Monday, October 24, 2011

A Wonderful Wedding Shower!

I went to Las Vegas two weeks ago to celebrate the wedding shower of Gee and Mike.  It was a wonderful event filled with great memories.

Thu and I worked together on the dessert table.  I love the tulle poms and how the dessert table came out, we had a huge variety of dessert!  I made the cake pops and macarons, Thu made the chocolate covered pretzels, brownies and cookies and Gee's mom made the filipino desserts, turron and banana pancakes.

Brownies, cookies, cake pops, French Macarons, turron, and filipino banana pancakes. 
 I could not stop eating the filipino banana pancakes, they were delicious!

Gee put the macarons together on the plate and I love how she arranged them, it reminds me of neopolitan ice cream. 

I cannot wait for their wedding!

Pumpkin Macarons!

I love fall because it marks the beginning of pumpkin season for me and I LOOOOVE pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING.

When I found this pumpkin French macaron recipe and pumpkin filling recipe from Yummy Mummy, I wanted to make it right away.  I made this a few times and here is my version of the recipe.

Macaron Recipe from Martha Stewart *makes 40 macarons using my 1” macaron template
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp of pumpkin spice*
*I didn’t have pumpkin spice on hand so I used this recipe here. 
Follow Martha’s recipe instructions, adding pumpkin spice to the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar.

Pumpkin Frosting Filling adapted from Yummy Mummy
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp of pumpkin spice (optional)
Beat all ingredients until smooth.

The filling did not have as much pumpkin flavor as I liked, this may be because I used organic pumpkin puree from Trader Joes, so I added a teaspoon of pumpkin spice for extra pumpkin flavor.

These were delicious and fulfilled my pumpkin fix!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Macaron Making

There are so many blogs and sites that teach the basics of macaron making.  I showed you a few of my favorite sites here.

A few things I learned, trial and error is the only way to figure out how to make these.  I was lucky the first time I made macarons they came out just right.  But I have had many fails!  Cracked macarons, no feet, under cooking, over cooking, and I have had to throw away a few a LOT of cookies.  Shame!

Macaron making, my favorite tools include:
Artisan Kitchen Aid stand mixer, unless you have biceps of steel and a lot of time, invest in this!  I LOOOOVE it!  It makes whipping up egg whites a breeze.  Best thing I ever bought for my kitchen! 

The Magic Bullet, I make my own almond flour because it is inexpensive and almond flour is hard to find in my area.  You can find it at Whole Foods or Sprouts, both too far of a drive for me.  I buy slivered blanched almonds from Trader Joes and grind them into flour.  I have used my mini Kitchen Aid food processor to do this before, but the magic bullet works better. 

Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch® Nonstick Cookie Sheet, I was gifted one for Christmas and this has been the best cookie sheet I have ever used, I liked it so much I bought myself another set.  Cookies cook evenly and do not stick to the sheet, well except macarons. 

Silpat, with macarons the cookies will to stick to the cookie sheet, so I use the silpat.  It makes peeling the macaron off a lot easier and I don’t have pieces of wax paper sticking to it.  I read on a blog that advised against using a silpat because the feet do not form, but it has been working great for me.

Macaron template, I need to use a template when piping.  I cannot draw a straight line to save my life, much less pipe, and it helps me keep all the cookies the same size.  Here are the templates I made and use. Click to get the original size. 
1” macaron template. 
1.5” macaron heart template

The attached version is for 11x17 inch paper.  This goes under the silpat perfectly.  Don’t forget to pull the template out.  I made the mistake of leaving a template under the silpat once.  The cookies did not bake well at all and I had to throw them out.  

Piping rounds is pretty simple; I start at the center and count to five or wait until the cookie hits the edge of my template. 

For the heart macarons, I pipe the outline of the heart and fill in.  I had luck the first time making heart shaped macarons here.  When I tried again this past week,  for my friend's wedding shower, it just did not look right, I think it may have been because I over folded but the feet were really big and the hearts did not look good.  I tried twice before I finally gave up and decided to just make them round.

This led to the "perfect batch" no cracks, smooth shells, cooked perfectly, and best of all they were accidentally coral.  (I just squired some red color gel in to the batch) This was great because this was part of her shower color scheme.  Third time is a charm!

I also made a swiss meringue buttercream for the first time and I'm going to use it all the time now.  Here is the recipe.

I watched this video before I attempted and it was very helpful!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello Kitty is a Classic!

Hello Kitty is my most requested cake pop, and it's no wonder, she's a classic! 

The client wanted pink bows, I ran out of pink jumbo heart sprinkles so I used this mini ribbon candy mold. I was worried it would be too big but I think it was the perfect size.  I piped hot pink candy melts in the mold and it was pretty easy to pop out. 

I did three dozen hello kitties, 18 red velvet and 18 chocolate cake.  I cannot stop raving about guittard candy melts, love how white these kitties came out and even with dark cake, they still look super white. 

Did you know Hello Kitty has a pet cat?  Her name is Charmmy Kitty. Ironic?   

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Stop Shop!

I'm excited to be part of a private event next weekend called One Stop Shop, if you found my blog through the event flier, thank you for stopping by!  My cake pops and macarons will be on sale at a discounted rate for those attending. 

The cake pop flavors will include:
Orange Spice Jack - O - Lantern Pops
Red Velvet Cupcake Pops
Oreo Cupcake Pops
*Subject to change
$1 each

My macaron flavors will include:
Pumpkin Macarons with Pumpkin Buttercream Filling
Cappucino Coffee Macaron with Coffee Chocolate Ganache
*Subject to change
$.75 each.

If you would like to place a custom order to pick up at the event, please email to place your order.  If you order the same flavors above, I will extend the special pricing to you.

Check out the websites of the talented vendors who will also be participating!

Bonjour Pierre by Kellie Huie
Handmade jewelry and clothes

Karolynh's by Karolynh Tran
Vegan Cupcakes

Belle-ini by Joyce Toledo
Handmade headbands and sashes

Scentsy by Scentsy
Scents for all your moods
I'm looking forward to this!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Macaron Obsession!

I am a wee bit obsessed with perfecting the macaron.  I think the first time I saw a French macaron was from a dessert table featured on Amy Atlas' blog or Hostess Blog.  So pretty!

They are very finicky, and it is difficult to make them right. 

I was shopping at Trader Joe's one day browsing the frozen section and spotted this:

$4.99 for a dozen macarons?  Sweet!  And they were so good! 

When I saw this from Bakerella, that's when I really grew interested in trying to bake these on my own.

I think that I have gotten pretty good at making macarons, I have to give thanks to these sites, they were great references. 

Martha Stewart's French Macarons Recipe - This is the only recipe I use since I do not own a scale yet.  It's a great basic recipe that you can make variations to. 

Giver's Log - I forgot how I found this blog, but she offered some great tips on making macarons, and she also uses Martha's recipe above.

Syrup & Tang - My go to favorite site when I have macaron fails.  Excellent tips with images and gives you the basic and advanced understanding in the art and architecture of macaron making.  This is the perfect place for first time macaron makers.

David Lebovitz - Professional baker. He has made beautiful macarons and also has great references.

Macaron Fetish - Love her blog!  She makes beautiful macarons with unique and exotic flavors. 

I hope these sites are as helpful to you as they were to me!  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bachelorette Party!

Can you guess what kind of cake pops I'll be showing based on the title?

Yup, penis cake pops!  My friend had her bachelorette party this past weekend and these were part of the favor bags.  They were a hit!

I used this handy dandy mold my friend bought for me.  It's a Blue Balls Penis Ice Cube Tray, yes this is the actual name and you can get it HERE on amazon.  It works great for cake pops because it's the perfect size, made out of a rubber/silicone material so it bends easily to pop the cake out.

For the pops, I used vanilla cake and vanilla frosting.  Mixed it all together like you'd do a normal cake pop and once cooled just stuff them in the mold.

Once I filled the tray I put back in the refrigerator for about half an hour or until they are cool and firm.  If the cakes are cool enough it's pretty easy to pop out. 

See? Are you giggling?  Me too :P I put them back in the fridge and I get my candy ready.  I used hot pink candy melts from Merckens. 

How hot is that?  Use a bowl deep enough to dip these pops since they're longer than the regular cake pops.  I also used the 6 inch lollipop sticks instead of the 4 inch ones I normally use. 


These really are great as favors for bachelorette parties.  They're fun and delicious!

I'm having a special for all my seestars who are getting married!  Email me.


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