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17 August 2011

20SB Blog Swap: Summertime

Today I'm participating in the big blog swap hosted by some fine folks over at 20 Something Bloggers. Please enjoy this lovely snippet (and tasty recipe!) from my partner Alexandra, over at The Little Crumbs. Also be sure to visit her site today for my guest post as well. Happy Wednesday!


Hello, So Fawned readers! It is my great pleasure to have been selected as the guest writer on this blog! I thought I should start with a quick bio of myself:

I currently own my own catering business with my mom and sister. I am an opera singer, I play piano and also teach piano. I was raised in a Christian home and am very active in my church. My mother’s love for entertaining and cooking for our family and others, has rubbed off on me completely! I have been in the kitchen for as far back as I can remember, and loved every minute of it. I started my blog, The Little Crumbs, about three year ago. Writing was never something I thought I was very good at, but I wanted to share with people the foods I loved, and I have always wanted people to enjoy them with me!

The subject of this post is supposed to be about my summer. And I have been racking my brain with some witty stories to tell you, or just an amazing event that made my summer complete. Well, I don't have one! It's not that my summer was boring, or that it didn't contain memorable things. I was just looking back over the summer and realized it’s just been pure relaxation.

I swam almost every day (in 115 degree weather!!), spent time with family and friends, and just enjoyed myself. So even though it wasn't filled with a European cruise, it was great!

During this summer it seemed like my sister and I were always whipping something up in the kitchen. Whether it was for ourselves, a church event, or a party we were throwing, when one of us was in the kitchen baking away, the other was going through cookbooks to find our next creation.

This dessert was found by my sister and was made for my darling little cousin’s 6th birthday party. This dessert fit that occasion perfectly!

Rich chocolate cake, combined with a raspberry infused icing and some fresh raspberries on top! To me that is a perfect summer dessert!

Elegant Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

*3 cups flour
*3 cups sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*3 large eggs
*3/4 cup sour cream
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
*3/4 cup cocoa powder
*1 1/2 cups hot water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake sheet pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the sour cream, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and stir in the cocoa powder, and hot water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from the heat. Cool slightly, and incorporate the cocoa mixture with the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

*1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
*12 oz of raspberries fresh or frozen
*1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
*3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*Pinch of salt
*1-2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
*Fresh raspberries for the top

Put raspberries in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a spoon until they break down the sauce. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to take out seeds. And then put the seedless sauce back in the pot and simmer until it reduces to a 1/4 cup of a very concentrated raspberry sauce.

Set aside to cool. When raspberry sauce is at room temperature, cream the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer, using a paddle attachment. Then add about 2 cups of powdered sugar, then raspberry sauce 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth. Add another 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to mix until it is spreading consistency, adding the milk to make it less stiff.

Now taste the frosting, if you like it as is, then you’re done. If you would like it to be sweeter, add additional powdered sugar and milk to get to the flavor you want.

Top with fresh raspberries and Enjoy!

**I would like to thank Desiree for allowing me to share my little crumbs with you!
Please check out my blog for more recipes, that you and your family will thoroughly enjoy!

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