Sunday, November 23, 2008
My sweet life from the last time I posted:
In light of the recent election and the outcome, which I am still estatic about
In St. Louis I visited 2 bakeries:
The Cupcakery (Vanilla, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Pumpkin, Coconut)
Jilly's Cupcakes (Pumpkin & Key lime)
Monday, July 21, 2008
I think what I have learned that I love a lot with baking are the memories behind a certain dessert. It is not just one memory but a vast amount of memories. There are so many times in my life where I eat a certain food and it reminds me of another time in my life when that food was significant, even the smallest way, to a event or moment. Those moments when you re-eat a food and look back on the good times make me feel so infinite.
I find that I am looking back on memories a lot lately but there are so very few great ones being made currently. These cookies made me remember and smile wide.
I hope that all made sense. I go to camp in 2 days so there won't be any baking for a while.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
So I went to California for a wedding and they had the prettiest cake. I just want to show a picture of it cause I loved it. It was very simple, and when I went to look at it there were some other people and they were asking questions about the cake that I could actually answer. Guess all the baking and reading I do pays off.
When I bought my red kitchen aid stand mixer I got a free ice cream maker attachment. It isn't as great as the ice cream maker I have but it was fun to do. It was hard to set up but after figuring it out with no help from the directions it gave. With the old ice cream maker we had we use to make Iranian ice cream all the time. This seemed like a great time to do that again. This ice cream is made with the basic ingredients for ice cream: sugar and whole milk. I found a great Paula Deen recipe that also used vanilla pudding mix and evaporated milk. With that I added saffron, rose water, and pistachios. A little goes a long long way and with saffron and pistachios being as expensive as they are that rule is a very good thing.
Saffron Pistachio Ice Cream:
2 cups of whole milk (don't think 1% or 2% will work because it won't)
1 cup of sugar (I used about 3/4 c because that is all we had left and it was still great)
1 pkg of french vanilla instant pudding
12 oz can of evaporated milk
saffron and rose water to taste
1/4 cup of pistachios, grounded (grounded that they are little pieces but not so much that they are a powder)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I didn't use the Daring Baker's buttercream frosting recipe because of the issues with eggs and how I didn't think the syrup would actually be hot enough to get rid of the bacteria in the eggs. So I actually used the buttercream recipe in Dorie's book. Finally Dorie didn't let me down. Hah. The buttercream was really good. The only thing was it was more buttery then sweet so I added about 2 TBSP of icing sugar and a lot of fresh lemon juice and frozen blueberries in juice. It turned out great. Not too sweet, but still a great thick consistancy. This was a great buttercream to experiment with.
For the glaze which I didn't end up using a lot of in the end was blueberry glaze. Not the white chocolate glaze like in the recipe. I used corn starch to thicken it up. A lot of people use agar agar or gelatin to make a glaze. I have yet to try those, I will in the future I am sure. It ended up so well and very blueberry tasting.
Finally everything came together after 3 days. Attempt the recipe for yourself!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I guess you can't win them all.
Sticky Buns Recipe
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
This cheese cake definitely needed to be eaten cold to taste good. It wasn't a great tasting one and I will probably try finding another recipe that taste better. Along with cream cheese this also had cottage cheese which my family and I are not a fan of. The texture of the cottage cheese really came through but luckily the taste of it didn't. It wasnt as creamy as I would have liked. The crust was great and I will use that recipe again for sure. I also liked the idea of having a layer of jam in it, I used Raspberry Jam.
Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I dont know if I already mentioned this, but if anyone is in the market for a new baking book I totally recommend William Sonoma Baking book and Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. I recently bought them and they are fantastic. They have helped me out so much.
I decided to make 3 or 4 things for each person. I had 3 people to bake for which meant a lot of organizing to get this right. Its one thing to have your family eat something that you made but its on a whole other level if you have someone not related to you eat something you made. It's just more pressure.
This took 2 days of baking, because there is only a certain amount of day I get to use the kitchen all by myself without people coming in and out complaining about the mess I am making.
Also this was a great time for me to use my new Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer I just got in a great Red color.
So I decided to make stuff that would be small and wont go bad when mail. I made Raspberry Crumb Bars, Blondies, Banana Nut Bread, Sweet Cinnamon Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pumpkin (chocolate chip) Muffins. This was the most I've baked since Senior year I had to make close to 200 cookies for a school event. That was a little more hectic then this though.
(Sweet Bread that is cake like and the bread is made of basically vanilla cake and then in the middle and top has cinnamon butter, sort of like cinnamon roll.)
Brown Sugar Blondies:
Raspberry Crumb Bars:
(The Crust and Topping had the best smell, I mixed in some cinnamon and nutmeg for taste and smell, those have become my 2 favorite ingredients they aways kick up anything you are baking to a new level)
Banana Nut Bread (with walnuts):
My awesome moist and crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies:
(I must have made nearly 50 cookies for mom's coworkers, family, and then freinds)
I made Pumpkin Muffins but Ive already posted on here and I have got to say that those muffins are probably the first recipe I actually invented and has secret ingredients. Hah.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
The tart crust is made from cream cheese, butter, and flour. Sat in the fridge over night. Roll out and pressed into the tart shells. The filling is a apple filling I created cause I love experimenting with different things. It is apples cooked in brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Used corn starch for thickening. For those who don't know, if you ever want to bake with apples make them green apples. They turn out the best and never get too soggy as red apples tend to get.
The muffins came out really great. I decided to add cinnamon to the batter and topping along with nutmeg in the topping for more flavor. You could really taste both spices when eating it and they always go well with lemon. I didnt have enough brown sugar for the batter so i added half brown sugar and half granulated sugar. I also ran out of buttermilk so I used milk and it came out great
For the first time I am going to add the recipe because I didnt really adapt this recipe like I have other recipes because it wasnt necessary:
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. buttermilk (I used milk for half)
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c brown sugar (i used 3/4 c brown sugar & 3/4 granulated sugar)
2 c diced apples (no skin, green apple)
**1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c all-purpose flour
**1/2 tsp cinnamon
**1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 TBSP butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine 2 1/4 c. flour, baking soda, salt, and 1 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl
3. Cream egg, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and 1 1/2 c sugar together with a mixer
4. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients until combined. Make sure you don't over mix because muffins will come out dry.
5. Stir in diced apples until just combined. Do NOT over mix
6. Using a ice cream scooper scoop into greased muffin tins
7. Mix the dry ingredients of the toppings in a small bowl (1/2 c brown sugar, 1/3 c flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg)
8. Slowly pour in melted butter while mixing.
9. Using a tsp pour over batter in muffin tins
10. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked (using a plastic knife place in the middle of a muffin to see if it comes out clean).
I think everyone should try these, they are pretty easy and fun to make and make for a great breakfast.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I finally figured out how to form the dough in a baguette size without it having cracks on the top and bottom. Practice makes perfect.
Then comes the pumpkin muffins I made. At the bakery I worked at we would have pumpkin muffins and I would eat one every day. I missed them and so I decided to make them. I made them fat free with apple sauce instead of oil/butter. Made them have a new texture I enjoy. They came out a lot sweeter then I wanted but I think my applesauce had sugar in it. I add oatmeal for texture and taste. I also added semi-sweet chocolate chips to half the batch. I love the color of them and they tasted basically the same as the bakery.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
First you make the batter for the cake and I wanted to use fresh lemon juice instead of pre-bottled. Then you make a syrup to pour over the cake once baked fully.
Then I thought it would be great to make a lemon curd filling which really didnt turn out the way I wanted to. It turned out a lot more thin and liquid like then I imagined. I think it might have happened when I split the recipe. The recipe a friend gave me called for 5 egg yolks and to split it I used 3, maybe 2 would have been better.
Overall, everyone really really liked the cake. However, I do not like the flavor of lemons so this cake wasnt for me. If you are a fan of lemons then this cake is for you.
So far I have only plated one of the cakes and I think for the other one I won't cut it in half put the "lemon curd" on there and just pour it over the cake.
This was the lemon curd, sad it didnt turn out the way I wanted to but next time I am sure it will:
I noticed that I named this blog and it makes it seem that I just bake cupcakes but I have been making anything but that lately. Hopefully that will change soon. I am thinking of changing the name of this blog. If you have creative names for a way to show that I am a baker please share!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
They came out great, but my only problem with them was they had a unusual smell. The recipe I adapted from said they made 3 and i was going to make 3 as you will see but then I decided to make 2. The recipe also said to slightly grease the bowl you transfer the dough to. Maybe I greased too much or maybe greasing was a bad idea but I think thats the reason it made it harder to roll out and form into a perfect baguette shape. Next time I wont grease.
But I still wonder what gave it such a unusual smell, maybe the flour. Anyways, here are the pictures:
I made a sour dough sponge, so that is coming up and I think I will make some biscuits tonight.