The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank, thank, thank you to the lovely Eve from Sam Loves Cake for nominating Sweet Endeavours for The Versatile Blogger Award! In this dark, dull and incredibly wet time of year we Swedes call fall, this was exactly the kind of boost I needed.

Seven things about Carolina:

1. I have an obsession with owls. On necklaces, shirts or note pads doesn’t matter, just give ’em to me!

2. I have very vivid dreams, I’m talking full on films in my head at night.

3. I used to be scared of the dark and now I love walking in the dark.

4. I also love walking in the rain.

5. I miss having cats terribly and I’m getting one as soon as I move out.

6. My entire childhood I was completely convinced I was a witch who hadn’t received her powers yet…

7. …I’m genuinely disappointed I never got my letter from Hogwarts.

Here we go, to the good stuff. The 10 brilliant bloggers I nominate are:

  • Call Me Cupcake! – very well known but still, my daily inspiration!
  • Kale With Love – I’m not vegan or vegetarian but having access to guilt free desserts will never be a bad thing!
  • Made By Mary – Swedish blogger with amazing treats
  • Tattoologist – I dream away on this site for hours
  • Breakfastporn – my dear friends run a blog were they post pictures of their breakfasts, they’re great breakfasts too!
  • Pippi H – Swedish blogger who posts the most amazing pictures of her apartment and everything else in her life.
  • Style Gossiper – great pictures and great fashion
  • ….. This is where I realize I don’t read many blogs, these were at least the only ones I could nominate here. Oh well, less is more, right?

RULES:

–        Thank the person who nominated me and link back to them in my post
–        Share 7 things about myself
–        Pass the award on to 10 more bloggers that I enjoy
–        Contact the bloggers I have chosen to let them know that they have been selected!

XOXO

Chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

This weekend I went to a dinner party with a couple of girlfriends. Everyone was supposed to bring something to contribute to the dinner part of the party. All in all, everything was very delicious, there was quiche, insalata caprese, roasted veggies, dessert cheeses, crackers, fruit, bread and more. I made cupcakes, because really… What else? I made them in mini formates and I had all these ideas on how to make them Halloween-y and spooky and super creative but in the end time ran away from me and all my intricate plans went into the bin and I just made cute little cuppy cakes. They were good though, so all ended well. It was a good night with good friends, good food and good wine. Success!

This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery’s cookbook, basically it’s an entire book with all sorts of delicious cupcakes and more. Honestly, of all the recipes for cupcakes (the base at least, when it comes to frostings and fillings I like to get creative) I’ve used, they have the best ones. I’ve been to the actual shop in London as well, it’s great!

So this is a devil’s food cake base and a basic cream cheese frosting.

I doubled the batch and got about 40 mini cupcakes (I did not double the batch however and I had enough to frost about 30, which was fine for me but obviously if you need 40 frosted cupcakes you’ll have to get a little creative with the calculator).

Chocolate cupcake base: (makes for approx. 12 full sized cupcakes)

100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

a pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter, at room temp.

120ml whole milk

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used about 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar, which is icing sugar with vanilla bean in it)

Cream cheese frosting:

300g icing sugar

50g unsalted butter, at room temp.

125g cream cheese, cold

(I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar)

How to:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (325F).

In a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment beat, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, butter and salt on slow speed until a sand-like consistency is reached.

Whisk milk, egg and vanilla in a jug and incorporate half the wet ingredients into the flour mixture while beating at slow speed until everything is combined, turn the mixer up to high for a couple of seconds to get rid of any lumps. Add the remaining egg mixture and mix on slow until everything is combined, then continue beating for a minute or two until smooth. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter between paper cases in a muffin tin until 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minute (if you’re making mini cupcakes, bake for about 16 minutes) or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer or toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re done. I’ve learned this the hard way. The best way to make sure they’re done is to touch them and make sure no dents form, they should spring right back.

Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Frosting:

Beat icing sugar, vanilla sugar and butter until combined and well mixed with the paddle attachment, then add the cold cream cheese and continue beating until everything completely combined. Turn the mixer up to high and beat until light fluffy, this will take about 5 minutes. Check on it regularly as cream cheese frostings tend to easily become runny.

Happy baking!

Thumbrint almond cookies with strawberry jam and vanilla glaze

So I was bored, home alone and… Bored. So I made cookies.

225g room-temp butter

2 dl sugar

5 dl all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

strawberry jam

Glaze:

1.75 dl icing sugar

1-3 teaspoons milk

1/2 tablespoon vanilla sugar (icing sugar with vanilla beans)

How to:

Preheat oven to 175C/350F.

In a standing mixer, beat butter, sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy.

The gradually add the flour until combine, do not over beat.

Roll into balls, about 2.5 cm in diameter. Make an indentation in the middle and fill with jam.

Bake for 14-16 minutes (until the bottoms are lightly browned)

Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely before they’re ready to be glazed.

Glaze:

Mix the dry ingredients and gradually add the milk until desired consistency is reached.

Using a piping bag, drizzle the glaze on the cookies.

There you go! Enjoy!

Happy baking!