Sunday, March 24, 2013

Homemade Raspberry Macaroons

For Passover I wanted to try something new so I found this macaroon recipe in my Martha Stewart Living magazine.  They are super easy to make, and only use a few ingredients.  

The fresh raspberries add an amazing color, and a tart flavor. 

I also made a plain batch which are delicious.  It's always good to have variety.

Of course a macaroon isn't finished until dipped in chocolate. 

They turned out really well! Very tasty and super cute.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sycamore Kitchen

I finally went to Sycamore Kitchen for the first time today and died a little.  I ordered a salad, but couldn't resist just trying a little taste of everything!  I was seriously overwhelmed with how amazing these bakery items all were.  

This Salted Caramel Pecan Babka Roll was insane.  Still a little warm, it was like a Cinnabon on crack. 

I ordered a specialty coffee, the Vanilla Cafetico, which was good but the size of a Dixie cup. 

This Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cookie was pretty great - like a lighter, nuttier version of the Ooey Gooey cookie from Milk.

This Mini Chocolate Chip "Stump" Cake was a coffee milk chocolate fluffy cupcake with a marshmallow/meringue type frosting on top.  It was great, and just the right size.

Not a sweet, but out of control!  This Tart layered perfectly roasted tomatoes and cheese on top of caramelized onions on a flakey pastry dough.  I could eat this everyday. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pastry Class: Cakes

On my last day of Pastry Class we made two different cakes and learned some very basic decorating techniques.  I am so sad this series is over, and even more sad that I have to wait for Pro Pastry 2 to be on a Sunday again.  In the meantime, I'm really excited about trying new recipes from the CIA book we were given in class. 

This is a Hot Milk Cake adapted from the Miette book.  It's a pretty standard white cake, but using a cup of milk allows the very wet batter to create a spongy cake.

We baked two cakes, trimmed town the tops and layered them with Italian (egg white meringue) Buttercream.  I made two flavors: Strawberry for the center and Almond for the Icing. While I did love how this turned out, I think I prefer regular buttercream to Italian, this was a little over the top, even for me.

I used these heart shaped sprinkles to cover up and imperfections in my side frosting job.  That was not easy!  One trick I learned was to coat the cake in a very thin layer of frosting first and stick it in the fridge to harden.  This will allow the rest of the frosting you put on to spread around more evenly. 

We also made a Chocolate Decedent cake that was pretty amazing.  We practiced slicing the cake in half here, look how well  I did! 

I used a basic dark chocolate ganache as a frosting, which I layered on thick.

It turned out really well.  I could put this ganache on everything. 

For More Recipes and Information Check Out The Gourmandise School