Monday, 31 May 2010
Red Velvet Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
and Mini Red Heart Shaped Sprinkles.
I love these sprinkles, we use them a lot at the bakery both in red and pink.
I have a few more orders to make before I leave for Vegas, including a Caramac Caramel Cupcake batch!
I found the Caramac bars at my local sweet shop Fizziwiggs's, I couldn't help but nab these Bakewell Tart and Lemon Meringue Lollies for myself.
Saturday, 29 May 2010
I am off to Las Vegas in less then two weeks and I'm crazy excited.
I have never been to America before, although everyone keeps telling me Vegas doesn't really count as America.
One of the best things about Las Vegas, in my opinion is that there is a Williams Sonoma there!!! When I first found Williams Sonoma online I jumped for joy, I was gutted when I realised they don't ship to the U.K.
Neadless to say I have informed Baby Love that Williams Sonoma is non negotiable, I'm taking less shoes and an extra suitcase in preparation for the colossal quantities of baking pans and supplies I will be purchasing. Which reminds me I must check the luggage allowance...
Anyway here are a few of my favourite Williams Sonoma baking pans.
I nearly cried when I found this Oreo cookie cake pan and realised I couldn't have it, I cannot tell you how excited I am to get my hands on one of these, possibly more excited than I am about Las Vegas itself.
'Taking the all-American doughnut to a delicious new level of decadence, our whimsical cake pan is a guaranteed recipe for smiles. The set of two family-friendly pans inspires creativity in bakers – and doughnut lovers – of all ages'.
You bake two donut halves and fit them together to make a donut shaped cake. I love the cake in this picture, rich fudgy frosting and brightly coloured sprinkles just like a real donut.
I'm not sure how well this brownie pan will work, I can't see my normal brownie recipe coming out perfectly imprinted with the word chocolate to be honest but it doesn't make me want it any less.
I also love their all of their Bundt pans and may come home with ten!◦
Friday, 28 May 2010
The corsets feature cotton brocades, and satin pieces with antique laces in contrast, pleated trimmings decorating the corsets and very feminine and sophisticated lines.
I think both the corsetry and the photography is stunning and Maya Hansen is a genius. Designing a line of corsets inspired by cake! Genius!
This is a batch of Chocolate Candy Jar Cupcakes I made for a friend.
I decided to use pastel pink and green for the icing, I have always loved pastel green cupcakes and that candy necklace one was calling to me.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
This is the second part of my Parisian Strawberry Tart recipe. The filling is from Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets, the original recipe is Fresh Strawberry and Marshmallow Tart but I decided to omit the Marshmallows this time, so it is just Fresh Strawberry Tart.
The tart is scrumptious and definitely one I will make again. The pastry cream is lovely but not the best I have ever tried, I may use my favourite pastry cream recipe next time. That being said this tart was very very well received.
1 1/4 cups (300g) whole milk
1 moist, plump vanilla pod, split and scraped, or 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
3 tablespoons (30g) cornstarch
1 stick plus 3 tbsp (9 1/2 ounces / 160g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.
To Make The Pastry Cream:
Bring the milk and vanilla pod to a boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cover the pan and turn off the heat, set aside for 10 minutes. Or, if your using vanilla extract, just bring the milk to the boil and proceed with the recipe, adding the extract before you add the butter to the hot pastry cream.
Working in a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until thick and pale. Whisking all the while, very slowly drizzle a quarter of the hot milk onto the yolks. Then still whisking, pour the rest of the liquid in a steady stream over the tempered yolks. Remove the vanilla pod and discard or save for another use (vanilla sugar!!!).
Put the pan over a medium heat and, whisking vigorously and without stopping, bring the mixture to the boil. Keep the mixture at the boil, whisking energetically, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and scrape the pastry cream into a clean bowl. Allow the pastry cream to cool on the counter for about 3 minutes.
Cut half the butter (80g) into 5 or 6 chunks and stir the chunks into the hot pastry cream, continuing to stir until the butter is melted and incorporated. At this point, the pastry cream needs to be thoroughly chilled. You can either set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and, to ensure even cooling, stir the cream from time to time, or refrigerate the cream, in which case you should press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal.
When the pastry cream is cold, scrape it into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Put the remaining 80g of butter in a small bowl and, using a rubber spatula, work the butter until it is soft and creamy. With the mixer on a high speed, gradually beat the softened butter into the pastry cream. Keep whipping until the pastry cream is light, smooth and satiny. The pastry cream can be used now or chilled until needed.
The cream can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days of frozen for 1 month.
To Assemble The Tart
1 x Baked Sweet Tart Shell (see part 1)
Pastry Cream (above)
4 cups (600g) fresh strawberries, hulled
2 tsps icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Red Currant Jelly
Fill your baked tart shell with enough pastry cream to come about 1/4 inch from the top of the crust. Smooth the surface of the cream using and offset spatula.
Put 3/4 cup (115g) of the strawberries in a small bowl with the confectioners' sugar and, using a fork, coarsely crush the berries. Allow the berries to sit for 3 minutes, then turn them into a sieve and shake the sieve over the sink several times to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Spoon the crushed berries over the pastry cream, leaving a slim border bare.
Cut the remaining strawberries in half and arrange in concentric circles over the top of the tart. For the final touch warm some red currant jelly on the stove top or in a microwave oven and, using a pastry feather or brush, paint each strawberry with a little jelly. Serve the tart of chill it until needed.
The tart should be served cool, and it can be kept in the refrigerator, lightly covered for about 8 hours.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
This is a brilliant recipe from a fantastic book, I love Dorie Greenspan and Paris Sweets is one of my favourite cookbooks. I am going to post this recipe in two parts, this post, part one I will give you the fantastic sweet tart dough recipe I used. This pastry is a little difficult to work with but well worth the effort, it is absolutely delicious and would be scrumptious no matter what filling you choose.
My tarts are filled with pastry cream, sweetened crushed strawberries and topped with halved strawberries and strawberry jam. The strawberry tart filling is also from Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets and is adapted from the Ladurée Tarte aux Fraises a la Guimauve Fraiche Recipe.
Sweet Tart Dough / Pâte Sucrée
Recipe From Dorie Greenspan's - Paris Sweets
Makes enough for three 9-inch (24cm) crusts
'This is a really classic sweet tart dough, the one pastry chefs learn as apprentices. It is really a cookie dough and is perfect with any sweet tart, whether the filling is fruit, ganache, or custard. With dough like this the texture is always better if you make a large batch, so it is best not to cut the proportions; rather, make the full recipe and freeze the dough you don't need at the moment.'
2 1/2 sticks (290g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (150g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup ground almonds, lightly packed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups (490g) all-purpose-flour
To Make The Dough
Place the butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade ans process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar and process to blend well.
Add the ground almonds, salt and vanilla and continue to process until smooth, scraping the bowl as necessary. Lightly stir the eggs together with a fork and with the machine running, add them to the processor bowl. Process for a few seconds to blend.
Finally add the flour and pulse until the mixture just comes together. Do not over beat.
Gather the dough into a ball and divide into three pieces. Gently press each piece into a disc and wrap each disk in cling film. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or for up to 2 days, before rolling and baking.
To Roll Tart Crust:
For each tart butter the tart pan and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you are making more than one tart work with one piece of dough at a time.
The easiest way to work with butter rich sweet tart dough is to roll it out between to sheets of cling film or plastic wrap. Lay a sheet of clingfilm over your counter place the pastry on top and cover with another sheet of cling film. Turn the dough often so you can roll it out on both sides.
If the dough becomes to soft to work with, just slip it, still in between its plastic sheets into the fridge for a few minutes.
Remove one sheet of plastic wrap and centre the dough (exposed side down) over the tart pan.
Press the dough against the bottom of the pan and against the sides., remove the top sheet of film and roll your rolling pin across the rim of the pan to cut off the excess. If the dough cracks or splits while your working, don't worry - you can patch them up with leftover dough. Be careful not to stretch the dough in the pan (what you stretch now will shrink later). Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
To Bake Tart Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C)
Line the crust with a circle of parchment paper or foil and fill with dried beans or rice.
Bake the crust for 20 - 25 minutes, or until very lightly coloured. if the crust needs to be fully baked (it does for this strawberry tart recipe), remove the parchment and beans and bake the crust for another 3 - 5 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Wrapped airtight, the dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for a month. Frozen discs of dough take 45 - 60 minutes at room temp. to reach a good rolling out consistency.
I will post Part 2 a.s.a.p.
I will post Part 2 a.s.a.p.
Thursday, 20 May 2010
I'm crazy about our Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cupcakes, they taste just like a brownie, gooey, chewy, dense and incredibly chocolaty. The tops of the cupcakes are just like the top of a brownie and we add choc chunks, fudge pieces or nuts depending on our customers tastes.
Milk Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownie
White Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownie
Caramel Molten Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownie
Oreo Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownie
Choca Mocha Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownie
Choca Mocha Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Oreo Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Jamie is, as far as I'm concerned the king of dinner, I love his recipes and probably use at least on a week. These delicious Tapas meatballs are from his latest book Jamie Does..., they are amazing and definitely worthy of being my first ever savoury post.
Baby Love told me five or six times over dinner how much he loved these and I think I may replace my normal meatball recipe with this one. I loved them as a Tapas dish with crusty warm bread but they would be great with pasta too.
Mini meatballs - Jamie Does...
Serves 4 as a tapas dish
(makes 12 small meatballs)
a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled,
1 finely chopped,
1 finely sliced
250g minced beef or pork,
the best quality you can
afford (or a mixture)
1 large egg yolk, preferably
free-range or organic
25g fine breadcrumbs
sea salt and freshly ground
1 small dried chilli
2 large ripe tomatoes
Spanish extra virgin olive oil
Heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Finely slice the parsley stalks
and add them to the pan with half your finely chopped onion. Fry the onion gently
for a few minutes, and once it starts to soften, add the chopped garlic. Fry for a few
more minutes, until the onion is completely softened, then put it into a large mixing
bowl and leave to cool completely.
Once your onion has cooled, add the minced meat, egg yolk and breadcrumbs to the
bowl. Roughly chop most of your parsley leaves and add to the bowl. Season well
with salt and pepper, then crumble in the dried chilli and use your clean hands to
really get in there and scrunch everything up until well mixed. Roll the mixture into
about 12 bite-sized balls, lay them on an oiled baking tray, cover with cling film and
pop into the fridge to firm up for half an hour.
Although putting them into the fridge helps them hold their shape, I'll often skip this
step and take my chances. They may break up a little, but it's not the end of the world
and they'll still taste delicious.
When the meatballs are ready get them out of the fridge. Prick the tomato a few times
with a small sharp knife, then drop it into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave
for 30 seconds or so, then use tongs to fish it out. Once it’s cool enough to handle, peel
and discard the skin, squeeze out the seeds and finely chop the flesh. Put a pan on
a high heat and add a lug of good olive oil. Add the meatballs and move them around
for about 8 minutes, or until they are brown all over. Add the remaining chopped onion
and the sliced garlic to the pan, fry for a couple of minutes, then add the chopped
tomato and lemon. Shaking and stirring, simmer for around 5 minutes, or until
everything looks beautiful and the onions are soft and cooked through. Halve your
lemon and squeeze the juice from one half into the pan. Very finely chop a teaspoon's
worth of lemon from the remaining half and add it to the pan.
Move everything to a serving dish, season with salt and pepper, drizzle over some
extra virgin olive oil and scatter over the rest of the parsley leaves.
Monday, 17 May 2010
This is my new Banksy Panda, by specific request.
I was both excited and apprehensive about this batch, Girl with Red Balloon is super easy but Panda, I knew would be as difficult as Rat was.
Buttercream Bakery Pretty In Pink Cupcakes
I can in fact make a cupcake pretty darn pink indeed.
When a customer calls to ask, 'how pink can you make a cupcake'?
My first thoughts are, God I love my job.
This is, I think, as pink as a cupcake can get. Pink frosting, pink sprinkles and pink cake.
These are Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes with pink food colouring added to the batter,
I think they are super cute.
Thursday, 13 May 2010
I love Red Velvet Cake and it is one of our top selling flavours. If you have never made Red Velvet Cake before this is the recipe to try. These cupcakes are not only strikingly beautiful but also unbelievably delicious.
We normally make our Red Velvet cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting but I decided to go with Magnolia and try their creamy frosting. The Creamy Vanilla Frosting Recipe was totally new to me and adding a flour mixture to butter and sugar did not seem like the most delicious idea in the world. I was sceptical to say the least. That being said this frosting is amazing!
Undeniably creamy and luscious, I honestly can't describe the deliciousness that is this frosting, I think it tastes like the most delicious whipped cream. As I type this I'm realising the similarities between this recipe and cream patisserie, it is all starting to make sense.
These are bound to be a huge hit with everyone, I can't recommend them highly enough.
Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cake
3 ⅓ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ¼ cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour three muffin tins. Place cupcake papers in the tins.
To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overheat.
In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake each tray for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
Magnolia Bakery Creamy Vanilla Frosting
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer—set a timer!). Use immediately.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
This little lot is in the kitchen....
It is almost as if I have some uncontrollable need to have in my possession, every recipe known to man.
This next little lot has now been shunned to the spare room at Baby Love's request. I miss them terribly but there is no space in my little old kitchen.
Maybe I need a library?
You would have thought that was it but here are the most recent purchases...
Eddie Spence is a God! This book is amazing and I can't wait till I have time to tackle some of the projects.
If you have noticed a gap in my collection please let me know, I haven't bought a cookbook yet today.