pastry cream

Office Bytes | Vols-au-Vent Puff Pastry

| Uncategorized

French for “windblown” (I learn something new every time I use wikipedia in preparation for my blog posts), these hollow puff pastry shells are an amazing vehicle for both sweet and savory fillings. They’re made with two discs of puff pastry, with the bottom one docked to minimize rise, and the top one with a hole cut out to create the hollow.

For a recent surprise baby shower at work, I wanted to bring an easy finger food dessert other than cupcakes, as I knew the party organizers had already pre-ordered cupcakes from a bakery shop. I made these vols-au-vent, half filled with lemon curd crème légère, and half filled with vanilla crème légère, each topped with sliced strawberries. And of course, I used the extra puff pastry dough to make my favorite cinnamon twists 🙂

0 comment

Birthday | Above & Beyond 30th!

| Birthdays, Featured

I was asked to make an “Above & Beyond”-themed cake for a 30th birthday celebration. For those of you who don’t know (myself included, prior to this cake), A&B is a British trance group with a radio show called Group Therapy, hence the play on that name on the side of this cake.

I’d never heard of A&B before, but they have a very striking and fun rainbow theme with an album cover image that I based the cake design off of.

I’d also never made a square cake before. Or covered a square cake in fondant. Or made a cake so dependent on fondant decorations! It was an all-nighter but also a great opportunity to stretch myself and imagine what it would be like to have a custom cake business. One can dream 🙂

This cake was a matcha green tea chiffon cake, layered with thin crunchy puff pastry layers and green tea crème légère (green tea pastry cream with whipped cream). I crumb coated with plain Italian meringue buttercream and then covered with black fondant.

The ribbons and lettering were also rolled and cut fondant (with royal icing for the pound sign and numbers). I tried a new technique, the wax paper transfer method (using wax paper and shortening), to put the letters on quickly and evenly (thank you Craftsy). I also used a milk bottle cap to give the ribbons a lined texture.

Note to self: Invest in additional refrigerator or freezer space . . .
0 comment

Office Bytes | Moving Day!

| Uncategorized

Some of my happiest baking is for the office. To me, there’s an inherent joy in desserts, and to share that joy with others and make even just one person merrier (especially in the workplace) is what motivates me.

Amazon Lab126 just moved offices to a shiny new location in Sunnyvale, CA and to celebrate our last day in the old office, I made a cake! This is a 4-layer lemon chiffon cake with coconut pastry cream and a middle filling layer of mango bavarian cream and fresh slices of mango. The outside frosting is just a plain Swiss meringue buttercream, decorated with toasted coconut chips.

I left the cake out (in a mostly closed box) in the kitchenette to let it thaw a bit. By 11am, the cake was 90% gone and I hadn’t even announced its presence. I barely got to taste a bite and snap a photo of the inside before the cake was completely gone, the box thrown away and my knife rinsed off.

I guess hungry employees find joy in cake on Friday mornings!

0 comment

1 2 3 4