December 6, 2008

Sushi Cake

November 5, 2008

Cheeseburger Welldone - Hold the Fries!

This Cheeseburger cake was the perfect surprise for a birthday party! No one could beleive it was an actual cake :)

The bun is a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and the patty is chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.

November 4, 2008

Getting into Gear

So I have been wanting to make some posts to my blog, but besides my pc not working, I HATED MY BLOG DESIGN!

Then yesterday i remembered
Delicious Design Studios , checked their site and saw this cute template in my favorite colors and bought it immediately! Within the hour Jess contacted me and viola my new blog was born.

I am actually going to be changing the focus of my blog. It will no longer be a mish-mosh of anything i make. My blog will be tied into my soon to launched webiste and it wil be mainly about cakes which have been made for clients and events -with an occasional blogging event thrown in:)

I will definitely be working with Jess again when i am ready to to launch my WEBSITE :) but for now i have some long overdue posting to do!

July 22, 2008

Tartelette: Cassata Alian Sicilian - Baking With Friends

Tartelette: Cassata Alian Sicilian - Baking With Friends
cake looks great!!!!
thanks for the stablized whip cream recipe. :)

June 30, 2008

I have moved............

My new blog is located at

June 11, 2008

La Palettes Strawberry Tarte

For post click here:

June 3, 2008

French Chocolate Brownies

I am moving to Wordpress.....
Check out my post here:

May 21, 2008

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake for a friend this past weekend.
Ive made cheesecakes before and even taken classes at the local culinary school.   But ive never added any fruit or purees etc to them.  So when i found a recipe online that called for 2lbs of sweet potatoes i was kind of skeptical.  I wondered how so much sweet potato would affect the texture of the cheesecake.
I have to say i was quite pleased with the outcome. I had never tasted one before so i wasnt sure what to expect.  S thought it tasted like sweet potato pie. My sister loved it and requested it for her birthday i/o a cake.  

Traditional Madeleines

This week's recipe is Traditional Madeleine's, and was chosen by Tara of Smells Like Home.

I have always wanted to try Madeleine's, i see them all the time in Starbucks (3/$1.95) but i just cant do it. I tried to make Rosebud Madeleine's but they didn't turn out too good. 

When i saw this recipe i knew it was a chance for me to redeem myself from the rosebud Madeleine's.

I made my batter and chilled it for 3 hours. I used a mini ice cream scoop to scoop even amounts of batter into each cavity, Baked for 11 minutes and voila.

I had no problem with the bump but i do think that there could have been more definition with the shell imprint.

These cookies? are so tasty and so simple to make that i can definitely see myself making them on a regular basis.

Click here to check out other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

Last week: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
Next week: Florida Pie

Traditional Madelines

May 13, 2008

Florida Pie

This weeks Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Florida Pie chosen by Dianne of Dianne's Dishes.

I was looking forward to making this pie and everything was set for me to make this successfully and then i made one little change which threw everything off.
At the last minute i decided to change the pie plate i was using.....and didn't realize the one i chose was way bigger and deeper. (so my layers are very squat)
Once i made the crust and pressed it into the pie dish it looked like it wasn't enough so i doubled the recipes (now i have too much crust)
After two failed attempts at the meringue topping i decided to just use a tub of cool whip (the layer is very thin - i should have used two tubs)

Even after adding the cool whip to the top there was still so much crust since the pie dish is deep so i just took a fork and scraped it down onto the sides.

I wish i had some more limes to put some sort of decoration in the middle.

Visit the Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll to see other Florida Pies!

Next week: Traditional Madelines
Last Week: Peanut Butter Torte

May 6, 2008

Peanut Butter Torte

This weeks Tuesday With Dorie recipe is a Peanut Butter Torte chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate are one of my favorite combinations (i love reese's peices). This recipe was simple to make and came together really easy. My biggest issue was the wait time for the peanut butter mousse to set up. My crust didnt come up high enough on the sides, so if i make this again maybe i will use more cookies.

It tasted much different than I imaginged (not like a reese's) but it was still good.

Last Week: Fluted Polenta Ricotta Cake
Next Week: Florida Pie

April 28, 2008

Blackberry Roulade

This is my second entry for Martha Mondays.  

This time we had a choice to make either a mocha roulade or a blackberry roulade.  I chose the Blackberry. I have never made a roulade or used Blackberries before.

The cake was actually pretty easy to make, even though mine cracked.  I think it was due to me rushing and not letting it cool enough.  The blackberry filling was actually quite good. 

I would make this type of cake again, and i will definitely be trying more recipes with blackberry.

Check out Mimi On The Move to see the other roulades!

April 27, 2008

Mango Bread Pudding

This post will serve as double duty this month.  This is my entry to this months Royal Foodie Joust and also as an entry to Cinco De Mango.

The ingredients for this months Royal Foodie Joust are Mangoes, Cardamon and Brown Sugar. I love Mangoes so i was definitely interested.  I hadnt used cardamon before but had been meaning to try it.  So i googled the three ingredients and the first recipe which came up was a Mango Bread Pudding.   

After searching high and low for caradmon (finally found it at $12 for 1.75 oz!!!!), i made the recipe.  I have never made bread pudding before nor do i recall tasting it before so i wasnt sure what to expect.

The overall flavor was really good but i didn't care for the texture.  It was very mushy.

Cheesecake Pops

This months Daring Baker challenge was Cheesecake Pops chosen by Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell.

I have to admit that when I first found out this months challenge, I was intrigued.  Then i saw the pictures and i was super excited.  Immediately i started thinking of all the decorating possibilities, which seemed to be endless.  Plus i love cheesecake!  I couldn't wait!

I halved the recipe, I felt that this was very necessary since i live alone, am trying to start a diet and love cheesecake :).  I baked my cheesecake an 8x3 cakepan for about 50 minutes and had no problems with it setting up.  I formed the ball the next day, inserted the sticks and put the tray in the freezer.  I just have to say that 2oz seemed like alot.  The pops seemed quite huge compared to the sticks.  I had a few spoonfuls of cheesecake left over so i had to eat.  Wow, this is one of the richest, creamiest cheesecakes i have ever eaten.
The next day i started dipping.  I used colored candy melts along with regular chocolate to coat the pops.  Then i dipped them.  The pic you see show the following
  • coconut
  • graham cracker
  • yellow sprinkles
  • halloween sprinkles
  • valentine sprinkles
  • green sanding sugar
  • cinnamon
  • crushed peppermint
  • candied ginger
I had some problems with the sticks coming loose but it mostly went ok.  Since the cheesecake was coming straight from the freezer, when i used the candy melts they would become solid before i could finish dipping them, so i had to work really quick with those.  I wish i could have gotten them more round/smoother but I still think they look great.

My only regret is that I wish i would have made the entire recipe, this way i could have tried more flavor and decoration combinations.

April 22, 2008

Bill's Big Carrot Cake

Had some technical difficulties posting this week, hence there are not pictures or html links :(

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is Bill’s Big Carrot Cake chosen by Amanda of Slow Like Honey.

Initially I was going to skip the week’s entry. I already have a tried & true carrot cake recipe, which I don’t think I will ever change. It’s actually the first flavor I consistently received orders for, so I was skeptical to try another recipe.

But then I thought about when I joined TWD, my mission was to complete every challenge, every week – so I decided to participate.

To me the recipe is a very basic carrot cake recipe – so I had no problems putting it together. I decided to halve the recipe since I have a few other blogging events which I have to prep for this week. I also decided to make cupcakes i/o a cake.
The batter made 3 cups which would usually yield me 12 cupcakes using my ice cream scoop – but I only got 11? Mine didn’t sink as others did but the batter rose so much that they overflowed and made a chain link of muffin tops!

Other than that the cake was tasty, but a little fragile. I think I will stick with my current recipe.

For a printable version of the recipe click here.

Click here to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

Last Week: Marshmallows
Next Week: Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

April 15, 2008


This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is Marshmallows chosen by Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats.

I've tried to make marshmallows once (for my chocolate hi-hat cupcakes) but that was before i got my KA - it turned out ok but they were ridiculously sweet. Now that i have my KA i was happy to see this recipe chosen so i can make some again.

So of course i have some mishaps.
  • in trying to get my syrup to 265 it started to turn a pale amber color, so my marshmallows are beigey
  • when pouring the sugar syrup into the whites the syrup started to harden on the whisk, so there were big clumps of thickened syrup stuck to my whisk
  • i guess the syrup was too hot because i had little flecks of eggs all thru it, so i had to strain it
  • the whisk to my KA broke (i just got this KA in august)!!!!
After beating the meringue it really didnt look like alot so i used an 8" square cake pan intead. I sprayed it with baking spray and then dusted the pan with a cornstrach/sugar mixture. Once the mixture was into the pan i spread it out and tossed on more cornstarch/sugar. I then put a sheet of wax paper on top and smoothed out the surface. I let them sit for about 3 hours before i cut them (i used my pizza cutter). They were still a little moist so i just tossed them in more cornstrach/sugar and let them sit.

From my other experience making marshmallows i was scared to bite into it for fear of going into a sugar coma, but once i did i was really happy. Not too sweet, the perfect hint of vanilla, a nice spongy/gummy center. My only issue was the cornstarch on the outside of the marshmallow, to me it gave it a kind of dry, chalky texture when you first put it in your mouth. Otherwise I loved it. I have to say that there is a big difference between these and the ones in the supermarket. These make me want to make them over and over again so that i have them perfected by the time winter comes...... homemade mini marshmallows to top homemade hot cocoa :)

For a printable verion of the recipe click here

Click here to check out other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

Last Week: The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart
Next week: Big Bills Carrot Cake

April 14, 2008

Martha Mondays ......Its a Good Thing

This is my first entry to a new event called Martha Mondays which was created & hosted by Mimi of Mimi on the Move.

The premise of this group is to make Martha Stewart recipes twice a month. At this time there is no joining or participation requirements, if you choose to participate just email Mimi with the details and she will include you in the roundup on her blog. Initially all recipes were going to taken from the
Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, but that is not the case. The recipes chosen for this event are open to all food categories, not just baking and desserts, and this is a welcome change is it seems everything i make lately needs sugar, butter, eggs and flour.

The first challenge is Coconut-Pecan-Caramel sandwhich cookies.
Now i have to tell you, that while i love to bake cookies are not my thing. Not even the slice and bake cookies. Something always goes wrong. BUT this recipe went really smoothly (at least for me). It was a very simple recipe, which i cut in 1/2 to avoid 1 dz cookies by myself. The dough had a crumbly texture which made a crumbly/sandy cookie, which i love. I may have cooked it too long but the caramel was not sweet enough for me.

All in all i would have to say that this recipe was success, especially since the final product is edible.

I cant wait until we find out what the next recipe is.

For printable recipe click here.

April 10, 2008

Black Forest Cupcakes

I have owned the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook for quite some time, but have yet to make any of the recipes. I usually bake from scratch but I am always on the look out for new simple and easy recipes to send to school for the kids birthdays. I have heard so many good things about this book and since i have some free time right now I have decided to try some of the recipes. I have been wanting to make a Black Forest Cake for some time so when i saw the recipe for Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake, i decided to try it. The recipe couldn't be any

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake
1 - box Devils Food Cake
1 - 21oz can of Cherry Pie Filling
2 - eggs
1 - tbsp almond extract

Mix the cake mix, cherry pie filling, eggs and almond extract together in a large mixing bowl
Blend with an electric mixer on low for 1 minute
Stop the machine and and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes more, scraping the sides again if needed.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

I just mixed everything together in a large pyrex with a whisk. The batter yielded about 4-1/2 cups which gave me 18 generous sized cupcakes, which were done in about 25 minutes. The result was a super moist cherry studded chocolate cake. I topped each of with a swirl of vanilla buttercream and added a marachino cherry for garnish. I have already started thinking of other ways to make this cake again - im thinking to add kirsch for an adult version:)

I have to say that based on the sheer simplicity of this recipe and the delicious outcome - i will definitely be trying more recipes from this cookbook.

Next time .... Peaches N Cream Cake.

April 9, 2008

Red Velvet Cupcakes

As many of you will come to know i love to bake. But i would rather make cucpcakes over a cake any day. Or i will make a small 6" cake and 12 cupcakes. I love making cupcakes - so you will notice that most of my posts to come will be in cupcake form.

These are my Red Velvet Cupcakes. Red Velvet seems to be all the rage these days, and is easily giving chocolate a run for its money as the most requested flavor at events and wedding. I have never tasted or made a red velvet cake before so i was not sure what to expect, everyone has such different and strong opinions on this cake. Is it a chocolate cake? Is it a buttermilk cake? Is it a buttermilk cake with a hint of chocolate? So many versions of this recipe out there each with its own "passed down" story to go with it.

I chose a recipe which was recommended to me by a friend. It comes from Sylvia's Soul Food Cookbook. The only change i made from the original recipe was that i increased the cocoa powder to 2 tbsp. The cake was a little dense and could have been moister but it was very tasty - it has a light chocolate taste in the background. I am tempted to make this cake without the food coloring and see if there is any difference in flavor and texture.

I topped it with a marshmallow cream cheese frosting which i made up as i went along. It was really good but a little too soft. I want to work on it but i dont even remember what i did so i guess i will have to start from scratch.

Since this is such a popular flavor I need to perfect it so that i can add it to my rotation. I will stick with this recipe as a base and tweak a few things to work on the denseness and dryness.

For printable recipe click here.

April 8, 2008

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart chosen by Mary of Starting From Scratch.

Reading so many food blogs I constantly see the words MYER LEMONS, so i thought this was my chance to use them. I really wanted to get some, but my local supermarkets do not carry them and I did not have the means to travel to get them. But they are on my list of things to try.

So I just used regular supermarket lemons. After scrubbing green ink off the my supermarket lemons (why do they need to stamp Sunkist on the lemon and put a Sunkist sticker?) i started my cream. I had some trouble with my lemon cream. I used a metal bowl and didn't have a problem with the temperature but to me my consistency no good. I'm not sure if i really had trouble or if i was expecting something else (i was thinking the consistency of a lemon meringue pie filling). After 24 hours in the fridge, it seemed like my cream would never get thick enough. Eventually i just spread it into the tart shell and put it in the fridge again. Then it started to thicken even more. The final cream was was soft (a little grainy), but firm enough to hold swirls made a with spatula and to make a semi-clean slice.

The crust was really simple, but i had to use two yolks. I dont know why but lately all my eggs yolks have been different sizes. I only buy large eggs but if you saw the yolks that come out of this egg - it was so small. I also added about 2 tsp of ice cold water to bring it together since it was like sand. I had no problems lining my tart pan, freezing the crust or baking the crust. I have a little lemon cream left over but it may be because I used a different sized tart pan - a rectangular one.

I made some candied lemon slices to garnish it. Wow those things are good, and i didn't even dip them in sugar afterward. I will use the leftover syrup to go over a lemon cake i will make later this month.

I ate one slice, it was good but a bit much for me. I like lemon but i'm not really a lemon lover so I cant really give a consensus on how it tasted since it was only ready yesterday and I haven't had a chance to share it with anyone. This is one of the challenges where is have to share since I am not a lemon lover, there is no way i can finish this off by myself.

I am thinking to make the orange and/or lime tart in the near future, especially since its spring. I would think that you could just sub the zest/juice with a different citrus and have the same results but depending on which citrus you use the cream recipe is different. I wonder why?
I am eager to see all the lemon and orange creams made this week and what the outcome out was.

**After looking at various entries today I have decided that i too want smooth and silkly pale yellow lemon cream, sooo i will be trying this cream again. I do not have a food processor/blender, only a KA stand mixer, KA hand held mixer and a immersion blender. Any suggestions on which i should use when incorporating the butter**

For a printable verion of the recipe click here

Click here to check out other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

Last Week: Gooey Chocolate Cakes
Next week: Marshmallows

April 1, 2008

Gooey Chocolate Cakes

This week’s TWD recipe is Gooey Chocolate Cakes and was chosen by Leigh of Lemon Tartlet

I have always wondered how to make those chocolate cakes with the oozing center, so I couldn’t wait to try this recipe. I was really happy that this was not such a large scale recipe - 6 mini cakes was the perfect amount.

I imagined my spoon breaking into the cake and warm chocolate oozing onto the plate. Well I am not sure if this was supposed to be that type of cake, but I had no such luck. They did not turn out ooey or gooey in the center. They were just a really moist, almost fudgy like. The only culprit I can think of is my tempermental oven which changes temperatures throughout baking.

For me they could have been a touch sweeter. I wish I had some vanilla ice cream to go with it but no luck, I only had green tea and sticky toffee pudding. I chose the green tea which turned out to be a really good flavor combo.

I had three left over so I ate one for breakfast yesterday (and today) still fudgy in the middle and still good.

For a printable version of the recipe click here.

Click here to check out other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

Last week: Caramel Topped Flan

Next week: The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

March 30, 2008

Perfect Party Cake

I love baking cakes and adding new cake recipes to my files and our challenge this months Daring Baker challenge was Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake chosen by Morven of Food Art and Random Thoughts.

I was pretty excited when this months challenge turned out to be a layered lemon cake for two reasons (1) it would give me a chance to decorate (2) I had been wanting to test some lemon cake recipes.

I wound up making this cake for Easter dessert. My initial reaction was wow what a moist cake. The buttercream was so delicious and light. I always have raspberry preserves on hand but I wasn’t up to straining the seeds out so I bought a different brand which ultimately I was not happy with. But I did love the raspberry/lemon combo. I skipped the coconut since I am not a fan and some family members have allergies.

The next day the cake seemed to be dry to me, not sure why. I didn’t get to decorate it but no one expected it to be decorated so I wasn’t really bummed out. I may try this cake again, i'm not 100% sure, but I am definitely keeping the buttercream recipe.

For a printable version of the recipe click here.

Be sure to check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see more cakes!

March 25, 2008

Caramel-Topped Flan

This week’s TWD recipe is Caramel-Topped Flan, and was chosen by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon

I have to admit I have never eaten Flan. It is one of those things where I see a recipe and bookmark it and it never happens. I have been saying that I was going to make a flan since I saw a recipe for cream cheese flan on a Foodnetwork competition in 2004. So needless to say I was really excited to make this.

After reading the recipe I couldn’t believe how simple it was. There are only two components: the caramel and the flan.

§ The caramel came together really easily, but it really didn’t seem as there was any way that this would be enough caramel to mimic the picture in the book.

§ The filling was easy as well. I have to admit when I was stirring the hot milk into the eggs I had a flashback of last week’s “pastry cream scrambled eggs”. But everything went well this week.

I had to bake mine a little longer than the 35 minutes. More like 42 minutes. My top never did puff up or get brown but my knife did come out clean. I had no problems depanning the flan. It slid right out. But my caramel sauce seemed very loose. In the picture the caramel looks thicker like a glaze.

Things I would change if I made this recipe again:

  • Caramel: I would definitely work on making the caramel thicker (don’t ask me how) and/or increase the amount of caramel.
  • Filling: I would make this in a 6” pan so that the flan was higher.

Will this recipe be added to rotation: Yes! I have no doubt that I will be tackling the many different flan recipes that I have accumulated over the years and also playing with my own versions.

For a printable version of the recipe click here.

Click here to check out other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

Last week: Brioche Raisin Snails,

Next week: Gooey Chocolate Cakes

March 18, 2008

Brioche Raisin Snails

This week’s TWD recipe is Brioche Raisin Snails, was chosen by Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Since this recipe had three components – my initial plan was to make each component separately and then assemble and bake on Sunday morning. Well that didn’t happen. I would up making the dough around 11pm on Sat night and making the cream and raisins Sunday morning and baking them Sunday afternoon.

As ususal regardless of how simple a recipe is, whenever I have timeline and I don’t follow it – things go wrong, for example:

  • Dough: I had some trouble with the dough. Mainly the part where the dough has to go into the refrigerator. The thermostat on my fridge was broken so anything I put in there freezes – even though it is on level “1”. Every time I took it out to slap it down – it was semi frozen. But I went thru with all the steps anyway. When it was time for the 2nd rising – they didn’t rise much.
  • Custard: Wow. I had a lot of trouble with this. I could tell that there were some “pieces and that I would have to pass it thru a sieve, but I was shocked at the amount of “scrambled eggs” that were left over when I was done. Even then my mixture was not completely silky, it was kind of grainy. Not sure why as I have made custards/puddings etc before. I think next time I will use my hand held mixer in one had to get the constant whisking while I am pouring in other liquids. To me it was kind of like patting my head while rubbing my stomach. Hard.
  • Raisins: I didn’t have a problem with the raisins. I just ignited the raisins with a lit skewer to keep my hands from being scorched. It was kinda cool.

I have to admit I was skeptical when I first read the recipe. But then something happened. While I was cutting the log into 1” pieces, some of the pastry cream+cinnamon sugar+raisins oozed out of the end. So I decided to taste it. SOOOO DELICIOUS!! I could have eaten a cup of it by itself. I immediately made an extra batch of raisins and made another log and put it in the freezer to bake another time.

I baked the first batch for 25 minutes, but I felt they were too brown, so the 2nd batch I baked for 20 minutes. Perfect. Once they came out of the oven, i couldn’t wait i had to eat one (two) right away. They were so good. So good that I didn’t realize until later that i totally forgot to put the glaze on.

I took these to my Moms house for Palm Sunday dinner and they were a hit. Everyone loved them.

I tried one this morning and they still tasted good but the dough was a little dry – probably because of the issues with my dough. I got a new fridge yesterday – so I am going to try this dough again. I will also add a little more pastry cream as it seemed like it soaked into the dough and the flavor really got lost in the background. I would also add more cinnamon sugar.

Problems aside these are a delicious treat and the recipe (all three components) are keepers!

For printable version of the recipe click here

Click here to check out other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

Last week: Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie-Cake

Next week: Caramel Topped Flan

March 11, 2008

Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie-Cake

This week’s recipe is Russian Grandmother’s Apple Pie Cake, chosen by Natalie of Burned Bits.

The name Russian Grandmother’s Apple Pie-Cake. Pie-Cake? In reading the recipe you will notice that this is not a traditional cake that has a batter which is poured into a pan and baked. The components are of a pie recipe; a dough and a filling. This confused me, especially since the book did not have any pictures.

Preparing the recipe was simple. The dough was easy put together, I didn’t have any problems with stickiness. It took about 15 minutes total. It had a lemony taste to it which I found weird, but after refrigeration the lemony taste was still there but not that strong. It rolled out pretty easy once I let it come back to room temperature.

The filling was exactly that – apple pie filling. Apples, golden raisins, sugar and cinnamon. I used a combo of granny smiths and golden delicious since that is what I had on hand. I didn’t have any non-colored sanding sugar so I just sprinkled it with cinnamon-sugar instead.

After baking for 80 minutes, I checked on it. The top was brown and juices were bubbling so I removed it from the oven and set it on a rack to cool. Once it cooled down (still slightly warm) I tasted it. Some of apples were a little too soft, almost mushy. Also even though I tasted the apples before they were cooked, they were a little too tart, but that may be attributed to the type of apples I used. The next day I tried another piece (at room temperature) – this time the flavors seemed a little more settled together and, any apples that were too soft complimented the apples which were still chunky. I could have skipped the raisins. By day three I had “grown to like it”.

Even though I was not completely sold on this recipe my family really enjoyed it.

Is it a pie or a cake? Not sure, to me it was more like a cobbler.

I will definitely keep the dough recipe to use again and play around with different fillings.

For printable version of the recipe click here

Click here to check out other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

Last week: Snickery Squares

Next week: Brioche Raisin Snails

March 4, 2008

Snickery Squares

First off I just want to thank everyone at Tuesdays with Dorie for their warm welcome last week. I had so much fun with last weeks entry.

This week’s recipe is Snickery Squares was chosen by Erin of Dinner and Dessert . Initially I googled the recipe and found that quite a few other bloggers have made this recipe with much success so I was equally excited again.

After my two mishaps this weekend I was ready to make these. I got started. I grated my butter and made the dough by hand as I did not want to pull out my food processor; it was quite simple just like making a pie dough. And then it happened, things stared to go wrong.. I had to redo two components of this recipe today

The coating for the nuts: I looked and the sugar was just starting to dissolve. I went to my pc to pull up my blog. Came back. BURNT. So I had to start over. When I made the 2nd batch I didn’t think that there was enough coating for the peanuts, so I made a little extra. Otherwise everything else went smooth.

The dulce de leche: I usually make my own by boiling a can of condensed milk. But this time I decided to buy some. When I got home I found that I had inadvertently picked up a can of? Condensed milk. Since I didn’t have time to boil it, I decided to try another method and cook it in a saucepan. I thought this would take a while, so I went back to my pc. Came back into the kitchen to check on it. Edges were BURNT. So off to the store again to buy some.

Today I learned/reinforced two simple rules. No surfing the net, while you things boiling on the stove!!!

These are really rich but sooooo good. So rich, I almost couldn’t finish my little 2x2 square.

The next time I make these I will probably tweak the following two things;

The Dulce De Leche – I think I will add some melted caramel into this mixture to give the gooeyness im used to.

The Chocolate - I might use a ½ semisweet ½ bittersweet chocolate combo, and make my chocolate layer a little thinner

Never the less they were enjoyed by all!

For printable version of the recipe click here

Next week: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake

March 1, 2008

Master Bakers - Cinnamon

So it seems that I have caught the food blogging event bug. This is my fourth within less than a month, and I have a whole laundry list of others that I want to participate in.

Master Baker is a new event created by Nikki of Crazy Delicious. Every month she will pick an ingredient we bake whatever we wish as long as it has that ingredient and it’s a baked good. At the end of the even she will bake off some goods and pick a winner.

This month’s theme is Cinnamon – which is great because I love cinnamon. I decided to make Nick Malgieri’s Cinnamon Shells from his Cookies Unlimited Cookbook. I should have known that these cookies were doomed based on the morning I was having. I added too many egg yolks to the batter. I forgot the butter when creaming the eggs and sugar together, so I just melted it and added it at the end. The dough was kind of thick, not sure if it was supposed to be like that or because of my goof ups. You are supposed to pipe the cookie dough into shells, but the dough was so thick that the tail of the shell never came out correctly. I tried other shapes and they didn’t really work out either. So I decided to do a drop star shape. These came out fine.

I put the cookies into the oven and set the timer for 8 mins. My house starts to smell like cinnamon, I am thinking “wow those cookies smell good; they should be done any minute”. No sooner than I think that, the timer goes off and then I smell something burning. When I open the oven the top rack of cookies are just starting to get a little brown and crisp around the edges. The bottom rack: BURNT!!!. I look at my oven 350’F, I look at the thermometer inside the oven 450”F. WTF!!! So I had to scrap that whole sheet of cookies.

After letting the remaining cookies cool, I tasted one. Pretty good. Tasted another one. Then I tasted a couple more. I have to say with everything that happened to these cookies they came out pretty tasty. They are so simple that I would definitely make them again, and I will probably add them to my cookie basket for the holidays.

For recipe click here:

For other Cinnamonny entries this month - click here

HHDD# 18 - Coconut Chocolate Tarts

This is my first entry for the Hay Hay Its Donna Day events. Even thought I am not familiar with Donna Hay or her recipes, I decided to participate. This month’s challenge was Coconut Chocolate Tarts chosen by Bordeaux of Marita Says.

Initially my intentions were to give them out to family. But given how things turned out i am not sure what i am going to do.

1st – I did not have desiccated coconut, so I used flaked coconut.

2nd – I forgot to spray my tart shells before I pressed the crust into them

3rd – After 20 minutes in the oven, my shells were puffed up, and STILL WHITE. Only the outer tips had browned. Not sure if this is a result of using the wrong coconut or what?

4th – The tarts would not come out of the pan – hence the tart pans in the pictures. (I had to use my X-acto knife to carve them out)

I didn’t really care for the taste. The chocolate was really really rich, too rich for me. I could only eat 1/3 of the tart. Maybe with a different type of chocolate next time?

But besides all that, to me this recipe was super simple and really quick This recipe made 6 individual 4” tarts- with a little chocolate left over.

For recipe click here.

February 29, 2008

Julia Child's French Bread

I am officially a Daring Baker!!! :) :) :). For the past few months I have seen Daring Baker entries and thought, wow that group sounds cool, I should join. But I always found some reason not to. Well one of my New Years resolutions is to cook more, so last month I finally sent the email to join. I eagerly awaited instructions for my first challenge, checking my email several times a day. And then finally I got it. Yes!!!

This month’s challenge was French Bread by Julia Child chosen by Breadchick Mary (The Sour Dough) and Sara (I Like to Cook). I have never made bread before so this was definitely a challenge in more ways than one. Thn I printed the recipe & instructions, and my nitial thought was WHOA! The recipe was really simple (only four ingredients) but the amount of the instructions was overwhelming (I think that is why I waited until the Wednesday to make my bread).

Once I started the process I realized that it is really not complicated, just time consuming. It took me about 10.5-11 hours to make this bread (including cooling time). I tried to follow the directions 100% but I really think I kneaded the dough too much as my loaves didnt really rise during the 3rd proof and were a little flat. I had some trouble with the cuts on the top of the bread, the razor was not slicing thru, so I tried my chef’s knife. It worked a little better but I still didn’t get the effect I wanted. Once the timer went off and I went to remove the bread I thought it was a little pale, but once I removed it from the oven the color started to set it (phew!)

Even though you are not supposed to, I just couldn’t resist eating a couple of slices right out of the oven. I love warm bread with butter and this was really good. My intentions were to keep one loaf, give one to my mom and the other to my aunt, but i wound up eating two loaves (yes they are finished) and giving the other to my mom.

All in all I am happy that I joined as this was a great experience, a great recipe which produced some wonderful bread – but I don’t think that I would make this again due to the amount of time it takes.
Be sure to check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see more bread!

February 25, 2008

Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits

This is the first Tuesday I spent with Dorie, and I can't wait to see her again next week!!!

I've had "
Baking" for some time and bookmarked recipes but never tried them. So when I found Tuesdays with Dorie I figured this group was perfect. This weeks recipe is Pecan Sour Cream Biscutis chosen by Ashley of Eat Me Delicious. I'm a biscuit lover but was not so sure how nuts would do inside a biscuit. But then i thought about using "nut-butters" on regular biscuits - so i figured this should be interesting.

The biscuits were really simple to make. The batter was delicious. The biscuits baked up with a nice crust and tender inside. The inside was not as fluffy as I would like but I think I kneaded the dough to much, plus I also rolled them too thin. I ate them with sweet butter & maple syrup.

Click here for recipe

February 20, 2008

Weekend CookBook Challenge #25 - Nigella Lawson

This month’s Weekend Cookbook Challenge is hosted by Foodiechickie and the theme is - Nigella Lawson . I admit I am a fan of Nigella’s show, I’ve never heard anyone describe food the way she does, but I only have one of her cookbooks and have never tried any of her recipes. I wanted to try something simple, so I chose the RoseBud Madelienes from her cookbook How To Be A Domestic Goddess.

The recipe says that this should make 48 mini Madeleines, but since I only have a full size pan I decided to use that. I am not sure how small mini Madeleines are, but I have to say I was quite shocked when the batter made just about one cup. I filled each cavity with one tablespoon of batter – which gave me 10 full sized Madeleines. The recipe states to cook for 5 minutes but start checking after 3 minutes, but since these are full sized they took a little longer – about 11 minutes in my oven.

The texture of the cookie was quite nice and was really light – but i wasnt too crazy about the taste, I felt it was missing something. I would make these again in the spring – doubling the recipe of course. But I don’t think I would use the rosewater flavor, I would either use vanilla or maybe some lemon zest.

ROSEBUD MADELEINES ( from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson)

- ¼ cup (50g) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp (40g) caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup (45g) plain flour
- 1 tablespoon rosewater
- icing sugar for dusting
- 24-bun mini-Madeleine tin

-Melt all the butter over a low heat, then leave to cool.
-Beat the egg, caster sugar and salt in a bowl for about 5 minutes, preferably with an electric mixer of some sort, until it’s as thick as mayonnaise.
-Then sprinkle in the flour; I hold a sieve above the egg and sugar mixture, put the flour in and shake it through.
-Fold in the flour with a wooden spoon and then set aside a scant tablespoon of the cold, melted butter for greasing the tins and fold in the rest along with the rosewater.
-Mix well, but not too vigorously. Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour, then take out and leave at room temperature for half an hour.
-Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC)
-Generously brush the insides of the Madeleine tins with the tablespoon of butter (melting more if you feel you need it) before filling them with half the cake mixture (this amount does 2 batches).
-About 1 teaspoonful in each should do: don’t worry about covering the molded indentations; in the heat of the oven the mixture will spread before it rises.
-Bake for 5 minutes, though check after 3.
-Turn out and let cool on a rack, then arrange on a plate and dust with icing sugar.
-Repeat with the remaining half of the mixture.
Makes 48 mini or about 10 full sized.

February 16, 2008

Time To Make The Doughnuts!!!

Around two months ago I stumbled across the blog Tartelette and I have been addicted ever since. I haven’t been hooked on a blog like this since I found Cupcake Bakeshop. One of the entries was for an event she was hosting titled “Time to Make the Doughnuts”. Since I have really wanted to start participating in food blogging events (and hopefully start to host my own), I thought this would be the perfect one to get my feet wet. Unfortunately with all that went on this week I missed the deadline (huh???) but I decided to make them anyway since they had been on my mind. I made two versions, one covered in cinnamon sugar and one in powdered sugar. Here’s how they turned out………

I used the ever so popular Baked Doughnuts recipe from 101 CookBooks. I have never made doughnuts, or anything with using yeast for that matter, so I was slightly hesitant but these doughnuts were really simple to make. The dough itself was yummy and the doughnuts were delicious. This recipe is definitely a keeper.


February 15, 2008

Happy Valentines Day! xoxo

Since i completed my Wilton cake decorating courses last year i have not made any cakes.  I've baked but not decorated.  One of my resolutions for the new year is that i decorate at least one cake a month.  So since its February, what better theme to use than Valentines Day.  

The cake is two tiered.  The bottom tier is a 8" red velvet cake with vanilla smbc, the top tier is a 6" chocolate cake with chocolate smbc.  Both covered in pink satin ice and embellished with Wilton sugar decorations.

I also made some cupcakes with the leftover chocolate batter.  I topped them with vanilla frosting and a candy heart.

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