puff pastry

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

Baby Shower | Congrats Charlin & George!

| Baby Showers

My dear friends Charlin and George are expecting a baby girl soon, and I had the honor of catering desserts for their baby shower this past weekend! I’m thankful for the faith that my friends have in me, and also really appreciated the opportunity to practice and experiment 🙂

For this celebration, I made a two-tiered custard and strawberry cake, chocolate cupcakes, and some puff pastry treats. The cake had layers of lemon chiffon cake, crème légère (pastry cream lightened with whipped cream), and fresh slices of strawberry, with a buttercream frosting.

I then decorated with handmade gumpaste roses and leaves. I originally planned on adding whole, fresh strawberries as well, but I was a little worried about everything staying intact and in place during the drive to the baby shower.

The mini cupcakes were chocolate with a chocolate ganache center. For half the cupcakes, I used a cream cheese frosting and decorated with fondant yellow duckies and bubbles.

For the other half, I used a chocolate ganache frosting and decorated with fondant teddy bears. These were labor-intensive pieces, but it was a satisfying accomplishment for me, as I don’t usually tend to make “cutesie” decorations.

Finally, I made some puff pastry dough and created cinnamon sugar twists and quick vols-au-vent filled with lemon pastry cream and strawberry slices. While the cake and cupcakes got the attention, these puff pastry treats were my favorite to eat!

0 comment

1 2 3