large closed star tip (like Wilton 2D) to pipe on the flowers.  You really can't mess it up.  

Mix the colors into one piping bag.  Then pipe away.  

Hydrangeas are one of my all time favorite flavors but I can grow them 1) because I have the worst green thumb and 2) we have deer that think they taste like cupcakes ;)

So this decorated cookie cake was the perfect way to get my hydrangea fix in.  Plus it's very simple but so dang pretty!  Sprinkle on some pearl sugar balls and you're done.

Well except for eating a slice or 2 (or more if it's for Mother's Day!)

Have a great week! And thanks for swinging by!!

PS if you snapchat, I'm trying to figure that out and sharing some fun stuff over there too like my most recent baking fail #chouxpastryisnotmyfriend


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bucket of Gems Brownie Cupcakes

The cupcake kick continues! My 3rd cupcake post in a row.

This time some "buckets" filled with "dirt" and "gem stones" aka chocolate brownie cupcakes, chocolate icing with crushed chocolate cookies and pieces of rock candy.

I love the colors that rock candy comes in.  The rainbow of colors is so pretty and they always have reminded me of fancy jewels.

I also like baking cupcakes in candy cups.  They are so sturdy and you can totally decorate them with markers because they are lined inside.  For these "buckets" I just colored them in with brown and black sharpie markers to look like little buckets.

I filled these with a box brownie batter and baked according to box directions.  You don't even need a cupcake tin since the cups are so study they stand up even with the batter added.

Add some chocolate frosting (use your favorite homemade recipe or a can frosting works great - and saves time too!)

Sprinkle on some crushed chocolate wafer cookies to look like dirt.  

Crushing cookies is actually a nice after work stress reliever too :)

Break apart the rock candy into small and larger pieces and add them to the top of your dirt piles.  If you can't find rock candy you can also just use other colorful hard candies broken into pieces.  You could do all one color per cupcake or mix and match like below.  Personally I like the rainbow colors together.  

Don't they look like little piles of fancy gems?? 

Hope you had an awesome weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

print recipe

Bucket of Gems Brownie Cupcakes
  • 1 box mix chocolate cake or brownie
  • 1 can   chocolate frosting
  • 1 and 1/2 cups crushed chocolate cookies or wafers
  • assorted colors rock candy lollipops
  • 12-15 candy paper cups
1. Mix cake/brownie mix according to box directions.2. Color candy paper cups with brown and black marker to resemble buckets.3. Add batter a little more than half way full and bake as directed.4. When cool, add chocolate frosting.5. Sprinkle with crushed chocolate cookie wafers as dirt.

6. Add pieces of rock candy as gems.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12-15