Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Marissa and Eric's wedding!

So the wedding finally happened! 250 cupcakes and a two tier cake later here is what my assistant (my sister for this event) and I created!

The cake is flourless vanilla, with lemon mousse and blueberry compote. The cupcakes are vanilla and chocolate with vanilla and chocolate buttercream.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

some recent stuff

Here are some recent projects I did.

The first two pictures are practice for a wedding in Mariposa. They are vanilla cake, with buttercream. They're will also be chocolate cupcakes with ganache filling and vanilla buttercream. The wedding cake is going to be a wheat free cake with lemon mousse and blueberry compote. The butterfly is piped chocolate and the other cupcake has small yellow dragees on it

This cake was my graduation cake. Yay Sonoma State University. Using scrapbook/card making stamps I stamped diplomas and grad caps into the stars. The grad cap was made from a glass bowl as a base mold, and a cookie press to make the tassle strands.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

birthday cakes

Here are some recent birthday cakes I did for my mother's birthday parties
The first cake is white with lemon mousse and blueberries for the filling, and buttercream with coconut on the outside
The second cake is chocolate with raspberry mousse and chocolate buttercream

so it's been here are all my new photos...practice cupcakes!

Monday, March 30, 2009

March Challenge

Daring Bakers Challenge!

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

This was a delicious lasagne! I Highly recommend this recipe...Not much to say about it...I would recommend not using all the meats that it calls for. I had to do the meat sauce twice. The first time I did it as the recipe called for..then I forgot to put it away that night..soooo...for the sake of food safety I tossed it...So I remade it with just normal meat and it was delicious!

This was definitely not one of my favorite challenges...but it was a good change of pace from all the desserts...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers: February

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.

We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.
I was down in Santa Clara over the valentine's holiday, so my friend Jeana and I (being the single gals that we are) made a day of it. We went to Casa de Fruta, drank fruit wines, baked the challenge, made the ice cream, watched Fight Club, made sweet potatoe falafels, and beet ravioli! (both of those recipes can also be found on this blog just look under february)

Here are the recipes:

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

Dharm's Ice Cream Recipe
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)

1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)
{you can easily increase your cream's fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted - cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed. Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse
Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy. 3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time
4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.
5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse)
By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker

My Notes:

So I followed both recipes very closely. For the Valentino cake, I used all semi-sweet chocolate because I do not like chocolate that is very very sweet (like cadbury milk chocolate)...This complemented the ice cream well, but next time I would use dark chocolate, for part if not all of the chocolate called for.

"B"s birthday Cake

Red Velvet Cake

So I have no idea who "B" is, but I made her a cake..haha...Ok so here's the real story:

A girl who I went to highschool with recently contacted me and asked if I would do a cake for her friend, "B"'s, birthday...which of course i said "heck yeah!" to...I have a really hard time saying no to a cake...Anyways...She requested a red velvet cake. Never having made a red velvet cake before, I looked to my fellow bloggers. Thank goodness for Art of Dessert.

Red Velvet Cake

Allergy note: contains eggs, wheat and dairy
1 1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt1 ounce red food coloring (liquid or gel)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans or line three muffin pans with cupcake liners.In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Combine yogurt, red food coloring and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Alternate adding the yogurt mixture and flour mixture into the large bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans or lined muffin pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes (15-20 minutes for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely

Cream Cheese Frosting
Alllergy Note: contains dairy ingredients16 oz. (two 8 oz. bars) cream cheese, cold

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
7 cups powdered sugar, measure then sift

With the mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter till blended. Mix in vanilla extract. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase to a higher speed to whip up the frosting till light and fluffy.
I followed both recipes almost completely. The only real change I made was I used Greek style vanilla yogurt for part of the yogurt, just to get a bit more of that "buttermilk" tang...who knows if it actually changed the taste at all
Also: Here are some shots of making the bows. I had never made very good fondant bows before so I went on Youtube and watched some videos of their tips. They suggested how to crimp the bows and to use cotton balls. I did it the first time and found that setting them on the table to dry made them to FLAT. So I used the cake ring to curve the bows and it worked great. I used extra cotton balls to support the bow while it dried. Also, the last shot is my new tool: iridescent Lustre dust!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a little pretty eye candy

Can I just say...I LOVE THIS CAKE...


(or if you can't see it: )

It's by the Pink Cake Box

So Impressive and something to aspire to

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Cupcakes PART 2!!!!
So, for this weekends recipe it came from "Gluten-Free Baking". Below is a picture of the book from Amazon.comHere are the photos of the cupcakes. Right now we are really just trying to choose the flavors so I was really just procrastinating on my homework...oh well....
Here they are:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beet Ravioli

Beets are SO deliscious! Especially as a ravioli :-) has the best revioli recipe.
Although I am not a huge fan of the pasta dough they use, if you make these with spinach pasta dough they are amazing and look beautiful. OF COURSE when I made them sunday night I forgot to take a photo... Oh well... Here is the recipe and I highly reccomend trying them. SO easy and worth it.
Here is the recipe:
2 large red or golden beets (about 14 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
1 1/4 pounds Fresh Egg Pasta
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tablespoon poppy seedsFreshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Wrap beets individually in foil; place on baking sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Open foil carefully (steam will escape). Cool. Peel beets; finely grate into medium bowl. Add ricotta cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in breadcrumbs.
Roll Fresh Egg Pasta dough into sheets according to recipe.
Place 1 dough sheet on work surface. Using 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut sheet into 7 rounds. Transfer rounds to lightly floured baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough for total of 56 rounds
Sprinkle 2 smooth kitchen towels with flour. Place 8 pasta rounds on work surface, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic. Place small bowl of water next to work surface. Spoon 1 teaspoon beet filling onto half of each round. Dip fingertip into water and dampen edge of 1 round. Fold dough over filling, pushing out as much air as possible and pressing edges firmly to seal. Transfer to prepared towels. Repeat with remaining rounds. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet and place in freezer until frozen solid, about 6 hours. Transfer ravioli to resealable plastic bags.)
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat and stir in poppy seeds; keep warm. Working in batches, cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until cooked through, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to skillet with melted butter; toss to coat. Divide ravioli among 8 plates; sprinkle with Parmesan.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

sweet potato falafel

Ok! One last post tonight! -The recipe was SO worth it!

So I spent the other night down in Santa clara with my friend Jeana, who happens to be a vegetarian...

So of course we were doing some cooking and decided to make her new favorite recipe!
It came from the blog FatFreeVegan:

And her site is totally deliscious!

1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 2 tbsp hot water
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 18 ounces, total)
2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/8 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced parsleyjuice of
1 lemon
1 cup chickpea flour or besan
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
sesame seeds (optional)

Mix the flax seeds with two tablespoons hot water and set aside to thicken.

Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork and place on paper towels in microwave.

Microwave on high for 2 minutes, turn over, and then cook for another 2 minutes.

Check for tenderness, and if not cooked all the way through, cook in increments of 30 seconds until tender. Set aside to cool until easy to handle; peel and place in a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 400F. Mash sweet potatoes well with a masher or a fork. Add the flax mixture, seasonings (including parsley), and lemon juice and stir well. Mix the chickpea flour with the baking powder and add it a little at a time to the sweet potato mixture. Stir until well-combined. Batter should be stiff; if not, add chickpea flour a tablespoon at a time until batter is thick. (If the batter is too stiff to blend in all the flour, add water a tablespoon at a time.)

Oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Use a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon to make about 20-22 little mounds of dough on the baking sheet (dipping the scoop in water every now and then will help prevent the dough from sticking to it). Flatten the balls to about 1/2-inch thick and 1 1/2-inches wide. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bottoms are medium brown.

Serve hot with yogurt-tahini sauce. These keep well and can be reheated briefly in the microwave.

(NOTES: You can skip the flax and just add a tablespoon or two of water, nothing goes horribly wrong.
-Don't skip on spices, they are totally worth it!
-Also, I did NOT like her sauce, and therefore did not post it. Although Jeana did so I'm sure it is just my tastes
-Lastly, I would make sure the sweet potatoes are very well mashed, we did not have a masher at the apartment and therefore had clumpy falafel -not so great since nothing mixed very well)

We Served our Falafel with pita and a simple green salad. TOTALLY DELISH!