Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's been a while since I've posted! It's been a while since I've baked anything special, really. In early December, I made some cupcakes for an art opening at work. They were well received, and I have really been craving cupcakes, lately. I like bite-sized ones... That way, I get to sample a few different flavours, and they're easy to stuff into your mouth and eat quickly (lest you be judged by those strange 'I hate dessert/I hate myself, so I'm going to judge YOU' type of folk). :)

Rich chocolate cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream, & Pumpkin with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting (& a pecan for good measure).

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 11:13 PM | 0 comments
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My mom's best friend since high school is a kickass lady and a huge fan of animals, and she had a cute little farm on Cape Cod with two sheep and two horses. For her birthday a while back, I decided to make her some 'healthy' low-fat carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (okay, not so healthy). The recipes came from a great book, Crazy About Cupcakes. The cute dude munching hay above is one of her adorable sheep. I had a hard time getting close to them, as all they wanted to do was run away, and would then sneak up behind me and go 'BBBAAAHHHHH!' and take off again before I could get a photo. I think I blinded him with the flash, in this photo I actually managed to take. My goal with these cupcakes was to make them in the likeness of her sheep:

Some turned out better than others, they kind of look more like sheep-clouds, but they did taste great! I used black and white jelly beans for the faces, and nonpareils for their feet. Baking projects don't always turn out perfect, but as long as it tastes good, I can live with it. As soon as she saw the cupcakes she laughed, and knew who they were supposed to be, so mission accomplished, I guess!

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 3:27 PM | 2 comments
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wow, how did I forget to post about this dessert?! It was possibly the best dessert I have ever made. SO MANY components. Time consuming, for sure - but so damn worth it! This is an Apple Trifle with cinnamon-sugar apple fritters, the recipe comes from the spectacular cookbook "Maze" by Jason Atherton. I linked to Amazon in the UK because seems to have a different, new edition, and I honestly have no clue if it's the same book (it most likely is).

This dessert consists of, from bottom to top: apple jelly, caramel custard, Calvados cream, and cider granita. The recipe includes the delicious cinnamon-sugar apple fritters. My description of this dessert will never do it justice, but the pictures speak for themselves!

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 1:18 AM | 4 comments

This was my wedding cake design for our final project in my Baking & Pastry Arts program in 2007. Fondant is interesting to work with, I'd like to become more familiar with it, as I haven't worked with it since this project. Black-eyed Susans are one of my favorite flowers (my other top faves are Godetias and Wild Roses), and I tried to recreate them with piped royal icing. I found some 'edible' gold dust from Wilton, to serve as the pollen, which I was thrilled about! I thought my cake was really cute, and I had a lot of fun making it. My cake got second place in the whole class, and while I didn't win a prize, I was proud! I love looking at photos of wedding cakes and think I could really get into making extravagant, detailed cakes! The only thing that turns me off from pursuing making wedding cakes for a living, is dealing with the brides! For real.

People often ask me if I'll make my own wedding cake when I get married, and the answer always changes. Since I'm not planning on a huge or expensive wedding, I will probably be of sound enough mind that I'll actually be able to do it myself...but at the same time, I love to indulge in fancy sweets that I didn't have to make myself! I think I'd just like to have a mountain of cupcakes, and I honestly just want this cake, from La Provence Bakery in Kanata, Ontario, Canada:

My sweetheart got me this exact cake for my birthday several years ago, and it was DELICIOUS! chocolate mousse layers galore! Not to mention my childhood nickname is "Hedge", and I have a little hedgehog companion of my own, Vince Blanc! Here he is in action:

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 12:46 AM | 0 comments
Saturday, January 9, 2010

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 1:37 AM | 0 comments
Sunday, December 7, 2008

Chocolate Fondant (cake with a gooey, chocolate center) with Double Cream ice cream, and a cocoa butter chocolate nib tuile.... HFS (holy f'n shiiit)

This is the one night a week i really indulge, and make sure to have a few extra plated up for myself and the exec. chef....

I don't even know what to say about this dessert, other than it is sinfully good and just the perfect combination of flavours....

Chocolate fondant, I salute you!!

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 1:36 PM | 0 comments
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Now THIS creation, is pure indulgence. I'll take a pumpkin cheesecake with hazelnuts over plain ol' punk'in pie ANYdamnday....amazing, amazing, amazing! The recipe for this was found in Williams Sonoma's book, "Cakes, Cupcakes, and Cheescakes." The WS website also features a similar recipe, but it is NOT the same! I highly recommend that book and any recipe from it. Note that this cheesecake gets even better after a couple of days in the fridge to firm up. Who knew?

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 7:20 PM | 1 comments

Here are two different versions of the same dessert, plating-wise. Passionfruit Chiboust with Coconut Ice Cream and a Coconut Macaroon twig (top photo), and raspberry coulis and micro herbs to garnish. The old version (below) had an almond shortbread base. What a big difference a little switcheroo can make! Adding height to any dessert piques interest, and it just looks more streamlined as one unit. I eliminated the bulky almond shortbread, and let the chiboust stand on it's own. The coconut macaroon stick was the exec. chef's idea, and a great one at that! Coconut galore...

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 7:13 PM | 0 comments
I mean, really. That is the million dollar question. But, it is part of my job, to prepare fruit plates for those who have palates that are unappreciative of sweet desserts. Or people on diets. Either way, I think people who turn down dessert are freaking insane in the membrane...To each their own, I guess! This is a fruit plate with blood orange sorbet.

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 7:03 PM | 0 comments

So damned cute....some guests requested lemon meringue pie, and I thought it would be much cuter to make mini ones...with lemon curd inside, instead of a box mix. I make everything from scratch!

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 7:01 PM | 0 comments

Just What the title says....freakin' divine!

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 6:59 PM | 0 comments
I wanted to make the ultimate toffee cookie, but I really dislike hard & brittle cookies as a general rule (biscotti is the only exception). Most of the recipes I came across were of the crunchy cookie variety, which just would not do! I took the basic skeleton of a softer-textured cookie recipe, and tweaked it to my specifications. Now, this is a cookie to be reckoned with!! Just as good the day after they're baked - store in a ziploc bag for best results. Chewy and soft, with an ever-so-slightly crispy toffee crunch, and nutty dark chocolate undertones. Paired with a tall glass of cold milk, you can win anyone over with these treats!

Chewy Toffee Cookies

*2 - 1/4 cups AP flour
*1 tsp. baking soda
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet cream butter, softened
*3/4 cup granulated sugar
*3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
*1 tsp. best quality vanilla extract (Neilsen-Massey is recommended)
*2 eggs
*3/4 cup Heath toffee candy bits (& extra for topping cookies)
*1/3 cup Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips
*1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using a SILPAT baking mat on a baking sheet. Otherwise, even using parchment, your cookies may not turn out correctly (i.e. sticking to paper, flattening too much, too dark on bottom, etc.).

2. Sift together dry ingredients in small bowl (flour, b.s., salt)

3. In electric mixer, use paddle attachment to beat butter and sugars on med. speed until lighter in color and relatively smooth. I let my machine go for a few minutes, to maximize fluffiness. Next, add the eggs and beat until thoroughly incorporated.

4. By hand, gradually fold in flour mixture until well combined. Personally, I added the walnuts and chocolate chips to the dry before folding it in, but you can always add them after the flour is incorporated. It may seem like a lot of flour, but just keep folding and it will form a nice, firm dough. Lastly, fold in the Heath toffee bits.

5. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for one hour, or overnight.

6. Scoop chilled cookie dough and roll, by hand, into approx. 1" dough balls (or slightly larger, depending on your preference). Flatten slightly, and sprinkle additional toffee bits on tops of cookies just before baking. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned and cookie surface appears 'crackled'. Cool on tray for several minutes, then remove silpat from tray and place on wire rack. If cookies are firm enough, you can just place them on wire rack...I left mine on the silpat mat until they were firm enough to remove cleanly. Serve with milk or cappucino! :)


Posted by Petitfoureyes at 4:15 PM | 3 comments
My first dessert of the hardest desserts to master, the friggin' soufflé. These particular ones are not the best soufflés I've ever made, but the pictures are cute.

Raspberry Soufflé (raspberry stripes painted with thick raspberry coulis) and a Creme Anglaise foam shot with raspberry coulis and a chocolate straw. Served with chocolate sorbet. We make our own sorbets and ice creams, and I honestly never thought I'd ever be making such things...but they are damned delicious!

I've created this blog to document some of the desserts and baked treats I create at home and as a professional pastry and constructive criticism are always appreciated :)

Posted by Petitfoureyes at 4:04 PM | 0 comments