Thursday, November 27, 2014
If you'd like the recipe to my Mittens the Cat Cake, you can follow this LINK to get your paws on it. You can also hear the story behind my favorite Thanksgiving concoction on the same page.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
You’ve heard it here first: I’ve just raised your banana bread game. This is so huge that if Elvis hadn’t already left the building, he’d be in my kitchen right now noshing on this glorious concoction.
What do banana bread and Elvis have to do with a groundbreaking baking extravaganza? Peanut butter and chocolate, people! Those genius confectioners over at Nestlé® Toll House® have created the perfect peanut butter and chocolate baking vehicle that will elevate any and all banana breads (and pretty much everything else, for that matter). Elvis’ favorite flavor combo is now truly worthy of The King.
PEANUT BUTTER DELIGHTFULLS™ BANANA BUNDT CAKE
(makes 1 small bundt cake)
For the cake
4-5 overly ripe bananas (about 1 ½ cups)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup neutral oil, like canola or safflower
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 ounce) package peanut butter fill DelightFulls™, divided
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
For the glaze
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake
Take ½ cup of the DelightFulls™ from the bag and chop into halfs and ¼ pieces. Set aside.
In a small bowl, toss together the remaining DelightFulls™ and 1 tablespoon flour to coat the morsels. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a small bundt pan with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt for 30 seconds to distribute the leavening.
In the bowl of a food processor, puree the bananas until smooth. Add the oil and then the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined. Add the vanilla.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
Add the banana mixture and mix to combine.
Add the flour, all at once, and mix on low until just combined and smooth.
Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle ½ of the flour coated morsels over the batter. Pour 1/3 of the batter over the morsels and sprinkle with the remaining flour-coated morsels and top with the remaining batter.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently poked and a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Turn the warm cake out onto a serving platter. Allow to cool completely.
For the glaze
In a small bowl, stir together the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, milk, vanilla and salt until smooth. Spoon over the cooled cake and sprinkle with the reserved, chopped DelightFulls™.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
In 2005, I introduced the Golden Egg to the world via my pastry shop, Gesine Confectionary. You might think that Aesop and his fables brought the Golden Egg into the universal consciousness in the 1700s through their fancy and meaningful idioms. You’d be right, of course. But did that egg taste like a delicious old-fashioned donut that’s baked not fried and covered in a sprinkling of sparkling cinnamon and sugar? No. It was solid gold. It wasn’t even edible. Clearly, my Golden Egg was far superior.
When I rolled out this delicious confection, I thought it was the baker’s equivalent of dropping the mic. Little did I know that Toll House would grace us with Nestlé® Tollhouse® DelightFulls™ filled morsels, those little pockets of love teeming with caramel, peanut butter, mint and cherry fillings. I took one look at that bag of caramel DelightFulls™ and realized that the Golden Egg was getting an epic upgrade.
I made a batch. I had to leave town and told my husband where the magic tasties were hidden for our houseguests. The next morning, my phone exploded with happiness. One text read: “Golden EGGS! HOLY JAMOLEY!” Pictures of Golden Egg fueled happy people came pouring in.
The lesson I learned from this experience, a la Aesop’s Fables? If you have houseguests coming into town but you have to skip town for work, leave behind a batch of Golden Eggs brimming with caramel filled DelightFulls™. They’ll never notice you’re not there. Which is sad, quite frankly, but that just shows you the awesome power of a delicious DelightFulls™ laden treat.
SUPER EPIC CARAMEL DELIGHTFULLS™ FILLED GOLDEN EGGS
(makes 20 eggs)
Special Equipment: non-stick egg baking mold
For the eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups low-fat buttermilk
1 cup caramel filled DelightFulls™
1 extra tablespoon flour
To coat the eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon stirred together in a small mixing bowl
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg for 30 seconds to distribute the leavening. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Mix until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and continue mixing on high for 30 more seconds.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl between each addition. Add the vanilla.
With the mixer on slow, add the 1/3 of the flour mixture and ½ the buttermilk, alternating between flour and buttermilk until all the ingredients are added to the batter. Using a large rubber spatula, scrap the bottom and sides of the bowl again and stir gently. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate to set, at least ½ hour to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray the egg mold with non-stick baking spray. In a small mixing bowl, combine the caramel DelightFulls™ and the 1 tablespoon flour. Toss the DelightFulls™ with the flour to coat (this helps suspend the morsels in the batter).
Fill the egg molds ¾ full (place the remaining batter back in the fridge until you need it again). Place 6-7 DelightFulls™ morsels on top of the batter. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cakes spring back when gently poked. Turn the cakes out and while still warm, brush the eggs with the melted butter with a pastry brush and sprinkle liberally with the sugar/cinnamon mixture so it’s fully coated.
Continue baking off the rest of the batter with the DelightFulls™.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
DelightFulls™ Filled Baking Morsels.
One problem. It's tough to get through a segment when all you want to do is start eating because if there's anything I love more than a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich, it's a MINT filled morsel strewn ice cream sandwich.
|We managed to take a quick selfie while shooting our segment.|
|My day got infinitely sweeter when Nestlé sent me a box full of DelightFulls. My baking cup runneth over.|
ICE CREAM SANDWICHES with MINT FILLED DELIGHTFULLS
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Let Them Eat Cake was inspired, first and foremost, by the customers at my pastry shop, Gesine Confectionary. It was there that I came to understand the true nature of food allergy and intolerance. When a kid you've watched grow up can't eat birthday cake at a party due to extreme food allergies, a pastry chef like me will make it a mission to create safe cakes and treats for this fabulous child. But I don't have a pastry shop anymore. And if I did, I wouldn't be able to bake for everyone who finds a dearth of choice in the treats department due to food intolerance. So I wrote this book to fill the void.
This book is also for that enthusiastic baker who jumps at the chance to bake at the drop of a pin, "Of course I'll bake 200 cupcakes for the bake sale!" "Bien sur, I'll crank out 2000 cookies for the elementary school open house!" It's also for you that this book exists because for every time you've jumped in glee at the chance to spend a long weekend playing with flour, butter and sugar, you've been thrown a baking curve ball: "No gluten!" "No dairy!" "No animal products!" No refined sugars!"
If you want to bake with all ingredients in play, this book is for you. Every recipe starts with no holds barred. There's butter, refined sugar and flour all up in your grill. But that recipe also comes with variations for when you need a cake or pie to be gluten-free, vegan (dairy and animal product free) or just plain healthier. In other words, this book is for everyone who enjoys a good pastry.
I want all of you to eat cake...and cookies and pie and candy and ice cream!
Saturday, September 13, 2014
The following is an excerpt from SugarBaby extolling my love of candy corn:
My favorite halloween costume was a death trap: seven feet of chicken wire slathered in papier maché, festooned in flammable white, orange and yellow oil paint, made mobile with four shimmying grocery cart wheels, and equipped with a sticky trap door for candy deposits. I was the envy of every kid at Woodmont Elementary. I was the biggest candy corn on earth.
Sadly, there was no ventilation, it tipped whenever I tried to negotiate a curb, and the built-in mesh window was inches to low for my gangly frame. But I was happy to withstand any discomfort for a giant candy corn, even if it wasn't edible. Luckily, I usually got a few pounds of the real stuff deposited into the bucked attached precariously to the inside of the costume. Today, I bypass trick-or-treating and death-trap costumes and simply make my favorite ghoulish treat at home and in any shape I desire.
I also love chocolate cake and nougat filling.
Put it all together and you better believe you'll be in a sugar coma for a week. But I guarantee you'll be smiling!
Everything in this sweet cake can be found in SugarBaby. The chocolate cake's on page 216.
The innards of my fudgey chocolate cake are filled with vanilla nougat, which you can find on page 120 ofSugarBaby.
The ghostly veil is candy corn (page 66).
Here's how I put it all together.
For the cake insides, I take half the fudgey chocolate cake recipe . I make a dozen cupcakes with the batter (they are baked for 15 to 20 minutes).
I then make half the vanilla nougat recipe while the cupcakes cool.
I level the tops of the cupcakes and put the tops aside.
|level all of the cupcakes|
I take a melon or teaspoon cookie scoop and scoop the middle of each cup cake out.
|scoop the innards of the cakes. just enough to make a divet for the filling.|
I put one cupcake atop the other. Smush them together gently.
I then take the small slice we leveled off from one of the cakes and trim it to size to fit on top of our little cake tower and then place it on top and gently smush again. The cake is so moist, you'll find that everything adheres just fine.
|and here's what it looks like sliced in half. Yummy.|
Keep one piece plain and die one piece orange and the other yellow.
Roll the plain piece into a foot long rope.
Divide the orange and yellow pieces and roll them all into foot long ropes. Put the orange pieces on either side of the plain rope and the yellow pieces on either side of the orange ropes.
Make sure there's a fine layer of either corn starch or confectioner's sugar on your table and lightly dust a rolling pin with the same. Roll the ropes together into a 6" wide x 36" long strip. Stamp out 6, 6" rounds.
Gently cover each cake with the 6 inch round of candy corn.
Use a medium sized open pastry tip to cut out ghoulish eyes and a large pastry tip for the mouth.
If you like, fill the spooky eye and mouth cavities with melted chocolate or leave them deeply vacant with the promise of the deadly sweetness within.