Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

This was a recent cake topper I made for a client. This one took a bit of work as I had never made one this big before. All in all I think she came out pretty good.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Creme Brûlée


Im reposting this recipe because it truly is my favorite plus Im making this for dessert tonight. ENJOY

Creme Brûlée has to be my all time favorite dessert. There is just something about cracking the caramelized sugar topping and diving into the creamy custard bottom. Not as sweet as some but just the right amount of goodness...Yum!

I can remember around Christmas one year my grandmother telling me how Creme Brûlée was a special treat for her as a child and was usually only made around the holidays.  She recalled her mother and and an aunt working for hours in the kitchen.  Honestly I just couldn't picture slaving over the stove for hours to make it..but what did I know. I remember saying I was sure I could make it---wrong thing to say.. she quickly snapped at me  -Creme Brûlée should really only be made by a professional chef because it's simply just too difficult for a home cook to make.

So began my quest to make it right. I learned that you need a little patience and a little practice. I have to admit the first couple of times I made it I did curdle my eggs and I think I over baked but sometimes you have to do that in order to get it right.
It really is a simple dish with simple ingredients .
Just take your time and be sure to watch what you are doing.
It comes down to not over beating, watching your temperature and time.

6 Egg Yolks
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract-If you have a vanilla bean please use it. It does provide a much better flavor of vanilla.

5-6 shallow ramekins                                                                            
I use a large cake pan to use for the water bath

In a large sauce pan heat heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar just to low simmer DO NOT BOIL Remove from heat and add either your vanilla extract or the scraped inside of a vanilla bean. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix egg yolks and the other 1/4 cup of sugar. Be sure not to over beat yolks. You do not want to cause too much foam to form. Next you will need to temper your yolks. Slowly add the hot cream to eggs. Pour a small amount at a time so not to scramble your eggs. Remember to continue stirring this will help prevent eggs from turning into a mess.

Once you have combined the cream with the eggs you can run the liquid through a mesh stainer to be sure your have no lumps. Fill your ramekins about 2/3 full. Place in a shallow pan and fill pan 1/2 way with hot water. This way you'll be steaming the custard which will keep it moist. Be sure not to get any water in your ramekins.

Bake at 325 for approximately 35-40. I usually check after 20min.  Give a ramekin them a little shake.  If see a lot of jiggle in the center- you'll need to bake a little longer. Continue checking every 8 minutes. Once you see very little jiggle you'll know they are done.

Try not to over bake or you will see the tops crack or begin to turn brown. Remove from oven but keep in the water until they are cool enough to handle. I like to refrigerate them for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  This will ensure the custard has set. Plus when you go to place them under your broiler they won't melt to mush.

If you have a cooking (blow) torch-which you can find at "Micheal's" or a "Bed and Bath" type store.
But if you are like me and don't have one you can use your broiler.
Turn your broiler on low.

Remove the ramekins from the fridge. Add 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar to the top of each custard.
Try to spread the sugar out evenly-you'll want them to caramelize evenly.

Once they are all covered put the ramekins on a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Keep the door open a smidge-keep checking as not to burn.

It may take a few minutes. Once you see the sugar begin to bubble and turn a golden brown remove. If it doesn't seem to brown the way you'd like given them a 1/2 turn. Remember be patient and keep a close eye as not to burn the sugar.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holiday Treats

Here are a few treats I made this Holiday Season

Loved making these Mr. & Mrs. Claus cupcake toppers. 

I have an awesome customer who asked me to make her a christmas cake and just to make it anyway I want!
Sorry about the quality of this Buch de Noel. I got to make 2 this year!
You can never go wrong with mini chocolate cheesecakes.

My Thanksgiving version of a cornucopia. this was a fun cake to make.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cranberry Walnut Muffins

A wonderful breakfast treat for the season.

I enjoy trying new recipes and this one tastes as good as it looks.

What to do with left over fresh cranberries? I say bake them into everything. I really enjoy the sweet tangy flavor of cranberries. It's a shame they only come into the spot light around the holidays because they are truely a nice alternative to strawberries and blueberries.

This recipe adapted from The Corner Kitchen

Pre heat oven at 350

For the muffins

2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Sticks of unsalted butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
3 bananas ripe mashed bananas.

I omitted the bananas because of one picky kid whom can not stand the taste or the smell of bananas. I did opt for and extra cup of cranberries and an extra 1/2 stick of butter to compensate for the the lack of moisture from the banana. 

For the streusel topping

1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter (cold and cubed)
1/2 chopped pecans (I didn't have pecans on hand so I used walnuts)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar.

For the topping

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients until the mixture resembles little pea size shapes.

Put aside until you mix the muffins.

For the muffins

In a medium size bowl combine all dry ingredients and whisk together so that all is combined well.

In a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer combine butter and sugar until creamed well. Usually I let it mix for a good 4-5 minutes. Scrap down sides of the bowl.  Slowly add your eggs one at a time. with your mixer on low slowly add your dry ingredients. Slow or even stop the mixer to add. You don't want a flour shower. 
Just mix until the flour is incorporated you don't want to over beat or you'll end up with flat muffins.

Once the dry ingredients is incorporated add your cranberries. Fold cranberries using a spatula until well blended.

I use a large ice cream scoop to measure out the batter. But I've also had success with a 1/2 measuring cup too. Use what ever you're comfortable with. 

Sprinkle the streusel topping  onto of each muffin about a teaspoon on each.

Bake for approximately 20 min. I like to take mine out slightly before the timer goes off because they will cook a bit more after removing from the oven. You definitely do not want to removed them from the tins too quick, let them cool first.

These will make 12 standard muffins or 6 large (jumbo) muffins. That is what I used in the picture.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Busy making Cakes

A small smash cake to go with the bumble bee cake below
Bumble bee themed cake for a little girl turning 1.

One my favorites.

Sweet and soft yellow buttercream cake with a stripped fondant grey bow.
I made this for a baby shower.

Buttercream transfer tractor not too bad on this one.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Baseball Themed Cake

These last few months have been so busy for me. Spring sports in full swing for the kids and of course caking.

This cake took some time to put together. Not the tiers but the glove and ball. I used rice crispy treats to sculpt them and they just seemed to take a lot of time to dry. Plus Im not custom to making sculpted toppers. Im learning all the time. This happened to be the 2nd one I made as the first one just fell apart. Try and try again.

Along with the cake I made 120 cup cakes. It was a long day!

Hope you enjoy!

Raspberry Cake

Raspberry Cake

Little Minis

Little Minis

Chocolate Valentine Cupcakes

Chocolate Valentine Cupcakes