Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Circle Cake

Hi guys!!
So, my sister-in-law is here visiting us and she celebrated her 31st birthday here with us. And of course I did her cake... ;P. Too bad that I didn't had much time to decorate, so I had to choose something more simple but I kinda like it the result. And I got the chance to use my brand new cake pedestal that I fell in love with... :D
It was a chocolate cake filled with white chocolate buttercream and fresh strawberries! It was sooo Yummy!!
 Happy Baking!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Idea Book

Happy Thanksgiving!! 
A few weeks ago I was going through my Amazon wish list and I move one of my wanted books to the cart but I didn't complete the purchase. To my surprise the next day I read through a post on Facebook that my dear friend Layla from Layla Pegado Cakes is featuring  on this amazing book with 5 of her wonderful cakes! I'm so happy for her! She deserves too much! I bought the book and now I just can't wait to see her and ask for her autograph! :D
The book is great, click here to buy or take a peek.
Happy Baking!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cake Pops & Cupcake Bites

Wow, I have so much to tell you guys… so much to post! A lot is happening. Well, as the famous saying goes: I'll start from the beginning ... hahahaha...
So, my sister-in-law Melissa came to visit us here and I already had the idea to make some cake pops again to test a new recipe and a new technique. And nothing better than having the family to test my new cake pop .. hahahahahaha ... The result? I loved it!!! This time my pops did not fall from the sticks and after a week (yeah… I think I did 50 pops, including cupcake bites and cake pops) they are still wonderful and super delicious. It seems that the more time passes the batter gets better and more yummy, the chocolate around them protects the batter.
Mel loved it and my cupcake bites made a big success. For those who do not know, cupcake bite is like a mini cupcake just that it's chocolate covered "head to toe." The baking cups are made out of chocolate and so is the frosting.
It's almost Thanksgiving so I gave some cake pops and bites as a gift for Shannon which is a very special person to us here as thanks for all she does for us.
The batter of the pops and bites is Devil's Food Cake with "brigadier" (a brazilian candy, it's like a toffee). For the recipe just go to my friend's Luciana Blog or click here.
My Cake Pops:
Cake Pops coated with purple sugar and decorated with purple bows.
This I did for my son just for fun… its an owl. It is kinda cute but the next will be better …
Brigadeiro Cake Pops with Chocolate Jimmies and a colorful one... oops, I see a little boy's hand there.. ;P
And here are my Cupcake Bites: aren't they cute? :)
So many of them.... 
Look at it in detail: you can clearly see the chocolate baking cups here...
My inspiration? Bakerella, of course.... ;P

Happy Baking!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lemon Ricotta Cookies and my "Artisan" Bread

Hi guys, sorry for the long time without writing to you. But I'm baking a lot and I think you are going to like my posts from now on... :D
So last Thursday on my cake decorating class a dear friend brought some homemade Lemon Ricotta Cookies and I just fell in love with it. I'm not going to lie to you... I even dreamed about those cookies (am I crazy?? Maybe...). She will send me her recipe but I just couldn't wait! I had to have the cookies!! I just felt that I has just like Cookie Monster... lol... Anyway, I searched for the recipe online and I bake them. But my friend's cookies where way better than mine. I'll wait for her recipe. But with you want to check it out here is the recipe that I got from Food Network site.
I also baked some homemade bread. One of my dear friend Luciana just started to blog. She's a sweetheart and is a newlywed brazilian girl who is currently living in the US. She baked some bread and I immediately wanted to bake some too... her pictures where so yummy!! Hmmm.... Check out: 
Beautiful pictures and wonderful food!! :D

Here is my bread:

And my cookies:

Perfect for a chilly day....

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. 

Happy Baking!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Splenda Chocolate Cupcakes

Hi guys!! Couple weeks ago I tried to bake some cupcakes for a dear friend of mine that have pregnancy diabetes. So I decided to use granulated Splenda insted of the regular sugar. The result was okay. The actual cupcake turn out good (I guess I prefer with the Sugah... hahahaha) but I also tried to substitute the sugar for the Splenda on the Swiss Merengue Buttercream. And that I didn't like it. I mean the consistency was fine but when I added some food coloring to it I don't know what happened but the frosting became kinda bitter... But I'll continue trying to bake the perfect sugar-free cupcake and frosting! Here's the tutorial.

The Swiss Merengue Buttercream I got on the blog: How to Eat a Cupcake: http://www.howtoeatacupcake.net/2008/02/face-your-smbc-fears.html and I jut substitute the sugar for the Splenda...

Splenda Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (sifted before measuring) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
2 large eggs at room temperature
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup cake flour or bleached all purpose flour, sifted into the cup and leveled off
1 cup Splenda granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven 20 minutes before baking to 350F
2. Mix the cocoa and the boiling water: in a small bowl, whisk the cocoa and the boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature or you can place in the refrigerator to speed the cooling process. Just bring to room temperature before proceeding.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, the 3 tablespoons water and the vanilla, just until combined.
4. In a stand mixer with the flat beater, add:
 - the flour, 
- Splenda, 
- baking powder, 

-baking soda 

-and salt 

then mix on low speed for 30 seconds. 
5. Add the butter and chocolate mixture and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
6. Starting on medium-low gradually add the egg mixture in 2 parts. Beating on medium speed after each addition.
7. Pour the batter into the baking cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
Hint: I like to measure the amount of batter to put exactly the same amount in every the baking cups.

Another thing that I noticed is that they broke on the top but the frosting covered it....
I hope you enjoyed!!

Happy Baking!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bzzz Bee Cake

The bzzzz bees on spot!

Hi guys, how are you? Yesterday was the final class for the flower course from Wilton. Again we had to make a cake iced with buttercream and use the techniques that we learned during the course.
I made a carrot cake with raisins frosted and filled with "real" white chocolate buttercream that my dear friend Layla taught me.  To decorate I made fondant flowers in three shades, some leaves and three little cute Bees (that I did using the tutorial on the blog: http://chiccookiekits.blogspot.com/). I also used the classic Wilton technique: the "basketweave". I twas pleased with the result..., what do you think?
One important detail: I used this amazing real buttercream (no crisco on it) and it is real light and fluffy but the fondant flowers got a little heavy for the buttercream so they weighed too much and pushed down all the buttercream ... Luckily, I managed to take pictures of the entire cake before going all down! …lol… live and learn right people?
The cake... I guess you guys can see that is starting to collapse here... :( 
The flowers..
Next week begins the Fondant Course! Woohoo! Finally! :)

Happy Baking!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes

My Halloween Cupcakes with my Pumpkin for the Jack-o-Lantern

BOOO! Halloween is on Sunday! My son already has his costume for the kids party at the Kids club in the building. To celebrate Halloween I baked diet chocolate cupcakes with diet frosting as well. It was good, but guys to be really honest with you I gotta say: there's no way to replace sugar huh? :P
The witch hat, your legs and shoes I did with modeling fondant. The shoes I made using the idea of this blog: http://chiccookiekits.blogspot.com I'm in love with this blog! There's a lot of tutorials on it! 
My witchy hat! 
Poor witchy... she got "eaten" by the cupcake... the details on the shoes... inspired by the Wizard of Oz
Happy Halloween!!! 

Happy Baking!!

Le Cordon Bleu Cookie Recipes

Hi guys! You asked and I will post three recipes that you requested me!

- 2 commercial puff pastry sheets 
-1 cup sugar 

How to make
1. Thaw the puff pastry dough in the refrigerator for 1/2 an hour.
2. Sprinkle sugar on your workbench and the in the dough.
3. Place on sheet on top of another and sprinkle a little bit of sugar between them.
4. Fold 1 inch of the edge of the dough on both sides of the sheet.Add more sugar on top. Continue to fold 1 inch up each time until the center is reached.
5. Freeze dough for 5 minutes
6. Remove from freezer and cut the cookies with a knife (about 1/2 inch).
7. Dip cookies in sugar and place on a baking sheet. Leave enough space between the cookies because they will grow.
8. Bake at 375F for about 15 minutes. When cookies brown on bottom, turn them over to brown on the other side. Cookies should be very crispy and dry.

Christmas Tree Bark (especially for my dear friend Layla)
- 1 pound white chocolate, chopped 
- 1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
- 8 red and white peppermint sticks, crushed

How to make
1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or plastic wrap).
2. Crush the peppermint sticks with a rolling pin (or a hammer) or even with the food processor.
3. Melt chocolates separately in a water bath (yes you can use the microwave)
4. Spread the dark chocolate on one half of baking sheet and place the white chocolate in the other half. Throw crushed candy on top and place in freezer.
5. When the chocolate is hard just break it the way that you want.

NOTE: In my class I did not do half and half. I just mixed the two of them to give the effect of mixed chocolate :D

Rugelach (Especially for Paula Cinini of The Cookie Shop)
-1 1/2 stick butter
- 6 oz cream cheese
-1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup jam (I used raspberry)
- 1/2 cup pecan, chopped 
- Egg Wash (egg mixture with water for brushing the dough)

How to make
1. Make a cream with butter and cream cheese in mixer.
2. Add sugar and salt.
3. Add flour.
4. Rest the dough in the fridge for half an hour.
5. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Roll each piece out individually to a circle about 10 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Cut each circle into 8 equal wedges (like a pizza). Spread the jam in a thin layer over the cut circle. Sprinkle nuts over the jam. Roll each of the triangles up like a croissant and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill for 15 minutes.
6. Egg wash cookies before baking at 325F for about 10 minutes. Be sure not to have a puddle of eggs around base of rugelach.

NOTE: Always chill the dough in the fridge to cool for about 15 minutes if you feel that the dough is softening or sticking in your hand.

If you have any question, just ask!!

Happy Baking!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Le Cordon Bleu + Cookies + Confections

Hi guys, sorry for my absence! I am doing a thousand things at once and I'm with a lot of new ideas to bring to you! 
But this post is about my second class at Le Cordon Bleu! : D On a super cold morning, and waiting for the train, I went to my class ...

The class was about cookies and confections. I really don't need to say I had a blast and I loved, right? ..lol... I just need to apologize for the poor quality of the photos. When I got there I realized that I had forgotten my camera at home so I had to use my cell phone .... sorry...
What was in the menu? 

.Rugelach: Delicious, we make the dough with cream cheese and it's filled with jam. My I fill mine with raspberry jam. So yummy!!!

.Christmas Tree Bark: Oh, that is to die for! It is a super simple cookie to do, just melt semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate, place in baking sheet and sprinkle over that sow crushed peppermint candy. Then just leave in the freezer and break it with your hand...

.Palmier: I love it and my mother love it too! Hmmm ... delicious!

.Reindeer tracks: this is a cookie that takes oats, brown sugar, white chocolate and dried cherry .. need to say anything else? 

.Finally I also made the classic Sugar Cookies, but that I didn't took a picture of it...:(

Did you like it?? Now I want you to know which recipe you prefer me to post! I'll be waiting! :)

Happy Baking!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Go Bananas!!

I need to start this post telling you a secret: I hate bananas! I even hate the banana smell. But I learned to make a banana cupcake that I really liked it! So now I decided to share this recipe with you and this post goes especially for a dear friend of mine which I don't know personally but who has won a piece in my heart, Michele Pazo from Michele Pazo Cake. You guys should visited her blog! She's very talented and she a sweetheart! To visit her blog just click here.

Banana Peanut Cupcake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream (The Chopping Block)
3 large bananas 
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup milk 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural peanut butter 
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar 
2 large eggs
1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

How to make
1. Pre-heat the oven temperature at 350F and prepare cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
2. Mash the bananas well. Add the lemon juice, milk and vanilla. Set aside.
3. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda with a spatula or a whisk.
4. In mixer, beat butter and peanut butter with the sugars until mixture is smooth and light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Add alternately dry ingredients and liquids to the butter and peanuts cream. Start by placing the dry ingredients and finish with the dry as well.
6. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts. Reserve left over to decorate cupcakes - if you want, of course ... :)
7. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. let cool completely to decorate.

Milk Chocolate Buttercream  (The Chopping Block)
4 1/2 ounces milk chocolate 
3/4 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons water
5 egg whites
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

How to make
1. Melt chocolate in double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. In a small saucepan combine sugar and water. Boil without stirring (!!!) until temperature reaches 240F (yes, you will need a candy thermometer) on a candy thermometer.
3. Meanwhile, in an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until very foamy.
4. Once the sugar is ready, reduce speed and add the hot syrup into the egg whites. Increase speed and beat until it reaches room temperature. This process should take 10-15 minutes.
5. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time and then add the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt. Beat until all ingredients are well incorporated and fluffy.

I hope you enjoy!!

Happy Baking!!