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Preview: My Cake Wardrobe

My Cake Wardrobe





Updated: 2012-12-03T14:17:15.208-05:00

 



Cookie Jar Gifts

2009-12-19T21:11:07.551-05:00

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"A hug is a great gift - one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange."

While this is true, simple butter cookies are a great gift to make in bulk for all your friends when prettily packaged. The hardest part was carrying 12 jars in a box four avenues and five blocks!

To decorate the jar, this Illustrator queen printed out 12- 10 1/2 x 1 3/4" labels for the 16 oz jar with my own print and a quote around it. Then I created a separate label to note the occasion to place on top. I wrapped the lid with twine and tied it into a bow to give it the final touch.

To get the cookies almost perfectly stacked without jiggling in the jar, I used icing to hold them together.

Happy Holidays everyone!



Outfit of the Day

2009-10-29T15:54:24.100-04:00

(image) (image) Top from HK, Wolford tights, F21 belt, Mia ankle boots, both Jcrew necklaces

An outfit to match the weather.
Going to Paris next month... I would like some restaurant recommendations!!



Outfit of the Day

2009-10-26T11:46:35.185-04:00

(image) Jcrew bow cardigan, Jcrew tissue tee, F21 zip up skirt, Zara leggings, Vivienne Westwood x Melissa shoes.

I had Jcrew ballet flats on yesterday on our food adventure. My dad asked me why I wasn't wearing heels. LOL



Taking New Direction

2009-10-01T14:12:38.521-04:00

(image) Banana Republic Jacket, H&M top, Jcrew Ankle Cords, Jcrew Necklace, Forever 21 belt, Mia boots, Sephora by Opi Polish in Domestic Goddess

While my own site is still in a year long construction, I am doing what I truly wanted to do - combine fashion and cakes into one blog.

Fall is my favorite season. The stores are so exciting to step into! Boots, jackets, accessories, oh my! The silhouettes are much prettier and sophisticated as opposed to summer comfort dressing. (Not that you can't look chic during hot days) The options we have for Fall are so much more exciting though!



My Memorial Day BBQ Cupcakes

2009-06-18T17:28:45.114-04:00

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I designed my own dot com on Illustrator back in September. The designing was a cinch. It took me two weeks to fiddle with the visuals and graphics and 10 months to get someone to bring it to life. A little patience goes a long way in getting the right person to do it. I finally found someone who thinks this will take him less than a month to put it together and says its EASY.

Hopefully, my next post will be on my new site!

These cupcakes were made for various Memorial Day weekend BBQ's. I molded the chocolate onto molding pans. It was so hot in my apt, that they were sweating out of the fridge. I filled the center of the top of the cupcake with cream cheese buttercream with a large star tip and piped around the edges with a small shell tip. It was a challenge since I had to keep refrigerating the buttercream every 5 min! But only 2 tips required to lure even Marie Antoinette!



Sees Easter Candy Cakes and Cupcakes

2009-04-01T16:16:38.905-04:00

About a month ago, I was contacted by Sees Candies based in San Francisco, California to create an Easter project using Sees special Easter candies. Not knowing what the parameters of the project were, I conjured up this grand master plan overnight with my friend over at EATMEOUTTAHERE. We decided to create something easy for the lazy baker who wanted to bring something showstopping to Spring or Easter parties.My friend here at EATMEOUTTAHERE and I met through this very same spot - the blogging world, just days under a year ago. We discovered what a small world it was when we found out that we had mutual friends. Not long after daily food conversations and getting each other into addictions, we became real life friends. I asked her to collaborate with me on this project because she is really just an amazing person with a warm, fuzzy heart. This was a perfect partnership. She has an excellent pastry background while I am trained to design.So here we were, on a chilly New York Saturday morning, just a few days after the official start of the Spring season. The grass in her back yard is still a little crisp brown from the Winter season, but almost eager to turn green for the start of Spring. We unpacked the box of candies from Sees. We received Easter Puppet Canes, Chocolate Butter Eggs, Springtime Truffles, Jelly Bird Eggs, Milk_Chocolate_Eggs, Molasses Chips, See’s Toffee-ettes®, See’s Almond Royal®, and Hollow Eggs with a White Chocolate Baby Chick!I remember when I was a little girl, my grandmother would buy me these lovely Easter hats, dresses and mary janes. After Easter Sunday service, we would get painted hardboiled eggs that lay a-top lots of stacked thin paper zigzagged to look like grass or birdsnest. Well, we didn't use paper. We dyed some coconut flakes green and toasted the other half. We also crushed Toffee-ettes and mixed it into the buttercream to fill the cake. And you see, the rest is all up to your decorating liking. We used all Sees Easter candies for decoration. They add so much life and color to any cake or cupcake that you don't know how to spruce up. The arrangement is all up to you! No matter how it is composed, the colors and taste will really make your dessert party dish a hit!Visit http://www.sees.com to get your Easter Goodies. Even if they aren't for Easter, you can get other items to incorporate into your cakes or cupcakes as fillings and toppings! [...]



Chinese Fortune Cake (Fatt Goh)

2009-03-03T12:02:17.202-05:00

The other day, I called my mom to ask her if she or any of her friends knew a good fatt goh recipe. Every Chinese New Year, I get goodies from the Joy Luck Club such as pieces of Chinese New Year cake, taro cakes, steamed white sweet cakes, turnip cakes, and so on and so forth. She replied saying to me that no one ever makes fatt goh's anymore. They just buy them.I never buy such things from the Chinese market becauseThe canary bird color really scares me or whatever funky 80's colors they come in.They never taste the same as the way my dad used to make them (he misplaced the passed down recipe)Chinese old ladies in New York are rude as hell. Chinese New Year mean 1000 times more of them at the grocery store.It was really hard to find recipes for Chinese fortune cakes via Google. It was like digging for one specific word in a 500 page book. I called my dad to ask him to think REALLY hard about how he used to make them. Every Chinese New Year, while my mother made fancy dishes like pig's knuckles, whole steamed fish, whole chicken, and vermicelli with 8 treasures, my dad would be playing around in front of the steamer with his PJ's still on. In the morning, my mom would be preparing for "tuen neen fan," where our family would gather on the eve for dinner, while my dad was making fatt goh's for me and my brother for breakfast. My dad told me what the basic ingredients were and how the consistency should be. Simple! Fresh rice flour, light brown sugar, water and baking powder in a watery batter. I just had to find a base recipe close enough to adjust the proportions of each ingredient. After making them a couple of times, I finally got them to split into 3-4 corners. And boy, do they remind me of my Chinese New Year's at home in New Jersey with my family. Chinese Fortune Cake (Fatt Goh)makes 12 cakes380 gr rice flour* (see note below)230 gr dark brown sugar (light brown sugar is ok too)1 1/2 cups water1 tablespoon baking powderPlace a wire steaming rack in a wok with water filled only to the height of the steaming rack.Bring the water to a boil over high heat.Heat the brown sugar with water in a medium pot over medium/low heat just until the sugar dissolves, mixing frequently. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes and mix rice flour and baking powder into the pot. Fill the batter to the top of a glass teacup or a cupcake pan. Do not use paper baking cups or they will spread outwardly instead of pushing the batter up to split.Set the cakes on a glass plate (if using glass teacups) and carefully put into the wok or steamer. Put the lid on and steam for 25 minutes.*Fresh rice flour could be bought at Chinese specialty stores. It's called jeen mai fun. There is a dingy store, Fong Inn Too on the east side of Mott St between Bayard and Pell that sells fresh Tofu pudding and all sorts of other things. They sell fresh rice flour there.If you can't find the fresh one, it is fine. You can also buy the packaged ones sold at every Chinese supermarket. It usually comes in this not so neatly package where your hands (and clothes and everything else) get all gross and floury by the time you walk out of the store. It's a clear bag that has red printing on it. It says rice flour on the package in English. [...]



I Heart Coconut and Pandan Agar Agar

2009-02-11T11:25:36.350-05:00

When I was in kindergarten, I remember winning an award for having the best penmanship. Til this day, I write microscopically. My handwriting is very controlled because of the instruments I use. I like writing with regular Bic pens rather than fancy ball point pens. Bic pens have a slower grip onto paper, while ball point pens are smoother and have less control on paper.You must be wondering what any of this has to do with the recipe on this post. Well, agar-agar is to Bic pens as jello is to ball point pens. Agar-agar is one stiff jello. I am familiar with it only by eating Vietnamese rainbow ice. It's like a crunchier version of jello and usually less sweet. I used a Nordicware mini cake pan as molds for these cute little jellos and unmolding was a cinch. Because they were so stiff, I was able to use a tiny steak knife and poke it out without any visible imperfections.Marinating the pandan leaves with coconut cream was delightful! I couldn't keep my nose out of the pot. Once the mixture is poured into the molds they begin to harden up immedietely without refrigeration.Coconut Cream and Pandan Agar-AgarRecipe found hereIngredients: 400 ml coconut milk (preferably coconut cream)400 ml water100 gm sugar4 tsp agar-agar powderPinch of saltPandan Method:1. Combine all ingredients in a pot & bring to a slow boil.2. Remove from heat; add a little coloring & pour into mold. Chill before serving.Next time, I think I will add some fruit into them! [...]



Christmas Goody Bags - Filled with cookies!

2008-12-29T16:17:04.064-05:00

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One of the most wonderful things about New York City is the holiday season. I have seen the Rockefeller Tree about 3 times this month. Despite the overload of tourists in that tiny area, seeing the gigantic tree with it's shimmering lights makes me forget that I want to run slow tourists over with a car. Right across the street from the tree are the Saks windows. They are my favorite this year! It is based on a children's story book called "A Flake Like Mike."

"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty: and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind."

"Snowflake" Bentley,
Photographer, 1925


My first set of goody bags actually represented the snowflakes in the windows. Due to lack of time, I made simply decorated gingerbread cookies with a little sparkle.

Christmas Goody Bag Ingredients:
  • 4" wide - by - 9" long clear bag (I bought a pack of 100 for $10)
  • 1/4 sheet of tissue paper
  • Happy Holidays Label (I designed and printed it out myself) 4" -by- 4" scored in the middle to help it fold easily
  • One 4"-by- 6" Recipe card ( I used the same theme and colors as the label)
  • One 4" -by- 4" Quote card (I used the same theme and colors as the label)
  • One menu card 1 1/2" - by - 2 1/2"
  • Walnut Cookies
  • Apricot Thumbprint Cookies
  • Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies

The reaction my friends and family made were completely worth the effort.



Winners!

2008-11-03T12:42:44.323-05:00

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Last Thursday, I got my "The Sweet Spot" book by signed Pichet Ong! He wrote a cute message inside saying "Please remember the key to greater happiness is to bake lots! And eat lots more!" Bon Appetit magazine hosted a pop up cafeteria in midtown Manhattan for 2 weeks. Pichet Ong did a demonstration and a book signing on that particular day. I am not the type to buy a completely new book just for him to sign. So I brought my sticky, flour crusted, tabbed in five million pages book like a nerd. Upon bringing the book to him, he said "I see you make good use of this book!"

The winners of the book contest from my last post are...
drumroll please....

1.) Aimee from Under the High Chair
2.) Honeyb from The Lifes and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch
3.) Jules from Domestic Goddess in Training



Congratulations on the winners. Please email me your address at JennieM59@gmail.com



A Lifetime Crush on PINK and A GIVEAWAY BOOK CONTEST!

2008-10-24T13:44:40.964-04:00

I write about my grandmother often because I find my self a lot like her - her love of jewels, her love of make up, clothes, perfume, nail polish and everything pretty. I remember a few winters ago, she led me to her attic to bring some storage back to life. Her closet that leads to the staircase is lined with outdated mink coats. Your socks feel slippery while climbing up the shiny wooden steps that still seem new. While you duck around the shallow height of the space, you see halls of clothes in plastic garment bags still hanging there from when I was just a baby. Some of my baby dresses were handmade by friends; most of them were bought by my grandmother. She dressed me up like a little doll up until I was eight or so. I wore laced ruffle socks with mary janes, white satin dresses with pink satin bows and Easter hats with pink flowers. We laughed about how she used to spoil me with clothes. Then we went over the dresses examining the intricate details and construction. There were layers of tulle in every dress!I think one of the things that influences my food styling are my memories of what I used to wear and the pink bubble that my grandmother placed me in. Pink was always my color. I don't know if it's because it brightens my skin tone or that it played a significant part in my childhood but my eyesite tends to gravitate towards anything in that color. This cupcake dressing, the "tutu" frosting, pink heart confetti and romantic florals styled with the Heatherette Mac eyeshadow trio sort of defines the things that I still love from past memories influenced by someone I find myself to be so much alike.Starring Coconut Buttercream Frosted Cupcakes Book Giveaway Contest!! The publisher of Confetti Cakes for Kids has kindly sent me copies of Elisa Strauss' book after having been to my site. This wonderful book is filled with step by step pictures on decorating and assembling techniques for cookies, cupcakes and even cakes. It is filled with ideas you can use for your next birthday or holiday party. If you want to learn what I've created, this book will guide you on your way to impress family and friends with sweets! It allows you to understand the basic concepts in creating desserts so that you are free to be creative. I would like to share these copies with 3 lucky people! For a chance to win, simply write a comment to this post and three of you will win with a lucky draw! Winners will be announced in my next entry.Now on to the recipe..Coconut Buttercream Frosted CupcakeSee Coconut Buttercream Frosted Cupcake on Key Ingredient. [...]



My Version of Apple Pie

2008-10-21T14:38:39.445-04:00

(featured on Foodie Views of the Day)Ever since I was a little girl, my family and friends would have apple picking trips. It was a yearly September tradition. We were so into it, that someone even had an apple picking pole that had a hook attached to the top. This pole would be able to reach for the top of the tree, which is thought to hold the sweetest apples. I remember picking apples from the bottom of the tree because I was the shortest one. I would rub them against my shirt to get them as clean and shiny as I could and take a big, crunchy bite into it. By the end of the day, each family would have at least 5 bushels to pack into the van.The same night, while my mother was busy sharing our hand-picked treasures with her friends around town, my daddy would be at the stove making apple pie. I would sit in the kitchen embracing the warm and spicy fragrances with both elbows on our wooden table patiently waiting. My dad had a funny way of eating apple pie. He always said that he hated fork chasing food. So his way of eating apple pie was to put it in a cup and top it with Haagan Daaz Vanilla ice cream. This way, the apples and crust wouldn't run off the edges of the plate. Apple pie in a cup was the perfect idea! All the flavors, spices and contrasting temperatures would be contained into a cup, the same way it perfectly syncronized in our mouths.My dad never believed in recipes. He follows his nose and his tastebuds. I did the same with this one remembering how he used to cook those apples. I saw a couple of green apples laying on the table this morning. Naturally, I would be craving apple pie all day. I didn't stop by a grocery store on the way home. You really don't need to because there is little that goes into it.I was going to make pâte sucrée as a base for the apple tartlets, but since my roomate drinks eggs, I didn't have even one left! I had mixed the flour and confectioners sugar together already but decided to substitute the egg with creme fraiche instead. You can use sour cream if you can't find creme fraiche.Mini Apple TartletsThis recipe reminds me of how my dad used to ...See Mini Apple Tartlets on Key Ingredient.J'adoreeee Paris! Every hour before midnight at our friends place in Paris, I would run out to the balcony to watch the shimmering blue lights. It was a spectacular view from le 16th arrondissement! [...]



Sugar and Sweet Cookies

2008-08-13T00:50:55.036-04:00

When I was designing girls clothing at my first job, my number one inspiration was a delightful little girl, Megan. She was 6 then. I was close to her since the day she was born. I remember feeding her bottles of milk, rocking her to sleep in my arms, then laying down next to her tiny, curled up body. When she grew up and I had just graduated college, I was always blinging up all my denim bottoms with her in mind. I used pink heart shaped rhinestones as waistband buttons. Then I'd go to the store to purchase my designs and be excited to dress her up like my little Barbie doll.Just last week, I discovered that she had an AIM screen name. I kept bugging her with "Hi's, I love you's, muah muah, and I miss you's" She's 8 now and brighter than ever. Signing on and off, all busy, she left me that day telling me that she was having a "GNO with her friend Natalie." I'm like, Megan, what's a GNO? She defined the acronym as a girls night out as if, duh! Boy, did I feel old and like a doofus!Before you know it, I made plans to take her to the Central Park zoo. We watched the sea lion show. And she took photos of all the action at the zoo with her very own pink Sony digital camera. Her parents gave her $40 to spend. Being the sweetest and the most behaved little girl you'll ever meet, she took that money to buy her parents and her older brother souvenirs before she thought about spending any of it on herself. After our day spent, I told her we'd come back to make cookies. Being super helpful, she helped me add ingredients and decorate.Always my little princess.Sugar CookiesThe world's sweetest and easiest cookieSee Sugar Cookies on Key Ingredient. [...]



I'm #2, the hottest player in the MLB!

2008-08-10T13:34:22.909-04:00

A few weeks ago, my friend asked me to make something for her boyfriend's birthday.I replied, "Any theme?"She said, "Manchester United or Yankees"After a few email exchanges, we came up with a plan that would include all 22 people invited to form 2 baseball teams. A cupcake subway series. The Yankees and the Mets. Of course, the Yankees dominated.This included 44 t-shirts, 22 Nilla wafers as heads and 3 batches of royal icing. The night before the dinner party, I thought it would be genius to have some friends, including food.out and the shitty chef together to help decorate friend's faces. We "glued" named jerseys back to back on a popsicle stick and royal icing held the heads up. I couldn't find longer flat sticks so every person looks like they have a little scarf on.It was a success! Birthday boy was speechless. [...]



Play Dress Up with Sablés

2008-07-24T19:11:07.839-04:00

My paternal grandmother is ultra feminine. I remember as a child, I would love sitting in her bedroom studying the rows of Chanel perfume, jewelry boxes and nail polish lined up on her vanity. If she didn't have make up on, she refused to go out or let anyone visit her. If she happened to be sick and her face was swollen, she wouldn't let our family friend's drop off care packages. She always needs to look presentable when seeing people. She's the most well-kept older woman I know. She dresses very modern and classic but very adorned. I must get that girly trait from her.As I get older (and much wiser), I'm realizing that the trendy pieces in my wardrobe are disposable. They sit shoved in the back of my wardrobe all crunched up and collect new dust every season. I'm definitely not your plain jane when it comes to dress, but I've been shopping for good quality classic pieces and less of the items that come and go.Accessories are less expensive, yet they can transform a look that can start from matronly to hot. So even if I'm spending a little more on a black cardigan, I can dress it up with girly toys. If you haven't noticed, a lot of my photos feature colorful accessories that I own. If a cookie looked great next to a shoe, I'd photograph it together!If you're wondering how in the heck this has anything to do with sablés, honestly, I needed to redeem myself from last nights awful photos. Cookies are the easiest ways to dress up. They don't melt and they are easy to make. They're classic! You can twist and color them anyway you want when you find a great recipe! You take a basic shape and you give it a new life.SablésSablés are perfect for dressing up when you don't ...See Sablés on Key Ingredient. Cake Wardrobw wants to know: What is YOUR style? ( surveys) [...]



Wildflower Honey Semifreddo

2008-07-24T09:51:25.209-04:00

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I was just commenting on the fact that I never have refrigerator room. I have 15 dozen eggs in my fridge that come and go every 2 weeks, a 24 pack case of Vitamin Water, and 2 cases of yogurt hogging 98% my refrigerator space. In my freezer - the big ice cream maker bowl, 12 packs of chicken breasts and a huge box of Good Humor ice cream bars, among other saved food items.

A walk-in freezer would be a good idea in order to store my frozen goodies and to photograph them in. I find that the most frustrating thing to photograph is anything that melts; especially this one. At least ice cream is usually tightly contained in and you never really notice the soupy bottoms in the photographs unless you've photographed it before and look for it.

I ended up using my very first photograph, even though I'm still not satisfied with it. I actually changed the plating after a few shots of this one and it was disastrous to say the least. I didn't even have time to play with the focus. I don't know if I'm angry with myself or the semifreddo itself. I guess I'll just have to slurp up the soup to make me happy for now.

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Wildflower-Honey Semifreddo with Honey Sesame Wafers

A delicate and smooth dessert that will surely send you ...

See Wildflower-Honey Semifreddo with Honey Sesame Wafers on Key Ingredient.




Strawberry Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote

2008-07-21T14:57:01.953-04:00

A lot of my high-er end fashion memories spring from school. Those were the days our Vogues were studied to the point where half the magazine was tabbed or ripped out for inspiration. Mood Fabrics and M&J Trimmings in the Garment District were considered our library. It was there that we were encouraged to learn about and buy beautiful "butter" fabrics - like silk chiffons, georgettes, and duchess satins. We were criticized if we used cheap looking fabrics in our projects. "Would you want this hideousness against your skin?"It was like Jello and Panna Cotta. Almost every time panna cotta is on my dessert menu after dinner, that's most likely the thing I would order. I love the light, silky texture that floats in my mouth after a meal. After you've had that, Jello just tastes like pleather.Strawberry Panna Cottas with Strawberry CompoteIf you've never tasted silk, you will have your ...See Strawberry Panna Cottas with Strawberry Compote on Key Ingredient. [...]



Rose Scented Shortbread Cookies

2008-07-11T14:08:52.093-04:00

This may sound silly, but there's one application on Facebook that describes me accurately. It's the "Which Disney Character are you?""I'm Ariel.You are the adventurous princess. Although set into a life of luxury and wealth, you crave the unknown. Learning new things is an integral part of your nature. You have the extraordinary ability of meeting new people without having any preconceived biases. You know what you want and you are willing to take the risk to get it. You're Ariel!"Ok, so the part about being set into a life of luxury and wealth is not true, but I am naturally curious about everything. I may be bratty at times, but I don't judge before I meet. And if I'm extra inquisitive about something, I will do anything to jam in that extra knowledge.As an extra special friend has once told me, "extra wrinkles in your brain don't hurt."My regular grocery spots are Whole Foods, HK Supermarket, Han Au Reum, and Met grocery. I've never expanded myself with food culturally. Being inspired by all the food blogs that make the world seem as one, I was interested in going to a grocery store that was my cultural neighbor - India. I love the taste of spices and curries, but I've never actually thought of trying to make them myself.One afternoon, I Googled Indian food stores in New York. I found Foods of India. I'm the type of person that takes five hours to decide on which shampoo to get at CVS. Just imagine how long it took me to get through this tiny unfamiliar store. I picked up an overload of items, including Rose water and cardamom extract, which was considerably less expensive than I'd find at Whole Foods or at a cake supply store. This ingredient may be pretty well known, but I haven't used it before.I'm a [hopeless] romantic. I have a little secret - I use rosewater on my face because the scent makes me feel dreamy before I go to bed. It's not the same as you use in baked goods obviously. I decided to add a little romance into a classic shortbread cookie that usually has little or no flavor. Just a drop may open your heart and your mind.Rose Scented Shortbread CookiesThe lovely scent of rose will fill your home as ...See Rose Scented Shortbread Cookies on Key Ingredient. [...]



Condensed Milk Cream Puffs

2008-06-13T15:04:16.243-04:00

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When I tabbed this recipe, I had a clear memory of approximately 25 cream puffs sitting on a silver platter topped with chocolate glaze. My dad used to have a friend who'd make these for Christmas every year. Little did I know that I took these cream puffs that we received for granted - dot dot dot- I haven't had one of those cream puffs in I want to say ten years. She was a customer who made these wonderful little puff pastries filled with the perfect combination of sweet, creamy, and airy.

I associate a lot of childhood food memories with my dad. As I've probably mentioned in past entries, my dad molded my taste buds. He was the one who taught me too appreciate textures, flavors and chemistry. When he said these were good, they were extraordinary.

Being that my cravings are spontaneous, and my memories endless, I had a calling to make cream puffs filled with sweetened condensed milk pastry cream.


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Condensed Milk Cream Puffs

Pâte à choux with condensed milk pastry cream. It's ...

See Condensed Milk Cream Puffs on Key Ingredient.




Cheesecake Lollipops

2008-06-11T17:15:23.262-04:00

I've had people ask me why I care so much about how I look. My room in the morning consists of the likes of a pillow fight. Chaotic, blurry, and confusion. If you dare to obstruct my concentration during this moment, "GET OUT!" (JK) I'll want to dress comfortable in my morning coma, but my innate fashion instincts tell me to sharpen up. My wardrobe ends up on my bed and I'm always scurrying out of the house.Call us fashion folks fake for being so exterior driven. I believe that whatever comes from the inside bleeds out. AKA, when you dress down, you look it.This cheesecake pop is the perfect example of what I mean. It can taste lovely (and it does!), but without all that dressing up, it would just be an unattractive yellow blob on a stick that no one will pay attention to. Now, how could you believe in yourself and go far in life looking like that?DRESS UP!Disclaimer: This post is not meant to insult those who are plain Janes - but only to boost the confidence of ones self.Walnut cookie crumb topping, colored confetti sprinkles and multi colored jimmies shown in photos.Cheesecake PopsSee Cheesecake Pops on Key Ingredient. [...]



Bite Sized Lemon Curd Cheesecake

2008-05-19T14:22:36.562-04:00

"Can you make me cheesecake?" This was coming from a 6 year old over the phone. How could I resist!? How many 6 year olds do you know who request for cheesecakes instead of cookies?Cheesecake was the only thing I used to bake. I was famed in my family for it. It was a recipe revised by my dad and I when I was still in high school. Being the handyman he always was, he even designed a way that would be less abusive to my $10 Procter Silex hand held beater from Bradlees (which by the way is still very alive). We used to beat this filling in a Chinese take-out quart container frequently stocked in our bottom cabinets in the house instead of a bowl. My parents are not bakers so we never had mixing bowls. Instead, we'd use big soup bowls. This plan worked. There was no splashing and it was the easiest way to use the beater without tiring my arms so quickly.Since I got my stand mixer back in February, I never made cheesecake. I almost felt guilty using the stand mixer because it was too easy!Graham Cracker Crust1 1/2 cups of crushed graham crackers (preferably in a food processor)5 tablespoons of melted butterPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Line 12 baking cupcakes in a cupcake pan. Combine the crushed graham crackers with melted butter and press into the bottom of each baking cup with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Refrigerate while making the filling.Cheesecake16 oz cream cheese (softened)1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream2/3 cup sugar2 eggs1 teaspoon vanilla extractpinch of salt Lemon Curd(recipe from Joy of Baking)3 large eggs1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small piecesIn a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to a week. Makes 1 1/2 cups (360 ml).In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand held mixer in a large bowl, beat cream cheese in mixer until soft and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time until each is fully incorporated. Add sugar, sour cream, salt and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Fill each cup 3/4 full over the top of crust.Bake for 30 minutes. Let them cool and refrigerate for about 4 hours before removing them from baking cups. Unmold and transfer to a plate. Top with lemon curd. [...]



Classic Cupcakes

2008-05-15T15:35:58.373-04:00

Another Monday night show I admit to watching immediately following GG - The Hills. When Kelly Cutrone of People's Revolution said that if you work here, you're basically selling your soul to the devil, that reminded me of my last couple of jobs. If you ever laughed while watching the Devil Wears Prada, let me tell you, the story is scarily accurate to the ways of the industry. Even Miranda's office was so exact to Anna Wintour's, that she flipped out and rearranged, so I've heard.I'm not an i-banker or a lawyer with 120 hours a week, but I've stayed many late nights and weekends in the office. There were nights where I wouldn't be able to sleep just thinking about work. And there were mornings where I'd jolt up out of bed worrying about production issues. I did this because I was emotionally attached to my work. However, if it's anything I've learned in fashion, it's not how hard working you are that will score you those brownie points. I'm gonna put it bluntly- you really need to *kiss arse. Isn't that just the way of the world. I've seen less than talented people getting hired and wondered how in the hell they even got in the door.I'm not sure how the culinary world works when it comes to *networking, but if I do decide to pursue this route, I hope I can simply make classic desserts with style and that will be that.This is a simple and classic batter that I love.For the cupcakes(recipe from Desserts by the Yard, Sherry Yard)3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 2 cups sugar 6 large eggs, at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup milk1. Make the Cake: Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degreesF. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment. 2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together two times and set aside. 3. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use a large bowl and a hand mixer, and beat together at medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very light and fluffy. Scrape down the paddle or beaters and the sides of the bowl. 4. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. 5. Beating on low speed, add the milk and the flour mixture each in 3 additions, alternating wet and dry ingredients. Beat only until smooth. Fill the cupcake pans 3/4 full. 6. Bake for 30 minutes. To test the cake for doneness, lightly touch the top with a finger - it should spring right b[...]



Coconut Souffle

2008-05-16T14:10:36.769-04:00

Is anyone else addicted to the WB11 show Gossip Girl? 3 Monday nights ago, B was trying to take Nelly Yuki down in a battle of the highest SAT scores. Since when did the SAT high scores jump to 2000? I remember when I was high school, they were 1600! Of course, Nelly Yuki was portrayed as a classic Asian math genius with over-sized thick black glasses who was pretty much unbeatable in the education category. She could have used some help from B as far as an outfit upgrade though! What's with her hanging around B lately?So why do I feel like an Asian math idiot? Aren't we all supposed to be geniuses in math? I blame the fact that I'm in fashion. Practically no one in the fashion industry knows how to do math. Fractions were never my thing. If I need to divide a fraction in five minutes, I'll most likely call someone for an answer. No one told me that I needed a calculator to bake!I was trying to half this recipe since I only had 4 ramekins. All these things are only eaten by me so far, so if I could I would have divided the recipe for one person if I knew how! Well it's a good thing I made 4 anyway - because I ended up eating them all anyway!You're right G, I better start getting recipes measured by weight!Beware - your house will smell lovely as these rise away in the oven!Coconut Souffles(makes 8 servings)1 cup finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk1 cup heavy whipping cream1/2 cup whole milk2 large eggs separated1/4 teaspoon salt3/4 sugar, plus more for sugaring the ramekins1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the ramekins2 teaspoons vanilla extract1 large egg whitePut the coconut, coconut milk, cream, milk, egg yolks, salt, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablesppons sugar, and 1/2 cup of the flour in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. The consistency should be like a very thick batter. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract.Let the coconut mixture cool slightly, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl, pressing on the coconut to extract all the liquid. Set aside to cool completely.Preheat the oven to 425F. Generously butter 8 4-oz ramekins, taking care to butter the rims, and lightly sugar tapping out any excess. Refrigerate the ramekins until you are ready to fill them.Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk until the whites are frothy, then with the machine running, slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Continue whisking until medium peaks form. (When you lift the whisk from the mixture, a peak will form and the very tip of the peak will fall back down.)Whisk the cooled coonut cream until it loosens and has a near liquid consistency. Add all the whites to the cream and fold in very gently until there are just afew white streaks remaining. Sift the remaining 1 tablespoon flour over the mixture and fold in gently until no traces of the flour remain.Divide the batter among the ramekins. Bake until puffed and light golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.I submitted these to the Mansi's Montly Mingle. Check it out! [...]



Happy Mother's Day!

2008-05-05T15:28:50.999-04:00

(image)
My birthday always falls around Mother's Day. I usually have so many birthday events, that I sort of put Mother's Day in the back of my mind. I don't mean to be selfish, but my birthday celebrations run at least one full week and my Blackberry calendar doesn't seem to be big enough.

(Can you imagine what my future wedding will be like?!)

One of my biggest pet peeves is planning last minute. I don't mind spontaneous outings, but when I'm pressed for time, I am not myself. It almost feels like Tetris during the last seconds you're about to lose when it starts getting fast and you're trying to get all the pieces to work with each other to make the lines disappear. Except, I pulled it off and it wasn't Game Over.

I set my alarm for 7am yesterday morning to get some groceries that I didn't have stocked for a cake recipe. I had be out of the house by 10:30am to get to a family lunch celebrating my birthday and Mother's Day. This outing was planned 9 hours before I woke up. The actual day is never good for celebrating because that is the busiest day of the year for the family business. And celebrating after the occasion is never fun. I had no working stand mixer and barely any ingredients left. I baked 2 layers of cake that night and left the filling and decorating for the following morning. Needless to say, it was chaos! My cake looked too short, so I ended up baking another 2 layers. By this time, it was 9:30am. I still had to cool and ice! By the time I got to fondant, it was 10:30. Basically, I rolled out, stamped designs, and covered in 15 minutes and I was out the door.

I almost had one meltdown moment when I couldn't find my offset spatula (and never did) What can I say - people in Fashion work well under time crunches. Just when I thought it was hard to make a cake in 2 hours, I thought back to times when I had to get packages out for production or delivery into the stores would be late!



The First Wedding Cake

2008-04-29T20:33:21.662-04:00

**Warning**
Terrible photos may be blinding
(image) The bride requested a Precious Moments topper. The 300 something flowers are hand molded with Sugar Paste.

(image) Glueing and Sparkling on site with one nice little elf :)

My lack of decent photos of this cake, makes me really regret that I was royal icing on those flowers up til the last minute! Photos over flowers!! These horrible photos are the only thing I have for show for this first wedding cake. They were not taken by me. God knows when or if I'll ever get the photos of the cake from the photographer that night. I was almost tempted to not post because of such TERRIBLE photos but everyone needs to have their first - so this will be my first and last mistake. The red tablecloth, yellow lighting and over sized low table really takes away from a beautiful cake. Just imagine a white ground!

At the beginning of this project, I made a Word formatted checklist table outlining all the supplies I would need to buy, and all the deadlines listed for every night before I went to sleep. Being that this is my first wedding cake ever, I felt like my head was going to explode from all the thoughts that went into constructing this! I was thinking, breathing and sleeping this project!


BTW, my Kitchen Aid mixer broke this past weekend. I was starting buttercream for my cupcakes and all of the sudden, blue sparks started flying out of the back and loud pops emerged. So I am mixer-less (and quite bored) this week until my new one arrives.