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Work It Wednesday – Apple Tart

22 Sep

I haven’t forgotten about Work It Wednesday, my waste line just can’t afford it.  So when I get the urge to bake, I’ll be sure to bake from the FCI book and post it.  If you aren’t familiar with the FCI book, check it out.  It is a great resource for any kitchen.

This week I made an Apple Tart.  If you actually attend the FCI pastry arts program this is what you make on the first day.  I followed the instructions as best I could.  The end result tasted great!  I found myself having to bake it a little longer than the recipe called for.  Also my cutting skills are improving (no injuries this time), but they aren’t perfect…

Once again this dessert didn’t last very long!

slice of apple tartapple tartThe anatomy of the tart is: a pie crust, apple compote, and then sliced apples.  I used golden delicious apples.  I think the key ingredient in this recipe is the vanilla bean.  If you are making an apple pie or tart at home and want to kick it up a notch, add the seeds from a vanilla bean!  You won’t be sorry.

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Cakeisode Four- Hot Tub Time

20 Sep

Hot Tub Cake, Man's Birthday Cake

Here is Dan’s birthday cake that I made for him.  It is also the subject of Cakeisode Four!  Dan worked so hard on getting that hot tub working and we love it.  I thought this was a cute way to pay him back and say Happy Birthday!  I hope you enjoy it.

Cakeisode Three – Roller Skating/Cello

14 Sep

Cello Cake, Roller Skate Cake

Last month we made this cake for Dan’s friend’s son.  It was a big hit at his 12th birthday party.  The cakeisode features our journey making the cake and also about us finding out that I wasn’t selected for the Cake Boss Reality show.

The cake is chocolate cake with chocolate fudge filling.

P.S. I did NOT roller skate into the party carrying the cake like The Cake Boss did.  I am way to clumsy for that!

P.S.S.  I have never over slept for anything in my life!  When I say over slept, I gave myself three hours instead of four, when I really only needed two…

Enjoy the video.

Cakeisode Two – Chocolate Dipped Drama

27 Aug

Here is Cakeisode two!!!  I know that this should have been up about three weeks ago but I just couldn’t make myself sit down at the computer and actually edit it.  But better late than never.

We made this cake for when my mom came to visit.  It is her favorite and basically everyone else who eats it agrees.

Enjoy the drama.

Fat Friday – Caramel

27 Aug

Fat Friday returns!!!  For those of you new to the blog Fat Friday is a little tradition we have where we make a delicious calorie busting treat and share the recipe with you.  On Monday we return for Make Up Monday where we take an ingredient from Fat Friday and make something healthy.   This week’s Fat Friday is really simple, it just takes time.

Carmel

What you need:

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

Put It Together

– pop two small holes in top of the can

– remove label from can

-submerge in pot of simmering water.  The water should be about three quarters of the way up the can.  If it is higher water will get in the milk, but you don’t want it go lower.

-Simmer for three to four hours always adding more water as it boils out.

-remove from can and whisk.  It will be thicker on the bottom.

Can be served on its own or used in other recipes.  Works well on top of ice cream.  I’m told Jenny has a great caramel pie recipe.  Maybe she’ll do guest blog post?

We dusted a little sea salt on ours for a salty/sweet treat

Have a good weekend everyone!

Work It Wednesday – Peach-Raspberry Pie

25 Aug

If you have been following the blog for a while you know that I was toying around with the idea of going to the French Culinary Institute.  I went to visit and loved everything about it!  The only thing that held me back was the price.  Funny how I just didn’t seem to have $40,000 sitting around to follow my dreams.  What I did have was a $50 Barnes & Nobles gift card!  For only about $7 out of pocket, including shipping, I got the next best thing.  The French Culinary Institute’s The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Art.  I am in love with this book!  In no way does it replace the actual classroom experience that one would gain at FCI but it is so much more advanced and professional than your average cook book.  So my goal is to work through each recipe in this book and try my best to master the techniques.   The book is filled with terminology, examples and rational for doing things the right way.  It is much more than a cook book, it is a text book for the aspiring pastry artist.  This brings me to the title “Work It Wednesday,” it stands for working on it by myself and doing the best I can.  I’m committing to learning the right way to do things so I can make the most professional product possible.  This may involve repeating recipes and failures.   All of which I will share with you my readers!  What I will not share with you is the actual recipes.  I’m sorry but I don’t want to plagiarize, plus it is a great book to own.

This week I tackled the first recipe.  It is actually a recipe from FCI alumna Melissa Murphy ’95, Pastry Chef/Co-Owner of Sweet Melissa Patisserie.  I made her North Fork Peach-Raspberry Pie and this is easily one of the best pies I have ever made.  I live in Georgia now and it is peach season so that is why this recipe caught my eye to be the first one that I tried.  I love to eat peaches, but I am no expert at peeling and slicing them.  Actually I have trouble peeling and slicing anything.  The book gives great instructions on the proper ways to peel and slice vegetables but it is just not clicking with me.  My peach slices were uneven and didn’t look pretty.   My knives aren’t that sharp which is a good and bad thing.  Bad in the sense that I am trying to become good at things like slicing fruit to look professional and good because even with our dull knives I caught my finger twice (only one of them was a serious casualty).

Sliced Peaches

The biggest thing that I’ve learned from the book so far and will make the biggest difference for me, is that you are suppose to refrigerate your pastry dough before you use it.  I used to just mix it up, roll it out, fill the pie and bake.  By chilling it first it “allows the gluten to rest.”  In other words, it makes it super flaky and melt in your mouth!  So for anyone else out there that hasn’t been chilling your dough, START NOW! Chill it for at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours is ok as well.

The pie came out looking great and within an hour it was mostly gone.  Everyone here loved it!

Stay tuned for the return of Fat Friday this week!!!

Brides Needed

5 Aug

So I have not heard anything yet from the casting directors for the Cake Boss baking competition.  I hope I am still in consideration.  It has been almost two weeks since I’ve submitted my video.  I know I am being really impatient but I really want to be in the competition!

They did post this today on facebook.  If you are a bride in the NY/NJ area getting married in September have a look below.  Maybe if things work out, it’ll be me making your wedding cake! 😉

Casting Call

CALLING ALL BRIDES! ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED IN SEPTEMBER 2010? WOULD YOU LIKE AN EXTRA FREE WEDDING CAKE FOR YOUR BIG DAY & THE CHANCE TO BE FEATURED ON TLC’S NEW BAKING COMPETITION SHOW? IF SO, LET THE CAKE BOSS AND HIS NEW COMPETITION SHOW BAKERS MAKE YOU AN AMAZING WEDDING CAKE!

TLC & The Cake Boss are looking for outgoing, tell it like it is,
brides-to-be in the NJ or NY area. If YOU or SOMEONE you know wants an
amazing cake for their wedding email your story & photos to casting@highnoontv.com
ASAP!

They would be a featured guest on the show and they can already have a wedding cake (they’d just get another one for free). It would be like a Top Chef guest giving the bakers a challenge. We just need a bride with lots of personality! It should be really fun!

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