Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes

At the request for something coconutty from my lab mates, and not wanting to think about it too hard I went straight to the good of standby and made coconut cupcakes. The recipe comes from my previous lamingtons to cupcakes post, here but with coconut buttercream. As usual, the coconut cupcake/cake/lamington recipe turned out wonderful. Exceptionally moist and just the right amount of coconut flavor (coming mainly from the coconut milk).

The buttercream on the other hand was ungodly sweet. I'm not sure how it happened but I think I've outgrown my sweet tooth a bit, at least with the intensely/extremely sweet items. With my own stuff at least, I just can't seem to handle it. Perhaps I'm being a bit too critical, but my usual buttercream is just a bit too sweet, even for me. Weird I know. The thing is, I'm not exactly sure how to make it less sweet, since all that's in it is butter, sugar, and cream. hmmmm. The other types of frosting I make seems to be less sweet and much more pleasant and although buttercream still is the reigning king of frostings as far as I'm concerned, mine needs to be taken down a notch or too. But perhaps there are still those of you out there that don't bat an eye at a mouthful of sugar. Maybe I'll get my insatiable sweet tooth back. Don't get me wrong, I still love the sweets, just not quite as sweet. At any rate, this cake recipe is wonderful and in some ways, perfect. I just have to work on the frosting if I don't want to put myself and my patrons in a diabetic coma. Self-imposed of course. They know what there getting themselves in to.

Photos by Collin Monda

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Latest Round of Mini Doughnuts

After re-reading my last doughnut post, which was curiously duplicated by another blogger, I discovered that I had intended on my next round of doughnuts to add sprinkles to mine, which was added in the blog mentioned previously. So, I did my own and was pleased with the results. Who could possibly turn down a mini, chocolate, sprinkled doughnut? Rainbow sprinkles at that? I highly recommend making them for any occasion requiring a dessert and also to give as gifts. I borrowed a glaze from another blog which may or may not be the same one I mentioned above. You can see it here. Perhaps my arrogance is getting in the way. You can check the dates for yourselves from my previous post here. At any rate, these doughnuts are wonderful and the tin is cheap. You wont regret that purchase, I promise. This coming from someone who suffers from crippling buyer's remorse.

Also, I will gladly take full credit for my advice on piping in the dough, as seen here: (5.21.10)


Photos by Collin Monda

Honey Mascarpone Berry Tarte

The usual berry tart I make but remixed slightly to a 9-inch version with raspberries and blackberries. Delicious. See previous post here and here.

I love this tart because it is so versatile. The pastry cream made with honey and mascarpone cheese goes with every fruit imaginable. So delicious and has very little sugar.

Macaroons and the end to a very long blogging dry spell

I can't believe it's taken me so long to update this blog. I really have no excuse. I've been baking like crazy, just haven't gotten around to posting pictures or talking about the recipes. For now, I'll blame it on Collin for not stopping everything he's doing (i.e. full time job, art show, freelance work, favors, and sides projects) to upload his photos of my baking and send them to me. Yes, it's his fault.

So, awhile back for Collin's Granny's birthday I wanted to make something un-fussy, yet beautiful and tasty. Little did I know how insanely simple and incredibly easy macaroons really are. If you haven't gathered from the pictures, these are the American style macaroons. The big mounds of sweet coconut baked to golden brown on the outsides but soft and moist on the inside. For the record, the German style (more like a cookie; hard and crisp) are my favorites. My Grandma used to take me down to the Konditorei (German for Pastry Shop) and she would have a macaroon and a coffee while I had several of my own macaroons. They were delightful. Anyways, these are not the overtly fussy French macaroons which I have not mustered the courage to try to bake yet, mainly due to a lack of motivation. If I had a choice, I would much rather eat the mounded macaroons and more so, the cookie-style, not the sandwich version. Far too much work and probably many failed attempts to get something I feel so-so about. Perhaps when I'm feeling adventurous at some later date. Perhaps.

All you need to make these treats, aside from your ingredients (which are just standard baking ingredients) is a bowl. And maybe a spoon if you don't want to get messy. Seriously, so simple. Not pans or double boilers or silpats or whatever. Just a bowl. Well, an oven too, and a baking sheet would probably be for the best. I will post the recipe soon because I can't seem to find the one I used.

 Combine all the ingredients and with wet hands form 1in balls or however big you might like your macaroons. I enjoy a nice bite size. As long as you watch them to make sure they don't burn after ten or so minutes, there is no screwing this one up. A lovely treat and a great gift. A great pay off for very little work. Unlike their fussy, French cousins.

Photos by Collin Monda