I'm back! What felt like a lifetime was really only 10 days. In those 10 days, I made multiple batches of cookie dough, ate an insane amount of sugar, and worked straight through a holiday. If you've worked in a bakery, YOU KNOW what holiday weekends are like. So I'm pretty tired, but also feeling accomplished.
This course has immediately taught me something. I never felt that it was necessary to create a backstory to any recipe, hell I'd CHOOSE for things to be impersonal. And that's just about when I realized how nervous I was to put my heart into something with the chance of someone else not enjoying it the way that I did. I think that's a story for a different day, but I just never realized that it had found it's way into my baking and creative process too.
Regardless, the space for creativity that you are encouraged to give yourself is exciting. Plus, you aren't alone! There's a whole peer group of nationwide bakers who are doing the exact same thing that you are, and you all get to talk about it together.
So cookies. We started with the Milkbar Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow cookie recipe, and yes it is as intense as it sounds. I had a friend over while I made this first batch and while I'm adding the ingredients I hear over my shoulder, "that's a LOT of sugar". And it was - about 400g just in the dough alone. It used a technical process that was new to me, and was definitely very interesting to make. While it was a bit too sweet for even my taste, it was a great example of turning a story directly into a recipe. I completely understood how the qualities and combination of tastes related to this particular backstory that the Milkbar team created.
This first recipe helped get the gears turning by trying a Milkbar classic - but I was ready to move onto my ideas. We started with a brainstorm session, and after 10 minutes I had an entire page filled with ingredients, lines, scribbles and things pointing to other things. It was no holds barred up in here. My plan was to take the bright smell of the orange blossoms that bloom in Arizona, and translate that into a cookie. Something soft and citrus-y, with tons of the texture that Tosi is known for.
I had learned from one of my last jobs that fruity pebbles can really be traced back to orange and citrus flavors, and for the sake of truly experimenting, I went for it. With a base dough of cereal substitute and another with using lemon-y animal crackers, I went through my many combinations.
After a while, I landed on my final recipe. How fun are those colors!
I'll be starting the next project tomorrow, and will see you back here after section 2 is done!
Hello! I come bearing super exciting news, for me and for everyone who gets to eat the leftovers from this project. This coming Monday, I'll be starting Christina Tosi's creative baking course, and for 1 month I'll be learning straight from the mastermind of MilkBar.
If you haven't heard of MilkBar, you've probably seen some of their most famous desserts on Instagram or TikTok. The New York Times wrote a great article on her and the background of Milkbar, and I highly encourage you give it a read. My last suggestion is to watch the episode of 'Chef's Table' on Netflix, which showcases Christina and the foundation of her partnership with David Chang, the owner of Momofuku.
Okay now really my last suggestion is to try and find a Milkbar product at either Target, Whole Foods or to order from their website. It's really, really, great. I had the pleasure of visiting the flagship store in 2015 when my mom and I created our own bakery tour while in New York on spring break.
My point in writing this is that I'd like to document my experience in the course. It will cover cookies, pies and end with their famous layer cake - but my task will be to develop my own recipe to follow each theme. While I might not share the exact recipes, everything will be photographed and I'd love to walk you through the flavor story for each piece.
See you after part 1 - cookies :)
Hello! To celebrate this holiday, I decided to bake something fun and a little less technical than I'd normally choose. Something sweet (obviously) and good for my morale. It also captures how I feel about the nice sunny days we've been having in Wisconsin :)
When it came to the cupcakes, I have to disclose that I didn't change a THING from the boxed mix. Because it was going to be a rainbow, I felt like there was no need! There's something about the airy and super sweet flavor of yellow cake mix that makes me feel like it's my birthday again. I also have to say that yes, I did spend a good 15 minutes elbows deep in the box of Aldi-brand of lucky charms trying to dig out the marshmallows. There's no reason to sugar coat the process (get it) because that's the sort of moment that always makes me laugh when no ones around.
I hope this brought a little bit of sunshine to your Sunday. I know it did for me :)
Believe it or not, I've never made a baked cheesecake. Something about it seemed so difficult, not to mention the possibility of it cracking. BUT! This is the most consistent and easiest recipe that I've come across, so obviously I have to share.
There's really not much to it, which is amazing. I found it easier to make this in a 6 inch cake pan instead of a spring form pan, because that way you don't have to worry about the water bath accidentally leaking in. To remove the cheesecake, I used a knife to scrape around the edges and then inverted it onto a plate. If you use parchment paper on the bottom there should be no problem getting it out.
I suggest topping this with a fruit that's a bit tart - hence the raspberries. I'm thinking of making it again for Valentines day but swapping the graham crackers for a chocolate crust :)
Hey there! Any chance you're in the mood for some warm bread? Yes that's a rhetorical question.
Today's recipe comes from Food 52's Vegan cookbook by Gena Hamshaw. I found this under a pile of fabric in my bookcase, and probably haven't looked at it since I was vegan many years ago. Upon further inspection, I found a handful of new recipes to test over the next few weeks and honestly haven't put it down since. I've made soups, salads, breads, and a few other things that have quickly made it into my weekly rotation. But this bread. Wow. I've made this one at least 5 times now and haven't shut up about it.
I think the title may throw some people off, but I'm a big date and nut fan. The way I described this was like a banana bread without bananas...so just cinnamon-y, sweet, light and really good chunks from the nuts. No joke I think I've had this every day for 3 weeks.
The best part is that I've also made different variations and they've all been great! I've added bananas and applesauce, chocolate chips... but most often I'll just throw in a handful of trail mix. You can do pretty much anything.
I keep this wrapped in plastic wrap and in the fridge for up to 5 days. If it lasts that long.
I love the days where I can test a recipe and immediately start my writing. I can take a bite of whatever I just whipped up and have all five senses at hand while describing it. Luckily, today is one of those days. I'm sitting here with a bowl of soup and one of these biscuits at my side....life is good.
I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and like most things, the picture was what caught my eye. It looked as though the biscuit dough had been laminated with clear layers of butter and pastry. Annnnnd that's exactly what it is! No wonder it's a part of BA's Best.
Like most of my recipes, I made a few tweaks based on what I had in the pantry. I didn't add baking powder, only baking soda. And instead of buttermilk, I used almond milk. I'm going to try it again with the exact ingredients, but I'm pretty happy with my outcome. It is possible that I just made pie dough in the shape of biscuits, but that's not a bad thing in my book.
I don't believe that these are supposed to be light and fluffy, but more crispy and crunchy.
I'm going to try and test a recipe from a different creator in the near future, but damn. BA keeps getting me.
I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've had tiramisu. And all of them were at an Italian restaurant. It's never been a dessert that we've had at home, and I don't think anyone I know has even made it before.
I'm here to change that!
Inspiration struck at work this week while I was slicing our tiramisu cakes. I've also been known to confuse inspiration with general hunger...but regardless, I was set on it! So I picked up a couple of ingredients (under $10) and headed home to assemble.
I quickly learned that there is more to the filling than just mascarpone, and while it wasn't difficult, I was just surprised. There are eggs in there! Cooked eggs (at least in my recipe), but still!
I love how this can be prepared the night before, and is actually better the longer you wait for it to set. We're working on patience over here :)
I'm back! My last few weeks have been spent at the bakery in a blurry of cookies and cakes...not that I'm complaining. The 24/7 holiday music sure has me feeling some type of way.
Like I said in my last post, I'm kind of over the traditional holiday flavors. Instead, this recipe is more of a symbolic dessert (although eclairs make me think of tea parties, which are kind of christmasy to me? idk).
We used to spend holidays with my Grandma out in Arizona, and I have the best memories of getting our annual tub of cream puffs from Costco. We'd sit and play card games and use the puffs as a reward. I just thought it was the coolest thing ever.
I always felt like choux paste was a daunting recipe...and to be honest there is a point along the way where it looks like it's falling apart. BUT if you stick it out for another 5 minutes it all comes together and was surprisingly easy to work with.
I just whipped some heavy cream for the cream puffs and filled the eclairs with vanilla pudding to finish it off. A fairly simple recipe with a super impressive outcome!
Until next time!
Hi there! I'm here to share a very cute cake idea that I had around the beginning of November, and it was inspired by these little gingerbread dudes that I found at Trader Joes! There are similar cakes floating around Pinterest, but I had yet to see one with this exact style. It also helps that they're so small because I typically don't like to make a cake that's larger than 6 inches (to be honest I don't have enough people to share it with!)
For the cake itself, I spruced up a vanilla cake mix. By adding an extra egg yolk, yogurt and butter, the cake became much more dense and hearty. I chopped up one Granny Smith apple, coated the pieces in flour and cinnamon (to help them from sinking to the bottom) and added them to the batter.
Ironically, I've been making a similar cake at work and wasn't too fond of it...I have to say that I prefer my version :)
I have a few more holiday recipes coming your way! I think I'm done with the gingerbread/spice based desserts and will be moving on to some treats that hold more meaning to me for this season. You'll see what I mean :)
How is everyone's day so far? Mine has been great, even though it's still getting started. I'm actually here with a cup of coffee and some of this cake...I mean I wouldn't want any of it to go to waste...
I actually picked up this book earlier in the summer as a gift to myself. No special occasion but I had really wanted a cookbook that covered a lot of ground. Tartine has all types of recipes including breakfast pastries, pies, jams, cakes and cookies. I also love that there is a whole chapter on basic bakery recipes, focusing on fundamental ingredients such as pie dough, pastry cream and lemon cream.
This recipe in particular is such a simple cake, but the texture makes it feel like you put much more time and effort into it than you really did. It's as light as angel food cake but still has a dense spongy crumb. You know, maybe I'm the one who hasn't had a good pound cake in a while, because I don't think this result should come as that much of a surprise.
This recipe didn't include frosting, and frankly it doesn't need it. Regardless, I had the ingredients to make a quick cream cheese frosting that would run down the sides, so I did just that!
1 stick of room temp butter
1/2 block of room temp cream cheese
splash of vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
(if the mixture needs to be thinner, go ahead an add more milk to your liking)