Sunday, October 30, 2011

it's freezing out so I made ice cream

tarte tatin ice cream
rich vanilla bean ice cream base
salted caramel sauce
crunchy puff pastry nuggets
brown sugar-glazed apples
frozen heaven

Saturday, October 22, 2011

let's play ball

chocolate cake with vanilla bean buttercream
This was a birthday cake for the two-year-old son of a terrific friend and sous chef, Roger. Roger is an amazing pastry chef and an incredible chocolatier. You can check out his cakes and candies on his Playroom Dessert Company facebook page.

Roger contacted me this week and asked if I had time to make his son's birthday cake. The only specifications he gave me were that it should be 12" round, have chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream and have a sports ball theme. I wanted to do something colorful and dimensional because what kid wouldn't love that? I knew I got it right when I delivered the cake. Roger's son Danny saw it, smiled, and immediately tried to grab the baseball right of the top. Mission accomplished.

I would also like to take this time to say how much I appreciate having a great partner like Anthony. Anthony had to work this weekend so I did the majority of this cake solo. GEEZ. I'd forgotten how much longer it takes when you do everything yourself. Especially rolling out fondant, which he is always nice enough to do for me when we work together.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

mac practice

macarons with salted caramel filling

I'm a little out of practice with macs since I've been in a cubicle for the past five weeks, so I decided to break out the piping bag this weekend. I've shown the stages above: piped, baked, filled and, of course, eaten.

I want to make these again so that next time I can hide a tiny nugget of green apple pâte de fruit (fruit jelly coated in sugar---like those fruit slices you can buy in candy stores) in the middle of the filling. It will taste like a caramel apple then!

I had a life-changingly good macaron this weekend at Francois Payard Bakery in Soho. The outer shell was delicately crispy and the inside velvety soft. GO GET ONE NOW. I recommend pistachio, or if you're feeling Halloweenish, pumpkin.

fudge ripple
And you know I can't go a weekend without making ice cream. I kept it simple today. Vanilla ice cream with ripples of thick, fudgetastic chocolate. I liked it so much, I shot it on a bright pink background. Très jolie.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

picture time

vanilla cake with nutella buttercream
This darling ladybug-on-a-leaf cake was for a first birthday party. I snapped pictures as the cake came together so I could do a play-by-play for you.

So let's get started.

We built the ladybug's body using 3 ten inch cake layers, 2 six inch cake layers and lots of Nutella buttercream. After the cake chilled, I carved it into a round mound that Anthony thinly crumb-coated.

Next, we covered the body in fondant and airbrushed it red. While the body dried, Anthony formed the head out of Krispies and we covered it in black fondant.

We've found that it's nearly impossible to get a true black by coloring or airbrushing white fondant. We just keep a small tub of black fondant on hand instead.

The rest was simple. We assembled the body and head on top of cake boards I had cut into a leaf shape and tricked our little lady out with antennae, spots and lots of sugar flower daisies.

Anthony liked the daisies.

And I liked the cake scraps.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

short and sweet. and frozen.

tres leches ice cream
Creamy coconut ice cream. Crispy coconut and vanilla bean meringues. Squares of buttery cake soaked in coconut milk.

Chris's favorite cake also makes a stellar ice cream.