Sunday, September 19, 2010


So I know you read the bread pudding needed a chocolate drizzle and seeing how the bread pudding was a disaster I decided to take the ingredients needed for the drizzle and make truffles. These were easy to make but also time consuming. I had to wait for the chocolate to harden over night. But when I returned I had the most luscious chocolate ever. I made balls and rolled them in cocoa powder. After resting in the freezer for some time we enjoyed them. So great. And only four ingredients. Semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter, cream, and cocoa powder. Plus any additional ingredients you may want to roll then in. I just used cocoa, but powdered sugar and coconut would have worked well. But I don't plan on using coconut for a while. Sayonara for now!

Warning!! Bread Pudding Bites Back

I planned for this weekend to be a baking spree. I wanted to make two special recipes I saw on TV. The crisp you saw in the last post and this was supposed to be my second dish. I saw this bread pudding on Paula Deen. I love her country cooking and excessive use of butter. However sometimes the dishes are even too rich for me. This dish was featured on an episode where her and her son Jamie went all out with some incredible desserts. I am not a huge fan of bread pudding, there is something about the texture I can't really get down with. But this was coconut and cream and had chocolate drizzle.Plus I knew my family would like it so I forged on. The recipe was very easy to follow and the ingredients were common enough. Just like a good old southern recipe. The worst part was the waiting. An hour to soak, an hour and 15 minutes to cook, and then 15 more minutes. All coupled with foil on, foil off and poke holes to vent the steam. But I followed every strict rule, even using a water bath, which I have never done before. I was so excited when each step drew me closer to the finish line. Now listen carefully because it may be hard to believe the first time you read this. You may not understand why my dish looks the way it does after reading the beginning part of this story. But if you don't get it the first time, or if you are in shock from what you've read please feel free to back up and re-read. Now remember I said this was coconut bread pudding. And we all know coconut is white, as is bread. And that wouldn't make an ascetically pleasing dish. So being the great cook that Paula's is she requested popping the pudding under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to allow the top to brown. I remember thinking this was genius. After seeing my bland blah pudding come out after its 1 and 30 minute journey I felt that I owed it to the pudding to follow the recipe and give it a tan. So I put on the broiler, took the pudding out of the water bath and popped it in. Meanwhile I was talking with my friend on the phone who was glad to hear about my baking extravaganza and was wishing me well. Now here is the part where I give you all advice. NEVER EVER WALK AWAY FROM A BROILER!!! NEVER!! and NEVER EVER TALK TO A FRIEND ON THE PHONE IF YOU DECIDE TO WALK AWAY!!! I walked into the kitchen to check it but was too late. Smoke was billowing out of the oven and when I opened the door I saw all of my hard work go down the drain. All of the waiting and planning was for nothing. Following the recipe couldn't help me now. Paula didn't include instructions for what to do when you burn your pudding. Because that would never happen to Paula. In a matter of 1 min and a couple seconds my pudding was burnt to a crisp. Even crisper than tanned girls at the beach. I remember yelling to my friend "I have to call you back" and slipping the oven mitts on so fast I could have gotten rug burn. I got the pudding out and nearly dropped it on the ground trying to find its resting place. I called my friend back and said "Booby Flay would never burn anything." I was disappointed. I remember her saying something about all good cooks make mistakes. But I was still upset. I worked so hard. For crispy burnt bread! Now your probably wondering why this picture doesn't look burned to you. Well that's because in a fit of rage and an attempt to disguise my mistake I pulled off all of the burned pieces. I left it on the stove and pulled myself together enough to figure out what to do. I would cool it, refrigerate it and serve it tomorrow. Surprisingly it wasn't too bad. Just ugly. I will try this one again. But maybe not coconut. I think chocolate bread pudding sounds more up my alley. Whew!

Peach Raspberry Crisp

So I was again watching the Barefoot Contessa and got sucked in to one of her decadent recipes. Now I have made crisps and crumbles before but they have always turned out too sweet and I have thrown them away. But for some reason I can't seem to remember the overly sweet crisps I have made when I see a piping hot gorgeous dessert pop out of the ovens on TV. So I ventured out to make a crisp again. This recipe seemed so easy when I saw it on TV. But then again everything seems easy in The Hamptons for Ina and her friends. To be honest the most difficult part was peeling the peaches. I used the boiling water trick but my peaches didn't peel too easily. I am glad I used the less ripe peaches however. They really stood up to the long cooking time. After everything was assembled and an hour of baking went by I had this lovely bubbling dish to show off. My family, happy to be receiving treats, devoured almost the entire thing in one day. And I am proud to say, as I am eating some of the leftovers right now, it was a success. Not to sweet, crunchy, and delicious. Just as beautiful as the one Ina had at her potluck. Thank you again Barefoot Contessa for another home run!

Spongebob RidingThe Pineapple

Here is the birthday boys special cake. He loved it!!

The Pineapple

This cake was made using a pineapple mold. Which just happened to be downstairs in my friend's house. Many of the cakes actually stuck to the intricate pineapple pan but we managed to salvage two good chocolate ones to decorate. After they were out we just used our creative talents and went to town. I'd say they came out pretty good.

Spongebob Cupcakes

These cupcakes were a gift for my friend's son. His 4th birthday party was this weekend and he loves Spongebob. We wanted to make all chocolate cupcakes but to be fair to everyone at the party we added some white ones too. The process was pretty easy because I make chocolate cakes all the time. The icing was a little tricky to apply. My friend wanted the cupcakes to be special so we used a icing tool to get the perfect look. Then we added sprinkles and a topper.They looked so professional when we were finished. You would swear they were store bought. We also attempted a pineapple which offered a pretty cool vessel for the Spongebob candle. I had so much fun in a new kitchen cooking with a friend. Surprisingly it wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be making cupcakes for an event. I would do it anytime! Check out the pictures above to see the other cakes. So much fun.