Yesterday, we celebrated our friend’s 30th birthday. Turning 30 is a pretty huge milestone for most people and I wanted to make her a birthday cake that represented her – a unicorn! Because she’s one of a kind 🙂
Originally, I was gonna make her a traditional 3 tiered 6 inch cake for her birthday but we typically stuff ourselves full during dinner and I had a feeling that the 4 of us would not be able to finish all that cake. So as a compromise, I decided to make a mini cake! I think this one is only 3 inches wide but I layered it so it is still 3 layers 🙂 This way, she still gets her unicorn cake but we will likely be able to finish it all!
For this cake, I used my favourite decadent chocolate cake recipe as the base but just halved it since this cake is almost half the size. She specifically requested this cake for her 30th so I couldn’t let her down! It’s definitely my go to cake recipe to date as everyone seems to love it! It’s a very moist cake that’s rich in chocolate flavour – if you haven’t checked it out already I highly encourage you to visit my Decadent Chocolate Coffee Cake recipe here on the blog.
I also previously made Unicorn cupcake which is where I drew the inspiration of the cake decoration from such as the fondant horns and ears. Visit the unicorn cupcake recipe for details on how to make those!
All in all I’m very happy with my creation! I highly encourage you all to try this and make it for your special someone 🙂
This weekend was beautiful in Toronto. For the past month or so, it has been super gloomy and rainy, which sucks because it makes summer less enjoyable. All we want to do is have drinks on the patio or have bbq with friends.
It actually worked out really well that our friend decided to have us over for a bbq this weekend since we haven’t really hung out in a long time. It was like 30 degrees celcius, super sunny, no cloud in the sky – just perfect summer weather. We were tasked to bring some desserts so first thing Saturday morning, I opened up my Bobbette & Belle cookbook to get inspiration on what recipes to make. It also gave me an opportunity to try new recipes as well. I decided to make these ginger cookies as well as my Apple Cinnnamon Coffee Cake.
These cookies actually turned out really well. The first time I made it, the cookies were too crunchy because I cooked it for 15 minutes as per the original recipe. The second time round, I undercooked it a bit for about 12 minutes, and let the dough rest for about 3 more hours in the fridge and it was perfect. These cookies were a bit strong in the ginger/clove flavour in my opinion but you can adjust accordingly.
Overall, I got good feedback on my coffee cake and cookies at the bbq and had lots of fun catching up with friends. Now I have extra cookies leftover so I guess i’ll be bringing them to work 🙂
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
In a separate stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Add the egg and beat to combine. Slowly dad the molasses and mix until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once.
On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, mixing until combined. Do not overmix as it will make the cookies dense. Put the cookie dough in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, the longer the better.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat
Scoop small pieces of cookie dough and roll it into a small ball (approximately 1-2 inches) and roll it around in the granulated sugar. Press it out flat slightly on the silpat/parchment paper to give it its cookie shape.
Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes if you want softer, chewier cookies. If you like them a bit crunchier, bake it for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before you dig in. Store in airtight container.
Unicorn inspired food is all the rage now, and I can totally see why. From unicorn frappuccino at Starbucks to unicorn grilled cheese – they all have one thing in common – they’re super instagram worthy!
And what’s not to love about them? They’re so colorful they can brighten up anybody’s day.
Recently I noticed a lot of people posting about unicorn cakes. As much as I love decorating cakes, I cannot eat it all and I definitely do not have enough butter to make enough buttercream frosting to decorate it all. As a compromise, I decided to make unicorn cupcakes instead.
Ever since I made the hydrangea cupcakes, I’ve been obsessed with making buttercream frosting with mixed colors. These pastel colors are absolutely beautiful when combined!
In order to make the horn and the ears for the cupcake, I used homemade marshmallow fondant with some of it dyed pink for the inner part of the ears. To make the horn, I took some white fondant and rolled it into 2 thin cone shapes. Then, I twisted them around each other to form a horn. When it got too long, I just cut off the rest. I then dipped a toothpick in some water and inserted it into the ends of the horn so that I can insert it into the cupcake later. In order to make the golden horns, I mixed some gold lustre dust in a bit of water to form a little paste and painted it onto the horns. Allow to dry for an hour.
To make the ears, cut the white and pink fondant into circles. You can use a small cookie cutter to do this but since I didn’t have one, I used the opening of some piping tips instead. The white fondant circles should be larger than the pink ones because they form the main part of the ears.
I remember the first time I saw melon pan on cookingwithdog (a japanese cooking channel on youtube), I thought this bread was melon flavoured. Surprisingly, it did not contain any melon at all. I believe it got its name based on the way it looks, similar to how chinese pineapple buns got its name.
I’ve always been curious to try them but was too lazy to make it. I got to try it when I went J-town (Japan town) but instead, I had the matcha version of it in the form of a turtle bread. I thought it looked so adorable that I wanted to try making it myself. A few years later, after a few online tutorials, I finally got around to making this turtle bread.
I actually had to make this recipe twice because I messed up the first time round. I also realized things I could’ve done better.
The first time I made this, I followed the instructions from cookingwithdog to a T. The problem was they used instant yeast in that recipe whereas I had active yeast. I soon learned that you have to activate the active yeast in water first before I could use it whereas with instant yeast, you could just mix it in with your dry ingredients right away. I also failed to dissolve the dry milk powder in warm liquid leaving my dough with a strange grainy texture.
When I made this the second time round, I activated the yeast in warm water. I also dissolved the dry milk powder in there as well to get rid of that grainy texture. The dough was much better the second time round.
After the dough has completed its first proof, I put on the turtle backs. I simply added some matcha powder to the cookie dough recipe to help give its signature green color. Though the original recipe said that I should keep it in the fridge so that it’s easier to handle, I found it easier for them to be a bit warm so that it’s more malleable.
I wrapped the cookie dough around the proofed dough and dipped the turtle shell in sugar.
After coating it with sugar, I scored the turtle shell with its signature diamond pattern using a pastry cutter.
One of our favourite things to do on a weekend is visit St. Lawrence Market. Every Saturday, we visit the Farmer’s market there to see what fresh produce they have available. Now that it’s summer, it’s exciting to see what’s in season and it’s always so refreshing to see all the vibrant colors of the different fruits and vegetables they have available. Although the produce looks super fresh and amazing, they’re often very expensive 🙁 We decided to go closer to the end of day to the farmer’s market to see if we could get an end of day sale and lucky for us, one of the vendors sold us a giant basket of peaches for a fraction of the price!
We were ecstatic! But the moment we got home, we realized how many peaches we had and there’s no way we could finish it all in a week…. So we tried to think of a few recipes we could make that would use up these peaches and one of them was peach crumble.
Instead of making it in a traditional baking dish, I decided to make them in individual ramekins instead so that it’s easier to serve since it’s already portioned for each person. The dish itself is pretty easy to make – I kinda improvised the measurements for the filling.
This has got to be the easiest dish to make. Every time I see someone make rose anything, I worry that it’ll be super intricate and difficult. If you’ve ever tried to learn how to make rose origami, you’d understand. Luckily, this was really easy – I’m pretty sure a 6 year old can do it.
I saw this recipe on Youtube by Chef John. I love this guy – he’s hilarious and his recipes are usually pretty spot on. The great thing about this is that you can easily WOW people with this because they will probably be thinking “Wow you made that? It looks impressive!” when really you’re thinking to yourself “I made that in 5 minutes”. So if you’re bored of your traditional apple pastries, try this!
All you need is some puff pastry (I bought mine pre-made) and some red apples (I used Fuji apples). That’s more or less it!
A lot of my baking stems from cravings that I suddenly get or they’re inspired by food I stumble across on the internet. Recently I had a strong urge to make soft pretzels as it didn’t seem difficult to make and I already had all the ingredients. The initial batch of soft pretzels that I made were a hit but I personally found them a bit salty. I also found the dough lacked the softness and flavour needed to take it to the next level. I continued looking for a better soft pretzel recipe and I think I may have found the winner! I combined some of the techniques used in the other pretzel recipes with this one and the result was a golden, soft, and savoury pretzel..
Oh man and these smell AMAZING! I came home after grocery shopping and I could still smell them before entering our apartment. Needless to say, this recipe has been bf approved 🙂
Let’s talk about how to make them:
First, prepare the dough. I think the secret to this soft and flavourful dough is the use of milk instead of water, and the use of brown sugar instead of white. This made a huge difference for me in my opinion. Knead the dough into a smooth ball and allow to rise for an hour until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and allow to rest for 10 minutes so that it’s easier to work with. Divide the dough into even pieces. I divided mine into an assortment of sizes as I was experimenting with the different sizes.
Once done, roll out each piece of dough into a long skinny strand and form them into a pretzel shape as shown below
Hope you all had a great weekend. I spent all of Sunday cooped up in the apartment with not much to do. After doing as much cleaning as I could tolerate, I decided to do some baking. Originally I wanted to create some Domo brownies but those didn’t turn out as well as I planned 🙁
I’ll include a picture of it anyways just for laughs but needless to say, I probably won’t be using buttercream frosting next time to make the mouth
I found this brownie recipe online a while back and fell in love with it ever since. Unlike the other brownie recipes I’ve had in the past, this one actually tastes like real chocolate and not like the ones you make out of cocoa powder. It’s also not overly sweet which is good for people who are watching their sugar consumption. Needless to say, I’ve made modifications to this recipe over time 🙂
These brownies are cakey, chewy, and fudgey all at the same time! Best of all, they’re not super dense which is the way I like it. I didn’t make a frosting for this as I feel that would be overkill on the sweetness. In my opinion, this is the best brownie recipe I’ve found so far to date.
I brought this into the office the next day and they were a total hit! So if you want to be a hit among your family and friends, you have to try this.
Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder into a small bowl. Set aside. Meanwhile, spray an 8 inch baking pan with some cooking spray.
Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler, stirring constantly to prevent the chocolate from burning. Once completely melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and vanilla. Allow to cool for a few minutes until chocolate is no longer super hot.
Whisk in eggs once at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely smooth and glossy.
Slowly add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time and whisk until it's all incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out with wet crumbs. If it comes out completely clean, you've overcooked it! This will take approximately 25-30 mins depending on your oven. Always check before your anticipated cooking time to prevent over baking.
Cool brownies over a wire rack for at least 3 hours to allow the brownie to set. Cut into squares when ready to serve.
Be sure to wrap these up in saran wrap or put them in an airtight container or else they will dry up.
Thanks to the power of reddit, we discovered a Japanese Condensed Milk Bread recipe. Being the baker in the relationship, I took a look at the ingredients and it looked fairly simple so I decided to give it a go since I already have everything (minus the almonds which I can do without). The overall process was quite simple though as with all bread recipes, it’s time consuming. However, the time it took for the dough to proof allowed me to make other things like my fudgey, cakey brownies 🙂 More on that later.
This bread was soft and had a nice sweetness to it from the condensed milk.
Best of all, the presentation looked great! The original recipe asked for this to be baked in an angel cake pan but seeing as I didn’t have one, I improvised with a loaf pan instead.
Want to know how it’s made? Here’s how:
Prepare your bread dough. Knead it into a smooth ball and allow it to rise for 30 mins or until it doubles in size.
While the dough is proofing, prepare your condensed milk filling. This is just a simple combination of softened butter and condensed milk. Mix together until it forms a paste.
Happy New Years everyone! Last night we celebrated new years eve with a few friends and I decided to make some apple hand pies for everyone as a dessert. They’re definitely more convenient to eat than slicing an entire pie and it’s already portioned for everyone!
They’re surprisingly easy to make but it does require a bit of prep time. It’s also a bit tricky working with the pie crust because it needs to consistently be cold or it will be hard to work with.
Let’s begin by talking about how to make the pie crust. We followed a recipe by Alton Brown as we were looking for one that required the use of lard since we had some lying around. I cut up my butter and lard into small pieces and placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes to ensure that they’re super cold. In the meantime, I also prepared a bit of ice water in preparation of putting together the dough.
When the time was ready, I threw all the dough ingredients into a food processor. Yes a pastry cutter would’ve sufficed but this was easier. I pulsed the lard with the flour and salt first until it broke down into smaller pieces. I then added the cold butter and pulsed it until the mixture looked lumpy. I added the cold water in a little at a time and continued to pulse while ensuring I don’t overmix it. The end result should be something that looks like coarse meal.
You’ll know when your crust is ready when you try to squeeze the mixture into a ball and everything holds together. Once it holds together, you can stop and shape the dough into a disc and saran wrap it to chill in the fridge for approx 30 mins.