Recipes

The “Brake” Recipe

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Recipes | 0 comments

What’s brake, you ask? It’s a combination of a brownie and a cake- that’s apparently what you create when you forget to add baking powder and baking soda to your recipe! It was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! Ingredients: 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 cup white, granulated sugar 1 cup cold milk 1/4 cup Nestle chocolate powder 1/4 cup Ghiradelli unsweetened dark chocolate powder 3 large eggs 1 and 1/4 sticks softened butter Steps: *pre-heat oven to 350°F 1. Cream butter and sugar with your mixer, blending until the consistency is very smooth and creamy 2. add eggs to the butter mixture and mix until completely smooth 3. add milk and mix on low until blended into the butter mix 4.mix chocolate powders together in a separate bowl and then pour the combined mixture into the butter/milk/egg mix. Beat on high until completely blended in 5. slowly add flour into the mix, blending well after every addition Pour mixture into any pan you’d like to use. With this recipe, I made 12 cupcakes and an 8×11 thin layered cake (like a brownie)! For cupcakes: Pour mixture 2/3 full into the baking cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Happy Baking!!...

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Eggless Dark Chocolate Pudding

Posted by on Dec 2, 2012 in Recipes | 0 comments

Today I remembered I had left over heavy cream and decided to make dark chocolate pudding! Feel free to substitute the dark chocolate with milk chocolate, but make sure you reduce the sugar by half to compensate sweetness! Here’s an original Shakar Bakery recipe! Makes 4 servings. Ingredients 1 cup milk 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup coconut sugar 1/2cup unsweetened Ghiradelli dark chocolate 2 tbsp Corn Starch 1/2 stick organic butter Pour milk and heavy cream into a sauce pan and cook on high until mixture begins to warm up. In a separate cup, dissolve the corn starch in a few tbsp of cold water. Add sugar and chocolate to the milk and heavy cream, stirring until the chocolate is blended into the milk. Once mixture is about to boil, slowly pour in the corn starch and stir until the pudding has thickened. Remove from heat, add butter, and mix until fully dissolved. Pour pudding into your individual serving bowls, allow to cool to room temperature before placing into refrigerator to cool completely. Voila! If it’s too chocolaty for you (is that even possible??) reduce the amount of chocolate to 3/4 cups 🙂 Happy...

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Ginger Vanilla Pudding

Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 in Recipes | 0 comments

Today was a very atypical day: I had a sweet tooth. Ironically, this is very rare in my life. However, if there’s one thing everyone should know, I am a HUGE pudding fanatic. So there I was, craving something sweet, when I decided I wanted pudding. I opened my fridge and I saw that I had all the essential ingredients: milk, eggs, and butter. I didn’t feel like using corn starch (I was having a lazy night), so I decided to use flour instead as my emulsifier.Why? Only because I was feeling too lazy to reach for my corn starch 🙂 Told you, I was having a lazy night… I wasn’t even supposed to bake today! Anyway, on with the story. Not knowing where my cravings would take me, I just kept staring at my pantry and taking out random ingredients that would satisfy my palate. The winners were: vanilla extract, fresh ginger root, brown sugar. I grabbed my saucepan and started pouring my ingredients. I tend to “wing” my recipes, so I wasn’t sure if this would end up a success or not, but I was happy with my end result hence why I am writing this blog! Ingredients: 2 cups Milk (I used Lactaid) 8 teaspoons brown sugar 3 whole eggs (cage free/veg fed) 1 teaspoon grass fed butter (Kerry Gold) 1/2 cup unbleached flour 3 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger Directions: Pour milk into saucepan and combine with the sugar, ginger and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil on high, and then lower the heat to medium. In a bowl, whip the eggs until frothy. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs to temper the mix. Pour the solution into the saucepan, mixing vigorously. Add flour and continue mixing until all ingredients are well blended. Once the mixture starts to bubble thickly, remove from heat. Allow to slightly cool as you continue to mix. Add butter, and mix thoroughly. Transfer the pudding into your serving dish and allow to cool before placing into refrigerator. Makes about 5...

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Rose Water Macaroons & Pistachio Custard

Posted by on Jul 28, 2012 in Recipes | 0 comments

I recently came across a delicious frozen pistachio custard recipe, and I decided that rose water macaroons would be a perfect combination for this! Naturally, I headed over to my kitchen and started to experiment with ingredients. A lot of times, I bake without using measurements ( in Armenian, we say this is measuring by eye, or “achkee chapov”), but this time I paid attention so that I could share the recipe! I also don’t have a huge sweet tooth, so I tend to go light on any added sugar. I made this recipe Paleo friendly by using raw coconut crystals instead of white sugar! This is also safe for diabetics! Shakar Bakery’s Rose Water Macaroons 1 1/3 cup dessicated coconut (this is finely ground coconut) *1/4 cup raw coconut crystals 3 eggs whites 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tbsp rose water extract Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. I did not whip the egg whites first, but you may if you wish. Once mixed thoroughly, scoop rounded balls of the mixture onto a baking sheet. Insert into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. *I use raw coconut crystals instead of regular sugar because I love coconut (and want my macaroons extra coconutty!), and it’s much healthier than regular sugar. You can substitute it with white sugar using a 1:1 ratio (this means you place the same amount of white sugar as you would coconut crystals).  I also don’t like my macaroons super sweet, so feel free to add more sugar if you’d like! The following recipe for the frozen pistachio custard is from Chef Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia. For the frozen pistachio custard: 2 cups heavy cream 1/3 cup water *3/4 cup sugar 3 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk 1/2 cup ground pistachios 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract * Again, I don’t have a super sweet tooth, so I would reduce this to 1/2 cup of sugar (just a suggestion!) in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium-high speed until medium peaks form. Immediately place in the refrigerator. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar and heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Wash and dry the whisk attachment and fit the mixer with the whisk. In a clean bowl, beat the whole eggs and egg yolk on medium-high speed until frothy. Add sugar-water mixture, the pistachios and vanilla and continue beating until cool, about 5 minutes. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and gently fold in one-third of the egg mixture at a time until combined. Transfer the custard to sixteen 4-oz. ramekins or disposable aluminum cups and freeze overnight. To serve, remove the custards from the ramekins and place 1 custard in each individual bowl. Enjoy! Let me know how you like it! I already ate two macaroons by the end of this post 🙂 🙂 Happy...

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Diabetic Friendly Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Posted by on Jul 26, 2011 in Recipes | 2 comments

This week I have a cake order for an anniversary in the form of a pool table. The husband is diabetic, but the wife is not, so she asked me to bake a regular cake for the pool table, and to make the pool table balls (cue balls) diabetic friendly. I decided to make mini-cupcakes for the cake. Always curious to find new recipes, I searched online until I found the one I’m about to paste. I also went to Whole Foods market in search of a sugar substitute. I found the usual xylitol and stevia, but I have to be honest…every time I have sugar substitutes I get massive headaches. I can tell you if anything has a sugar substitute thanks to my headaches! Even gum gives me that effect if I chew it more than 10 minutes. Anyway, next to all these, I found something called “Coconut Secret– Raw Coconut Crystals: Low Glycemic Sugar Alternative.” Check out the website for more information. Being a chemist, and a science nerd, I wanted to know more about this “sugar” before I baked with it. My nutritionist friend was very resourceful and helped break down the facts for me- which facilitated experimenting. Turns out this coconut crystal has half the amount of sugar regular granulated sugar has (on a 1:1 ratio … except this is calculated by tablespoon and gram ratios). This did worry me a bit, because I wondered if the gram ratio would imply that the coconut crystals would be less sweet. I did a taste test where I literally ingested a tablespoon of each sugar to compare. Let me tell you, my brain woke up really fast!!! 🙂 needless to say, the coconut crystals got a thumbs up from me. Ok, so here is the recipe I found online: Mini Chocolate Cupcakes 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 cup cocoa powder 2 tsp instant coffee powder (optional) 1 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 3/4 cup milk (low fat is ok) 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp apple cider vinegar Preheat oven to 350F. Line 48 mini muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa power, instant coffee powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Shakar Bakery says: ummmm no. these cupcakes definitely do NOT look like the ones pictured. The surface of the cupcakes came out really bumpy, and the batter was super dry. Now see my modifications below: Shakar Bakery Recipe: I highlighted the changes in red. Mini Chocolate Cupcakes 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 cup Ghiradelli Pure Cocoa Powder (SUGAR FREE) 1 cup Coconut Crystals 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 3/4 cup almond milk (regular milk is ok) 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp apple cider vinegar 2 eggs Preheat oven to 350F. Line 48 mini muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa power, instant coffee powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Don’t use an electric mixture, you will overwork the batter. Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. To the left is the cupcake I made using the online recipe. To the right is the cupcake after I modified the...

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Covering A Cake With Fondant

Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Recipes | 2 comments

When I started my business, my biggest challenge was learning to properly cover a cake with fondant. I either rolled the fondant to thick, or I pulled the fondant too quickly and tore it and had to start all over, or (every decorator’s nightmare) I overworked the fondant and it refused to behave! True story, this happened to me at around 1am when I was working on a baptism cake. The fondant refused to spread properly, and I was unable to purchase more fondant until 8 am the following morning. The cake was due at 10am, I never went through so much stress! But the cake was delivered on time, and there were no complaints! But let’s move on to the picture tutorial. The cake pictured is a 12″ round cake, about 5 in high. #1 rule for measuring fondant: measure the height and diameter of the cake, add the two values, add 3″ and that’s the diameter of the fondant you need to roll. For example, my cake was 12″ in diameter, 5″ in height, so that gives me a total of 17″. Always give yourself 3″ of play room to adjust the fondant properly. In this case, my fondant was 20″ in diameter. 1. Roll out your fondant on a table dusted with powdered sugar (this prevents the fondant from sticking and tearing). Always roll in one direction, and lift the fondant off the table every once in a while to prevent sticking. Keep in mind that the top side of the fondant is the side that will be visible on your cake! Make sure your cake has already been frosted with buttercream before placing the fondant on the cake! Also, using a lazy susan or turn-table makes this job a lot easier. 2. Carefully lift the fondant from the table. Patience is KEY in this step, because you don’t want to tear your fondant. Before placing the fondant on the cake, try to measure the center point of the fondant to match the center of the cake. Gently place the fondant onto the cake. 3. Using a fondant smoother (bottom left of the image), smooth out the top of the cake by applying firm pressure on the smoother. Dusting the smoother with powdered sugar helps prevent any knicks or tears. This is the challenging part. Start smoothing down the sides of the cake. This part requires a lot of practice and patience, as you will have to keep playing with the fondant, adjusting it away from the cake and smoothing up (if you smooth down you will stretch and tear the fondant). Patiently work your way around the cake until you get a nicely smoothed cake. 4. Place on hand on top of the cake, and using a pizza cutter, trim away the excess fondant by holding the pizza cutter firmly in place and turning the cake on the turn-table. Don’t cut the fondant all the way to the border of the cake, because you will need to re-smooth the fondant and make adjustments. 5.Once you smoothed the cake again and assured a clean look, trim the excess of the fondant one more time with the pizza cutter. Voila! You now have a cake covered with fondant. Practice definitely makes perfect. My first cake took me about an hour to cover with fondant (and it was an 8″ cake). After many cakes, I got enough practice to cover this 12″ cake in 10 minutes 🙂 I know the pictures aren’t as great as a video tutorial, so I will plan to upload a video in the near future! Hope this inspires you to give fondant a chance! Happy baking,...

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