Thursday, June 25, 2009

PB cookies & chocolate yogurt cakes

I've discovered that one of the problems of buying in bulk, is baking through all of it if you're planning to move. I'm the type of girl who will buy chocolate chips in ten pound bags and peanut butter in five pound tubs. A lot of people aren't too keen on the peanut butter and chocolate combo, so I decided to bake two different desserts.

Reading through David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris, I mentally kept note of recipes that I wanted to try. I whipped up four dozen of his Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes. The recipe can be found on Steamy Kitchen. I eyeballed the amount of chocolate, and next time I'll probably need to add more, as the cakes weren't as chocolatey as I had hoped. I guess that's what you get for packing away your kitchen scale. C'est la vie...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dulce de leche filled cupcakes with chocolate frosting

Yesterday I made some dulce de leche filled cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Digging around in my fridge I found some dulce de leche I made a while ago. Dulce de leche is a milk based sauce prepared by slowly caramelizing sweetened milk. It has the consistency of condensed milk but with the color and rich flavor of caramel. Dulce de leche is also known as doce de leite in Portuguese and confiture de lait in French.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baking binge

Some people eat under stress. I bake. Call it culinary therapy if you will. With all the packing, selling off stuff, waiting for my visa, and moving to another country in less than 2 months, the stress is taking its toll on me!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lemon + lavender = bliss

Lavender always reminds me of France. I can't wait to go to Provence this summer and meander along the long rows of lavender. I guess it shows in my baking. I made some lemon glazed lemon lavender madeleines. The soft fragrance of the lavender cuts through the bright lemony flavor. I think its perfect harmony in the form of a soft buttery tea cake; its bliss.

They turned out quite beautifully too.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ooey gooey goodness

I've been attending this new morning knitting group at Red Rock. They meet at 9 AM on Saturday mornings. To try and motivate myself to get up, I promised to bake them something. I was trying to think of something good to make for breakfast that didn't require going to the grocery store; cinnamon rolls fit the bill.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Its only a matter of brine

Yesterday Dave and I decided to do an Iron-Chicken cook off. Before I get to that, Wendy and I also made some chocolate Nutella rice krispie treats. I'm not a big rice krispie treat fan, but they're a jazzed up version. I reduced the amount of butter and added in copious amounts of Nutella and Guittard semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. Next time I'll add the chocolate chips when its cooled a bit so they don't end up melting so much.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cookies and car parts

It was generally a relaxing weekend. Meeting up with out of town relatives, brunch with friends, a movie, and hanging out with my brother. Dave and I... okay who am I kidding... I, baked some chocolate chip cookies. We forgot to pick up brown sugar at the grocery store, so I had to make do with some molasses, maple syrup, and regular sugar. They still were tasty though!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Strawberry tart

Still riding on my fresh fruit kick, and because I had left over egg yolks from the Italian meringue, I decided to make a strawberry tart for a going away/birthday party.

I made the pastry cream a couple a day ahead, and since I was using puff pastry from Trader Joes, it was easy as pie... or er tart. The puff pastry was scored down the side and folded over to create a nice border. After baking it off and cooling, I topped it off with the pastry cream, fresh strawberries, and a simple glaze made out of diluted strawberry jam.

I imagine any variation of this tart, with perhaps peaches, apricots, or any in season fruit would be a refreshing dessert to beat the summer heat.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lemon curd filled meringue cupcakes

With summer here, I felt like making something fresh and fruity. I adapted my trusted cupcake recipe by adding lemon zest and lemon extract. The cupcakes were filled with lemon curd, topped with Italian meringue, and toasted in the oven.

I didn't have a torch so I had to put the cupcakes under the broiler. A few of them were a bit dark for my liking, but they still tasted great. I was a little worried that the lemon curd would be overbearing, but the tartness of the lemon offset the sweetness of the frosting and cupcake.

Tonight at knitting a coffee shop patron asked me if the cupcakes were homemade. When I replied that they were, he offered to pay me $5 for one! I'm sure that was one happy customer.