Thursday, June 12, 2008

2 quick (and slightly crazy) tips



image courtesy of: http://trackingtj.typepad.com/

Ok, I promised the recipe for chocolate-mint crumb topping, and here it is! Well, actually, it's not so much a recipe as a bit of a long story. You see, I don't love the creme filling of creme-filled cookies. Those commercials showing people licking their oreos? Yuck! Meanwhile, I love the cookies themselves. Especially cool flavors such as Trader Joe's candy cane Joe-Joe's. I was lucky to be around their stores back during the holidays when these limited-edition cookies came out, and stocked up on a few boxes. I love the flavor, but as usual, not so much the filling. But I felt wasteful when I would scrape it out and throw it away, so a new solution was born. I'd scrape the filling into a covered refrigerated dish. After a few cookies, there was enough leftover filling to experiment with! I notice that most crumb recipes are a mixture of fat, sweetener, and flour. I thought, we already have the fat and sweetener covered here, so I just added some cocoa powder and voilà! A very intense minty and chocolate-y crumb was born! However, I was stumped as to how exactly to convey that without saying "hi! I'm a crazy person who keeps cookie filling in a jar in the fridge! I'm cookoo for cocoa puffs!" But I realize that you don't have to do all that- just combine some shortening, some sugar, a drop or two of peppermint extract, and some cocoa powder, mixing with a fork until you get a rough crumb. Then, sprinkle the mixture on top of your cake or cupcake batter before sticking it in the oven- it can't get any easier than that!



Ok, you are probably thinking that that is enough crazy for one post, right? Wrong! I got one more crazy tip up my sleeve. All of my cake pans (2 rounds and one spring-form) are 9 inch ones. I have often heard that a cupcake recipe is enough to make one round layer of cake (with a higher baking time). However, whenever I made cakes, my layers came out very thin and disappointing. So I thought to myself, what would happen if I multiplied a cupcake recipe by 1.5? With some encouragement from the PPK, I proceeded. My nightmare was that this would be too much batter and that the cake would be under-cooked, or sink in the middle, or have too much baking powder, or some other mishap. However, this did not happen.

What did happen? I present you, THE BEST cake I have ever baked:



I used the marble cake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, multiplied every ingredient by 1.5, and baked it in my 9 inch spring-form pan for about 45 minutes. The results were beautiful, perfectly textured, and wonderful-tasting. Look how thick that cake is! In fact, I thought it was too pretty to frost (I love how the marble pattern resembles the marks on a cow!) so I just topped with with some organic strawberries. Since then, I've tried the 1.5 rule with another cupcake recipe, with similarly pleasing results.

In conclusion, mint crumb topping can be yours even without a stash of Joe-Joe's, and if like me, you don't have any 8 inch or smaller cake pans, fear not! 1 (cupcake recipe) x 1.5 x 9" pan x 45 minutes baking time = perfection!


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31 comments:

bjorkedoff said...

i was just eating a chocolate covered peppermint jo jo.and tuesday i sent melisser the thankyou package for sending me the jo jos in late march.i also made something else with them on monday(but i can't mention that for 5-6 more business days).and then you make a post and the first picture is a box of jo jos.how surreal.

Kati said...

That crumb topping sounds fantastic! I wouldn't feel bad about the cream filling in the fridge, either - I'm sure I've done weirder things. ;-)

That cake really does look like a cow - so pretty! Good to know about the 1.5x recipe - thanks for the tip!

Mihl said...

That's not crazy, that's genious! I really like that you try to avoid wasting stuff, even if it's a cookie filling!

springsandwells said...

Bazu!
That's hilarious! Isn't it funny, all the weird little solutions that we come up with? I love that you couldn't stand to waste the peppermint jo-jo filling! hee hee.

Now, as for that marble cake??? Amazing!! So beautiful! I will definitely make a note of this 1.5 phenomena. I like cakes more than cupcakes anyway. I can't stop staring at those pictures. Wish I could have some for breakfast!

amey

VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, candy cane Joe-Joe's - those things are devilishly good :0)

Your tips are brilliant, Bazu - not crazy!! :0)

Rural Vegan said...

Sweet, sweet Joe-Joe's. I'm so glad those are around only during the holidays; they're far too tempting to have all year round.

Your cupcake cake turned out beautifully!

Emmie said...

You ARE quite crazy, but that's why we like you!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Okay, we need to sit down & eat some sandwich cookies together because I prefer the filling & am often looking for someone to load my extra cookies on to! Beautiful cake!!!

Courtney said...

That cake is gorgeous! The marbling is perfect--wow.

Courtney

Candi said...

I love the marbling of that cake! Mmm!! I'd prefer that to a cupcake any day! nice discovery of the 1.5 cake rule! :P

Animal-Friendly said...

Wow- who would have thought of such an easy/creative crumb topping recipe! While I love the filling to creme filled sandwich cookies, I'm sure I could sacrifice some to try this topping!

And your marble cake is absolutely gorgeous! It really doesn't need any icing at all, the marbling looks so cool!

KathyF said...

A cake that looks like a cow? I'm all about that.

Moooo!

wheresmymind said...

We dig the PB Joe Joe's...my friend Dee said she won't buy them anymore since she will eat 'em all. Her slogan is "Just say no to Joe!" lol

Vivacious Vegan said...

I love those candy cane joe joe's. Marty's mom sent us 3 boxes for christmas but I wound up taking 2 boxes into work because I freaked out over how many calories/fat were in 1 serving of cookies.

Fotobuch said...

mmmmm it looks delicious! Specially the cupcakes.I like the way it turned out.Im feeling hungry now.Great post.

Bridget said...

Sweet Lord that cake looks good!!! It looks perfect!

Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

yr not crazy, very inventive!
that cake is just lovely.

Jackie said...

Wow the cake and the cocoa puffs look amazing.

Thanks for the link to a truly inconvenient truth. I missed it and it's just what I need for an eviro group I just joined, which I have a mini blog available for posting it on.

Calimaryn said...

What a brilliant way to use up any cream filling from sandwich cookies! I typically buy the Newman Tops & Bottoms just to avoid that odd cream or waste after scraping it off but this opens a whole new realm of possibilities! Thanks so much for sharing. Your not cookoo you just solved an overabundance problem. Thats smarts!

B36Kitchen said...

I've yet to get my hands on Joe Joe's and I leave near(ish) 2 Trader Joes!

And I'll say it again. I want that cake for my birthday!! If Peter wasn't going away on business I'd make him drive me to your house for it!

aTxVegn said...

Since I have never seen a Trader Joe's, I appreciate the recipe. That is so funny that you saved the middle of the cookies. I feel better about my obsession with wasting no food!

I've been putting my cupcake batter into 6-inch pans, but I like your idea better.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Great tip about the cupcake/cake conversion! Your desserts look scrumptious!

Gaia said...

I also only have 9-in pans and I always make 1.5 times the recipe :)

Cool, eh? No more caky frisbees! :p

Vegan_Noodle said...

Such useful tips!! I love the idea of a crumb mint topping, especially since it doesn't involved trying to get a hold of candy dane joe joes (yall are so lucky up there with those and those butterscotch chips!).

And I totally agree about 1.5ing the cupcake recipe. I usually bake 8inch rounds but the few times I've done 9" I've had to make at least 3 layers to get reasonable height.

And you cake is so beautiful! And how funny about how it looks like the spots on a cow. Too cute...

Have you been to St John yet? Can't wait to hear all about it!

Urban Vegan said...

You're too clever! That cake is just gorgeous.

Have a great time in St John's, B-Z!

Erin said...

That cake is really beautiful, and a nice tip. I almost always use cupcake recipes for full-sized cakes. Although I have a bad habit of forgetting halfway through when I'm doubling or halving a recipe and screwing it all up.

meesh said...

You crack me up! I never woudl havet hought to multiply the ratios by 1.5. :) Your cake came out beautiful though and I'm gald it was as tasty as it was pretty.
Thanks for the tips! lol.

Carrie™ said...

Oh Bazu! You are too funny! I don't think you're weird or cookoo at all. Sounds like something I might do. ;o) But, I like the cream middle. Great idea though - seriously.
Your cow cake looks gorgeous!

Vegan Next Door said...

Definitely too pretty to frost-- very elegant looking.

Avery Yale Kamila said...

Your cake looks like a work of art! I'm so glad you didn't frost it. And that conversion trick is super useful! Thanks for sharing.

vko said...

Hi Bazu!!!!!

I am totally playing blog catch up- it's been too long and I cannot believe that I missed you while you were in NYC. I wished you called me because I didn't even get to read my blog comments til much later...boo.

That marble cake is gorgeous! I love cookie crumbs with ice cream- reminds me of those Carvel ice cream cakes back in the pre-vegan days.

xo- vko