Fashion and Food for your Tastebuds

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Brioche and Strawberry Jam

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:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Macarons a la Menthe

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 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 Creme


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

Chocolate Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting

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

Lemon Tart

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!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Apple Tart

Simple in appearance yet powerful in taste. One brief sentence that sums up this delicious apple tart. What I love about this tart is that it is so simple to make and it is bursting with flavor. I love apples, green ones, yellow ones, and red ones…I’ll take them all! So when I get the chance to bake a dessert with apples, I immediately get the urge to make this fabulous apple tart by my favorite cook, Ina Garten. 

Apples have a special place in the hearts of bakers around the world. The Americans have their Apple Pie and the French have their own version; tarte au pomme. The original recipe calls for this tart to be made into one large one. Now this is where my take on the recipe comes in. I make individual petit tarts; this blog is called Petit Treat after all! 

There is something so delicate about this apple tart. The way it fits perfectly into your hands and its aroma of freshly baked apples. It will be hard not to devour it all at once, but be patient and savor every bite! This recipe is perfect for pro-bakers and those of you just beginning your adventures in the kitchen. It is extremely easy and it is a great choice to whip up when you have company. The wonderful thing about this tart is that it looks good, but it tastes even better. So put on your apron and start baking!  

Go on, have a Petit Treat

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mini Red Velvet Cakes

There are many delicious treats in this world that happen to make my eyes light up with excitement and my belly very happy. A Red Velvet cake would certainly apply. In order for any cake to make me truly happy and content, it has to have the perfect 50/50 ratio of cake to frosting. That means no cake with just a tiny bit of frosting will be accepted. The perfect cake has to be rich and flavorful accompanied by layers of creamy frosting…and this Red Velvet cake definitely meets all of the requirements!  
The first time I met a Red Velvet cake was only 3 years ago…and that’s because I was living in Europe at the time and it’s nearly impossible to find a slice of red goodness. So determined to give this cake a try I went to Williams Sonoma and bought the Sprinkle’s Red Velvet Cake Mix.  I always imagined the cake to taste and feel just like its name…smooth and velvety, almost like a blanket (a very sweet blanket.) Well, it was better.
I know frequent bakers don’t usually use pre made mixes as the bulk of their cake, but trust me; nothing is better than this mix by Sprinkle’s Cupcakes. I have made Red Velvets from scratch before and it just never tastes the same. I don’t know what this LA bakery puts in that mix to makes so incredibly delicious, but I am so thankful for it! I never bake from a pre made mix, but for this cake… I think I can make an exception.
Now, even though this was a pre made mix you still had to put a little effort into it. It wasn’t the type of mixes were you just put water and eggs and voila you have your cake. The recipe calls for butter, eggs, milk, vinegar and the mix of course, all of which should be at room temperature (except for the vinegar and the mix.) It is really important for the butter and eggs to be at room temperature so to ensure that everything gets incorporated evenly into the batter. After everything is fully blended, you will have a beautiful red thick batter that will be tempting you to sneak in a lick… or two. You can try to resist, but it will be hard. I should know… I fell for temptation.
Once the batter is poured into your desired baking pan (I chose a sheet pan) and is baking in the oven, then it is time to start the cream cheese frosting or as I would like to call it… sinful deliciousness. This is the most luscious and creamy frosting that I have ever made it will never compare to other icings. So buttercream frosting, as much fun as we’ve had, you just don’t live up to cream cheese frosting…sorry. 
Red Velvet cake, I have professed my love for you. You have never failed me or given me problems. You are so rich and creamy and your bright redness always puts a smile on my face. This is the one cake you can always count on. These mini cakes may be small in size but they are a veritable showstopper. 
Go on, have a Petit Treat!