Like on facebook Follow on Twitter Subscribe to Posts! View Instagram Feed Pastry Affair on Pinterest
RECENT POSTS




subscribe
Subscribe to posts! Connect on facebook! View flickr page! Add to google reader!

To receive RSS updates
Click here
subscribe via email

Entries in chocolate (110)

Friday
Nov262010

Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme

chocolate espresso pots de creme

My mother was never much of a baker. Growing up, she would occasionally mix up a batch of cookies, brownies, or cake, but that was as adventurous as she ever went. As far as my younger self was concerned, no other desserts existed. My sugary world was small and narrow and I never knew any better. That is, until now.

chocolate espresso pots de creme

My first taste of cheesecake was at the ripe age of 16. Croissants at 18. Tiramisu, creme brulee, and Italian gelato (moment of silence) would wait until I was 20. You could say I'm a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to discovering proper sweets. In fact, quite a few of the recipes on this blog I made simply because I had no idea what the taste and texture was like (such as this panna cotta or this bread pudding). A woman's got to know her desserts.

chocolate espresso pots de creme

These chocolate espresso pots de creme are no exception. I imagined them to be a cross between creme brulee and a chocolate pudding and they are just that. The chocolate is rich, dense, and thick and the espresso adds just the right flair to keep it interesting. If you love a good custard, look no further.

chocolate espresso pots de creme

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov232010

"Please, Sir, Can I Have S'more?" Cupcakes

anatomy of a cupcake

I entered these s'more cupcakes into the Cupcake Camp Montreal baking competition and was a finalist for Amateur Design. I spent weeks working on these cupcakes to make them just right, changing around ingredients, varying the method of the recipe, mixing up the design. Five well thought out batches later, I came up with these. The perfect flavors of a s'more in a cupcake form. And it tastes just as good as it looks. Believe me.

please, sir, can i have s'more? cupcake

I often find baking can be quite the adventure. Like when you want to a make a large batch of meringue using 16 eggs and it won't stiffen because you got the teeeeniest bit of egg yolk into the whites. You thought you fished it all out with a spoon, but when you give up on your hopeless meringue after 20 minutes of beating it on high, you realized that maybe you hadn't. So the 16 egg whites go down the drain. And then, after making it right, you suddenly have 32 egg yolks sitting in your refrigerator (what on earth am I going to do with 32 egg yolks?!).

s'mores cupcake sun

Or sometimes a squirrel steals your spatula. That happens too. Like when you set a pot of chocolate on the balcony to cool down for just a minute and a squirrel comes by, plucks up your spatula, and walks off whistling a little tune. Well, maybe not whistling, but he did look oh so smug. Even left a shiny little chocolate trail, squirrely footprints and all. I hope he realizes that spatula won't keep him warm at night.

mysteriously missing spatula

He came back later to taunt me. He brought a nice girl squirrel over to lick up his fancy chocolate mess. I imagine this was quite the hot date. I just hope I don't have little squirrels coming back to steal more of my utensils in the spring. Spatula thief.

squirreltwo squirrels

This s'mores cupcake features a graham cracker cupcake absolutely stuffed with a marshmallow creme, covered with a decadent dark chocolate, and topped with a toasted marshmallow meringue. All of the necessary and proper components are present (and are in the correct quantities!). The cupcake is light and, since its made of graham crackers, it tastes of graham cracker just like it should. The marshmallow filling is dense, sticky, and wonderful. I ate some of the dark chocolate straight from the bowl. And the marshmallow meringue honestly tastes like campfire marshmallows. Even if you burn it, it still tastes delicious (just try not to start a fire with these though).

please, sir, can i have s'more? cupcake

Although these cupcakes are involved, they are well worth the effort and can bring campfire s'mores back into the fall season (or any season for that matter).

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov192010

Black Forest Cake

black forest cake

I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to photographing my baking. I love to share my breads and desserts with you. I love to share my baked goods with other people too. And here is where the conflict of interest lies. Let me explain.

black forest cakeblack forest cake

Say, for instance, you made a fantastic black forest cake. The layers are just right. The frosting is just so. The cake makes you feel warm and fuzzy and proud inside. Now here's the catch. You made this cake for a dinner party. You want to bring a beautifully frosted cake to the party to share. You also want to show off and share this cake to your wonderful online followers (that's you!). But you can't bring a cake to the party with a piece missing (well, you can, but people might stare and wonder whether you were so desperately starved that you dug in with your hands on the way there).

So what do you do?

shot on

I'm a bit greedy. I want the best of two worlds. So you know what I do? Oh, I cut the cake. I take the photos. I might even sneak a tiny bite with my fork. And then I slide that little piece back into the cake, fix up the frosting like this whole thing never happened, and don't tell a soul. I have no shame.

Shhh. This is our little secret.

black forest cake

This black forest cake is none too sweet, which is just right. When I imagine a black forest cake, I don't think of a sugary, gumdrop forest. I think of a forest that's dark, dense, with secrets hidden in the shadows. The cake is dense and rich. The cherry filling has subtle hints of rum. The pastry cream is oh so dreamy. And the whipped cream frosting is perfect. Just perfect. If you are looking for a cake to impress, look no further.

Click to read more ...