March 27, 2016

Robin Blue Easter Cake

After the wild success of my great baking weekend of February 2016, a month later I needed another challenge. I wanted to make another layer cake and try out a new technique of baking a cake in a half sheet and cutting out the layers. Easter and a writer's critique group provided the perfect occasion.

I'm a huge fan of Stephcookie from raspberricupcakes. She had a great robin's egg cake I used for inspiration. I saw the sugared egg nest from a tvshow and thought it would be a spectacular and easy decoration to do. I'm much faster this time around with the frosting but I'm still learning how to make the buttercream smooth and crisp.

This cake had 5 alternating layers of chocolate and white sprinkle cake. I had a nutella frosting in between and then covered with a robin blue vanilla butter cream. The speckles were the best part to do! Super fun and unfortunately messy.

February 14, 2016

Heart Cookies of Death and Love Cakepops

Despite not being a romantic person, I enjoy Valentine's Day. There's pretty bright decorations everywhere and the world encourages you to eat chocolate, cake, sweets, and indulgent foods. It's all about love for me obviously. Another reason why I love Valentine's Day is my memories of handing out sweets and cards to everyone in my class when I was little. I still do a something like that now that I'm older but with cookies and cupcakes.

I personally call these cookies, "Heart Cookies of Death", because these took almost 8 hours to make. The recipe is very time consuming and requires a lot of attention to detail. The cookie was delicious, very delicate and buttery.

The recipe came from Eugenie Kitchen. Instead of a rainbow heart, I wanted to do Valentine's Day colors instead. I also had left over cake from another project so I made cake pops.

February 12, 2016

Ode to the 408: Burnt Almond Cake

I was bored with my own baking. I wanted a challenge. So when my friend, K, mentioned she had to bake a cake for a friend's birthday I knew my opportunity arrived. She hates baking. And I don't like to bake unless I have someone or someplace to give the treats away to. I'm not going to eat it.

So I quickly volunteered (myself as tribute, hah) to make the cake for her. I already had a cake in mind. I recently went home and tried a cake that's infamous around my hometown. A Burnt Almond Cake from Peter's Bakery.

A Burnt Almond cake is a layers of almond cake, almond pastry cream, and covered in a light almond buttercream. The entire sides of the cake is covered with a delightfully crunchy crumb. The almond flavor is pretty unusual for a cake and it was delicious. The cake is moist and not cloyingly sweet.  I found a copy-cat recipe online immediately.

In my version, I added salted caramel macarons dipped in Belgian chocolate for decoration and caramelized almonds instead of a crunch topping.

Damn, was this cake a hit or what. :D

January 18, 2016

Galette des Rois

I am obsessed with the Great British Baking Show. I finished the entire first season in a few days. My favorite part is when the bakers would be tasked to make something they've never heard or seen of before. What a great way to really test a person's baking skills!

I learned about this cake from my friend from Belgium. He told me about how this cake would be everywhere around the new year. The cake is a puff pastry encased around an almond paste filling. There is usually a small ceramic toy that is placed somewhere in the middle so that whomever gets it in their slice of cake gets to be King for the day.

After a little bit of research, I decided to take the easy route and get pre-made puff pastry and fill it with the almond filling. It completely failed because all the fillings burst out of the seams and burnt! The second time was a success. I used a whole almond as a substitute for the ceramic baby King.

The King was not crowned from my cake...whoever found the almond just ate it!

October 14, 2012

Honey Walnut Shrimp

My Dad has been craving Honey Walnut Shrimp for a while and put in a special request for me to make it.

I think this turned out a lot better than expected. The last time I made this was in high school so I'm pretty pleased I was able to re-create it without the help of a recipe.

I did make some alterations though. I added some cayenne pepper to the honey mayonnaise sauce, hoping that the spice would give it more of a dimension other than SWEET MAYO. I also chose not to use iceberg lettuce because I felt that kind of lettuce is generally useless being so bland in taste and color. I also salted the sugar glazed walnuts too. Oh and this was the first time I used coconut oil to fry something. Gorgeous aroma and makes me feel a little less guilty eating it.

My dad ate TWO servings. Solid success!

Anyone want to come over for dinner now? (:


October 8, 2012

Almost 2 full years since I've last updated so quite a lot of cool things happened. The biggest thing to happen to me was experiencing the macaron for the first time. The beginning of my first obsessive love-hate and on-and-off relationship...

I know, I know. Who isn't in love with those cute, colorful, and delightfully delicate little French cookies? I'm not ashamed of being a trend-lemming.

I discovered them at a great time. Despite never baking the perfect cupcake or muffin, I was desperate for a baking project that required more dedication, technique and challenge. Ugggghh, did I get what I asked for!

After 6 months, I am on Macaron trial #21. They look and taste good, but I'm chasing the elusive soft interior texture under a delicate shell that is so unique to the macaron. I am SO close.

October 6, 2012

Strawberry and Ganache Tart

Fruit tart crust. Milk chocolate ganache at the bottom, then pastry cream, and then cheesecake whipped cream. Topped with strawberries.

Super spontaneous!

This turned out waaaay better than the first fruit tart I made. The first crust was unbelievably disgusting! It tasted like lard and was too thick to actually bite into. This is a new recipe and it's a lot easier to make and tastier to eat.

I also didn't flip out and throw a bunch of strawberries on top because I was too impatient to arrange the  fruit too. I tried. Haha.

Overall win!

September 7, 2012

Chocolate Souffle

So I was watching the latest episode of Master Chef and was struck with inspiration. There was a challenge where the two contestants had to make 3 different souffles. The judges kept going on and on about how nearly impossible the task was and that definitely piqued my interest.

I'm sure it's hard to do, but this chocolate souffle was a lot easier than I thought it would be! It came out just right. (:

Again, excuse the awful picture and the dirty ramekin. D:

August 14, 2012

Boston Cream (Cup)Pies!

My friend, M, LOVES these Boston Cream Pie cupcakes from a nearby bakery and she was kind enough to share some with me the other day. They were soooooo fantastic, I became stuck on trying to re-create them again.

There wasn't too many mishaps along the way. M actually said she likes mine more!


June 2, 2012

Cream Puffs

Cream puffs are awesome. Awesomely easy recipe. Awesomely delightful to look at. Awesome flavor.

Just awesome.

This batch came out beautifully. They were huge and round!

Ignore the unsightly powered table please. I'm still not very patient or good with a camera yet.