I look forward to the amazing way that a weekend allows me to spend time alone and with my loved ones and my good friends doing all my favorite things.
Last weekend was somewhat of a challenge as I found myself having to hop skip and jump between helping friends, celebrating, baking and some charity work.
Saturday started with me playing dress up to portray a grown up version of red riding hood as made popular by the children's fairy tale. It was a week after Halloween and photographer friend cast me as his model for an artistic shoot. It was a brisk 50 degree day and while I complained about the cold while shooting, the end result is a set of stunning photos. Check out his work and my modelling debut at www.theorangecameraguy.com
Later in the day i dashed off to the best 6 year old, Olivia's popstar themed birthday party. (I am babysit her so i'm little biased) I decided to make her birthday cake and cupcakes for the day's festivities. The microphone cupcakes made from ice cream cones and a 3 layer yellow cake with cream cheese frosting where a huge hit.....Click Here For The Recipe...
Sunday morning bright and early my friend Natt and I as well as many other chocolate lovers gathered in Grant park for the annual Hot chocolate 5K or 15km race. I ran the 5K this year and hope to run the 15km in the future. Im getting pretty good at 5km races now.
I have to say thank you for the race organizers who came up with this delicious way to combine exercise and chocolate.
After the invigorating run I quickly made my way to the Chicago Wat Pa temple for The Thord Gathin Festival.
At this time of year Buddhists people gather at the temple to celebrate the Thord Gathin festival. ( Thai:ทอดกฐิน) is a traditional Buddhist festival celebrated in northeast Thailand. Colorful parades and offering ceremonies of home made food marks the end of monks' retreat at local temples.
A wide assortment of homemade Thai dishes made by attendees to be shared where brought into this ceremony.
Being away from home is never easy but these dishes made it feel like I had a little part of home with me even for a little while.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
" No matter what you do please be sure that you are happy! "
Some good options to bring for Birthday Parties.
"Cupcakes, mini cupcakes, Cake, cookies, bottle of wine, booze, appetizer " ?
While I was thinking what to pick from my list, I got a call from the Birthday girl "Leeann". She said bring mini cupcakes. Alright then, I love when people tell me what they want. And this is what kind of girl she is, she knows what she wants! Leeann is smart, funny, sharp and a great cook. A birthday present and mini-cupcakes are a simple way to say thank you for a great friendship. Thank you for being with me when I have had rough days and cheering me up :)
The plan was to go to a beach party by Oak Street Beach in Chicago. The party started around bunch time and lasted until to sunset………
Brunch combined with Mini cupcakes-I am thinking about bagels, cream cheese and coffee. Then Coffee Mini-Cupcakes with Espresso cream cheese frosting idea was born. This recipe comes from one of my favorite baking books, Baking Illustrated. I like this recipe book because it is accurate.
As I say it is "Bagel, cream cheese and coffee". I picked yellow cake recipe from this book, adding more espresso- Makes you feel like you have all in one with those mini bites. I have some leftover espresso pastry cream, which gives a little surprise inside those goodie mini cupcakes.
Happy Sunday Everyone
Here are the recipes:
Mini-Cupcake makes 41
Cupcake makes 14
1 1/2 cups all-purpose-flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8 tablespoons (1stick ) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks,room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Kaluah
1 teaspoonespresso powder
1 teaspoon brew coffee liquid
1/4 cup roasted pecans, chopped ( for garnish )
1 tablespoon cocoa powder ( for garnish )
Espresso pastry cream filling recipe
Espresso cream cheese frosting *
*Espresso Cream cheese frosting recipe
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened or at room temperature
1 package or 8 ounces cream cheese, chilled
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon brew coffee liquid
1 teaspoon Kaluah
1 teaspoon Espresso powder
You can make this Cream cheese frosting ahead for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Make sure to take the buttercream out of the fridge 1 hour before use.
Moist and delicate coconut cake with coconut pastry cream filling with coconut cream cheese buttercream, topped with chocolate ganache
I made white cake cupcakes before with a vanilla frosting topped with Olaf characters for decoration. That time I chose " The Best White Cake Recipe " from Add A Pinch (addapinch.com). I love this recipe because it is so moist.
Orapin loves my coconut cake. This time I want to create something new, so I'm trying to combine this best white cake recipe with coconut flavor.
A lot of coconut has to be used in this recipe:
- Buttermilk made from coconut milk
The same way as homemade buttermilk.
* 1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoon vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon
- Coconut oil
When you use coconut oil substitute with butter, you can substitute the same equal amount with butter. For example, if the recipe requires 3/4 cup of butter, you can sub with 3/4 cup of coconut oil.
If you want to think about fat and water that are involved:
* Butter is 80% of milk fat and 20% of water. You can substitute coconut oil with 3/4 cup of butter required in the recipe. So 3/4 cup equal 6 tablespoon. You can use 5 tablespoons coconut oil plus 1 tablespoon liquid as water or milk. In this recipe I choose milk .
- Coconut extract to add some more flavor into it.
The outcome is moist and delicate texture with a compound coconut flavor. This coconut cake is a delight- like having real coconut in your mouth.
Not enough coconut ….. Let's go crazy with it …. Go Coconut!!!!
I add coconut pastry cream filling plus fresh raspberries and blueberries with coconut cream cheese buttercream, topped with white chocolate ganache and shredded coconut. This cake " sounds better than heaven with a Caribbean vacation" Chef Janet Burnette commented about this cake.
Wherever there are baby showers and birthday parties, cake and cupcakes are involved. It depends on how many adults or kids are in the party if you are going to either have cake or cupcakes prepared. I am a big fan of both… seems I go for cupcakes more often because I can control the amount of what I am eating :) … One or one more sometimes wouldn't be a problem if I have my favorite cupcake.
Cupcakes are easy to clean and good quantity control for a party that has kids around. No problem with not enough cake!! When you know exactly how many kids and adults are gonna be there, you might have a few more if someone wants to go for another cupcake.
I got invited to two parties this weekend- one is a baby shower for my friend Orapin Furman and another one is birthday party for one of my friend (Nok's son- Quince) . I am planing to bake a cake for the baby shower and bring cupcakes to Quince's birthday party.
Moist and delicate coconut cake Recipewith coconut pastry cream filling plus fresh raspberries and blueberries with coconut cream cheese buttercream, topped with chocolate ganache
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
5 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
Delightful coconut cream cheese buttercream
White Chocolate Ganahce
Coconut pastry cream filling
Preheat oven 350 degree
Coat three 9 inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or with butter and flour.
In the medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
For wet ingredients: In the small bowl with coconut milk and vinegar use fork whisk together well. Set on a side. In the measuring cup, whisk together milk, vanilla extract, coconut extract and coconut mixture. Set aside. (set aside, not set on aside)
In the mixing bowl with the paddle attachment on medium speed: mix cream butter, coconut oil and shortening until light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar- two tablespoon at a time, until it is incorporated. Add room temperature eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape on the side after each egg is incorporated.
With the low speed gently add dry ingredients to the mixture and switch with wet ingredients, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Gently scrape down the mixture, making sure all ingredients are mixed well.
Evenly pour the mixture in each pan. Gather each pan to the big baking sheet with the wet towel wrapped around the pan (see note). Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cake pans cool for at least 15 minute on the wire rack. (allow not around)
- Wrap the wet towel around the pan to prevent the cake popping in the middle of the batter- it makes the cake come out evenly and easy to frost.
- If you don't use the wet towel, you can bake approximately for 25-30 minutes.
- For cupcakes, bake approximately 18 minutes.
Assemble the cake:
Cut three cakes in even layers. Dap the butter-cream on the cake stand ( 2 tablespoons ), put the first layer on top of the butter-cream. Brush first layer with coconut syrup, spread 1 cup of coconut pastry cream filling on top. Gradually layer raspberries on to coconut pastry cream filling. Cover with the second layer of cake. Repeat this with remaining 3 layers, switching raspberries and blueberries in between each layer.
Once your cake is assembled, crump coat your cake before you cover with coconut cream cheese butter-cream.
Decorate from your own style !!!!
Hi, I am Natty! And Thank you for stopping by!! I am a foodie girl who has a passion for cooking, exercise and photography. There are so many favorite recipes from my family and friends I have tried throughout my journey that balances out and makes a healthy meal. I would like to take you on a journey to a different pantry around the world to share my favorite stories and recipes. My hope is that they inspire and benefit you.
"You love someone, you open yourself up to suffering, that's the sad truth. Maybe they'll break your heart, maybe you'll break their heart and never be able to look at yourself in the same way. Those are the risks. That's the burden.Like wings, they have weight, we feel that weight on our backs, but they are a burden that lifts us. Burdens which allow us" Bones
Don't wait for the perfect moment,take the moment and make it perfect. - Zoey Sayward-