Banana cupcakes with cream cheese caramel frosting

22 Dec

Ingredients:

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/2 c cake flour
  • 5 bananas mashed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs one at a time
  4. Add flour and bananas
  5. Scoop into muffin pans and bake for 18 minutes

Cream Cheese Caramel frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 1 c (or more) confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 T caramel topping (recipe in previous post)
  • pinch of cardamom
  • pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Cream cream cheese and sugar together until nice and fluffy
  2. Add caramel topping, cardamom and cinnamon

Me fooling around with the cupcakes (:

 

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Apple Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

21 Dec


  Yesterday I went to the supermarket and bought a can of apple pie filling and on the back theres this recipe..I’m usually very sketchy about recipes posted in the back of a can but this one was truly amazing

Ingredients

  • 21 oz. can LUCKY LEAF Apple Pie Filling
  • 9 inch graham cracker crust (made my own)
  • 2 – (8 oz. packages) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup caramel topping (recipe below)
  • 12 pecan halves, plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans(optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Reserve ¾ cup of the apple filling; set aside.

Spoon the remaining filling into the crust.

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Add the eggs and mix well. Pour this over the pie filling.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set. Cool to room temperature.

Mix the reserved pie filling and caramel topping in a small saucepan and heat for about 1 minute, or until spreadable.

Spoon the apple-caramel mixture over the top of the cheesecake and spread evenly. Decorate the edge of the cake with pecan halves and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c heavy cream

In a large pot place the sugar and water and let boil until the sugar turns amber-ish in color.

Turn off stove and whisk in the heavy cream until creamy.

Refrigerate and don’t DARE taste this until it’s chilled..you will get some serious 3rd degree burns.

Internship Update!

21 Dec

  Hello there fellow bakers/foodies I have been gone a while but all for a good reason…I started my internship in the Marriott Hotel! I’m supposed to be working 270 hours and so far I’ve completed 42 and a half. It’s a LOT OF WORK and stress but it’s worth it, I never thought I would enjoy working for free anywhere, I’ve learned more in the five days I’ve been working in the hotel than I could’ve learned in a whole year of going to pastry school (sorry Chef!).

  In order to picture what means working in a hotel imagine making 150 mousses, 140 breads, 16 cheesecakes, I dont know how many Tiramisus/ flans/bread puddings/cheesecakes and on top of that having to cater for 600 people AND a wedding all in 8 hours of work. It’s insane..it’s truly the only way to describe it INSANE.

  I work 5 days a week for 8 hours straight and have to cope with the “oh you’re so tiny let’s see if you can carry that” all the time. So far I screwed up my back, burned my finger with caramel sauce, and I’m developing some sweet “guns” ( do you have any idea how much a baking sheet weighs when it’s full of 8×3 baking dished full of flan batter?!) That’s a little preview of what an internship in a world renowned hotel is about.

  Apart from that I’ve got two recipes for you guys!

-Apple Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

-Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Caramel frosting

 

About petit Fours and plated desserts

20 Nov

Its been two months and I havent posted anything BUT that doesn’t mean I haven’t been baking my ass off!

School is about to end and thats when the hardcore European Desserts class begin, and also the stress of becoming some hotel’s or bakery’s intern and work 270 hours without pay, without Christmas and New Years (insert a fuck my life meme here).

The recipes they’ve been giving us are pretty elaborate because when you’re plating desserts you have to make at least 6 preparations and at least 3 sauces (no more). My first plated dessert was a New York Style Cheesecake with a Tea Scented Cherry Cookie crust, white tempered chocolate,Raspberry Coulis and caramel decorations:

The only critique i received was that the cheesecake portion was too much but the rest was perfect and it was delicious too, but of course since I still had some time left it was petit four time!

Petit Fours (plural: petits fours) is a small confection generally eaten at the end of a meal (e.g., with coffee) or served as part of dessert. The name is from the French petit four, meaning “small oven”. They might be small sure but don’t let the size fool you, because petit fours take a lot of time, patience and preparation.

The petit fours I got assigned where a Capuccino Cheesecake and the infamous pastry L’Opera (my favorite):

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The L’opera Cake is a petit four that consists of 3 layers of Joconde (almond spongecake) and in between those layers you have 1 or 2 layers of coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache, it’s truly delicious and you must try and bake this before you die (i mean this!) Here I leave you with the recipe for this delicious cake.

L’Opera

Ingredients

Makes about 20 servings

The cake:

  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (225 grams) ground blanched almonds
  • 2 1/4 cups (225 grams) confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled briefly

The coffee syrup:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (7 grams) instant espresso or coffee

The coffee buttercream:

  • 2 tablespoons (10 grams) instant espresso or coffee
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) boiling water
  • 1 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) water
  • Pulp of 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces; 200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

The chocolate ganache:

  • 8 ounces (240 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 60 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

The chocolate glaze:

  • 5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 stick (115 grams) unsalted butter
Preparation:

1. To make the cake: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line two 12 1/2-x15 1/2-inch (31-x-39-cm) jelly-roll pans with parchment paper and brush with melted butter. (This is in addition to the quantity in the ingredient list.)

2. Working in a clean dry mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the whites into another bowl.

3. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almonds, confectioners sugar and whole eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and beat on low speed only until it disappears. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture, then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.

4. Bake the cakes for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. Put the pans on a heatproof counter, cover each with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the cakes over and unmold. Carefully peel away the parchment, turn the parchment over and use it to cover the exposed sides of the cakes. Let the cakes come to room temperature between the parchment or wax paper sheets. (The cakes can be made up to 1 day ahead, wrapped and kept at room temperature.)

5. To make the syrup: Stir everything together in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Cool. (The syrup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

6. To make the buttercream: Make a coffee extract by dissolving the instant espresso in the boiling water; set aside.

7. Bring the sugar, water and vanilla bean pulp to a boil in a small saucepan; stir just until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook without stirring until the syrup reaches 255 degrees F (124 degrees C), as measured on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Pull the pan from the heat.

8. While the sugar is heating, put the egg and the yolk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until the eggs are pale and foamy. When the sugar is at temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly pour in the syrup. Inevitably, some syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl – don’t try to stir the spatters into the eggs. Raise the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the eggs are thick, satiny and room temperature, about 5 minutes.

9. Working with a rubber spatula, beat the butter until it is soft and creamy but not oily. With the mixer on medium speed, steadily add the butter in 2-tablespoon (30-gram) chunks. When all the butter has been added, raise the speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thickened and satiny. Beat in the coffee extract. Chill the buttercream, stirring frequently, until it is firm enough to be spread and stay where it is spread when topped with a layer of cake, about 20 minutes. (The buttercream can be packed airtight and refrigerated for 4 days or frozen for 1 month; before using, bring it to room temperature, then beat to smooth it.)

10. To make the ganache: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and keep it close at hand. Bring the milk and cream to a full boil, pour it over the chocolate, wait 1 minute, then stir gently until the ganache is smooth and glossy.

11. Beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy, then stir it into the ganache in 2 to 3 additions. Refrigerate the ganache, stirring every 5 minutes, until it thickens and is spreadable, about 20 minutes. (The ganache can be packed airtight and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month; bring to room temperature before using.)

12. To assemble the cake: Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Working with one sheet of cake at a time, trim the cake so that you have two pieces: one 10-x-10-inches (25-x-25-cm) square and one 10-x-5-inches (25-x-12.5-cm) rectangle. Place one square of cake on the parchment and moisten the layer with coffee syrup. Spread about three-quarters of the coffee buttercream evenly over the cake. (If the buttercream is soft, put the cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes before proceeding.) Top with the two rectangular pieces of cake, placing them side by side to form a square; moisten with syrup. Spread the ganache over the surface, top with the last cake layer, moisten, then chill the cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Cover the top of the cake with a thin layer of coffee buttercream. (This is to smooth the top and ready it for the glaze – so go easy.) Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour or for up to 6 hours; it should be cold when you pour over the glaze. If you’re in a hurry, pop the cake into the freezer for about 20 minutes, then continue.

13. To glaze the cake: Bring the butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and clarify the butter by spooning off the top foam and pouring the clear yellow butter into a small bowl; discard the milky residue. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over—not touching—simmering water, then stir in the clarified butter. Lift the chilled cake off the parchment-lined pan and place it on a rack. Put the rack over the parchment-lined pan and pour over the glaze, using a long offset spatula to help smooth it evenly across the top. Slide the cake into the refrigerator to set the glaze and chill the cake, which should be served slightly chilled. At serving time, use a long thin knife, dipped in hot water and wiped dry, to carefully trim the sides of the cake so that the drips of glaze are removed and the layers revealed.

 

Is there anything better than chocolate???

29 Sep

Is there? really? I don’t think so!

Chocolate class began and this picture pretty much sums up all of my feelings towards it

It’s pure MAGIC!

It can be tricky at times but in the end it’s always delicious.

What can I say chocolate never dissapoints me.

In class we made a number of bon bons (almond coconut/whiskey and coffee/ chocolate hazelnut/chocolate raspberry) all delicious and very messy I felt like a kid in Willy Wonkas factory *dream come true*

Today we had to make a chocolate chest, which at first was a pain in the ass because when you’re working with chocolate heat is your worst enemy, even body heat. So you need extremely cold temperatures to work with it, meaning that I had the air conditioner practically in my face!

This was the outcome:

I carved wood details with a paring knife and a cake tester, I wanted this chest to look antique and broken and that was what I came up with.

It looks so pretty, too bad that I live in a tropical island and its going to melt within 5 seconds when i go outside :/

Here are some of the bon bons we made in class:

In conclusion chocolate making is fun and delicious but in the end its just a HOT MESS

 

Irene and the cake

1 Sep

Last week was “hurricane Irene week” and I had no electricity or water for 3 days and I had to bake a cake for Friday! Not only that! I still had to buy some cake ingredients and I couldn’t because everything was flooded. Luckily on Thursday everything went back to normal and I still was pondering about what kind of cake to bake. In a heavy craving for cheesecake during the Irene extravaganza I decided to bake a Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake I mean why not? Cheesecake AND one of my favorite cakes to bake Red Velvet..can’t go wrong with BOTH AT THE SAME TIME!

My customer asked me for a 6×4 cake  for her husband and she also asked me for edible roses. I’m not the best at decoration and I must admit I truly don’t like decorating that much (I’m all about the flavor not the appearance), but in the end I think the cake came out pretty neat. You be the judge:

I really wanted this cake to look simple and cute and this is what I came up with. It has cream cheese frosting dyed with Wilton’s “Sky Blue” , made four edible roses and on the bottom i crushed some Dark Chocolate molding chocolate chips and dusted them with glitter (reminded me of Robot Unicorn for some reason…)

Without further ado here is the most delicious Red Velvet recipe EVER(I halved the recipe for the 6×4 in cake):

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
from Erin’s Food Files (original recipes adapted from Apple a Day and Martha Stewart)

For the cheesecake:
1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

For the cake:
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 TBSP cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 TBSP (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar

For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. confectioners’ sugar

For cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water to boil. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9″ round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely, then level.

Frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes.

Assembly:
Place bottom layer on cake stand. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom, then peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the bottom layer of the red velvet cake. If the cheesecake is wider than the cake, and it is necessary to to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat. Be careful not to get any red velvet crumbs in the bowl of frosting! Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary. Top with shaved white chocolate and/or shaved dark chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Playing around with Fondant and Tylose

1 Sep

Sorry for the lack of posts I can explain!

Its huricane Irene’s fault!

In class we’ve been playing around with fondant..I was supposed to be making “fondant courtains” but those are tacky and boring so I dedicated most of my 5 hours making these….

Its Beemo and Jake from Adventure Time!

I kind of wasted all the fondant that I was supposed to use for some tacky wilton fondant decorations but… AREN’T THEY CUTE?! I colored the fondant for each figurine and the buttons and faces I had to paint with poster paint..so not a very good idea to eat those.

One more week and decorating HELL is over.

Chocolate HERE WE GOO!

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

11 Aug

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of marshmallows (we used Jet Puffed)
  • 2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of water

Directions:

  1. Place the marshmallows in a bowl with the water and cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Microwave marshmallows for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from microwave and stir the marshmallow mixture with a wooden spoon until they are completely dissolved. If not repeat step 1-2 for about 40 seconds until they are melted.
  4. Incorporate sifted confectioners sugar gradually into the marshmallows with a wooden spoon. Continue incorporating the sugar until you get a dense, elastic and almost firm dough.
  5. Pour some of the sugar into a work table and place the dough in it,  knead the dough whilst still incorporating even more sugar.
  6. If the dough is firm and you haven’t poured all of the sugar in it, discard the rest of the sugar; if the dough is still sticky and not firm and you’ve used up all of the sugar then add some more!
  7. Wrap fondant in plastic wrapping paper immediately and let rest for 24 hours.

It’s kind of messy and all you’ll be thinking about is this guy whilst making it…

About turning 23 and a cupcake challenge!

11 Aug

Hello fellow bakers/foodies! Guess who turned 23? THIS KID

Best part of turning 23 so far?….

  I got this baby right here! 5QT Kitchen Aid HD Pro..isn’t it beautiful?! and no fellow readers I never had this beauty in my possesion..meaning that all the baking I ever did was by hand (YES EVEN MERINGUE).

No i didn’t get to bake my own birthday cake for the lack of ingredients..sad no?

I know I haven’t been keeping up with the posts lately and I know that you must want recipes posted..and I will as soon as I get myself some ingredients (meaning FLOUR) blame it all on the sinus!

In school we haven’t been baking much since all those Wilton kits are all about decorating and making flowers (ugh..say it with me UGH) I’ve been making roses for about a week now for our final test, which consists of baking a yellow cake, covering it up with marshmallow fondant (very delicious) pasting the roses in it and some royal icing decorations.

  Like that cake right there! I will be posting the recipe for the Marshmallow Fondant, you MUST try it it really does make a difference and its delicious!

In other news me and my closest buddies from school will be competing Dulzura Expo in the cupcake challenge (kind of like Cupcake Wars) excited much?! YES

I leave you with this silly photo of me in my birthday..

  Those boa feathers where everywhere..tip of the day NEVER wear a boa in the kitchen..it’ll get everywhere and you’ll end up looking like a raver chicken 😉

 

Basket cake…case

1 Aug

Yes basket case indeed! Why you ask?

Blame THESE WILTON KITS!

Our classroom was covered in frosting for about eeh 2 weeks, and I know that there is a purpose to them and they are very helpful but COME ON 45 flowers for our final test?! oh yeah and the birds of course!

Needless to say the flowers can be very relaxing to make at times, but when you have to make them over and over and over again because they broke, or because the frosting was too dry, or because you broke the pastry bag…things start to get ugly and you start cursing the heavens  this Wilton corporation and all of its existence!

I can’t tell you how many flowers I actually ended up making and squishing out of frustration but here are some attempts at roses:

Doesn’t seem too hard does it?..well let me burst your bubble IT IS! Very hard and frustrating but once you get the hang of it they come out beautifully.

And now for the grand finale…

Basket Cake

I don’t know what grade I got and honestly after being enslaved with flowers for a week I do not care. This was one of those tests that when you finish you feel like throwing the cake on the floor, smashing your head against the worktable, smoking a pack of cigarettes etc etc etc.

In the end I had more than 45 flowers which was GREAT because the basket weave decoration was a little off in some places so those flowers saved THIS KID BIG TIME!

The birds are fun to make but when trying to remove the birds from the wax paper one of them broke (bird on the right side) ..thank God for the extra flowers 😉

This week Wilton Kit 3 awaits (hallelujah, can I get an AMEN ?!)

Why am I so excited? well not because of this third kit or the carpal tunnel that I might get sooner than expected that’s for sure..but because after that we start working with chocolate! YUP my mouth’s watering already.

Here’s my suicide by pastry bag…

 

NO MORE FLOWERS! !!!!!!!