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Dessert Lounge

Swingin' Sweets In Hi-Fi

Updated: 2014-10-01T00:10:01.773-07:00




I just want to apologize for not visiting the wonderful DB'ers blogs after this last challenge. I'm on vacation and the computer I have is a 1995 and I think a hamster running on a wheel is the power source for the internet. So thanks for the really nice comments and I promise to return to my comments on your blogs as soon as I return to civilization.

Daring Bakers Challenge: Opéra Cake


This months challenge was a total disaster. Total. During the making of the cake my flavor combo's were off resulting in a bland boring taste, I for some stupid reason cut the cake into individual pieces before icing!

Where was my brain? Not in the kitchen that is for sure. First complete failure of a challenge and it was too time consuming and ingredient requiring to repeat. Can't wait to see how the other DB'ers did!


Daring Bakers Challenge: Cheesecake Pops from Jill O’Connor


Cheesecake pop coated in dark chocolate and pink sea salt. My favorite combo!Cheesecake pops. Just the title alone made my mouth water. I'm not a fan of cheesecake slices that are thicker than the dictionary so these sounded right up my alley. I love just a few bites of cheesecake and that's exactly what these are! Joy!The recipe is from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. It's a simple recipe with a creative twist in how it's presented and I really loved being able to try out a bunch of different toppings.The only issue I had while making them was the freezer space. I did not have enough space to freeze all 3o pops before dipping them in chocolate and other yummy items so I just had to hope they would get cold enough in the fridge and work really fast. So in the end they didn't turn out a pretty as I'd like, but the taste is incredible. I thought the cheesecake was so creamy and good that when paired with a dark chocolate coating and sea salt I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.My second favorite combination was the dark chocolate and rosemary. Yum!I used dark chocolate for the coating and did batches of just chocolate, graham cracker crust, pink sea salt, rosemary, cayenne pepper and basil. My absolute favorite was the chocolate and pink sea salt, then the rosemary and then the graham cracker and then the chocolate and then the cayenne. The basil was terrible. Maybe if I had used fresh it would have turned out better, next time.This is a wonderful recipe to have made up and in the freezer for when friends come over for dinner and you don't have time to make a dessert. Just pull them out of the freezer and throw them in the fridge for an hour and you've got yourself one killer dessert. I actually tried this and they thawed beautifully.A big thanks to Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah from Taste and Tellfor a great delicious and very rich dessert! Will be stocking this in the freezer! I love the DB'ers![...]

Daring Bakers Challenge: Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake



I loved this cake! I've been in a total rush this past month and for the first time put off making the DB challenge until the last minute and it came together beautifully. The flavors I think are perfect for spring and summer. It is light and the lemon flavor is wonderful. I used raspberry seedless jam for the filling and thought it went really well with the lemon and buttermilk.

I didn't do my best with the layers and didn't do anything fancy with the icing, but all that said, my family devoured it. Notice my son in the background waiting to get a taste.

I think next time I wouldn't put the buttercream in the layers, I would just have the jam.

A super big thank you to Morven from Food Art And Random Thoughts for this challenge!

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Daring Bakers Challenge: Julia Child's French Bread


Ahhhh! Are you kidding me? French bread? In my crappy oven? And by the one and only Julia Child? And the recipe is a minimum of 13 pages long? Yes. And I did it. And it was really good and easy actually.The only real problem I had was when I was supposed to pat out the dough into the 8 x 10 inch oval to begin shaping. My dough kept retracting and wouldn't stay in place. Too gluten-y? I was a bit rough, even though Julia told me not to, but there was no other way, even after resting it and keeping my fingers crossed.I made two batards and then with the third, I used kitchen shears ,which were pretty sharp, and cut into the dough and them moved it to the sides to create an epis style bread. It actually came out pretty well. The picture above had already been eaten some, thus the missing two epis.(This isn't me. My arms are nowhere near this hairy. I boosted it off the internet to show you how I did it.)The crust was decent, not the best but amazing that it came out of my oven, and I didn't take the step to make the simulated bakers oven. I just couldn't handle it. I just painted water on the surface and sprayed the oven with a mister.This was the most amazing challenge ever. I want to thank Breadchick Mary from The Sour Dough and Sara from I Like to Cook because this is exactly why Daring Bakers is so awesome.Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could do this. Thank you DB and I can't wait for the next challenge.Check out the other DB'ers and their amazing French Bread creations.[...]

Kir Royale Cupcake


For this month's Cupcake Hero, the challenge was liquor. Well, my favorite drink is the golden bubbly Champagne and so I tweaked it, added some Creme de Cassis for a Kir Royale Cupcake.

The cake is a beautiful genoise, flavored with the Kir Royale combo and then a simple easy glaze. The small Sofia Coppola sparkling wine cans are perfect for this recipe. You can buy two singles, use up one and a half and have a sip for the chef. It's not great tasting, but it's good enough and I didn't have to crack open my special bottle of Veuve.

I took them to a debate watching party and they were devoured, so I declare them a success.


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Daring Bakers Challenge: Lemon Meringue Pie


This month's challenge came from Jen over at The Canadian Baker. And she picked the perfect dessert for the post holiday sweet overload. A tangy lemon meringue pie from "Wanda's Pie In The Sky," by Wanda Beaver. Yum. I decided to go with the free form tartlettes so we could savor the deliciousness over the week but Xander had other plans.

During the photo shoot he decided that I needed to be paying attention to him and not some dumb mini tarts and he tried to grab for one, resulting in this.

At least we got to eat two the night before and of course we had two more in the ice box so all was not lost.

Thanks for the great challenge Jen!

What's next?

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Damn Good Brownies


One of the most classic simple sweets out there but finding a good brownie is hard. They can be too cakey or too moist making it taste like it wasn't cooked long enough.

This recipe is not only rich and chocolaty but the texture is smooth and melts in your mouth.

Stay sweet!

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The Girl Scout Cupcake


It's time again for Quirky Cupcake's: Cupcake Hero. This month the challenge is MINT and as her guest judge she invited Natalie of Bake and Destroy to put her palate to the test. At first I got really excited. Laurie's post was so full of sugary goodness. I started brainstorming right away. Then I thought of the perfect cupcake. Or at least I thought it was. I was making some High Hat Cupcakes for a friend in what I called the Trailer Trash Cupcake War (it's a long story and I won, at least I think I did) and I think High Hats are probably the best cupcake ever and why not add mint! Perfect.I made up a batch of HH's and pulled a few aside for the Mint High Hat. I decided to flavor and color the marshmallow filling but mint is strong and so maybe just half should be flavored and colored. I took a cup of the marshmallow filling and used pink food gel coloring. It started to look like Pepto. Not so nice but maybe it will taste good. I added some peppermint oil. It held together. I tasted it. It tasted like Pepto! Gross. I then decided to finish the experiment because maybe adding the cake and chocolate coating would affect the overall taste. Nope. I give you the Pepto Cupcake. Yum.It looks pretty, but don't be fooled!But this post is titled "The Girl Scout Cupcake." I was so unsatisfied that I tried again. This time I threw out the idea of using the High Hat. The High Hat is perfect the way it is and didn't like being fooled around with.So after thinking about what mint things I enjoy I thought of the Thin Mint. That small little cookie that's so addictive. I researched different recipes and threw together, The Girl Scout Cupcake.The filling is so creamy and smooth and just the right amount of peppermint flavor. It's clean and not too overpowering. The cake is a good dark chocolate. Simple and trustworthy. And the chocolate ganache frosting, classic. I used some of the peppermint filling, colored it green and piped on the top.I was so surprised by how delicious this tasted. After eating one I thought about how good it was all day. My mom loved them and even my babysitter, who never eats sweets, ate an entire cupcake. I call that a success.[...]

Daring Bakers Challenge: Yule Log


The second Daring Bakers Challenge completed!Challenge: Yule LogThis recipe came from Ivonne from Cream Puffs in Venice and Lis from La Mia Cucina, the founders of Daring Bakers.Brandy Alexander Yule LogIt's log, it's log, it's sweet, it's creamy, not wood.It's log, it's log, it's better than bad, it's good.Everyone wants a log.Come on and get your log.You're going to love your log.Yule Log, a holiday treat.Gnome sold separately.The original Log from Ren and Stimpy.I was really scared going into this challenge after reading some of the horror stories surrounding breaking buttercream that looked like nasty oatmeal. But everything came out with no surprises. Thank goodness as I don't think I have it in me to try this one a second time in one holiday season.The wonderful old-timey drink, the Brandy Alexander, was my inspiration for the flavor combination. I left the genoise plain, filled it with sweetened (sugar ) whipped cream, spiked with Godiva liqueur and nutmeg, the coffee buttercream used brandy so I added about a cup or more of melted chocolate. For the garnish I candied some rosemary and made the meringue mushrooms (I dipped the bottoms in chocolate and used the chocolate to hold the stems on) and there you have it, the Brandy Alexander Yule Log. And it was delicious.Please forgive the bad flashy picture. It was late and dark.The idea of putting the gnome in the photo came from one of my favorite artists ever, minimiam, the team made up of Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle.Tarte ImposeéYou don't really get the feel of these photos so small but you get the basic idea. They make these tiny people and place them in stories on food or food related objects. Please check out their work. It's so whimsical and foodie and fantastic.This was the second hardest cake I've ever made. I was an amazing experience and I surprised myself which is what Daring Bakers is all about. Viva la Daring Bakers!Check out all the other Daring Bakers.[...]

Homemade Doggie Treats


With all the four-legged children out there I just had to try to make something special for them.

I thought I had a dog bone and a cat cookie cutter, but I didn't and I had that small nap time window to make them up. So the little man, mailman if you will, was the cutter choice.

I hope they enjoy the treats and if they don't something is seriously wrong as I've seen my parents dogs eat things that no one should ever put in their mouth.

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Cinnamon Palmiers


For my holiday baking this year I made up a batch of Cinnamon Palmiers from Gourmet Magazine December 2007.

I was pressed for time and used store bought puff pastry. I cheated! I know but what can I do when a 1 year old is constantly pulling down my pants. Seriously. And he leaves toy landmines around the kitchen just waiting for me to step on and drop the hot cookie sheet so he can eat the delicious sugary treat.

The store bought cheat worked out beautifully but next time I'm making them all from scratch as puff pastry is easy, just time consuming.

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Secret Santa Seasoned Eatings


What can I say. The internet is a wonderful invention. I'm meeting so many interesting and amazing cooks, bakers and foodies. Of course I don't know the Boo Radley neighbor who lives next door to me, but what the hey.Lindsay over at Country Girl City Living and Katie over at Tyme for Cooking came up with a brilliant idea for foodies. A Secret Santa Spice Exchange called Seasoned Eatings. You got the name of another food blogger and had to send a spice/seasoning that summed up your cooking or your region, a recipe and maybe a short story. Wonderful!I threw my hat in the ring and waited. I sent off my package of all things migas to Lisa in Seoul and hoped it would get there in one piece.During Xander's first birthday party and his freak out, a package, from Alaska!, arrived at the door. After all the guests had left, I opened it and look what was inside!The smell was overwhelming and exciting. It was from Laurie of Tastes Like Home - Mediterranean Cooking In Alaska. I unwrapped the tissue paper and was delighted to find:Handmade sheep cheese (look at the fine lines from the basket it was made in) and wild Greek oregano (hand-picked in Greece).I couldn't wait so I sliced the cheese, drizzled a little olive oil on top and sprinkled with oregano.The flavor was strong and rustic. Salty and rich. Delicious. I started imagining all the dishes I could use the cheese on and then my husband said, "But when are you going to make this chicken recipe? That's what I want."So I nibbled on cheese and made up the delicious Kotopoulo Riganato or Oregano Chicken. My house smelled so incredible and not like my house at all. It's wonderful what cooking with new spices can do. I loved the smell and couldn't wait to taste it.Because I've been running around like crazy I misread the recipe and bought chicken breasts. The recipe calls for a chicken cut up but it worked with the breasts. I do have to say a whole chicken with skin would have been much nicer but that's for next time. This recipe was delicious and tangy and moist. I used Yukon Gold potatoes and served it with a side salad and greek yogurt. Heaven.Thank you Lindsay and Katie for the Seasoned Eatings Secret Santa Challenge and a big thank you to Laurie for the beautiful cheese and oregano and recipe that I will for sure make again...and again and again.[...]

Gran's Christmas Fudge


This is probably the recipe and food that most reminds me of the holidays. Every Christmas my Gran would make up this large batch of sinful sweets and the only problem was trying not to eat all of it before leaving some out for Santa and his reindeer.

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Happy Holidays and have a Sweet New Year!

Xander's First Birthday Cake


It took three days and my pants were pulled down twice by Xander while making it but I think the lion cake turned out beautifully.And it's wasn't just pretty to look at but delicious as well.I turned to the Daring Bakers for help with a recipe and there were some great ideas but I went with Lesley's, from Gourmet or Gourmand, suggestion of Dark Chocolate Cupcakes from America's Test Kitchen.It was a recipe for cupcakes and I made an 8-inch and 10-inch cake. One recipe filled the 8-inch perfectly and I had to make the recipe two times to fill the 10-inch. I also had to adjust the baking times and I think I added 10 minutes to the 8-inch and I can't remember for the 10-inch.But it did come out and I think because it being America's Test Kitchen and they are so incredibly anal (but most of the time their recipes are incredible and worth the effort) that it worked okay for a cake but it turned out a tad dry. I just put a small layer of frosting in the middle and it tasted great.I had to make the icing like 8 times and I just added cocoa to make the dark brown. It was a project. Next time I think making this recipe in the true cupcake form would be best and the vanilla buttercream is out of this world!One pleased 1 year old.[...]

Holy Sprinkles!


I think my birthday has started off on the right foot!

I was named The Cupcake Hero: Cranberry Edition! with my Guiness Gingerbread Cranberry Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I even got a mention on All Things Cupcake! Wow!

When I was reading all the different entries I couldn't believe the creativity. Really amazing and some of them sounded so freakin' good. Ingredients like rum, carrots, vodka, cranberry sauce, champagne...come on, champagne! Killer.

I was pleased to see that my cupcake and two others were called "cupcakelushes" from Tempered Woman the previous winner. It made me laugh out loud for real. I love the word lush.

Check out all the amazing entries here.

I have the biggest dorky grin on my face.

Doc's Apricot Oatmeal Cookies


Happy December!

In honor of my Father-In-Law who first introduced me to these wonderful cookies I present this short video. The cookies aren't quite as good as the ones from the Daily Bread Bakery in West Stockbridge, MA, but they're pretty close!

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Stay sweet!

Guiness Gingerbread Cranberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Another cupcake?! Yes. I know. But I also know that no one can resist the cuteness of the cupcake. Especially me. I've just eaten the photo shoot model and I'm very content.

On to the post!

When I saw that Quirky Cupcake had a November Cupcake Hero Challenge of Cranberry I knew I had to participate.

First I was playing it safe and was going to try a lemon cranberry combo, but that just didn't seem right for the weather even though it's 80 degrees in Austin. I then thought of gingerbread, the perfect fall flavor, and then I found a recipe that had Guiness in it! The Irish in me took over and the experiment was on.

Hubby was skeptical and stood over my shoulder and grunted while I worked on them. I just had a feeling that it would work out and it did! Then the garnish idea was only because I've been wanting to candy fruit for a long time and now was the perfect chance. I threw out the first batch because all the cranberries burst and were mush but the second batch I lowered the heat and pulled them off the stove just as they plumped up. Then I ate a few, okay a lot, while I was rolling them in sugar. One has to test the food, right?

This was so much fun and I'll make them again for sure.

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UPDATE: Guess what? It won! I can't believe it. And I get to put The Cupcake Hero, coolest logo ever, on my blog! And I get a t-shirt. Is Laurie from The Quirky Cupcake a cool chick or what? Check out all the amazing entries here.

Daring Bakers Challenge: Tender Potato Bread


The first Daring Bakers Challenge* completed!Challenge: Tender Potato Bread **This recipe came from Tanna, of My Kitchen in Half Cups.Focaccia with Onions, Parsley and AnchoviesAt first I was totally scared. After looking at the DB Blog Roll, I was shakin' in my boots. There are some damn good food blogs out there. They rival the best foodie magazines!I stuck to my guns and voila, made some beautiful bread. Plus it was really really tasty.I actually made this recipe twice. The first time I made it I forgot to knead the dough the second time which resulted in a slimy blob that kept growing and growing and it threatened to destroy me and the entire city. I killed it, baked it and ate it. It was edible but not great.The second time everything came out perfectly. I increased the potatoes to 16 oz, instead of 8 oz which was suggested for the beginner, and I kneaded it properly. It's amazing how following the directions actually works.I attempted the focaccia and it actually came out beautifully! Amazing. I still cannot believe I made that. I topped it with onions (slow cooked in bacon fat), flat leaf parsley and anchovies. Delicious.The large loaf made amazing toast and sandwich bread. I cannot tell you the feeling that came over me when I watched Xander eat it.The entire experience was so much fun. I can't wait for the next challenge!*Daring Bakers: "Being a Daring Baker is about trying new recipes, techniques and taking risks. It’s reaching just beyond my comfort zone. This is a Daring Baker Challenge, not a contest and not a competition because at its heart and soul is support and sharing the how to of the baking we do." TannaThat quote pretty much sums it up perfectly. It's a great group of food bloggers and after we all bake the same recipe, we all post about it on the same day. Cool huh?* *I know this isn't a dessert, and it's not a video, but some recipes will be desserts from DB, but because this is my food blog, I'm posting my challenge completion posts here. So there.[...]

Happy Thanksgiving!


First off I just want to sing the praises of Powerhouse Animation for the new opening they put together for me. It rocks!

Another cupcake recipe, but it's a great one. Nice pumpkin flavor and super moist. A friend once said that the cupcake is the perfect serving size. Normally I would agree, but for this recipe, I would have to say two.

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Want the music? Click HERE.

Happy High Hat Halloween!


These are the scariest cupcakes you'll ever come across. Scary good that is. So scary because you'll find yourself eating more than you wanted, loving every minute and not caring about the calories. See, I told you , scary.

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Note: For some reason I used a topping/filling recipe in the video that doesn't match the recipe I had in my recipe collection. Weird. But I just made these again yesterday with the recipe in the widget and they came out beautifully.

Want the music? Click HERE.

Happy Halloween and stay sweet!

Once upon a time...


I made a short film of myself making banana bread. I set it to lounge goddess, Eartha Kitt's music, and people liked it. Well, my husband liked it. He told me to make some more and so I am.

First you'll find the video and then you'll find the recipe widget.

Here's the beginning. Stay tuned for more and better.

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Want the music? Click HERE.