April 25, 2012

Crepe Cake

My family and friends have always been my biggest baking champions and ever since I started this blog their support has increased exponentially. I love to get suggestions and ideas from them about what I should make next.

Some of these recommendations have come from one of my oldest and dearest besties, Jill, who is celebrating her birthday today.  Jill was the one who suggested I try the famous Milles Crêpes Cake at  Lady M Confections the next time I was in NYC.  She had read about their celebrated dessert and and thought it would be ideal to attempt for the blog.

After one bite of Lady M's creation I knew instantly what all the fuss was about.  To call this cake amazingly delicious would not even begin to do it justice.  Aside from being beautifully constructed it tasted heavenly...layer upon layer of crepes filled with a whipped pastry cream.  I definitely had to try and make it at home.

My first attempt using leftover crepes and pastry cream wasn't as successful as I had hoped.   Problem #1: not enough crepes.  Problem #2: pastry cream filling that was too runny.  Result: a short cake that didn't hold its structure.   Oh well, it still tasted great!  Next time I think I'll use this recipe I found from the NY Times.


April 20, 2012

Bánh Patê Sô

Growing up I was never much a fan of Vietnamese desserts.  Most were either too sickly sweet or the textures weren't to my liking.  [Xin lỗi to the relatives I may have offended!]   But when it comes  to Vietnamese savories I go crazy for them.

One of my absolute favorites is Bánh Patê Sô, a pork-filled puff pastry.  Their influence is definitely French and the name is actually a play on pâté chaud or "hot pastry."  My mom typically saved these treats for special occasions or when she had Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry on hand.   In Vietnam they're normally eaten for breakfast but I like to enjoy them any time of day. 

I took it as a sign that I should make these for myself when I had some leftover egg roll filling and quickest puff pastry dough sitting in my freezer.   I'm so glad I did!  I'm kicking myself for not making them from scratch sooner.  The great thing is that the shaped, unbaked pastries can be frozen well in advance of when you need them.  Just thaw them overnight in the fridge and they're ready to go in the oven.

April 17, 2012

TWD Lemon Loaf Cake

When I submitted my blog in the drawing to host this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe I was really hoping it would be chosen.   I love all things citrus and Lemon Loaf Cake was right up my alley.   

As soon as I found out Treats was one of the two blogs that were randomly chosen I immediately called my sister-in-law to ask for lemons.  A massive meyer lemon bush divides her driveway from the next door neighbor's so an abundance of fruit is literally at her fingertips.


As I read through the cake recipe I was pleasantly surprised to learn that its texture was similar to a pound cake but that preparation was all done by hand.  Any recipe where I don't have to bust out the KitchenAid stand mixer is an ideal one to me.

I took a little detour from the cookbook by brushing the baked loafs with a meyer lemon syrup and then topping with a meyer lemon glaze and candied meyer lemon slices - a triple citrus threat if I ever saw one.   Even with the addition of the lemon syrup I found the cake itself to be a tad bit dry but still delicious nonetheless.

Michelle from the blog The Beauty of Life is my fellow co-host for this week's recipe.

April 10, 2012

Under the Sea Sugar Cookies

I'm not much of a fan of snorkeling which is ironic because I love to swim, especially in the ocean.  I've gone a couple of times in Hawaii and the first few minutes were great, then came the onslaught of hyperventilation and after that it was game over.

My niece was hosting a Nemo birthday party for her daughter and asked if I could make the cookie favors.  In my imagination these Under the Sea cookie creatures are what I may have come across had I managed to stay under water longer than ten minutes.  Don't the cookies' vibrant colors just scream the tropics and crystal clear waters? Yeah, I know they aren't necessarily anatomically correct but these are just cookies, people! 

April 3, 2012

TWD Pizza Rustica

Looking for a savory dish to serve at your Easter brunch this Sunday?  You should definitely try Pizza Rustica, this week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe.  Don't be confused by the name; it's not a pizza you normally think of.  It's actually a deep-dish pie that's similar to a quiche and packed with ricotta, mozzarella, pecorino romano and prosciutto.

The pizza rustica was easy to make because the pastry dough was extremely forgiving.  For my pie I included two more cured meats to make it super flavorful, calabrese salame and capocollo.  Next time I think I'll also add some fresh or dried herbs like basil and oregano to kick it up a notch.  While a slice can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature I preferred it warm with a side of arugula tossed in vinegar and oil.  Delizioso!

Capital Region Dining and The Place They Call Home are this week's hosts and have published the recipe on their blogs.
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