Cake, fruit, Petit Four, Recipes

Strawberry and Guava Petits Fours Glaces

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So I know that strawberry season is over (sigh), but it’s 7 months until my wedding and all this wedding planning has got me thinking all things girly! Today I even found our florist and just put the down payment on our flowers (on a side note, no one warned me about how expensive flowers can be!).

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I wanted to make something very feminine, and what could be more feminine than petits fours? These dainty little cakes are filled with a strawberry and guava filling and then coated in a creamy and lightly fruity glaze. I wanted to use a glaze that contributed both to the texture and flavor rather than using your typical poured fondant, which is much too sweet for my liking. I love the pale dusty rose color, and the finished glaze actually reminds me of a strawberry milkshake, which I have no problem devouring if it comes with cake!

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While petits fours can be incredibly tedious (like any good dessert), if you have the time and the patience, I say go for it! The end result is extremely satisfying, not to mention delicious (trust me, I’ve already eaten… ahem, a few).

Strawberry and Guava Petits Fours Glaces

makes about 30 (1″) pieces

for Vanilla Almond Cake

makes 1 half sheet pan (18 x 13″)

328 g butter

200 g granulated sugar

160 g cake flour

4 g salt

20 g baking powder

152 g almond flour

24 g vanilla extract

200 g eggs (4 large)

Preheat oven to 325F. Sift together cake flour, salt, baking powder, and almond flour, set aside. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy. With mixer running on medium speed, slowly stream in vanilla extract and eggs until all liquids are incorporated, scraping bottom of bowl as needed. Turn mixer down to low, and slowly add in sifted dry ingredients, mixing just until all ingredients are combined. Spread out batter onto a greased sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed in center. Let cake cool completely in pan and chill before assembly.

for Strawberry Guava Filling

187 g strawberry puree

90 g guava puree

50 g granulated sugar

4 g pectin

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and pectin, set aside. Using a small sauce pot, combine both purees and slowly bring to a simmer over a medium/low flame. Whisk in sugar pectin mixture, then bring mixture to a boil; filling should thicken slightly. Set aside 175 g of filling for the glaze, then cool the rest of the filling completely before assembling.

for Strawberry Guava Milk Glaze

175 g strawberry guava filling

50 g water

10 g gelatin, powdered

45 g corn syrup

360 g heavy cream

75 g white chocolate, melted

Bloom together water and gelatin, set aside. In a medium-sized sauce pot, combine strawberry/guava filling, corn syrup, and cream. Gently heat over a medium/low flame, stirring with a rubber spatula to prevent scorching on the bottom. Stir in melted white chocolate, then add bloomed gelatin. Sir until gelatin is melted and all ingredients are completely combined. Cool to room temperature before glazing.

Assembly:

Remove cake from pan and using a serrated knife, cut cake down the middle to get 2 pieces. Spread a thin layer of the strawberry guava filling evenly over one half of the cake, then turn the other half upside down and place on top of filling, pressing down lightly. I recommend keeping the cake in the freezer at this point until it is very firm, just so that cutting it later will be cleaner and easier. When cake is firm, use circle or square cookie cutters to cut out petits fours or use a serrated knife to cut out 1″ squares (make sure to clean cutters with hot water after each cut to maintain clean edges). Place cakes on a lined sheet pan with a wire rack on top. Slowly pour glaze over each cake, making sure that all sides of cakes are completely covered with glaze. I had enough glaze to coat each cake twice and get a nice even cover. Let glaze cool and firm up, then decorate cakes as desired; I piped mini rosettes and decor using regular Italian buttercream, but it’s entirely up to you!

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Cake, Chocolate, Custard, fruit, Recipes

Chamomile and Lemon Verbena Entremet

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As a huge believer in anything tea-related, I love sampling any kind of tea I can get my hands on. When I got a hold of Mighty Leaf’s Chamomile Citron, it was like love at first sip. I knew I had to make some kind of dessert with it, one that wouldn’t hinder its delicate citrus notes and natural sweetness.

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And so a mousse it is! For the base of this entremet I used a simple vanilla and almond cake, then made a mousse using both chamomile and lemon verbena teas, sprayed it with colored cocoa butter, and topped it with some raspberry coulis, gold leaf, and chocolate decor.

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The mousse is luscious and creamy, with the same citrus flavours presented in the teas, while the cake provides a pleasant subtle sweetness along with it. The raspberry coulis provides the entremet with a nice pop of flavour as well.

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When it was done, I excitedly brought one to my fiance’s home, where it was devoured in seconds. By him. Or me. Okay, mostly me. Oh yeah, and he liked it too!

Chamomile and Lemon Verbena Entremet

makes 6 (7cm) entremets

For vanilla/almond cake:

82 g butter

50 g sugar

6 g vanilla extract

50 g egg

40 g cake flour

1 g salt

6 g baking powder

38 g almond flour

Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until pale. Switch paddle to whisk attachment, then add vanilla extract and egg, and whisk on medium speed until incorporated.

Sift together cake flour, salt, baking powder, and almond flour. Slowly add dry ingredients to batter, then mix just until combined. divide batter between 6 (7cm) ring molds on a lined sheet pan, piping batter 1/6th of the way up the sides of the molds and then lightly tapping sheet pan on counter to flatten tops of cakes. Bake 7-9 minutes or until cakes are fully cooked. Chill before making mousse.

For Chamomile and Lemon Verbena Mousse:

105 g milk

4 g Chamomile Citron tea, loose leaf

3 g lemon verbena tea, loose leaf

25 g water

5 g gelatin, powdered

185 g heavy cream

26 g egg yolks

35 g sugar

In a small sauce pot, combine milk, chamomile leaves, and lemon verbena leaves and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat, cover pot, and let steep 10-15 minutes.

Whip heavy cream to a soft peak, then set aside.

Mix together gelatin and water until there are no lumps, and let bloom 5 minutes. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain leaves from milk, squeezing out any extra milk the leaves have absorbed. Discard leaves. Heat milk over low heat again, and mix together yolks and sugar. Whisk yolks into heated milk, then gently heat until milk thickens and eggs cook lightly(basically make an anglaise). Add gelatin, and heat until gelatin has melted. Let mixture cool slightly, then gently fold into whipped cream until everything is combined. Divide mousse between each ring mold, then refrigerate and then freeze until set and ready to unmold.

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Breakfast, Recipes, Savoury

Fig and Bacon Jam

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I love crossing the lines between sweet and savoury. As someone who makes sweets for a living, it’s nice to changeĀ  things up a bit.

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Yesterday I had some very ripe figs, and decided I wanted to make something both sweet and salty to satisfy my cravings. I love that the bacon lends a nice smokey undertone to the sweetness of the figs. This morning for breakfast I had the jam with some fresh baked brioche and some truffle pate. Ohh yes, it was that kinda morning.

Fig and Bacon Jam

makes about 1 L

185 g thick cut bacon

50 g brown sugar

787 g very ripe figs, stemmed and quartered

198 g granulated sugar

10 g pectin

1/8 tsp salt

Dice bacon into 1/4″ pieces. Over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly golden, then add brown sugar and toss bacon to coat in sugar. Cook until sugar is melted and bacon is caramelized. Add figs and stir into bacon. Using a rubber spatula, stir figs frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot. Let mixture simmer until figs have broken down quite a bit.

In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and pectin until there are no lumps. Add sugar mixture to pot and toss figs and bacon in sugar. Let simmer until jam is very thick, stirring to prevent scorching. If desired, blend about half of the jam to make it more smooth. Keep in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Enjoy the next day!

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Art

The Trap

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Finished another oil painting this week. I’m trying to work on things like shading and dimension; I still need a little help in those areas but I’m getting there! Using oils is a lot harder than watercolor, for me at least.

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Anyway, this one is a little more sombre than my previous pieces, as I wanted to bring a little more emotion into it. It also happens to be a result of listening to a lot of Tracy Chapman while I’ve been sick for the past week. Hope you guys like it!

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Breakfast, Cake, Chocolate, Recipes

Rocky Road Muffins

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One of the breakfast items we sell at work is Rocky Road muffins, a take on the American ice cream flavour by the same name; chocolate ice cream loaded with chunks of walnuts and frozen marshmallow. Obviously, I was intrigued by the concept. For the last few days I”ve been sick with a nasty cold (and still am, unfortunately), and honestly at that point anything with chocolate sounded amazing.

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Anyway, long story short, it was amazeballs. It was rich, intensely chocolatey, and just what I needed to forget about my cold for a few dreamy seconds (sigh). I concluded that I needed to make this stuff for myself, so here’s my own recipe for these babies. If you do decide to try it out, just make sure you have someone else to share these guys with or risk eating them all yourself and feeling guilty afterward. I promise I won’t tell anyone, though…

Rocky Road Muffins

Makes 8 muffins

145 g All Purpose flour

75 g dark cocoa powder

2 g salt

6 g baking powder

180 g sugar

100 g eggs (2 large)

135 g vegetable or canola oil

75 g buttermilk

3 g vanilla extract

76 g semi-sweet chocolate chips

35 g walnuts, chopped

35 g mini marshmallows, plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and sugar until there are no lumps. In another bowl whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. With mixer running on low, slowly stream inĀ  wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix just until everything is combined.

With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips, walnuts, and mini marshmallows until combined. Divide batter between lined muffin molds, filling molds 3/4 full. Top each muffin with 3 or 4 mini marshmallows. Bake 350F for 20-22 minutes, then let cool completely in pans before removing and storing.

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