Friday, January 14, 2011

I've Moved!

:[ Sorry friends, but I've moved my blog over to Tumblr, I just really like the interface and was able to make a blog more to my liking, please bookmark it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Napoleons, Anyone?

One thing I forgot how much I love doing is sitting on the floor of Borders. scanning as many books at a time as possible. With help from my best friend Michelle, (and patience of the people working there) we turned the whole Baking/Pastry section upside-down :) I came across two books, One i'll save for another post....The other is simply titled, "Puff" by Martha Holmberg. This book legitimately holds everything you need to know about puff pastry, and contains everything in it from appetizers to desserts. I know I love puff pastry, but never have made anything from scratch, including the dough. So I went for it... and I can't be anything less than ecstatic with that came out of my mixer and oven :) I'm going to provide the recipe because honestly, these look so stunning and fancy...which they are... but don't let that make you think they are difficult! I'll add some tips at the end that I got first hand when making them.

"Quick Chocolate-Raspberry Napoleons"
from Puff by Martha Holmberg
1 Sheet of Frozen Puff Pastry, Thawed ( I made mine from Scratch, which was pretty easy and also provided in the book! ((I made the quick version))
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar - Plus more for decoration!
3 & 1/2 ounces good quality Semisweet Chocolate (chopped)
2 Cups Whipping Cream
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Pints Fresh Raspberries

1- Heat oven to 425 Degrees. On a lightly floured counter, roll the pastry sheet into a 13x14 Inch Rectangle (edges will be trimmed later). Prick it all over with a fork and half-inch intervals. Slide the Puff Pastry dough on to a baking sheet (preferably flat). Lay a piece of parchment paper on top, and arrange another baking sheet thats big enough to cover the pastry on top to prevent from puffing (Make sure it's perfectly flat). Bake until the pastry is a very deep golden brown, about 15 to twenty minutes. Take the top off the sheet and the parchment paper. Sprinkle 1/2 Cup powdered sugar evenly over the surface. Bake for another 3 to 4 minutes until the pastry is nicely glazed. Carefully, slide to a rack and cool.

2- Combine the Chocolate and 1/3 cup of the whipping cream into a stainless-steel bowl set over a pan of half-full water. Bring the water to a bare simmer and heat until the chocolate melts. Whisk until smooth and glossy (It may look curdled at first), then Whisk in the vanilla and salt. In a Separate bowl, using an electric mixer, Whip the rest of the cream until it forms soft peaks, then whip in 1/2 cup of the chocolate sauce, a little at a time (you will use the rest of the Chocolate as a sauce) Don't over whip the cream or it will get lumpy.

3- With a large chefs knife or Pizza Cutter, trim the pastry into 16 three-inch squares. Place one square sugar side up on a dessert plate, dollop a generous 1/3 cup of chocolate cream on top, nestle in some berries, and top with another pastry square. Just before serving, sprinkle a little more powdered sugar on top and drizzle the remainder of the chocolate sauce over each.

Things I picked up while making: While you are baking your dough, be careful with your oven, even though you aren't supposed to check on things too much while they are in the oven, this was my first time making these and I periodically checked and was glad I did because these babies take a little while to brown but when they do, its really rapid and you don't want to burn too much in the corners (since you are cutting off some edges, after all) Also, I loved how these came out but I think next time I would like a little more texture to the dough so I think I will take the second sheet that is holding the pastry on top, off a couple minutes earlier.
If you have never made the chocolate sauce (similar to a simple ganache) or made homemade whipped cream, I would actually save that for after the pastry is out and cooled, My whipped cream fell a tiny bit because I spent a whole lot of time making sure the dough came out right. Oh, and I made two batches of the chocolate sauce, because I mean, the more the merrier right?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just some cupcakes :)

More Orders, Today I think I wan't to try the art of making the cutest sugar cookies.... hmph.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another Order!

My mind is Christmas dreaming but this week I got an order for Hanukah Cupcakes for someone that was going to a party! Hopefully so many Christmas treats to come but with the fact that it's Christmas time, (and my 21st Birthday is around the corner ;) ) I am at the toy store I work at way to much!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I needed to announce it.

11/11/2010 : I made my first order!

So this is what I've been up to. I have another order already :0]....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes!

It was an icky rainy day yesterday so Michelle and I decided that cupcakes were a good idea, and I also got this really cute witch cupcake holder with little feet that I was dying to use. We went to the store and probably spent only about fifteen dollars to make all of these, i'm not going to lie I made box mix for these (how un-pastry like of me) but I was just in the mood to decorate and I am totally broke ;). Anyway, these are easy! make them! I basically just tried to make up original ideas but most of them have already been done....which doesn't make a difference, they were so fun!

Strategic Sprinkling
Takes time but always looks amazing
All of our buddies
Fangs out of Fruit Slice, icing, and sprinkles

The cutest monster in all the land
Little bat baby, we used those wafers for a lot of shapes
Milano gravestone, cookie dirt, food writer, and gummy worm friend.

Witches hats are Oreo ice cream cones iced to a chocolate wafer :)