Thursday, August 29, 2013

French Macarons

Before this run, I never made macarons before. I know there was the huge crave for them like a few years ago, the new 'cupcake'. At my job in Australia, we made macarons. Me, being the peon, or rather seasonal girl I got to bang a lot of macarons though. I had to wear ear muffs, because it was so loud. You could literally hear it across the entire hotel kitchen. I would lift this heavy tray in the air and let it drop on a metal table. This gets rid of the little pesky air bubbles.

So anyway. I was pumped and nervous to make these. I decided to use the French Method to make them.

I made the merningue. I don't have a KitchenAid mixer, so I didn't use the time or speed suggested. I went by sight and what I should look for. The mernigue should be glossy and stiff. A good way to check for me since I have traditional beater, is to stick a wire whisk in there. You want it to stay pronged in the whisk.

Then you dump all the dry on top of the meringue. And Fold! This part is probably not my favorite just yet. I folded to the amount suggested. I probably could of done a few turns less. I tested it out on a plate to check the fluidity before piping them on a sheet of parchment.

So I have one good heavy sheet pan, and these two flimsy ''decent'' ones. The first batch on the awesome sheet tray baked well. I got feet. The flimsy ones came out cracked!

 I baked the last two batches on the aluminum tray in turns.

They came out perfect. I just wanted the cute little feet and happy I got them on my first try!

The downside is that they were hollow. You bite into one and you get air.

I made Chocolate Ganache to go with it. It's so good alone by itself. Letting it sit in the fridge for a day really helped with hollowness. Oh they were still hollow, just not as noticeable.

I think they still are so cute!!

French Macaron 
(recipe via Brave Tart *)

4 ounces (115g) almond flour
8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
5 ounces (144g) egg whites
2.5 ounces (72g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt

 * Click on link to view Method of Preparation.

Chocolate Ganache
(recipe via Chow)

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons butter, cubed (room temperature)

Place chocolate in a bowl.
Heat heavy cream in a pot over medium heat until it begins to come to a boil.
Pour hot heavy cream over chocolate. Let sit for one minute. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Chill until thickened yet spreadable, about 30 minutes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Icona Pop Concert

I went to see Icona Pop at the Masquerade in Atlanta!

I had a blast! It's kind of rare for me to be out and about at night, so this was a treat!

When I walked into the ''Heaven'' area, the room was visibly filled with smoke. To the left of the door, I saw these booths with women getting their hair flat-ironed. My sister and I joked about getting our natural hair straightened right then and there. It was really hard getting clear shots of them on my digital camera.

The opening act was K.Flay, a rapper/singer. It was pretty interesting, but I wasn't a huge fan. The crowd was hyped up regardless! When Icona Pop was getting ready to come on stage, everyone moves in a little bit too close next to you. It also didn't help that it was hott as HELL in there. It didn't stop me from jumping all over the place.

Aino strummin'
I got to wear a dress I bought from Nasty Gal a month ago, it was during their massive sale. It looks like actual denim but it's a bodycon dress. I fluffed out my old twist-out, and I was ready to go!

dress: nasty gal/// boots:asos/// bag: vintage

 So if you never heard Icona Pop's hit ''I Love It'', I suggest you give it a listen. My two favorite songs are ''Manners'' + ''Good For You''.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2 Year Anniversary!

Whoo hoo!

I can't believe this blog is 2 years old!

I guess it really doesn't feel like it! It feels like I just started. I made so many changes with it... ie. the banner, if you guys remember my last one. It was kind of an eye sore.

Thanks to the new readers, the lurkers, and people who return to read the recipes I'm attempting to try.

So I want to list my top five posts of all time!!

White Chocolate Cheesecake. Amazing recipe. Truly. I loved the chocolate hearts I made too.

Pavlova.  I got thumb up from my Aussie mate, so I knew it was good. Simple recipe to make too!!

About Me. I really liked this post because I got to share a  picture of myself. At first I was so shy about showing my image for several reasons. I'm glad I did though. Plus it's 50 random facts about me :)

Vertical Layer Cake. This post gets the most hits out of them all, truly number one. That alone makes me have to add it. Plus, it was the the most challenging cake. I'm not saying it was overly difficult, but it was tricky cutting. Tons of fun though.

Strawberry Mousse Cake. It's the prettiest cake I ever made. If you don't believe me look at my posts from 2011.

Gnaww looking at my old post make me want to tear up! I'm such a sap.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Peach Bundt Cake

I bought a bundt cake pan from a antique store in Snellville, Ga. I thought it was so cute especially for 8 bucks, a bargain as far as I'm concerned.

My mom asked if I could whip something up for dinner. We were having barbecue pulled turkey, potato salad, and corn on the cob. I know very yummy.

Anywho, I looked through the cabinets. I saw some canned peaches with heavy syrup. We didn't have any fresh fruit otherwise I would of taken another route. I just strained the peaches and I added lemon juice to balance the sweetness, and yucky syrupy taste. It worked fine. I used half a lemon and went from there, adding more to taste.

I made two cakes in the same pan on rotation. I really dislike that, but hey that's what happens when you only have one cute bundt cake pan, that is somewhere between 6-8''.

I will say the first cake was hella dry, and it took forever to bake! I kept checking and it was done in certain areas and not others. I don't even know why. The second cake was fabulous and moist. The original recipe has a syrup that goes with it, and I'm sure that would counteract the dryness because it will soak into the cake. I really wanted some caramel to go with it though.

I went a little overboard, ey?

Peach Bundt Cake 
(recipe via Kuntal's Kitchen)

3 cups all-purpose flower
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks), unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced peaches

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter at medium speed with a mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla bean. At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream

Scoop half of batter into pan and spread with spatula. Sprinkle with peaches. Scoop remaining half of batter on top of peaches. Smooth with spatula.

Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack.

Caramel Glaze
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick of butter

Melt butter and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat while whisking.
Add cream as the butter and sugar begin to dissolve, continue to whisk.
Once it starts to froth and bubble remove from heat while still whisking. Pour into a bowl, set aside.
Once the cake has cooled pour the caramel all over the top of the cake.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Strawberry Mousse Cake

I wanted to make my grandma something really special for her cake. I scoured Google images high and low and I was inspired by a buttercream caterpillar cake on Cake Central. I knew that the cake was decorated with royal icing and I went from there really.

This is probably the only cake I had the most fun making. I won't lie, it did take quite some time to make. I baked the white cake a day before, storing it in the fridge after it cooled completely. I made the royal icing decoration and let them dry overnight. The next day (her birthday) I cut and frosted the cake. I then added the decorations which stuck pretty well onto the cake. I was a bit peeved some did break which made me wish I had extra flowers. Oh well. I used my leftover buttercream to pipe green leaves.

I will admit that I am not the best with my so-called piping skills. I tried my hardest and it's not to bad, I think. This is actually the first time I did a pearl border as well... I know, what kind of pastry cook am I :p

I like the sprinkles as an added touch.

She was so surprised!! Of course she knew we were going to come over, but she was really wowed by her cake. She said she didn't want to even cut it. Gnaaaww. Every component tasted great to me, and I could tell they liked it by the amount of times they got up to get another slice.

White Cake: 
(adapted recipe via The Way The Cookie Crumbles)

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare two 8″ cake pans with parchment and butter. *Note: Original recipe uses 9'' cake pans*

Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into a medium size bowl, and mix with fork until blended.

Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for 30 seconds more. Be sure to the scrape sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 20 seconds longer.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake until skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Let cool completely. 

Strawberry Mousse
(recipe via Southern Living) 

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Process 2 cups sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Transfer strawberry mixture to a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add gelatin to strawberry mixture, stirring constantly until gelatin dissolves.

Cover and chill until consistency of unbeaten egg whites, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes)

Vanilla Frosting 
(recipe via Sweetapolita)

5 sticks (575 g) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
5 1/4 cups powder sugar, sifted
4 1/2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
   pinch of salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

Royal Icing
Yield: 1.5 cups of icing
(recipe via Wilton)

1 1/2 Tablespoons meringue powder
2 cups powder sugar
3 Tablespoons water, warmed

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).

Add color. Gel coloring works the best, but I only have food coloring on hand. You might have to add a bit more of powder sugar if you use food coloring to get a nice consistency.

Note: I filled up a parchment cone of royal icing. I drew similar flowers onto a white sheet of paper as my stencil. I laid a sheet of parchment paper on top of the stencil and just piped from there.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Marble Pound Cake

Happy Father's Day! Is it me or is this year really flying by fast?

My favorite childhood moment with my dad was probably around the age of 8. I can even remember my hair style I wore that day. My dad & grandpa took my little sister and I to Piedmont Park. I just remember it being a nice sunny day, playing on the jungle gym. Then having icy treats afterwards. I just loved that moment back then even though, it was such a simple day.

I made my dad a marble pound cake. He really couldn't decide what dessert he wanted, when I was coming up with all the things I could possible bake. I honestly think I made marble cake just once and that was during university. I'm so happy to get to make it again, because it's just so darn good. I already had a slice earlier, and I'm going to get another two slices before bed. Don't judge me :)

I served the cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Of course, you can make a ridiculously yummy vanilla or chocolate glaze instead.

I never go easy on whipped cream. Always think..MOAR!

Marble Pound Cake
(recipe via Back to Baking-Anna Olson

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 + 3/8 tsp baking powder (roughly a little under 2 teaspoon)
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 sticks of butter (18 tablespoons), room temperature
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup full fat sour cream
6 oz dark chocolate, melted over double broiler

Preheat oven to 325° F. Brush 9'' cake pan with melted butter and flour it, tapping out the excess. 

Sift the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until light & fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Scrape the bowl. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream. 

Scoop vanilla and chocolate batter in the pan, I alternated between them both. Then use a knife or skewer to swirl the batters together, or marble.

Bake the loaf for 60-70 minutes. (My cake was done at the 60 minute mark, but I could of taken it out sooner.) Cool and remove from the pan. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Best Coast Concert

So last night I went to concert. It was kind of impulsive, but I knew about it for a week.
I was already out shoping with my family deciding between, spending it up at Victoria's Secret (ohh yes, the semi annual sale) or going out.

I never been to a concert alone. That was my sole reason for being a bit hesitant about going, plus I was clueless about the venue. I did feel a bit awkward before the show being solo, but I got a spot right in front of the stage.

So the first act was Lovely Bad Things. They got the crowd going, that's when I took a elbow to the back. Ohh and a little splash of beer down my back as well. Very nice. It was cool seeing the band be very well rounded in instrumentals. They would switch places between being the vocalist, drummer, or bassist.

During the set up, I quickly got my beer and the cool people next to me saved my spot.

Then Guards came on stage. I enjoyed them as well. It was funny seeing the lead singer engage with the audience. Can I just say how fashionable they looked on stage?

Sadly, the non-blurry only pic I took of them.

Then Best Coast came out.

 I felt so bad for the girls next to me, the audience was heavily pushy from the mosh fest. They had to leave halfway through the set, then these drunk shelias tried to convince me to dance on stage. Hah. Funny enough she did get on stage twice! 

So yeah Best Coast, fricken amazing! I was happy to hear all my favorite songs and new ones that they decided to play. 'Our Deal' is my all time favorite, it has been in my head for weeks, but they finished with 'Boyfriend' and I can't seem to get that one out, as of yet. Bethany sounds amazing and she was really nice to let this kid come up on stage to dance with her. I got to touch Bobb's guitar while he was playing.That was a first, this lucky girl next to me got his guitar pick. I was little jealous on the inside. But I did get a set-list at the end of the show, people were really scrambling for them. It's in my purse now.


After they finished it got a bit awkward again being by myself. I was just standing around trying to kill some time, before my ride got there. The Guards and Pretty Little Things were in the lobby selling merchandise and chatting with fans. I wanted to say hi, but I'm so shy about those kind of things. Or am I??

matching glasses :p

Well Bobb came out. There were these girls in the lobby that I helped take their pictures. So I suggested we can take pictures of each other with him, if he agrees to it. He is super cool and nice. I actually had an actual conversation with him, so that was the highlight of the night for me.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Happy Mother's Day!!

I have been pretty busy lately. I actually think I say that every post when it's been some time since I have written anything. I know I have to do better, because I really do enjoy this.

Hah, so get ready for my excuses... I have a J.o.B :) I'm assistant to the pastry chef. I'm done with training so I have a set schedule. It's casual work hours, but it's great for me at the moment. It's nice being back in the kitchen, whipping up some sweet desserts. I loving the job so far. I had a hard time my last job in Australia, it was so stressful.

Anywho today I made my mom, an Pineapple Upside Down for Mother's Day.

I ran out of cherries, because I used some in a marshmallow order. So I just cut some in half just to make sure every center at least has a cherry. In the original recipe, you are suppose to 1/4 pineapple juice. I did not, I used it all!! It was a mistake originally but it's one I will keep on making. I loved how moist the cake is and it does soak up the brown sugary goodness anyway.

It's pretty delicious. I'm even eating another slice as I am writing this. Good thing I'm not counting how much I had today. The only thing I will do next time is make two cakes.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 
(recipe via Southern Living)

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple slices, undrained
9 maraschino cherries (i ran out so I cut them in half)
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Melt butter in a 9'' cast-iron skillet. Spread brown sugar around the bottom of the skillet evenly. Drain pineapple, reserving the juice; set juice aside. Arrange pineapple in the bottom of the skillet on top of the brown sugar mixture. Place cherries in the center of the pineapple rings.

Beat egg yolks at medium speed until thick. Gradually add sugar, beating well.

Heat reserved pineapple juice in a saucepan over low heat. Slowly add juice mixture to the yolk mixture, beating until blended.

Combine dry ingredients together; add them to the yolk mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the batter. Pour batter into skillet; spreading evenly.

Bake at 325°F for 45-50 mins. Cool cake in skillet for 30 mins. Invert cake onto a serving plate.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Key Lime Pie

 Happy Easter!!

I really slept the day away. Until a couple of minutes ago, where I started freaking out that it's almost 8pm and I haven't even posted today. My sleep schedule is bonkers! I know that's nothing new because I commonly talk about it.

My grandma made dinner today, and I missed that. She saved me a plate of all my favorite Southern goodies, like her famous macaroni & cheese. So I'll be saving that when it's time to watch Game of Thrones tonight.

just as yummy naked

Besides all of that. I made Key Lime Pie. I made this at night because I had such a killer sweet tooth. So forgive me for the terrible lighting. I just knew I couldn't wait until morning to have a slice, and waiting we did not do.

You can clearly see the damage.

Dressed up + almost gone

I didn't change anything about the recipe I used. I saw the recipe on Pinterest, not such a surprise ey. It's awesome and I wouldn't change anything. Well actually I probably would use more graham cracker crumbs so the top looks as even as the bottom but that doesn't bother me, but aesthetically it kind of does. I do need a microplane as soon as possible because, I had to use a cheese grater. So I noticed that there was a bitter aftertaste with every bite, but I still devoured it.

Key Lime Pie 
(recipe via Brown Eyed Baker)

4 teaspoons grated lime zest
4 egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh lime juice

1 cup graham crackers crumbs (about 9 graham crackers)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm

1½ cups cold heavy cream
½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Filling: Whisk the lime zest and egg yolks together in a medium bowl for 2 minutes. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, then the lime juice. Set aside at room temperature to thicken while you prepare the crust.

Crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and the granulated sugar. While mixing with a fork, slowly drizzle in the melted butter to graham cracker and sugar mixture. The mixture should look like wet sand. Place the crumbs in your 9'' pie pan, and press evenly into the pan. Bake the crust until it begins to brown (15-18 minutes). Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack

When the crust has cooled to room temperature, pour the lime filling into the crust. Bake until the center is set, yet still wiggly when jiggled, (15-17 minutes). Return the pie to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Whipped Cream: Using an electric mixer, whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. At this point, add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

All About Hair

This might be an unexpected post since I usually blog about desserts or marshmallows. But I'm interested in other things like beauty and hair.

I did say I was on a healthy hair journey when I did an About Me post. It's #42 if you were wondering or decide to take another look at my list.

Slowly getting rid of the straight bits. 

Where to start? Hmm.. STATS

I have been relaxer free (chemical straightener) for two years now, as of March 3 2011. I transitioned for a year then cut off all the relaxed ends. I did cut away a lot of straight ends months leading up to March, just because I was so eager to get rid of them.

soo close to arm pit length
I reached shoulder length before June. I didn't even realized when I did because whenever I did length checks by myself it didn't seem like it. That's why you'll see man hands in the September pictures, I got some help so I can see the true length.

I always thought it took forever for the front of my hair to grow. So untrue!!
I'm surprised how much my hair has grown. Honestly my hair has never been this long before. The longest is has been prior to being a natural was arm pit length. Now I'm closely approaching bra strap length!! I still can't believe it even though I have pictures showing's like WHAT!?? Really??

Inches away from reaching the straps :o
I keep my hair routine pretty simple. When I was in Australia I did do a lot of hair masks in my steamer, but I left it behind unfortunately. I'm not a product junkie, I really haven't ventured out in other products because of my budget and I'm content with what I'm using for now.

Products I'm Using
Shampoo: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo
Conditioner: TRESemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
Leave-In:  Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner
Deep Conditioner: Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner
Styling Products: Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Eco Styler Gel

I co-wash my hair at least once a week w/ TRESemmé Naturals, lately it has been like every three days or so. I don't have a set wash day. I'll deep condition my hair at least once a month, I did use to do it every week or two weeks. The only reason I haven't lately is due to forgetfulness and the bottle is almost empty. I'll just detangle my hair beforehand and just rinse the conditioner out. Then I'll put on my leave in conditioner, followed by coconut oil. That's It!!!

please ignore my xmas plaid bra.
I don't really style my hair anymore. I have no one to impress :p I use to do really cute define twist outs with the Eco Styler gel but I haven't lately. I still wear twist outs and braids outs typically, because I like to keep my hair stretched. Sometimes I'll try to force my hair into a's a struggle. Puffs are my best friend whenever I need to just run out and my hair is already down.

If this kind of post is your fancy, let me know. I have a lot of pictures from my journey to share.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peep Marshmallows

Shop Here 

I made Peep Marshmallows for my etsy shop. I love Peeps. I use to buy them all the time around Easter when I was growing up. Who knew I could make some so much better?!!

Nom nom
They are so fricken cute. When I coated each one in sugar, I was blown away at how adorable they really are. I used my traditional vanilla marshmallow recipe and different colors of sugar, they all taste the same but my hand goes out to reach for pink and yellow first! My favorite touch are the little chocolate eyes, especially biting into one and straight away tasting it.

I'm already really excited for Easter and Spring! There are so many flavors I need to make. I'm going to a farmer's market over the weekend, so I'll be stocking up on new ingredients.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

Happy Valentine's Day!!

 I remember my first Valentine's Day. I was a freshman in college dating my current boyfriend, whom I haven't met in person yet. Even though we were apart I still felt close to him. I'm pretty sure I even hugged the outside of the package he sent until the big day came around. I still have the box, and he still has the one I sent him. We opened gifts on web camera, taking turns and smiling our little faces off. 

He surprised me with a box of sunflowers and a glass vase. I didn't even know I had mail until my roommate told me I had something at the front desk. Imagine my surprise getting this long box, I had a huge grin walking to my room. I love the uncontrollable grins that you just can't hide, well in the right moments anyway. Sunflowers are my favorite flower. They were beautiful. I think all of my roommates were a tad bit jealous, which was amusing since I wasn't getting along with most of them. Hehe.

So this year I will be spending Valentine's Day alone. I think I will probably watch a romantic period piece in bed and eat cheesecake! Lot's of cheesecake. 

This recipe is fantastic. I wouldn't change anything about it and I plan on making it again really soon. The texture is creamy and smooth yet it's still firm, definitely a New York style cheesecake. The cheesecake is rich in flavor alone. The strawberry sauce is a great compliment and balances the richness. I melted some chocolate and piped hearts on parchment paper. Then I made whipped up heavy cream by using and a sprinkle of sugar (to taste).

White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake 

(adapted recipe via Not So Humble Pie
10 ounces chocolate graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt

boiling water 

Strawberry Sauce 
1.5 cups fresh strawberries (blended)
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 cups cold water
1-2 tsp lemon juice (to taste)
1.5 tsp cornstarch

Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine chocolate graham crackers with melted butter and press into bottom of the pan and 1.5 inches up the sides of a 9'' springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes and then allow to cool completely.

Sauce: Blend strawberries in a blender. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan until combined. Stir in cold water, blended strawberries, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat whisking often until it starts to boil. Let boil for half minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and strain. Set aside.

Cheesecake Filling: Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Place the chopped white chocolate in a bowl and set aside. In a saucepan bring the 1/2 cup of heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the hot cream all over the chocolate and allow to stand for one minute. Stir until it has melted completely.

In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and beat well, scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. 
On medium speed, slowly add the white chocolate ganache. When the chocolate has combined,  add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and salt.

Pour cheesecake over the graham cracker crust until halfway. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of strawberry sauce over the cheesecake filling. Continue to pour the rest of the cheesecake filling in the pan. Drizzle another 2 tablespoons of strawberry sauce over the top, take a toothpick or knife and swirl the sauce around. 

Set the pan onto a couple large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan to waterproof. Place the cheesecake into a large roasting pan and then place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, filling to about one inch (no higher than the lowest edge of aluminum foil). Allow to bake at 325°F for one hour then reduce heat and bake at 300°F for an additional 60-90 minutes until the center is just set.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

  Check out my 2012 Valentine's Day post: Chocolate Panna Cotta

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Maraschino Cherry Marshmallows

Shop Here
I made a new flavor! Maraschino Cherry! These are for Valentine's Day but I think they might be a permanent flavor depending on orders. I loved that they are drizzled with chocolate. It reminds me of chocolate covered cherry candies. 

so fluffy :D

I know it has been awhile since I last posted. Honestly, I really haven't had anything to blog about. I have been busy with making marshmallow orders. I had a big order for a baby shower early this month. That was a lot of fun making. Besides making mallows, I been watching a lot of television. I just started watching Beauty & The Beast, and I'm surprised how well I'm enjoying it. I thought it was going to be overly sappy, well it's pretty cheesy but I like that sometimes.Then I started back watching the Bachelor again. The last season I saw was Bachelorette with Ashley Hebert. Ohh that season, brings me rage! I could gladly go on about other shows I watch, if you guys are interested.

Anywho, I will have be baking something really soon. I really want to because it's been so long since I have. I'm thinking probably a cheesecake after spending hours on Pinterest. I did leave my springform pan in Australia, so I hope I can find a good priced leakproof pan. I also need an oven thermometer! I can't believe I never check my oven temperature and I made so many pretty successful cakes despite that. Silly me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Vanilla Pudding Fudge Cookies

First off.. Happy New Year :) My resolution should be to become more current and up to date on my blog.
I'm happy to say that I did complete my resolutions for last year, which was to have healthy hair. I think I did a good job of taking care of my hair, and I'm pretty proud of myself. My hopes for this year are more on the financial side, chipping away at my ridiculous student loans. I think it will take longer than a year. I want to save more as well, and make my Etsy everything it can be.

Not much of a surprise to you guys, but I love midnight baking.

 I had to feed my baking passenger otherwise I would go loco scanning through profiles and profiles..I mean pictures on Pinterest. I'm really watching too much Dexter. I was behind a couple of episodes but caught up quickly.

So yeah I found a scrumptious photo on Pinterest. I'm not going to lie, I never heard of pudding cookies.
I was like whaaaaat?? Yes, please!!

I made little cookies, perfect for midnight snackers like myself. I can shamelessly bring up 5 cookies in my room, and brush it off because they are small.

Don't you just love that moment when you look in your cupboards and some of the ingredients you need aren't there! I typically plan recipes, but not today. Of course there wasn't chocolate chips downstairs. So I said fine, I'll cut up some mini Milky Way Bars that are in the freezer. Noo. There was only one in the freezer in this big bag. How rude. It was okay because I didn't realize they were Carmel Apple anyway.

So, I used a can of fudge in the back of the pantry. It worked out well, I would love to add Reece's Pieces next time.

Vanilla Pudding Fudge Cookies
Yield: 1.5 dozen
(adapted recipe via Tea Peas & Their Pod)

1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1.7 oz vanilla instant pudding mix [half of a box of pudding mix]
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fudge* (add more if needed)

* Can substitute fudge for 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in fudge.

Drop cookies by rounded tablespoon(s) onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden and set.