babycake saturday

Mmmmm. . . nothing beats the lovely aroma of roasting apples with a good dose of cinnamon and a nice coating of agave nectar. I was in desperate need of some baking so I deemed the upcoming saturday to be “babycake saturday”. I recently purchased the babycakes cookbook at a a candy shop in the Hotel del Coronado and have since been waiting to try the famed cupcakes. So on the Friday before my babycake holiday, I made homemade apple sauce. The  recipe calls for homemade applesauce (or store bought), and I just felt I wasn’t doing the recipe justice if I -heaven forbid- bought applesauce. So, Friday night, when most of the world was kicking back to relax after a long week, probably with a cold drink in front of them, I was in my own way relaxing too. . . just with a hot oven in front of me instead of a cold drink!

The aroma of roasting apples lured my beast of a yellow lab, Chief, into his favorite spot in the kitchen, watching me bake and hoping and begging with those puppy dog eyes for just a taste of what I was concocting.

I just couldn’t resist taking this photo once they were out of the oven; they were beautiful. I used a mix of granny smith and gala apples. I wanted pink lady in stead of gala, but my local king sooper didn’t have them. The next day I saw them at Natural Grocers, oh well!

The next morning it was into the blender with a little more agave and hot water. . .

Ok, this really is the best applesauce I have ever had. I tied on my fresh white apron, put my hair up, and I was ready for babycake saturday! I gathered all my ingredients and was equal parts excited and intimidated by my new and unusual mountain of ingredients.

Coconut oil? This stuff was solidified at about 77° and had to be melted first. Of course the first thing I did was to smell it (and so did my husband when he walked in later), expecting a very coconutty scent, but to my surprise it had a very neutral scent. The book said to get unscented coconut oil, and of course I read this part after shopping, but apparently I got the right stuff. And, the big surprise ingredient was agave nectar, and NO sugar. Now, I had become a big agave nectar fan back when I realized it dissolved very easily in cold drinks, like my favorite afternoon drink, iced tea. But agave in cupcakes, INSTEAD of sugar, hmmm. I love experimenting and this book was challenging me! I couldn’t decide whether to make the vanilla or chocolate, so in honor of babycake saturday, I made both! First the vanilla . . .

I was relieved that they at least looked like normal cupcakes. Yes, you are right, one is missing, you caught me, I couldn’t even grab my camera before trying one! Of course I burnt my mouth, but it was GOOD. Actually very good. The lemon zest was an especially nice touch. Wow, I was impressed. I was starting to wonder if anyone would even guess they didn’t have butter, or egg, or *gasp* sugar. Oh, and yes that is my agave sweetened iced tea. Next onto the chocolate!

It sure looked yummy. I decided to go ahead and add the optional cup of coffee instead of water, I just think coffee does bring out the complex taste of chocolate!

These were pretty good as well. I do have to admit I like the vanilla better. But, these were moist and had a very rich chocolatey taste (perhaps enhanced by my Peet’s Sumatra coffee). I do believe in baking with good quality chocolate too. I used to work for Ghirardelli when I lived in California (ask me how much I gained when I worked there! or actually please don’t!)  and it does remain one of my favorite chocolates to bake with.

Once they were on the cooling racks, I realized they were only safe as long as I was guarding them. Perhaps in a normal household, these would be safe from family pets, but looking over at my drooling beast . . . just waiting for me to turn my back . . .

I decided to put them in my fall back Chief-proof location; on top of the fridge.

I left the room for about one minute for the husband to do a taste test, and when I came back, this is what I witnessed:

Why am I surprised  . . . ? But the cupcakes did survive! My frosting adventure later that day will be another entry. Whew, my first successful babycake saturday.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to babycake saturday

  1. Julie Stembridge says:

    I was surprised you baked your apples for applesauce. How did it compare to when I boil them in a small amount of water on the stove? The cupcakes look great. Is it legal for you to share the recipe? I tried Udi’s vanilla cupcakes, I really liked them. You would never guess they were gluten free. I would serve them to anyone except for the cost. Tonight, I made a gluten free Dutch apple pie for Bryn’s Bon Voyage dinner. I bought the crust already made (I have to check in the trash can if it was Udi’s or Whole foods brand). I used Bob’s Red Mill flour mix in the crumbtopping and apple mix. It was a hit. Would difinitely do it again for the holidays.

    • gfbrooke says:

      The baked apples did seem to make a difference in the applesauce. I’m thinking I may have to do a test to confirm that! I really did like what the agave added and when I tasted the baked apples they tasted slightly caramelized. The author of babycakes roasts all of the fruit she uses to bake with. I will have to research the difference of boiling and baking fruits. More nutrients left in the fruit by baking? Caramelized taste?

      Not sure about the legalities of sharing copyrighted recipes, I will look into this.

      I cannot believe you found Udi’s cupcakes out in California and I live less than 1 hour drive from the Udi’s HQ’s in Denver and I have not seen them anywhere! How much do they cost? I remember the most costly cupcakes AND the best tasting I have tried to date were from Lafayette, CA. What brand was it? Were they at Diablo Foods? I do remember they cost 19.99 for a 4pack.

      Did you find out the pie crust brand you used for Bryn’s pie? Heard Bryn is struggling a bit eating GF in London. Hopefully he finds some great places.

      • Julie says:

        Sorry, I forgot to check for a reply before now 🙂 The Udi’s vanilla cupcakes are about $9 for 4 cupcakes.

  2. Bonnie Hageman says:

    Hi Brooke,
    Loved your short story, the pictures were great, the one with Chief is priceless!!!
    I was hoping to try the vanilla cupcakes, any chance on posting your recipe? What does the calorie count look like?
    I’m with your Mom love the homemeade applesauce on the stove top, I have never baked them. I usually throw in some cinnamon red hots, yummy.
    Glad you are having fun in the kitchen! Love ya, Bonnie

    • gfbrooke says:

      Not sure if I can post this recipe, but I may post the ones she has on her site! You know, since the babycakes cookbook does seem targeted to the health conscious baker, I am surprised there aren’t calorie counts for any of the recipes. I may have to suggest it for the next edition!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s