The Baking Blog of Patrissherie

Have your cake and eat it too

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Halloween 2012

Posted by Trish on November 11, 2012 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I think it's quite obvious by now that I love holidays and I love entertaining.  However, I often bite off more than I can chew.  With our crazy (abnormal) work hours/schedules, Often I forget that I don't have the time allotment that I used to.



I clearly told my guests before hand that the Halloween bash will have a few appies provided, but not a dinner event.  But by the time I was done with my menu planning, I had the following for desserts:

  •  Oreo cookie balls shaped as mummies
  • Pumpkin ghost cheesecakes
  • Baileys chocolate oreo cheesecakes
  • "Dexter" red velvet cupcakes
  • Caramel apples

And then the following for snacks:

  • Diablo wings
  • Gruyere cheese puffs shaped as pumpkins
  • Bread shapes as bones
  • "Frankenstein" smokies wrapped in bacon
  •  Jalapenos poppers wrapped in bacon



By the time 4 o clock rolled around and my place still was not guest-ready, I had to cut a few items off the menu.  Unfortunately, I lost the mummy oreo balls, the bread bones and the gruyere cheese puffs.



My friend actually sent me the inspiration photo (which I've lost) for the "Dexter" cupcakes.  Red velvet cake, topped with airy light whipped cream cheese frosting, decorated with shattered "glass" candy and splattered with "blood".  I was super proud about making the candy glass.  As you can tell from my previous posts, sugar hates me even though I own a candy therometer.  I had to do this twice to get it to work.


I couldn't get the "blood' to be dark and thick enough.  I tinted home-made simple syrup but next time I would tint thinned-out corn syrup instead.


I took the wax coating off the apples by dipping them quickly in hot water, but the caramel still slowly travelled south.  It wasn't enough to be an issue, but I knew. I think next year, I'll just dip fruit in chocolate... pure chocolate..no caramel.


The pumpkin ghost cheesecakes were topped with the same airy whipped creamcheese frosting as the "Dexter" cupcakes.  The eyes were made of mini chocolate chips.  The Bailey's cheesecakes were made from Biscotti flavoured Baileys (that I got in Europe), with an oreo cookie crust, and topped with chocolate spider webs.



By the time I remembered to snap a photo of the snacks, all of my guests arrived.  This was the best that I could do.  (Farthest to closest: diablo wings, jalapeno poppers and Frankenstein smokies).

Until next Halloween.....

Thanksgiving 2012

Posted by Trish on October 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

We once again missed Thanksgiving this year due to work.. make that the entire Thanksgiving weekend.  To make up for it, we went over the top the following weekend. 


I wanted to give you guys a glimpse of my kitchen as the holidays roll around in our house.



HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

From left to right, top to bottom: Cornbread for stuffing, Cream cheese filling for Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin cheesecake filling, Pumpkin cheesecake raw, Caramel Pumpkin Pie, Dough Pastry, Turducken Raw, Turducken out of oven.


In addition, we made  a gourmet potato salad with shrimp, chicken and apples, and a yam casserole.

Maple Bacon Pecan Cheesecake

Posted by Trish on September 3, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (1)

I try to include dessert into my meals everytime that I entertain.  I usually let J decide the theme for the dessert.  This time, he chose bacon and maple so we decided to make Maple Bacon Pecan Cheesecakes.




The bacon and pecans were candied (separately) and allowed tocool before getting chopped up.



Each cheesecake was baked with maple syrup, then topped off with the candied bacon and pecans.  And lastly, they were all finished off with a teaspoon of maple syrup.
Due to the amount of maple syrup that I used, the cheesecake turned out to be softer than my usual. J didn't like that much.  He prefers the heavy duty type.  I didn't mind the softness.


Ignore the uneven sides of the cheesecake.  I served them with the cupcake liners on due the softness, but I wanted to show you my layers.


My guest loved it!  He claimed it was the best cheesecake he's ever had.  Although his biasness comes from the bacon.  Which man can resist bacon?

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Breakfast Bread

Posted by Trish on September 3, 2012 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The weather is starting to cool down, so I've been craving for a warm fuzzy breakfast lately.  I decided the night before to roll out some bread for the next morning's breakfast.  I was actually super skeptical of this recipe because it didn't follow the "proper" way that I usually made bread.  I didn't have to feed my yeast and there was no kneading involved.  No knead bread? I know, it's crazy!  So crazy that I have to actually share this recipe with you because it was really good.  So good, that J called it cake.



The recipe yields 2 loaves of bread, but I decided to bake it in an angel food cake pan instead.  You can also use a bundt pan instead.



Ingredients:

-5 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

-1/2 cup of sugar

-4 1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast (I used 2 envelopes of instant dry yeast)

-1 teaspoon of salt

-1/2 cup of butter, melted

-2/3 cup of milk (original called for whole milk but I used skim and it was fine)

-1/2 cup of water

-2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

-4 large eggs ( I ran out of eggs...so I used 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites)

For the filing:

-1 cup of sugar

-2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

-1/2 cup of butter melted



As you can tell, I modified the recipe quite a bit, so it's surprising that it still turned out very well and moist.  I also omitted nutmeg because I wasn't a fan of it in my bread).

1. In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

2. Mix the melted butter, milk, water and vanilla together.

3. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a spatula.  Add the eggs and stir until it is incorporated.

4. Add the rest of the flour and continue to mix with the spatula until the ingredients are well combined.  The dough will be sticky.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl.  Pour 1 -2 teaspoon of neutral oil to the bowl.  Put the dough ball back into the bowl. Turn the dough so that it is well covered in oil.  Cover the dough ball with loose plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour. (not in the oven)

6. Once the dough has risen to double it's size, punch it down and let it rest for 5 minutes.

7. Mix all the ingredients for the filling together except for the melted butter.

8. Cut half of the dough ball.  Roll it out until it is approximately 12 inches by 20 inches.

9. Spread half of the butter onto the dough and sprinkle half of the filling evenly onto the dough sheet.

10. Cut the sheet into squares.  Ideally, they should be as wide as your pan and as high as you want it to be.  Stack your squares and stand them straight up in your pan.

11. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

12. I saved a handful of filling to sprinkle on top of the dough once all the squares were put into place, for a crunchy topping.


Since I wanted mine for breakfast the next day, I let it rise on the counter loosely covered with plastic wrap for about 30 minutes and put it in the fridge.  The next mornng, I pulled it out of the fridge, and let it sit on my counter until the oven was ready.


If you want to eat it the same day, let it rise with loose plastic wrap for about 45 minutes until it is doubled in size.


Bake for 35 minutes at 350 F.


Let it cool slightly before attempting to remove it from the pan.  If you choose to use an angel food cake pan too, use a cookie sheet underneath as there will be drippings.

Here's the original.


 

 

 

Cocoa Cherry Cupcakes

Posted by Trish on August 1, 2012 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I am extremely excited to share this with you.  This isn't just any cupcake.  It marks a very special beginning in my life to an adventure.  What adventure?  I can't tell you that just yet, but it will come out sooner or later!

In other news, I've finally re-inhabited a kitchen, but J and I decided we will change our lifestyles a little.  A compromise, shall we say?  We agreed to eat well for 5 days a week and have 2 "cheat" days, where we can whatever we desire.  So now, I bake on those 2 days per week.  Which is still a lot more often than before.  I took advantage of this day to make Cocoa Cherry Cupcakes.


We start with a dark cocoa cake infused with sweet and tart cherry goodness.  Then we topped it all off with a giant pink swirl of sweet and tart cherry buttercream.  

I re-invented the cake and it turned out really well which I'm really excited about.  The slight downfall to this cupcake was that the frosting was a bit heavy handed with the sweetness (so much that I even had to admit it was a little too sweet), and the cherry flavour was slightly overwhelming also (mainly the tartness of the frosting).  Otherwise, the flavours paired great and it was delicious!!

I never knew how many people do not like cherries until I made these cupcakes.  I had to share these with friends so that there wouldn't be any temptations with leftovers once our cheat day was done.  However, once they heard the word "cherry", they would kindly decline.  I must admit, there are certain cherry desserts that I don't desire such as cherry-filled chocolates.  However, don't you agree that cherries are the "symbol" of desserts?  Think back to your childhood with the cherry-topped sundaes, and the cherry-topped cakes.  Cherries will always have a place in my heart <3. 

 


 


 


 

Caramel Hummingbird Cake

Posted by Trish on June 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Those of you whom own cats may randomly find "presents" left on your door step or pillow case, such as a bird's wing or a pelt of squirrel fur.  Ah, the devotions of love.  I came home to find 3 frozen bananas in my freezer, peels on and all.  When I asked J about it, he explained how him and our friend decided to leave them in there for my return so I could make something out of them. "You know, banana bread or something...".  I prefer my banana breads quite sweet.  And since I couldn't be sure how ripe these "presents" were before they got frozen, I couldn't really risk it.  Instead, I turned them into something even more decadent: out-came the Caramel Hummingbird Cake.

Hummingbird Cake is apparently a Southern treat, consisting of ripe bananas, pecans and pineapples.  The rich, moist cake is then topped with a pecan cream-cheese frosting.

 

 

I decided to finish it off with a caramel drizzle, added on to each individual slice right before serving.  Personally, I think the caramel made all the difference.

This baby disappeared in 3 days between 3 people.  Time to hit the gym?

 


 


 


 


 


The J-Dub Cupcake

Posted by Trish on June 13, 2012 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

J once again invited guests and requested for a dessert to be made.  I had to name the resulting dessert after him because he paired the flavours of this concoction in such a unique way, that I initially had doubted the outcome of this decadent fellow.

We started out with the same chocolate cake base as his birthday cake.  The chocolate cake is a moist, dark, rich cake.



Next we filled AND topped each cupcake with the salted caramel frosting (also from J's b-day cake).  I know, this is beginning to not look very different from his birthday cake, so what is all the fuss about?  



He decided we would top them off with a vanilla-cream cheese frosting to satisfy his roomie's craving and put a new twist on the cupcakes.  My initial thought was ".....are you sure?"  Foodies, let's think for a minute.  You've got a dark, sweet chocolate base, filled with salted caramel and topped with a tangy vanilla frosting.  I wasn't sold on the thought but I went along with it.



Oh My Goodness!!! J, you are an absolute genius!!!  I understood the cream cheese and chocolate.  I understood the salted caramel and chocolate.  But I could not wrap my head around this trio combination until I tasted it.  It was amazing! The tangy frosting offsets the richness from the cake base and the sweetness from the salted caramel filling.

Patrissherie - "Oh my goodness! It's soo good!! I'm going to name it after you"

J- "hmm... maybe you should give it a fancier name???"

Well J, I'm naming this concoction after you anyways!



P.s.

I'm proud to say I've been expanding my frozen treat flavours.  In addition to the last post about Ice-cream, I've churned out the following:

-Matcha (green tea) Cheesecake Ice Cream

-Match (green tea) Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

-Matcha (green tea) Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream

-Classic Matcha (green tea)

* We went overzealous with the matcha base

-Bear Claw (chocolate with caramel swirl and chocolate covered almonds) Ice Cream

-Peppermint Lindt Chocolate Ice Cream

-Coconut Frozen Yogurt


Strawberry Angel Shortcakes

Posted by Trish on May 29, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been dying to make this for the longest time, but I kept waiting until it was strawberry season.  It is the perfect treat to make a dent into my frozen egg whites (from the copious amount of ice cream i've been churning out) and to celebrate Summer's arrival.



Angel food cake batter is a clean freak.  It requires a tube pan and it won't rise if the pan has the slightest smidgen of oil.  The easiest fix to this is to use cupcake liners and make individual portions of the cake.  I love using an ice-cream scoop (with spring loader) to portion out the batter for hassle-free baking. 



For the perfectionist, my cupcakes didn't dome identically to each other since I left the peaks alone after I scooped the batter.  But as you'll see, it doesn't actually matter as it quickly gets covered up by a light dreamy topping.



Each cupcake's center was hollowed out (approximately 1 inch diameter) and filled with a gorgeous strawberry filling.  Strawberries were pureed, and thickened with sugar to form the base in which fresh diced strawberries were folded into.



A light airy whipped cream cheese frosting was piped onto each cupcake.  The result: a light, fluffy cloud-like dream with the sweet flavour of fresh, ripe strawberries.

As J and his new roomie would say, "they're dangerous because you feel like you're eating delicious air".



William Sonoma Pumpkin Pecan Bread Review

Posted by Trish on April 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I have this thing for William Sonoma.  I ooh and ahh at everything in the store, no matter what it is.  I purchased their seasonal Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Mix (yes it has 2 spices in it's name) during my last visit.  At $16 for a quick mix, I had to do a review. 

Disclaimer: nothing on this blog is made from pre-packaged or pre-made products unless specified.  98% of my baking is from scratch.  I occasionally like to check out the short cuts for fun.





Likes:

-Easy to prepare.  Just add eggs, water and butter.

-Pecans.  These really made the texture of the bread.  I will be adding these to my future pumpkin breads.

-Fragrant smell.  My kitchen smelled like everything Fall while the bread baked.



Dislikes:

-Price. This is definitely a gourmet product at this price.

-Greasiness.  This wasn't due to the cream-cheese topping, but the bread itself.  It left a greasy feeling in your mouth afterwards that brings on guilt, because you probably just consumed the same calories as a slice of cheesecake.

-Over spiced. There was too much spice.  It overpowered and overshadowed the rest of the ingredients.  I can still taste the spice in my mouth afterwards. Too much cloves, maybe too much ginger and probably nutmeg.


Overall, I don't think I will be purchasing this mix again due to my issues with the price, texture and spice level of the bread.  I give it 6.5 out of 10.


William Sonoma Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread with Cream-cheese frosting

J's B-day Cake

Posted by Trish on March 26, 2012 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Of the years that I have known J, this would only be the 2nd time I've ever baked him a b-day cake.  This year was really special as it was the first birthday we celebrated as a married couple.  I'm so glad I got to bake this cake for my best friend on his b-day.

J pulled a "J" in the typical sense.  A dinner outing for 10 became 20.  Thus a cake became a cake plus cupcakes; and ingredients became sparse.  Despite my issue with underestimating how much frosting I needed for the cake alone, I really underestimated the amount of frosting needed for the cupcakes resulting in 3 runs to the local convenient store for more ingredients.

I decided to do J's favorite flavour: chocolate.  But I wanted to add a twist: salted caramel.  His cake ended up being 4 layers of dark chocolate cake, with alternating chocolate and salted caramel frosting; and finished with chocolate frosting on the outside.  I couldn't cut into the b-day boy's cake so you just have to take my word on the dual frosting inside.  I must say, I LOVE this cake.  It tastes amazing and it's moist.  The issue? It's terrible for frosting because of it's loose crumbs.  I fought with it so much during my crumb coating that I gave up and didn't do a crumb coating for most of the cake; and the finishing frosting was piped instead of a smooth finish as originally planned.  The cake finished at 6 inches tall, 9 inches in diameter and approximately 15 lbs in weight.

The cupcakes carried the same theme, where the inner frosting was salted caramel and the outer swirls were chocolate.  The cake batter makes awesome cupcakes because no crumb coating is needed and no spreading is required.  At the end of the night, all 18 cupcakes and the giant cake was gone.  Well kind of.  People ate as much as they could and fought for take-home portions.

So my original plan was to carmelize maltzers like you do with hazelnuts to make gorgeous toppers.  I froze the maltzers to prevent them from melting when I dip them.  Yes, it worked.  But minutes later, my maltzers started growing girths from the hot caramel causing the chocolate to blister.  It was so ugly!  Lesson: stop re-inventing the wheel.  People use hazlenuts for a reason...not chocolate.. noted.

~~~~~Happy Birthday My Love~~~~~


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