Saturday, November 21, 2015

Disappearing Act

Polvorones, Russian Tea Cakes, or Mexican Wedding Cookies? 

Never mind. What cookies? 

Monday, November 16, 2015


These caramels are chewy, smooth, and they have a nip of bourbon in them. They are on my recipe repeat list for good. Here is the recipe from Bon Appetit. They would make excellent holiday gifts, but make a double batch. ;)

Am I the only one that thinks of this Suzanne Vega song anytime I think about caramel? 

...more caramel goodness here and here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

33 + Ferrero Rocher Cake

Today I am 33 years old.  You can imagine how excited I am considering my affection for the number 3.  Unless I live to 333, this year of age contains the most threes of my life!  After a quick google search about the year 33, I was reminded that this is my Jesus Year.  Make of that what you will.  Other people say 33 is the year when you are at your happiest.  I kind of hope that's true, but then, if it is, it's all downhill from here? Geez, I hope not.

When I was thinking about my birthday cake, I kept coming up with ideas, but nothing seemed to be just right. It was bothering me. I kept thinking about Ferrero Rocher chocolates, but I also kept thinking about coffee. I was thinking it should be one or the other, but I wanted both. Finally, I sat still and imagined my perfect bite. Yep, I'm nuts, but I think most people are, so I'm not lonely. 

Back to my perfect bite...chocolate cake, guianduja mousse, espresso ganache. As I thought of this I had a strong memory come to mind. When I was in high school my friends and I would go to "the city" whenever we thought we'd get away with it. When our parents thought we were headed to a mall in the suburb and dinner at Applebee's, we'd hop on the highway and head to Atlanta. Rebels. 

My favorite place to go was Cafe Intermezzo. It was dark, one side was a bar, and the other had a massive dessert case and a large, shiny espresso machine. We would order coffees and hope to blend in. We would pretend to talk on our "emergency only" cell phones. Embarrassing. All this embarrassment is to tell you that I made at least one good decision. My drink selection was on point. I always ordered the Gianduja Cappuccino. It was chocolate, hazelnut, and coffee swimming together in one perfect little cup. 

So, here I am in my Jesus Year craving the same flavors that I enjoyed at 16. A lot has changed, but apparently much has stayed the same. 

About the cake...

You will not regret this cake. Yes, you might gain some weight, but they will be pounds earned with a smile. It's super rich. Have some coffee or milk on hand when you have a slice. It takes dedication to be this decadent! 

How to:
Gianduja (Substitute Nutella for the peanut butter.)
Espresso (add 1 tbsp of espresso to cream when warming)
Garnish...Ferrero Rocher Chocolates. Duh. 

Layer it all up in a cake ring lined with acetate. Once it's thoroughly chilled, remove the ring and liner, and pour ganache on the top because why not. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Place the chocolates on top. Take 3 seconds to admire, and then slice that bad boy. 

Happy birthday to me. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hot Dogs + Puff Pastry

We hosted a party in our alley this morning so that we could meet a few more of our neighbors. Since it was on the heels of Halloween, I figured we might enjoy something salty to balance out all of that candy. Hello, hot dogs!

Simple, roll out the thawed puff pastry. Brush with an egg wash. Roll up the hot dogs (about 6 per puff pastry). Sprinkle the tops with chia seeds, sesame seeds, or whatever. Slice in to small pieces, and place on a lined baking sheet. Chill in the fridge while your over heats to 380F. Bake for ~15 minutes. Enjoy! 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Scary Pumpkin

Our pumpkin is super creepy now. Yep, that's mold. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Moon Cake/Baking in a Bowl

Did you know you can bake a cake in a bowl? Well, if you didn't know, you know now. I saw Martha Stewart bake a hedgehog cake on tv the other day. She baked it in a bowl. My mind was blown. 

I wanted to make a moon cake for my son's first birthday, so I was thrilled to see an option that didn't require special equipment or carving. 

I split my favorite chocolate cake between a 9" round and a mixing bowl. I put a little more batter in the cake round because I didn't want to bowl to be too deep. 

I baked them both at 350F until the round was done (~30 minutes). Then, I dropped the temperature to 325F, and continued baking the bowl (~5 more minutes). 

After cooling, I trimmed the domes and filled and crumb coated the "moon". The part baked in the bowl is slightly over done around the edge, but it's still totally delicious. 

The moon was finished off with an Oreo buttercream.  You could get some gray or black food coloring, but I wanted to use the cookies. Then, I accessorized with planets and an astronaut.  

For his smash cake, I made a little sun for my son. ;)

All of this left me wondering...what else could I bake in? Uh oh. This could get out of hand quickly.