July 15, 2017

Parmesan Focaccia


Apologies for the radio silence these past few weeks.  I was on a business trip to Europe and tacked on some summer holidays as well.  I live for vacation but I definitely miss my kitchen while I'm gone, especially my oven and stand mixers.

One of the first things I did when I got home after three weeks away?  Duh, bake of course!  
 

I'd been craving carbs big time so ended up making a pan of Parmesan focaccia.    Nothing better than warm, soft bread sprinkled with herbs and cheese.   I used an Anne Burrell recipe I found on The Food Network and just added cheese at the end.   The dough comes together so easily and is a dream to work with.   Only requirement is patience while the dough proofs twice.  

I served the focaccia with one of my favorite summer salads, prosciutto and melon, and it was so delicioso!  I can guarantee this will be on repeat!  


May 29, 2017

Wedding Cake & Favors


My friend Jesse was married over the weekend and it was a really beautiful event.  I was happy to contribute by making the wedding cake and cookie favors.  Can't deny that I really love how the cake turned out - simple, elegant and more important, tasty; just what Jesse wanted.  

I must confess though, in the past I shied away from making wedding cakes because the idea of it seemed so daunting.   But after the success of the baby shower cake my confidence with tiered cakes soared.  They weren't as difficult as I previously thought.


Per the bride's request, red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting made up the bottom tier while the top tier consisted of chocolate cake with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream.  Both layers were covered in vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.  The wedding florist decorated the cake impeccably with roses, the leaves and blooms.
 

For the evening reception each seat at dinner was set with a California cookie.  Jesse had requested the favors be decorated in blush pink, to match her wedding colors, with a gold heart placed for San Jose, her and Tyler's hometown.  They actually grew up across the street from each other!


As a baker the best compliment you can receive is that your bakes not only look good, but taste good too.  I was delighted when so many of the wedding guests came up to me during the reception to say they loved the cookies and the cake....the best seal of approval I could ask for! 

Congratulations Jesse & Tyler!!!


May 20, 2017

M&M's Cookies


What to do with a huge bag of plain M&M's that were leftover from the office ice cream sundae party?  Such was the predicament I found myself in recently.  Most people would just eat them, but that thought wasn't the most appealing to me since I've got more of a salty tooth than a sweet one.

Then I remembered those huge M&M cookies that you can find in almost every bakery and supermarket in America and I knew that was what I was going to make.  No mystery to them people.  They're basically chocolate chip cookies with the candies replacing the chips.  I under bake them just slightly so that they maintain a moist and chewy texture.   Give them a try!

April 23, 2017

Surfer Cake


Apparently I'm on a cake kick because it seems like they're all I've been making in the past few weeks.  Case in point: this post is my fourth in a row about it.  I can't help it...lots of occasions to celebrate I guess!

My friend Marcelo was having a party to celebrate not only his birthday, but also house warming.   He and his wife Juliana recently moved out of SF and found a house in the suburbs that was more dog friendly for their mini Australian shepherd.   Marcelo loves to surf and their house is just a stone's throw from the beach so I thought a surfing themed cake seemed appropriate for the celebration.

The cake consists of three layers of carrot (with pineapple and coconut mixed in) filled with boiled milk cream cheese frosting and decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream.  Ring a bell?  It should since it's basically the same cake flavors from my last post, found here.  

For the sandy beach I used graham cracker crumbs, the ocean is made of colored buttercream, and the beach towel and beach ball are made of tinted fondant.   I really love how it turned out and hope the birthday boy enjoys it too.

Yuhuuuuu....surf's up!  Happy Birthday Marcelo!!!!


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