Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I'm all settled in Australia. Of course my clothes are everywhere because I need a dresser or something to place then inside besides lying them on top of a couch.
I have great news! I got a job as a baker/pastry cook in a boutique hotel in Surfers Paradise! I really didn't think I would find anything as soon as I did. I had an interview one day in the week, the next day a bench test, and the following day it was my first day! It is a full-time job now but then it becomes casual work. I'm just excited about the opportunity :)

I'm really glad I got Christmas off. I do have to work Boxing Day, but ohh well! Yesterday after work my boyfriend and I made Gingerbread Cookies! We bough all the ingredients yesterday, the grocery stores were packed! We have to weave around people, look high and low for a jar of molasses.
They look really cute and silly, and taste amazing. I love gingersnaps with thick icing on top, and this reminds me of my favorite store bought cookies, but better! Kids love these cookies as well, my boyfriend's niece already ate two! I don't want to count how many I already had, but it's Christmas!



Gingerbread Men
Yield: 19 cookies

2 cups AP Flour
0.5 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
0.25 tsp Baking Soda
0.5 tsp Cinnamon
0.75 tsp Cloves
1.0 tsp Ginger
0.5 tsp nutmeg
8 tbls butter (room temperature)
0.5 cups Sugar
0.5 cups Molasses
1/2 Large Egg

Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
Mix in molasses and egg until it is incorporated
Add in the dry mixture, and mix until combined.
Wrap dough in saran wrap and chill in fridge for at least a hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F ( 176C). Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough out on a well floured table to 1/4 thickness. Use your gingerbread man cutter to cut out out shapes. Make sure they are places 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10 mins, I rotated the pan halfway during baking.
Let your little men cool completely.

Time to Decorate!!!!

Basic Icing 

1 Egg White
1 Cup Powder Sugar (sifted)
Food Coloring

Beat egg whites with an mixer until it forms a soft peak. Add in powder sugar gradually, until it forms stiff peaks. Divide icing in bowls. Add any colors you heart desire.
I used a ziploc bag to easily pipe out designs.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Moving

how nifty & delicious
It's going to be a hectic week so I thought now is the best time to update everyone!
So I'm moving to Australia temporarily for possibly a year. Hah It really just depends on how well finding work goes, that's why I'm saying possibly.
 I have tons of clothes to sort through, some to give away, some to store, and some to pack. Its pretty stressful but I'm so excited for a bit of change!
Of course I'm going to continue selling marshmallows, just from a different location. Starting Sunday I will temporarily be on vacation mode. Have a nice week :)

 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mint Marshmallow

Hope everyone had a great holiday! I haven't celebrated Thanksgiving in two years! I was trapped in Providence last year (well actually I was in New York), and before that I was in Australia. It was great spending time with my family and eating of course! Unfortunately, we don't have any leftovers for today and there's only one slice of sweet potato pie left.  :(

 I wanted to introduce my new marshmallow flavor for the Holiday Season ... Mint Marshmallows
 I had some of these mint marshmallows in a cup of hot chocolate, and it was wonderful. I usually hate the combination of mint and chocolate but I was pleasantly surprised how good it tastes! These little candy cane marshmallows are perfect for Christmas gifts this season!     

In celebration of Black Friday/ After Thanksgiving, you can receive 15% off your purchase with coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY     (valid through Nov. 29)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes

Today is my birthday! Whoo hoo! 

I have no idea what the day holds for me, but I think I'm headed the mall. I have this old gift card from Macy's since my high school graduation, and it's time to be used. I would love some liquid foundation, but I really never wear make up unless I'm going dancing and that's pretty rare! I think it's time to master the art of applying makeup... Then there the Sillpat I had my eyes on, every baker should have one in there kitchen for tuile, almond lace, or sticky caramel. Ohh tough call...

For my birthday I made Coconut Cupcakes with Mango Curd.
 It's really as good as it sounds. I just ate one and I'm tempted to get another one, I am the birthday girl!  This cupcake is really moist inside . It's winter and my store bought Brazilian mangoes weren't exactly ripe, but that didn't stop me from filling these cupcakes. I can't wait to try it again with really ripe mangoes, I'm sure the curd will be even more delightful! I made buttercream, and it's a really simple recipe didn't have to find a thermometer for the sugary syrup. It's really smooth and melts in your mouth!

 

Coconut Cupcake
(recipe from Treats)
Yield: 24 cupcakes 

2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 cup milk
6 egg whites (large eggs at room temperature) 
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut extract (used imitation extract)
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 T butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. Blend milk, egg whites and extracts in a bowl with a fork until combine. 
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at slow speed.  Add butter a few tablespoons at a time.  Continue to beat mixture at slow speed until mixture resembles crumbs or sand, with no white flour streaks visible. Add 1 3/4 cup of the milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 90 seconds.  Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for 45 seconds.  Don't forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue beat 30 seconds longer on medium speed.
Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 way full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. 
 
Mango Curd

3/4 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 cup pureed mango (from 2 ripe mangoes)
1/4 cup butter
3 T lime juice
6 egg yolks beaten

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, mango, butter and lime juice in a small pot.  
Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.  Temper 1/2 of the hot mixture into the egg yolks.  Return egg yolk mixture back into pot and bring just to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove off of heat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. 
 
 Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb unsalted butter (cut in cubes)at room temperature

Place sugar, egg whites and salt in a bowl. Set bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes, it should feel completely smooth.

Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition of butter. Add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. It should be fluffy and have a smooth mouth-feel.


looking good :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marshmallow Fondant Fail

Wish I could say it's my front yard :p
Hope you guys had a spooky Halloween! I didn't dress up or do anything, barely watched any scary movies. I don't think Resident Evil: Afterlife counts, because it wasn't good or scary. There was one really good scene and I would just watch that specific part involving a giant zombie! I love movies and shows about zombies, I pretty much seen all the popular ones.

So anyway, I made a cake and I had an bad experience with marshmallow fondant! When it came to rolling out the fondant on my table, AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL!

Marshmallow Fondant
recipe from Life With Cake:
1 Bag Marshmallows
2 T Water
1-2 lbs Powder Sugar  (sifted)
Crisco (for greasing)

Place marshmallow and water in a bowl. Melt in the microwave on high-heat for 2 minutes.
Grease a spoon with a thin layer of Crisco and stir mixture.
Stir in sifted powder sugar until it resembles dough.
Knead the fondant out on well floured surface, until it's not sticky.

1st Batch..not ''dough-like'' yet
 I didn't use all of the powder sugar so maybe that's were I messed up? I made two separate batches and the second one was much more firmer and dough-like in consistency than the first. I wrapped the fondant in saran wrap, and had the intentions of using it the next day. When I was ready to roll out the fondant, it was very stressful. I kept adding more and more  powder sugar but it kept sticking to the table. I did turn the fondant after each roll, to help prevent it from sticking. It didn't work, and the powder sugar left trapped lumps inside the fondant dough. Even after all the careful rolling, when I tried to pick up the fondant and place it on the cake. IT TORE, can you imagine that happening ten times.

Patchwork job on the side!
After doing patchwork jobs on the fondant that I ultimately tried to place on cake, thinking I could magically fix it or hide it. WRONG. It still came out lumpy on the cake and it looked really thin.


Wrinkles..yuck!
 I was still able to salvage some fondant for decor. I definitely want to conquer marshmallow fondant because it's quite yummy and I'm jealous of all the beautiful marshmallow fondant cakes on Youtube. Well it won this round...To Be Continued!  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Marshmallows

It's Pumpkin Season!! It's great going to the grocery store and seeing bright orange pumpkins on display.

My Pumpkin
I also love cooking pumpkin. It took a while this time because I literally stood there the entire time. I placed the chopped pumpkin in a bowl over boiling water and placed a lid over the top of the bowl. Then I would slowly peel off the softened skin of the pumpkin leaving just the ''meat''. I added similar spices  used to make pumpkin pie..cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. I got a nice flavorful puree I could of easily poured into a pie shell. 
Waiting to be steamed
The entire time making it, I was saying I want pie...But the entire point was to make marshmallows. There available for purchase here. They taste just like pumpkin pie, especially when its coated in graham cracker crumbs.


In celebration of Halloween coming up, sugarthesky is offering FREE SHIPPING for domestic orders now (October 25- October 31. Use this coupon code at checkout: Halloween  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Caramel Popcorn

I had another busy week. I had to whip up a birthday cake at the last minute. So I'm loving my lazy Sunday at the moment.  I love fall because my favorite shows are back on. If I wrote down the list of shows I'm currently watching, you guys would be shocked at the amount. I am bummed that my soap operas got the boot. I grew up watching and loving/hating some of the characters. I wanted to continue the tradition of watching AMC with my future children. Luckily there are new prime time shows like Terra Nova and Revenge. I'm still up in the air on if I even like Terra Nova.

Anyway the whole point of my little rant is eating yummy TV snacks like Caramel Popcorn! It's better than Cracker Jacks even without the prize. I just popped microwave popcorn solely for convenience. I got the idea to use Snickers from Cookies & Cups, a wonderful blog with sweet treats.   


mmm caramel goodness
 Caramel Popcorn
Adapted from David Lebovitz
1 Bag popped microwavable popcorn
1 stick unsalted butter
1½ cups  light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pack bitesized snickers

Place aluminum foil in a baking pan, make sure to oil it lightly. Add your popcorn to the pan.
Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add brown sugar + cornsyrup + salt.  Stir. Bring mixture to a boil. At this point I stopped stirring. Let it continue to cook until it reaches 300F on candy thermometer, or about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla + baking soda.
Pour caramel mixture over your popcorn and stir to coat evenly. Add chopped Snickers.
Transfer popcorn to wax sheet (Oops forget this). Cool.

So yeah.... I forgot to transfer it to wax paper and it turned to popcorn brittle on the bottom. I just broke it into pieces with my bench scraper. My grandparents enjoyed the hard caramel and they don't have teeth! Definitely making this again and taking it to the movies. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spiced Apple Pie

I have been really slack ey.

I just made Caramel Popcorn for dessert so I'm really happy with myself. I'm really looking forward to trying it out, but I don't think there's enough to share with my family. Sorry. I'll take some pictures tonight if there as good as I imagine.  

Besides that I have been getting a few sales, and really good feedback! Thanks to all my customers and blog readers. I updated a few pictures of the Vanilla Marshmallows and Lemon Meringue Marshmallow. So, check those out here.



I have a new flavor for Autumn, it's Spiced Apple Pie Mallows. These little bites of clouds are made with fresh apples and rolled in graham cracker crumbs. I love working with spices and they really give this marshmallow a kick. These marshmallows actually made me feel warmer, so I can wait to continue to eat them during the colder months to come. It's true, there as good as warm apple pie!



Last night and all morning, I have been working on a treasury on Etsy. It's called, Everything's Just Roses and Strawberries. So, I was greatly inspired by deep reds and blues. I actually first found the strawberry ramekins, which I adore to pieces. Next, I found the blue tapestry with strawberries! I DIE!!! Yes, I watch Rachel Zoe Project. So I think everything goes well together. It's my first treasury, so comment and favorite here and enjoy previewing it below:
   

Sheffield Strawberr...
$21.00

Cherry Red Ring Wir...
$49.00

Vintage Strawberry ...
$28.00

Andre Assous Espadr...
$36.00

Paris Photograph- P...
$30.00

Vintage 1920s Overs...
$224.00

vintage cloche hat ...
$42.00

Rorschach(Strawberr...
$12.00

1970s Wrap Skirt St...
$15.00

Ruby Glossy Lip Tin...
$6.00

vintage white ename...
$12.00

Kimono Top Vintage ...
$15.00

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blueberry Marshmallows

Today is my 3 year anniversary to my handsome Australian boyfriend, Shane.

I can't believe it's been three years, and I'm not sure if it feels longer because we are in a long distance relationship or not.Well anyhow, he mailed me off a package.I got it just as I was leaving my house to mail off an marshmallow order. I peeked inside, accidentally of course, and I looked at the customs form. I couldn't resist it. I know inside there are my favorite snacks like Tim Tams & BBQ Shapes. Ohhh so good, too bad I can scarf them down soo fast.
image via: Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
I made a new flavor of marshmallows, BLUEBERRY!


 It was really cold due to Tropical Storm Lee last week so I made some hot chocolate and put in three blueberry marshmallows. It was really delicious!! I use real blueberries and cooked them a bit on low heat so they have great flavor! There available to purchase here.





Monday, September 5, 2011

Pecan Praline Cake

I been such a slacker last week! Too tired to get out of bed and too hot to imagine baking in this heat. I did have plans to get started on my Fall Marshmallow Menu. I thought of some traditional autumn flavors and some wild card marshmallows.

I also have random upsetting news! I can't eat Turkey Bacon anymore! Ahhh. No more crispy salty bacon with my morning breakfast. It's the companion to my banana pancakes, the best mate to creamy grits and scrambled eggs. Just thinking about that makes me bummed, but the awful experience I had eating it is enough to make me not miss it EVER.

image: wikipedia

Well I made a Pecan Praline Cake.

 I had some major oops making this cake. It was a battle to keep going when all I wanted was for it to magically come together while I watch Bravo. Anyone else missing Trace from Flipping Out? Sigh.

image: House Beautiful
Anyway back to my cake, the ''pecan praline garnish'' if i can even call it that didn't work. It started to boil dry, and just became pecans in dry crumbly sugar.  I tried it again. I was nervous about wasting more sugar that it didn't get the lovely brown shade I was looking for.

sugar cube pecans :(
 The caramel cream cheese  was melting on top of the cake. I did incredibly silly things because of time. I accidentally used really soft melty butter and the caramel was not as cool as it should of been before i incorporated it with the cream cheese. I know tisk, tisk.

ohhh, look at these layers

Interested in the recipe for Pecan Praline Cake? Checkout Whisk Kid.

Besides my oops I really enjoyed this cake. It was sweet and really tasty. The brown sugar fudge frosting was great, definitely the best component of the cake!  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peach Marshmallows

I can't believe summer is coming to an end! I'm not completely upset that it's ending, because this heat in Georgia has been something. The air conditioner stays on at all times, except for now because it's not working as good. I'm already sweating and it's not midday yet. I'm praying the next time we turn it on, it will cool the house properly. I will miss the outdoor barbecue parties and lighting bugs though..... And.... Peach Season which is now underway!
image: GoodGuide
I finally made the peach marshmallows and they are available to order now here. I made them with actual peaches I purchased from my local farmers market. Like all of my other marshmallow, these are just as fluffy and smooth inside.
  

Isn't everything just peachy? 
image: asos 
image: Nordstrom




Friday, August 19, 2011

Chocolate Moon Pies

Well, it has certainly been a very long week. I'm kind of in a rut at the moment, but I am trying to be as optimistic as I can. It has been really difficult finding a job in the Baking field. I would love an apprenticeship opportunity or something entry level so I can train more. I'm really eager to have a career and be a working girl. I still have not watched Working Girl, I know it will be a great movie though. There is something special about 80's movies, maybe it is the fashion.   
I recently ate an entire pack of Banana Moon Pies, all by myself. I didn't eat them all in one sitting but the notion was tempting. I decided to make my own moon pies, with my own flavorful marshmallows. I made up a fresh batch of strawberry & vanilla marshmallow creme. Delish! I dipped the sandwich cookies in a delectable chocolate coating from my local farmers market. 
The chocolate took awhile to set, and I was a bit worried about it at first. Luckily, I brushed up on my chocolate tips, and I am sure they will set in no time.
Don't they look really yummy?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


I went to a huge farmers market last week. I bought fontina cheese, the best cheese for a grilled sandwich, in my opinion. I was bummed I couldn't find Australian beer, but I did get my hands on Australian style yogurt. I seriously been eating 2 or more yogurts a day. I also bought fresh fruits and herbs, that I am excited to use.
I made oatmeal raisin cookies that only lasted a day around my family. I found the recipe under the lid of my Quaker Oatmeal container. I did a half recipe, but next time I will definitely have to do a full one.

Oatmeal Raisin Nut Cookies
(adapted from Quaker Oats) Yield: 4 dozen
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker® Oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar until its creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, continue to mix until the eggs are incorporated. Next, add the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Keep on mixing, be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add oats, raisins, and walnuts; mix well.

Line baking tray with parchment paper. Drop tablespoons of dough on sheet tray. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they reached a golden color. My cookies weren't all the way done when I pulled them out, they continue to bake on the sheet tray. **Secret for a moist cookie.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lemon Meringue Mallows


I finally made the lemon meringue pie marshmallows!!

Lemon and citrus sweets are my favorite, so I feel in love with the flavors already. I'm still surprised as to how much it actually tastes like actual pie.

So, please check out my new listing here. It's safe to say, I will be staying indoors all day. It was so hott outside yesterday a whopping 99F and not a single breeze coming in. I ran to the market to get baking supplies and fresh Georgia peaches. Yes, get ready for sweet peach marshmallows soon.

Ohh, great I hear thunder outside now. My least favorite thing about summer are the thunderstorms. I get so scared from the lighting strikes. I usually cover the sheets over my head and duck. I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous!

And it is.

The good thing is that I'm slowly getting out of my fear, because of my beau. But the bad thing is that it reversed for him somehow; he gets a little antsy now, with good reason. He has been electrocuted by a lamp bulb before. I'm totally smiling as I right this (I know awful), because he constantly get teased about it.

Now I'm off to take pictures, hope the sun comes back out.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lemon Curd Cake

Last Thursday was my dad's birthday so naturally I wanted to try to make him a birthday cake. keyword: Try.Cakes and I don't get along very well for many reasons really. I get so bummed about visible crumbs in the final coat, the icing smoothness, and leveling. But, I still fail hard most of the time. I can admit, I am not a decorator, I just make things taste good.

Well my mom suggested I make two cakes since other family members were coming over. And I did bake the cakes the day prior. Well DUN DUN DUN, the stove broke. I hurried along to my grandparent's apartment to make the frostings. I froze one cake to finish another time; it was crunch time! 1 cake is hard enough, 2 would drive me off the edge.

I love lemon anything, cheesecake, cupcake, loafs. At my internship, I would save a mini lemon tart just for myself; I think I definitely deserved it after decorating and filling 200 everyday!

So I made a Lemon Curd Cake....


This lemon curd is so sweet and delish! The cake reminded me of a pound cake, because it was dense but still moist. The 7 minute frosting is quick and easy to make. I still had some sugar granules in the frosting which was okay at that time, since I had to make it twice. Ohh silly faulty thermometer :(

Interested in the recipe for Lemon Curd Cake? Checkout Smitten Kitchen.

Overall, I would definitely make this cake again. Everyone loved it, I barely could eat two slices myself because there was nothing left.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sugarthesky

Hi Guys
I just opened up a new confection store, Sugarthesky, on etsy. So please check it out. So far I'm focusing on making marshmallows and bite size sugar cookies for now. I would love to venture out to pate de fruits and fudge. I can't wait to make marshmallow tomorrow, my stove top broke soo it's been really hard enough to make dinner alone but thank goodness for my microwave and toaster. I think I will experiment with this lemon curd recipe I have, lemon meringue marshmallow. Oh Wow! Okay, even though it's July, I'm still really big on drinking cocoa and I love filling it with my vanilla sugar mallows. Is it weird I feel like eating Lay's Potato Chips as well?