Chocolate Frosted Flake Macarons

Chocolate Frosted Flake Macarons 2I tend to pair certain foods with particular people.  Frosted Flakes is one of them.  My grandmother started every morning with a bowl of frosted flakes while doing her daily Bible reading with her red pen.  I woke up particularly early yesterday morning and that certain memory came to mind.  Plus, the weather was unusually cool and dry and perfect for macarons.   Call it fate, but that’s how this macaron flavor was born.Chocolate Frosted Flake Macarons 7I know, I know.  Frosted Flake macarons?  It sounds odd, but it’s really good!  I even brought them out with me yesterday and someone noted that it might’ve been the best macaron he ever had.
Chocolate Frosted Flake Macarons 3It starts with a vanilla macaron base.  (The speckles are from the almond skins my almond flour had.)  Then, it’s filled with a salted milk jam* filling, to mimic that sweet milk you get when you eat Frosted Flakes.  The tops are dipped into melted sweet chocolate and garnished with a few Frosted Flakes.  Chocolate Frosted Flake Macarons 1I really love how the Frosted Flakes stand up and add an architectural look to them.  They’re pretty to look at and they’re grrrreat to eat.
Chocolate Frosted Flake Macarons 5

Chocolate Frosted Flake Macarons

You will need:
yellow vanilla macaron shells
salted milk jam filling
semi-sweet chocolate, melted
frosted flakes

Basic French Macarons

Ingredients:
212 g. almond meal
212 g. powdered sugar
172 g. egg whites, divided to 82 g. and 90 g (aged, if possible)
236 g. sugar
158 g. water
yellow gel food color

Instructions:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond meal and powdered sugar and pulse until thoroughly combined.
  3. Sift the mixture over a large mixing bowl, throwing out the lumps as they appear.  Add 82 g. of the egg whites and stir until you get a thick mixture.
  4. In a small pot attached with a candy thermometer, combine the sugar and water over medium heat and boil until the syrup reaches 200˚F.
  5. Once the syrup reaches 200˚F, start whipping the remaining 90 g. in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks are reached.
  6. Once the syrup reaches 248 degrees, remove the pot off the burner and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl with the egg whites on medium speed.
  7. Once the egg whites are fully incorporated, increase the speed to medium high until egg whites form glossy, stiff peaks.  Add two drops of the yellow gel food color and mix until batter turns a light shade of yellow.
  8. Mix a ⅓ of the egg white mix to the almond mixture and stir together until the batter is slightly lighter and less pasty.  From then on, fold in ⅓ of the egg white mixture at a time until the mixture “flows like magma”.  The mixture should be smooth and run thick ribbons off the spatula.
  9. With a pastry bag fitted with a ½ in. plain tip, pipe 1¼ – 1½ in. rounds.
  10. The piped batter may have peaks but should smooth away in a minute or two.  Let the batter stand until the tops of the macaron batter are dry to the touch, about 30 mins to 1 hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 275-325˚F.  If your oven tends to run hot go for 275˚, if not then 325˚.
  12. Bake 10-13 minutes, until the feet are formed and the tops are smooth.  The batter is done when you slightly wiggle it and it starts to come off of the parchment paper / silicone mat.
  13. Let cool and fill.

Salted Milk Jam Filling

Ingredients:
1 c. dulce de leche (either from a jar or homemade)
1 batch of vanilla frosting (recipe below)
a generous pinch of Maldon salt

Instructions:

  1. Mix dulce de leche, vanilla frosting and Maldon salt until combined.  If the filling is too soft to pipe, chill in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes.  Checking every 3 minutes for the correct consistency.

Basic Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients:
½ c. whole milk
3tbsp. flour
⅛ tsp. salt
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a saucier pan, put milk, salt and flour and whisk until combined on medium heat.
  2. Continuously whisk mixture until thickened to a pudding like consistency.
  3. Once thickened, strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl with a spatula to remove lumps.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the flour mixture and put into the fridge until fully cool.
  5. In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the sugar and butter on high speed until fluffy and pale about, 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the chilled flour mixture and continue to whip on high speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is no longer gritty, about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Assembly

  1. Dip half of the macaron shells into the melted semi sweet chocolate.
  2. Place about 3 Frosted Flakes on top of each chocolate dipped macaron shell.
  3. Let set in freezer for about 5 minutes.
  4. While the chocolate macaron shells are chilling, fill the other half of the macaron shells with the salted milk jam.
  5. Top the milk jam macaron shell with chocolate macaron shell and enjoy!

*I always thought that milk jam was a lighter, less caramel version of dulce de leche.  But after searching the internet, it turns out they’re the same thing.
**Basic macarons adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller, Sebastien Rouxel

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies 6I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!  If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw I had some good eats during my weekend.  I know many of you are on diet mode for the upcoming swimsuit season and I’m sorry to do this to you, but you must make these cookies, especially if you love salty/sweet desserts.
Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies 2What makes this cookie so great is the sum of its parts.  First, you have the moist chocolate cookie base.  The secret to having it so deliciously soft is by under baking it.  10 minutes! No more!  Second, you have the cocoa nibs that cut the sweetness and have a satisfying crunch.  Think of it as a more cocoa-y nut alternative.  Third, you have the perfectly melted caramel center.  Personally, I love caramel and you can use regular caramels instead of Rolos.  However Rolos have the chocolate coating that enhances it.
Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies 4Finally, the sprinkling of Maldon salt finishes the balance of the cookie.  Some of the delicate flakes melt into the cookie fusing their salty goodness while the larger chunks withstand the heat and sparkle when you take them out.
Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies 3The recipe makes 12 large cookies.   You can easily double it, but I kept my body conscious readers in mind as I baked this.  It’s definitely not healthy food, but as the saying goes, “a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand”.
Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies 5Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies
Makes 12 large cookies

Ingredients:
4 oz. butter, room temperature
½ c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
⅓ c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 c. all purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
¾ c. cocoa nibs
12 Rolos, unwrapped
Maldon sea salt

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until lighter in color and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla on medium speed and mix until glossy.
  3. Add cocoa and mix until homogeneous.
  4. Change the speed to low and add the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in cocoa nibs.
  6. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.  This step will make it easier for you to roll the cookies.
  7. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Form two, 1 tablespoon balls of cookie dough.
  9. Sandwich a Rolo in between the two balls of cookie dough and completely encase the Rolo by rolling it around in your hand.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all of the dough and Rolos are used.
  11. Sprinkle Maldon salt over the tops of cookie dough balls.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan 180˚ halfway.
  13. Let cool and enjoy.

The Liebster Award

The lovely Erin from The Wishin’ Kitchen nominated me for a Liebster Award.  Thank you!!

LiebsterAward

What is a Liebster Award?  It’s an award created to recognize and discover new bloggers with less than 1000 followers.  You answer the questions as a nominee and in return, nominate bloggers for the award and they answer the questions you ask them.

1. What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod? (A Hilary Duff revival perhaps…)
This is a tough one.  As a child of the nineties, my music collection is a treasure trove of “embarrassing” songs.  If I had to pick one, it would be Barbie Girl by Aqua.

2. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I really wanted to be a scientist.  I thought beakers and test tubes were so cool and that people who got to work with them all day must be having fun.

3. What is the most memorable trip you’ve ever taken?
I’ve been to Dominican Republic two years in a row (several years ago) for mission trips.  They were the most memorable trips because it gave me an opportunity to become a small part of someone’s life.

4. What is your preferred method of transportation and why? (Bike, car, train, plane, scooter, rollerblades, Segway, hanglider…?)
I like to walk/run.  I hate driving and my hand-foot coordination isn’t the greatest for all other methods.

5. Chocolate or vanilla?
If I HAD to choose, it would be chocolate.  Sorry, vanilla!

6. What is your favorite crepe filling?
Hazelnut spread and strawberries.  You cannot beat that tart/sweet/chocolaty combo.

7. Favorite Disney character?
Belle. She shares my love of reading.

8. If you could choose any era to time travel back to, when and where would you go?
There are so many places and people I would want to meet.  But it would be pretty amazing to be able to meet Jesus.

9. What is your dream car?
Maserati GranTurismo .  It’s beautiful.

10. If you could choose a theme song, what would it be?
The Merry-Go-Round of Life from Howl’s Moving Castle

11. Do you have a favorite Disney memory? If so, please share! (Parks, movies, personal experiences… etc.)
I haven’t been to Disney world yet, I’m still dreaming about going.  However, the scene when Mulan goes to her father with the sword always gets me!

I nominate the following for The Leibster Award

Chef Julie Yoon – I love the beautiful photography and helpful videos on Julie and her husband, Joe’s site.  Every recipe I’ve made has been a home run!

Food Like Cake – A girl after my own sweet tooth, she thinks of sinfully delicious desserts.

I’ve Got Cake – A fun mix of food and fashion, I’m always pleasantly surprised by the flavor pairings of her recipes.

Shameless Plug – A deep, insightful blog of walking in Jesus’ footsteps and making music about Him along the way.

Questions for my Liebsters:

  1. What is your favorite food?
  2. Do you have a doppelgänger? If so, who?
  3. What is the best gift you have received?
  4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’ll buy?
  5. If you could invite 5 famous people to your party, who would they be?
  6.  What do like to do for fun?
  7. What is your favorite song on your iPod at the moment?
  8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
  9. What is your favorite TV show at the moment?
  10. If you were a superhero, what would you catch phrase be?

Hi Hat Cake Cones

Hi Hat Cake Cones 3The weather is finally starting to warm up and these ice cream cones were screaming to be used.  I originally used them for my ice cream cone macarons, but I had half a box that was sitting on my counter looking useless and forlorn.  I wanted my next post to be hi hat cupcakes, so I stuffed it into a cone.
Hi Hat Cake Cones 1It’s ridiculously fun and easy to eat.  The crisp chocolate coating breaks into the soft marshmallow frosting and rich chocolate cake.  You can also sprinkle it with different combinations of toppings and change the color of the candy melts to suit the occasion.  I used Swedish pearl sugar and sanding sugar as toppings, but you can use anything you want to top it.  It also looks very cute with sprinkles.
Hi Hat Cake Cones 2On another note, why is the weather cloudy 80% of the time I’m trying to shoot photos?  Can’t a sista catch a break once in a while?  Every time I start conjuring up an idea for a project, the forecast is bound to be cloudy or rainy.  If you are into photography, you know the value of natural light and can understand my frustration.   If you’re not, then please excuse this rant of mine.
Hi Hat Cake Cones 4Hi Hat Cake Cones

You will need:
1 batch of chocolate cake batter (recipe below)
1 batch of marshmallow frosting (recipe bleow)
white candy melts
pink candy melts
blue candy melts
pink sanding sugar
Swedish pearl sugar
mini ice cream cones

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ c. vegetable oil
1 extra-large egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. strong, hot coffee

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put one mini ice cream cone in each cup of a mini cupcake pan.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, both cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and salt until fully combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. With the mixer speed on low, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture until combined.
  5. Turn off the mixer.  With a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the two mixtures.
  6. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the hot coffee to the batter.  Once added, raise the speed to medium until completely homogenous.
  7. Fill mini ice cream cones½ full with batter and bake about 10-13 minutes. Checking at 10 minutes for doneness with a toothpick test.*
  8. Let stand for 5-10 minutes when done, then put onto a cooling rack to fully cooled.

Marshmallow Frosting

Ingredients:
4 egg whites (120 g.)
1 c. sugar
a pinch of cream of tartar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot fill about 1 in. of water and let it come to a simmer.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt until homogenous.
  3. Once the water comes to a simmer, place the bowl on top of the pot and whisk the egg white mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy.
  4. Move the bowl to your standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high speed until glossy and stiff.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix completely.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star tip.

Assembly:

  1. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto cooled cake cone.
  2. Put into the freezer for 15-30 minutes until completely cold.
  3. In two separate bowls, melt white and pink candy melts and blue and white candy melts.
  4. Remove the cake cones from the freezer and dip the frosting portion into the melted chocolate.  Do not be afraid, the frosting will not fall off if sufficiently cooled.
  5. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle sanding sugar and Swedish pearl sugar.
  6. Let chocolate set and enjoy.

* The toothpick test: insert a toothpick into the cake and if the toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it, it is done.

Chocolate Chip Raspberry Meringues

Chocolate Chip Raspberry Meringues 1Happy National Chocolate Chip Day!  Chocolate chips are such a simple concept yet so pivotal in the world of baking.  It’s so versatile and can be subbed for chocolate in a lot of recipes.  I always wondered if Ruth Graves Wakefield kicked herself for exchanging her invention for a lifetime supply of chocolates. Chocolate Chip Raspberry Meringues 2I know chocolate chips are synonymous with chocolate chip cookies, but since I just posted a recipe involving a cookie cake, it seemed redundant.  Usually chocolate conjures up rich, heavy and decadent desserts and I ran the opposite direction with it this time.  It’s a light chocolate chip studded meringue cookie sandwiched with fresh whipped cream and raspberries.  It melts in your mouth, but still has a chewy middle.  It’s so yummy and easy to make, yet fancy enough to serve to guests.  In other words, a win-win-win.Chocolate Chip Raspberry Meringues 3Chocolate Chip Raspberry Meringues

Meringues

Ingredients:
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 c. sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In a small pot, fill it with an inch of water and let it come to a simmer.
  3. In a bowl of a standing mixer, whisk egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar.
  4. Place bowl over the small pot and whisk until the mixture reads 160 degrees.
  5. Whip with a stand mixer until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  6. Add in the vanilla and fold in ¾ c. mini chocolate chips.
  7. In a piping bag fitted with a plain tip, pipe half of the batter as 2“ round, flat bases and the other half as 2” round, domed tops.
  8.  Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until the cookies are firm and dry to the touch.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients:
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl of a standing mixer with the whip attachment, add the heavy cream and whip on high speed until soft peaks are just about to form.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and sugar and whip on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Do not over whip! The cream will turn into butter.

Assembly:

  1. On a round, flat meringue cookie base, arrange raspberries around the circumference of the cookie.
  2. Put about 2 teaspoons of whipped cream in the center of the cookie.
  3. Finish with a domed meringue cookie top.

Rose Cake

rose cake 2This weekend was crazy busy for the Park family.  We had a graduation, Mother’s Day and my dad’s birthday lined up 3 days in a row.  We ended up celebrating Mother’s day and my dad’s birthday in one go, and I tried to think of a birthday cake that would serve both occasions.  I suppose the mauve color of the cake was a little too feminine for a man’s birthday, but my mom didn’t get any flowers for Mother’s day so I hope this made up for it a bit.
Rose cake 1Like many celebration cakes, this cake takes a long time to decorate but isn’t necessarily challenging.  What takes the most time is rolling out the petals and chilling the petals in between steps.  I wanted to use 100% modeling chocolate for the cake, but something went wrong during the process and I had to add about 30% fondant to make it useable.  Do not fight the weather, as soon as your modeling chocolate/fondant starts to lose its shape, stop and chill it in the freezer.  This will save you a lot of frustration and heartache down the line.
rose cake 3It does have a certain eye opening charm and it’s very flexible in terms of the variation of celebrations and colors.  An all-around crowd pleaser.
rose cake 4Rose Cake
You Will Need:
14 oz of modeling chocolate or a mixture of fondant and modeling chocolate
1 batch of vanilla buttercream
1 8” cake, layered and filled
a set of round cookie cutters 
round ended fondant tool

Instructions:

  1. Frost your cake with vanilla frosting into a dome shape.*  (Pic 1)
  2. Mold a 1½ in. cone with modeling chocolate and place in center of the cake. (Pic 2)
  3. From this point on, the modeling chocolate will be rolled out to 1/8-1/16 in. thickness.
  4. With your 1.75 in. round cutter, cut out 2 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  5. Wrap the cone with the 2 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other to form a bud. (Pic 3 and 4)
  6. With your 1.75 in. round cutter, cut out 3 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  7. Wrap the bud with the 3 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 5 and 6)
  8. With your 2.25 in. round cutter, cut out 5 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  9. Wrap the bud with the 5 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 7 and 8)
  10. With your 2.5 in. round cutter, cut out 5 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  11. Wrap the bud with the 5 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 9 and 10)
  12. With your 2.75 in. round cutter, cut out 5 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  13. Wrap the bud with the 5 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 11 and 12)
  14. With your 3 in. round cutter, cut out 5 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  15. Wrap the bud with the 5 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 13)
  16. With your 3.25 in. round cutter, cut out 7 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  17. Wrap the bud with the 7 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 15)
  18. Cut 2-3 in. wide strips of molding chocolate and curl the edges with a straw, about 8-13 pieces.
  19. Chill in the freezer to set, about 1-3 minutes.
  20. Use some frosting to wrap the cake with the strips, overlapping at the edges and curled edge pointing up.  (Pic 16)

* This is what I did.  In hindsight, you could do the regular sharp corners, it shouldn’t make a difference.

Sofia the First Doll Cake

sofia the first doll cake 1There are many things that make birthdays special: friends, family, presents, food… the list goes on.  My favorite part of a birthday is the cake.  I’m not sure what the exact reason is.  It may be because it’s the centerpiece of a celebration or because it foreshadows the inevitable sweet ending of a party or simply because I love cake.
sofia the first doll cake 3I did not have many birthday parties when I was little, but I do remember seeing many beautiful cakes at American bakeries wishing I would have one for my birthday.  I always ended up getting a Korean cake.  By Korean cake, I mean a simple sponge cake filled with whipped cream and fruit and a simple decoration on top.  (I have to say, Korean bakeries have stepped up their decorating game since I was a little kid.) Many a day did I wish for the sugary sweet American buttercream counterpart but it just didn’t happen.  So that’s why when it’s someone’s birthday I try to make it special the only way I know how, with cake.
sofia the first doll cake 4Andy’s niece LOVES Sofia the First, along with Minnie Mouse and Max & Ruby.  I’ve always wanted to try my hand at doll cakes so the present was twofold: the cake and the doll in one.

steps 2If you’ve never made doll cakes before, I’ll tell you that it’s definitely more time consuming than a layer cake but the reaction you get makes it worth the trouble.  When we walked in the door, the first thing she screamed was “Sofia!!” and asked to hold it thinking it was a real doll.  We were successful keeping her hands off until the end when the urge was too great and she made a grab for it. 🙂
sofia the first doll cake 5

Sophia the First Doll Cake

You will need:
Purple Fondant
White Fondant
White Buttercream
White Sugar Pearls
4 layers of 6” round cake
Purple Food Marker
Isomalt (optional)
Small Gem Mold (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cut out holes in the cake layers so that it would fit your doll.  I used this doll.
  2. Prep your doll by tying its hair up, taking off the dress, and wrapping the doll with plastic wrap.
  3. Roll out a piece of purple fondant and drape around the doll adhering it with either a very thin layer of buttercream or water. (As shown above.)
  4. Frost and layer the cake layers and place your doll inside.
  5. Mold the cake into a dress shape by cutting it along the top in a rounded shape.
  6. Frost the cake smoothly up to below the waist of the doll.  (As shown above.)
  7. Roll out a piece of white fondant and cut out a 2-3 in. strip.  Drape it around the bottom of the dress to form the underskirt of the dress. (As shown above.)
  8. Roll out a piece of purple fondant and cut out a ¼ in. strip.  Adhere the purple strip over the white fondant with either buttercream or water to form the stripe around the underskirt. (As shown above.)
  9. Roll out a large piece of purple fondant (about 10 in. in height) and cut out scalloped shapes along the bottom.  Drape right below the waist of the doll connecting the two ends together in the back. (As shown above.)
  10. Roll out two more pieces of fondant in a semi-circle shape and drape around each side of the doll to create the top layer of her dress. (As shown above.)
  11.  Roll and cut a thin ribbon of fondant and wrap around the waist to meld the top and bottom together.
  12. With the purple marker, draw two lines and a loop design on the front of her dress. (As shown above.)
  13. Adhere pearls along the neckline and the purple stripes. (As shown above.)
  14. Adhere pearls along the top layer of the dress. (As shown above.)
  15. Optional: If you have time, you can continue the pearl all across the back of the dress.  I did not so I opted to continue it with a white ribbon made of white fondant.
  16. Adhere pearls all along the top and bottom skirt of the dress
  17. For the circular pattern along the bottom of the dress you can either:
    1. Cut out the pattern with the fondant and adhere it.
    2. Make white teardrop jewels with a small gem mold with either sugar or isomalt. This gives it an interesting 3D effect to the dress.  You can cut out the triangular shapes with fondant and adhere it.
  18. If you have time, you can fancy the dress up in the back with more pearls and sugar jewels. (As shown above.)
  19. Optional: You can also paint the crown with silver paint and bling it out with little purple gems like I did above.  It makes the cake look a little more expensive and detailed. (As shown above.)

Star Wars Day 2014

Star Wars Day 2014 1This is the third year I’ve hosted a Star Wars Day party.  It involves good food with punny names, watching SW movies and SW themed board games.  The first SW party I threw was just a small surprise for a special someone but through the years it’s evolved into a bigger celebration.  I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, but I can say that I love throwing themed parties.  So in a way, I do love Star Wars Day.
Star Wars Day 2014 2Star Wars Day 2014 4This year‘s party theme was Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, so all of the food and activities were centered on Episode 1 characters and settings.  Here are the things we made for SW Day*:
chicken pod piechicken pod pie 2Star Wars Day 2014 7 Star Wars Day 2014 8obi wontons obi wontons 2padme parfaitpadme parfait 2quail gon jinn 1 quail gon jinn 2watto's wings 1 watto's wings 2The centerpiece of the table was my Darth Maul-ble Cake, a marble cake with chocolate frosting and a chocolate transfer of Darth Maul.   There was a small chorus of “wows” when I revealed it.  Chocolate transfers can take a bit of time, but it is straight forward and simple to do.  I used the same technique for this piece and it turned out fabulous.
steps darth maulI think Darth Maul is quite scary.  To be completely honest, I got a wee bit frightened trying to find the right photo for the transfer.  Filling in the chocolate parts was no walk in the park either, he was just as scary.  I know it sounds silly, but if your imagination runs as wild as mine does I’m sure you understand. Revenge of the Six-th indeed. 🙂
Star Wars Day 2014 19Darth Maul-ble Cake

You will need:

1 Chocolate Marble Cake – Recipe Below
1 Batch of Chocolate Frosting – Can be found here
Black Candy Melts
Red Candy Melts
Yellow Candy Melts
White Candy Melts
A mirrored image of this printout in a black circle

Instructions:

  1. Tape the printout onto a baking sheet or any desired flat surface.
  2. Tape a piece of parchment paper over the printout making sure it covers the entire image.
  3. Melt a small amount of black, red, yellow and white candy melts (do not meld the colors together).
  4. Remember, chocolate transfers are all about layering.  Each time you fill out the next step, you will be going over the previously filled portion.
  5. Using either a toothpick or a piping bag fitted with either a #1 or #2 round tip, fill in the pupil of the eye with the black candy melt. (As shown in the above photo.)
  6. Mix the yellow and white candy melt to get a light ivory hue for the horns. Fill in. (As shown in the above photo.)
  7. Once the pupil is set, fill in the iris with the yellow candy melt.  Let set. (As shown in the above photo.)
  8. The outer edge of the iris has a red outline.  Carefully, trace a red border around the yellow candy melt. Let set. (As shown in the above photo.)
  9. Fill in the sclera with the white candy melt.  (As shown in the above photo.)
  10. Fill in the white edge of the hood while the sclera sets. (As shown in the above photo.)
  11. Using the red candy melt, start filling in the mask like patterns on the face.  Try not to lose the detailed edges because that’s what makes the image pop. (As shown in the above photo.)
  12. Once the red candy melt is set, melt some black candy melts.  Make sure it is not piping hot because you will lose some detail if it is.
  13. Smooth over the entire circumference with the black candy melts.  Let completely set.
  14. Place on top of frosted cake and you’re done!

Chocolate Marble Cake

Ingredients:
1⅔ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 egg, room temp
¼ c. Greek yogurt
¾ c. + 1 tbsp. milk, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and prep a 9” cake pan by coating it with nonstick spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Mix melted butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
  4. Add the egg, Greek yogurt, ¾ c. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract to the butter mixture and mix until homogenous.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and fold until smooth.
  6. Transfer ½ of the mixture to another bowl, mix in 1 tbsp. milk and cocoa powder until a thick chocolate batter forms.
  7. Put half of the vanilla batter into the prepared cake pan and spread out.
  8. Pour all of the chocolate batter on top of the vanilla mixture.
  9. Pour the rest of the vanilla batter over the chocolate batter.
  10. Using a toothpick or a butter knife, make swirls all over the cake. Be careful not to over swirl, or you will lose the marbling.
  11. Bake 18-25 minutes until golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cake recipe adapted from sally’s baking addiction.


* If you would like detailed info on any of the food I’ve prepared, don’t be afraid to leave a comment or shoot me an email!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie Cake

cookie cake 5First thing I need to say is… this Sunday is Star Wars Day!!  You can be sure that I’ll have a post on all the goodies I’ll be making for this year next week.  Now back to the cookie cake, this cookie cake is everything I would want in a cookie: sweet, salty, crispy, chewy, marshmallow-y… I could go on about it.  The last time I served this was during this year’s Super Bowl and while people ate this, it was very quiet.  It was that good.
cookie cake 2To be honest, this recipe is like my baby.  This cookie recipe has been over 5 years in the making!  I almost didn’t want to write it down because well, it’s mine and I didn’t want to share.  But I figured someone must be having a day somewhere and this cookie would be sure to cheer them up.  So whip up a batch, and make yourself or someone smile because a smile is free therapy.
cookie cake 6Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie Cake

Makes one 9” cookie cake

Ingredients:
6 oz. butter, divided
½ c. sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cornstarch
¾ c. chocolate chips
¾ c. mini marshmallows

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a 9” cake pan with parchment paper along the bottom and the sides.
  2. In a small pot, brown 5 oz. of butter.
  3. While the butter is browning, mix sugar, brown sugar and kosher salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Once the butter is brown, add the remaining 1 oz. of butter and stir to get the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the hot browned butter to the sugar mixture and stir.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until glossy and homogenous.
  7. Fold in flour, baking soda, and cornstarch until just combined.
  8. Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows until just combined.
  9. Bake 15-20 minutes until center is set and slightly underdone.
  10. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.