As much as I love digital cameras, there is something so raw and beautiful about film. I decided to take my Nikon F100 and shoot my baking in black and white film. The two deserts I made were a blueberry tart and vanilla macarons. The photos were taken on a rooftop in NYC, with a great view of the Empire State Building. Now I don't know which method of photography I prefer! I hope you enjoy!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Its been a while since I last baked, and I decided that now was the perfect time. As spring is here and summer is rapidly approaching, I decided to make a blueberry tart. This is a dessert that perfectly fits the season. The tart is delicious and simple to make. Here are a few photos of the berry dessert.
Recipe from: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Blueberry-Almond-Tart-106987
Thursday, December 2, 2010
There is something so comforting about home baked goods. Maybe it’s the warm smell from the oven, or just the fact that someone took the time to make you a little treat. Either way, I was in the mood for something delicious yet, cozy so I decided to make brioche and strawberry jam.
This was my first time making homemade bread and jam and it certainly won’t be my last. Making bread is not something you can do during your lunch hour; it takes at least a couple of days. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy and even relaxing. The strawberry jam was very simple and extremely delicious. It’s incredible how much of a difference there is in taste between store bought jam and homemade jam. The taste that lingers on your mouth is just so fresh and natural.
Both of these tasty delights are great on their own, but when paired together, it’s a completely different experience. Slather some strawberry jam on a buttery brioche and you have a delicious breakfast that will warm your heart and your spirit.
Find recipe at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/barefoot-contessa/mini-brioche-rolls-recipe/index.html
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Macarons. These delicate almond cookies may look simple, but believe me they are not.
So I’ve decided to continue my French pastry theme by making perhaps the ultimate French petit treat, the Macaron. If you are a frequent foodblog reader then you have seen the macaron pop up in every blog.
A popular summer flavor at Ladurée is mint. A unique flavor with a unique color; blue. I’ve seen too many chocolate, vanilla and caramel macarons made on various blogs. Yes, they are delicious flavors, but lets try something different. It’s summer and I want bright, gleeful colors. I think a Tiffany’s blue will be just right. Now for the flavor, mint, a refreshing flavor for summer. It may not be the top flavor for everyone, but it’s a must try.
They weren’t perfect, but definitely an improvement from what I started with. The buttercream I used was a normal buttercream with peppermint extract. I found my recipe from http://notsohumblepie.blogspot.com/. She helped me in so many ways and her recipe is the go to for any macaron. I hope you enjoyed my macaron journey. No matter how much I perfect my technique, they will never taste as delicious as the ones from Ladurée and that’s ok, because I need an excuse to go there and buy as many flavors as possible.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Choux a la crème. Or otherwise known as a cream puff is the Parisian petit treat that I made. Looking into all of the wonderful windows of pastries, I saw these precious little choux a la crème and I thought to myself ‘I must make these!’ The dough that is made for these desserts is called a choux. This particular dough is used to make other desserts like eclairs and profiteroles. The only main difference is the shape that you chose to make the dough in and the filling.
Even though French pastries are harder to make than other desserts and definitely more time consuming, I love the challenge. But what I love more is the final product and how beautifully these little petit treats come to life. Why is it that every French pastry looks like a work of art? Well here is my attempt at being an artist! Yes the process was long, but the end product was worth it!-->
I began with making the pastry cream as it needed to chill overnight in the fridge. I used a basic pastry cream recipe, beating egg yolks and sugar in a mixer, adding the cornstarch and heating it in a saucepan so it thickens. I placed the cream in a bowl, covered it with plastic rap and let it cool for a few hours. Now to the dough! (or the choux) Making this wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. In a saucepan I brought the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter to a boil. I removed it from the heat andand then mixed in the flour. I put it back on the heat and cooked it until it was no longer sticky. I transferred the dough to an electrical mixer and then added the eggs one at a time. Now came making the choux into medium size rounds using my piping bag.
After filling my choux with the chilled pastry cream it was time for the pink fondant. Now this was the most challenging part. The recipe I was using was a French one which called for pastry fondant cream, which was nearly impossible to find here. So I decided to take regular white rolled fondant, melt it in a sauce pan so it became a liquid form, added my pink food coloring and dipped the top of my choux in the liquid fondant and left it to dry. I am not sure if the Parisian pastry chefs do it the same way, but it worked for me! Last post I talked about the chocolate bug, well now, I’ve caught the French pastry bug.-->
Friday, April 30, 2010
What is it about chocolate that make us weak in knees? Why does it make us smile from ear to ear and have uncontrollable cravings? Whatever the reason may be, I don’t think it matters much as long as we get our chocolate. I can proudly say that all of these symptoms, which are listed above, are exactly how I am feeling right now. Lets just say that I caught the chocolate ‘bug’ today.
It had been a while since I was feeling chocolate sick, a little like love sick but a whole lot less depressing. I wanted chocolate and I wanted it now. So I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. As delicious as it sounds, it tasted even better. I think many people can agree with me that there is just something about that first bite of chocolate that makes everything better or your problems seem to fade away even if it's momentarily.
The recipe is simple, easy and problem free. Just how chocolate should be. The cake itself is a nice dense cake, not too sweet but just enough to make it a little sinful. But the real star of this cupcake is the frosting. When you make the chocolate buttercream, try to leave a little to frost your cupcakes. That’s how good the icing is, even by itself. So if you happen to catch the chocolate ‘bug’ remember to rest, take plenty of fluids and indulge in the best medicine out there; Chocolate.
Go on! Have a Petit Treat!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I love lemons! The color, the freshness and well basically everything about them. They brighten up any meal and always manage to make me smile. This was actually my first time making a lemon tart….I know, I say I love lemons so much but I never actually made a tart out of them, I promise I’m telling the truth! That’s probably because I always thought it would be hard since I had never made a Pâte Brisée.
I had a great afternoon eating lemon tarts with my wonderful friend N, when she said “Why don’t you make these? They’re so good and they’re my favorite!” You know, I never really thought of making lemon tarts and it’s true, they are simply delicious. So I got that feeling of excitement I always get when I am introduced to a brand new recipe. And I went to my kitchen and began making my own lemon tarts.
I began making the Pâte Brisée, which is wonderful pastry dough that happened to surprise me. It was extremely easy to make. It was basically just like the pastry dough that I made for the Apple Tarts, with the addition of an egg yolk which makes the dough extra rich. It is really important to chill your dough for a minimum of 30 minutes, that way it will be extremely easy to rollout, and you wont have a hot mess on your hands.
The lemon curd filling was my favorite part of this experience. It was a wonderful shade of yellow, tasted so fresh and had a wonderful scent of citrus. The only slightly bothering part about this filling was standing in front of the stove stirring the mixture constantly for 12 minutes or until it was thickened. But it got there, and it was beautiful. I let it chill in the fridge because I love all my desserts extra cold. After filling my tart shells with the chilled filling, I let them cool completely in the fridge and the lemon curd sets and becomes the perfect consistency. Lovely.
I love tarts. I know my last post was an apple tart, but in my eyes these two are entirely different tarts with equal importance. I am proud to say that these tarts came out well! For my first time, not bad! And the great things about these lemon tarts is that you can make all the components in advance and just assemble them right before serving.
For all you lemon lovers out there!
Go on, have a Petit Treat!