Wedding | Sandy & Mike in Malibu

| Featured, Weddings

I previewed, but never got a chance to feature, the event that premiered the new Milo’s Bonbons logo. At Sandy & Mike’s wedding in Malibu earlier this year, we set up a dessert table with a wedding cake centerpiece. It was colorful and fun, and a real smorgasbord of sweets.


I had a lot of fun collaborating with the bride and groom on interesting flavor ideas and presentation. They were excited to present unique desserts that featured some of their favorite flavors like Earl Grey tea, bourbon and peach. I was also inspired by their wedding colors, which were along the lines of coral and slate blue. What made the experience really special for me was the abundance of support and enthusiasm the couple had for Milo’s Bonbons. It was amazing seeing the tent card signs they printed for the desserts, especially the “Desserts by Milo’s Bonbons” sign. Thank you Sandy & Mike!


The dessert table featured mini cupcakes, macarons, tarts, mini cakes and parfait cups. For the cupcakes, I made two types: a chocolate bourbon ganache cupcake with bourbon buttercream, and an orange cupcake with champagne buttercream.

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For the macarons, I made two types as well: an Earl Grey chocolate ganache macaron, and a passion fruit pastry cream macaron.

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The mini tarts had a layer of baked almond cream and was topped with mascarpone mousse and little gumpaste flowers.

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To add variety in height and shape, I also had parfait cups filled with layers of granola, peach custard and raspberry puree. The photo I took of them was unfortunately a bit dark.


The wedding couple’s wedding cake was three tiers, but only the top tier was actual cake for cutting purposes. The bottom two tiers were dummy cakes. The cake was a strawberry layered cake with Chambord buttercream and in order to share this with guests, I also created mini cakes with golden heart skewers added by the bride. That was actually the most challenging item of the event, as I was exploring different cake textures and cutting techniques and learning as I went. I certainly learned a lot for future events!


Photo below by onelove photography:


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Pastry School Recap | Units 10/13/15 Plated Desserts

| Pastry School

Something about plated desserts feels classy and elite to me. If I were to feel like a true pastry chef, I feel like I would have to master the art of these. However, I doubt I would ever work in the pastry kitchen of a restaurant. So, our dessert menu project from pastry school will have to suffice for life experience.

We had three units of individual plated desserts. Three! That is a lot, and I think most of us were a little sick of them by the end. I could fill pages of this blog with photos of visually stunning dessert plates, but I’ll stick with the ones I concocted for our dessert menu project, for which I created my imaginary dessert restaurant, Spiked, featuring cocktail-inspired desserts.
(Disclaimer: Again, neither this restaurant nor the URL is real.)
From my menu, the chef selected the Margarita and the Rum & Coke for actual presentation and taste-testing.
The Rum & Coke was intended to be a glass full of brown sugar rum ice cream sandwich cubes, coated or sprinkled with chocolate pop rocks, with a side of sour cherry compote and cherry cola sorbet. Unfortunately, the classroom fridge and freezer blew out the night before presentation, which melted everyone’s ice cream. So in a pinch, I remade the rum ice cream and scooped it into the cup, sprinkled with chocolate pop rocks, and inserted a chocolate tuile straw for decor. Tastewise, it was still a success!

The Margarita was my favorite, and is also the concept that inspired my recent eggnog bombe. This dessert is a citrus tequila mousse bombe with Grand Marnier crème brûlée and a lime cookie. On the side is an orange tequila sauce, lime cookie crumbs, crème anglaise and a candied lime.

Please excuse the iPhone photos! That’s all I had available in class.

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Pig-Pickin’ Cupcakes – And a Baby Shower

| Uncategorized

Pig-Pickin’ Cake (also sometimes called Pig-Lickin’ Cake or Mandarin Orange Cake) is apparently a tradition at a southern barbecue. It is usually served as a layered cake, but this is my vision of it as a cupcake.

The cake portion is essentially a variation on my orange cupcakes, using pureed mandarin oranges instead of orange juice concentrate. I filled these cupcakes with pineapple pudding (crushed pineapples and vanilla pudding), which is what is usually used as the layered frosting. Then I topped the cupcakes off with whipped frosting (a cross between fresh whipped cream and meringue frosting that holds its shape a little better than whipped cream—I had to make sure these would survive a 2-hour drive). Finally, to class these up a bit for a baby shower, I decorated with gum paste flowers, which were brushed with yellow pearlescent powder and accented with pearlized sprinkles. So fun to make!

You can find a recipe for Pig-Pickin’ Cake with a simple search online, but here is what I did for the cupcakes:


* 1 (18 ounce) box yellow cake mix

* 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges in juice

* 4 eggs

* 2/3 – 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I prefer to use less)

* 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


* 1 (6 ounce) can crushed pineapple (some recipes call for the larger can, but the smaller portion works better as a cupcake filling)

* 1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping (thawed)

* 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding


* 3 large egg whites

* 3/4 cup sugar

* Pinch of salt

* 1/3 cup water

* 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans (this recipe should make 24 cupcakes). In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, mandarin oranges (with juice), eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Beat until mandarin oranges break up. Pour into cupcake liners (about 2/3 full) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Note: Do not overfill the liners, as this batter will spill over the edges rather than form a tall mound. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, turn out of pans and finish cooling on wire racks.

In a mixing bowl, combine whipped topping, pineapple (with juice), and vanilla pudding mix. Carve out the center of the cooled cupcakes and fill with the pineapple pudding.

Frosting: In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the 3 large egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, pinch of salt and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

Simple, and yummy. Enjoy!

I also made baby block cakes for the baby shower. These were brown sugar pound cake with brown sugar cream cheese frosting. It was a learning experience in working with fondant and trying to have a steady hand while piping royal icing. Let’s just say, we are giving ourselves an A for effort, and a below average grade for execution =)

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