Sunday, July 31, 2011

Extraordinary Desserts

Myself and two of my friends visited Extraordinary Desserts last Thursday night to indulge ourselves in dessert and talk. We certainly induldged in desserts as we each bought two slices of cake. We got extra plates we could sample each of the slices.

I ordered a chai latte to start off with. 

 My friends both ordered coffee and it came with these brown sugar crystals pictured below.

Ready to get down to the dessert? I know I am. First up is one of the slices that I chose. This is a Torta Misu. Espresso soaked ricotta cake layers and Italian mascarpone rum cream. Served with whipped cream and dusted with cocoa.

This Extraordinary Carrot Cake was surprisingly my most favorite cake of the evening. I tasted some carrot cake along with other amazing textures and flavors that I couldn't pick apart. According to the website it has carrots, golden raisins, orange zest, chunks of pineapple, walnuts, and coconut are enveloped with a light cream cheese mousse.

The Chocolate Macadamia Torte was the second slice that I picked. It was pretty good, but some of the other slices stood out more. It is made from chocolate sponge cakes are painted with dark chocolate ganache, whipped cream, Myers's Rum flavor pastry cream, and roasted macadamia nuts.

This one is called Gianduia. I have no idea what that means but I have been meaning to Google it. It had a great mix of flavors that keep you interesting and guessing. This cake is made from Myer's Rum laced chocolate cake layers are married with hazelnut buttercream, chocolate mousse, boysenberry preserves, and crushed pralines.

My friend's favorite cake of the evening was the Lemon Ricotta. It is made of ricotta cake layers, lemon juice, lemon whipped cream, fresh blueberries and boysenberries. Check out the sauces on this one!

Finally, I couldn't find this one listed on the website but it is a Tiramisa with vanilla cake layers.

We made spectacle of ourselves because we by far had more dessert on our table than anyone else in the packed restaurant.

Leftovers to take home!

I wanted to share these beautiful desserts with you all as well as let you know that I was inspired after coming home from Extraordinary Desserts and I am creating my own Extraordinary Cake. It should be finished up by tonight so check back because I will be sharing it with you all very soon!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Air Delight

Air Delight, that is the name of the new aerated Hershey's chocolate bar. I spotted this while standing in the checkout line at Target this afternoon. I can't resist a new candy bar, in fact I make it a point to try every new candy bar that comes out. Want to know what I think?

Basically it is a Hershey's milk chocolate candy bar but it has been aerated. Biting into the smooth milk chocolate proves to be lighter, but overall no different than the classic bar.

I watched this video on aerating chocolate several months ago if you are wondering how to do it at home.

Wasn't there an Aero bar by Nestle released in the United States during the 1990's? I remember the gray/silver packaging and tasting it after my mom let me get one after a trip to the grocery store as a child. I also remember the commericals where a women was bathing in a tub of the Aero bar chocolate and my family being turned off to the candy after watching that.

Have you tried the Hershey's Air Delight? What do you think? 


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Tart

Rich. Very, very rich. It reminds me of a Reese's Cup although the base is a chocolate chip cookie.

  I used this recipe for the chocolate chip cookie portion. First you will need to whip up the cookie batter. Spray your tart pan with a non-stick baking spray. I baked this at 325 degrees for 20-22 minutes. It will become golden brown within the last few minutes in the oven so keep an eye on it.

 This is what it will look like coming out of the oven.

Let the cookie cool down for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime melt a couple of tablespoons of creamy peanut butter in a glass bowl in the microwave. It should take about 15-20 seconds. Stir and set aside. Next, melt about 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove, stir, and microwave for a few additional seconds if needed.

I typically use pastry bags for any piping needs, but I decided to try using sandwich bags this time. I took out two snack size sandwich bags putting chocolate in one and peanut butter in the other. Make sure you only snip off a very small corner.

I piped the peanut butter onto the cookie first, then the chocolate going at a different angle. I repeated this set until I piped them on twice each at different angles. Does that make sense?

I have from fresh homemade whipped cream so I used my jumbo cookie scoop to put the whipped cream in the middle of the cookie tart. It adds to the dessert visually but I found it also adds to the taste. You have to understand that this is a rich dessert and the whipped cream in some of the bites helped to lighten the taste.

Feel free to add a dollop of fresh whipped cream to each plate or slice just before serving. I had a little extra peanut butter and milk chocolate so I drizzled more over the whipped cream. You could also add chopped Reese's Cups if you dare.



Linking to Tuesdays At The Table.

Cherry Donuts, What Kind Are You Unable To Resist?

I took a lot of photos of the foods I made while I was in Iowa last month as well as my favorite foods special to the area that I can't enjoy in Southern California. I haven't had the time to share them until now. These donuts are one of the foods. They are cherry cake donuts with a white icing from the Asbury Hy-Vee grocery store.

 They don't make them everyday, so I had to special order them while I was there and they called a few days later informing me they had them in and were baking them fresh.

I shared with my family of course, but I know that I ate several of them myself. Cake donuts are my favorite type of donut and usually maple is my preferred flavor which leads to me ask, "What is your favorite donut, the one you can't resist?" 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Top Secret Apple Pie

I have a basket full of Granny Smith and Fuji Apples that I needed to use up. I usually make this Autumn Apple Tart but I decided to search AllRecipes for a faceless recipe, meaning a recipe without a photo. I found this extra spicy Top Secret Apple Pie recipe that looked delicious! I happened to have a pie crust on hand from making homemade pop tarts, perfect!

 I actually opted to use my tart pan instead of a pie pan which worked just as well. Let the cold pie crust rest in the pan while you begin to cut up the apples.

 Add the spices, flour, and sugars to the apples and toss to coat evenly. After that your pie crust should be soft enough to press into your pan.

I didn't have enough dough to make a top for the pie so I whipped up a streusel topping instead.

 I probably used one tablespoon too much of butter for the streusel topping, but I think it really made it all the better. I mean the recipe calls for a lot of sugar, why not induldge in the butter too?

I don't make traditional style pies very often so I was unsure if I should spray the pan before pressing my pie dough into the pan. I didn't do that and my crust stuck to the pan so this really isn't a slice of pie, more like a broken heap of apple pie but it taste just the same! Afterall, this is real life and as much as I would like anything I bake to look and taste perfect all the time, that isn't reality. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Master Bedroom

If you would like to see what my room looked like before, visit my YouTube Channel for the before video here:

These are some of my "after" photos of the room. Basically I have had the same linens for quite a few years and I thought it was time for a change. I actually find comfortable bedding difficult to find. I like something that is washable and soft and more simplistic in color and design.

I browsed websites and went to our enormous Bed, Bath, and Beyond to have a look but nothing caught my eye. Last week at Target I decided to look at their Fieldcrest Luxury line of bedding they always carry and I loved the colors they had. High thread counts, simple and modern colors, and washable! I teetered back and forth between a gray color scheme with yellow, gray, and white pillows but decided to stick with the spa blue colors since I already had curtains of that color. I mixed the gray and blue together and found that to be a satisfying compromise.

In the photo shows my lamp shades before I switched them out. I am loving the extra large silver metallic euro throw pillow which is now on clearance by the way! I paid $40 for it and went to Target just last night and they marked them down to $27. I have learned to always carry my receipts for a while, so I was able to get a price adjustment.

Below is the updated lamp shades. They are the large white modern drum shades from Target. I may eventually switch out the base, but honestly it is totally fine for a while. I would like to find some small mirrors to place behind the lamps on the wall and some silvery accessories. I will come across accessories eventually.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Espresso Twix

Sorry I made you all wait for this one. Here is the Espesso Twix Dessert I have recently created. My husband suggested that I name this "Espresso with a Twix."

I sampled this dessert at our home when we had company and it went over very, very well. I am making my second one tonight, this time I added two teaspoons of espresso to play with the recipe. The recipe was created by me and it is listed below.

By: MySweetCreations

¼ Cup Water
½ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Heavy Cream, Scalded
4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
½ Teaspoon Pure Vanilla

1 ½ Cups Graham Crackers, Finely Crushed
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Butter

2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder
1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips

8 Fun Size Twix Candy Bars
Caramel (Optional)

1.) FILLING: In a saucepan on medium heat, combine heavy cream, pure vanilla, and instant espresso powder. Once mixture warms up add milk chocolate chips and continue to whisk until it scalds. (Light bubbling on the side of the pan without letting it boil.) Remove from heat and store in a covered bowl in the refrigerator until very cold, at least 6 hours.

2.) CARAMEL: In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 4 tablespoons of water. Over medium heat, whisk until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, and continue boiling without stirring until the syrup turns a light amber color. While the syrup is boiling, keep a pastry brush and water handy to brush down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from sticking. Once a faint amber color begins to form, scald heavy cream in the microwave for one minute. Once a light amber color is present, remove saucepan from heat and carefully pour scalded heavy cream in and whisk together. Stir in 4 tablespoons butter and set aside to cool.

3.)CRUST: To make crust melt butter. Add finely crush graham crackers and sugar to the melted butter and mix until crumbly. Press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a springform pan. Pour caramel onto the crust and freeze until firm.

4.)ASSEMBLY: Once filling has cooled in the refrigerator for 6 hours, remove and whip at high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks. Remove graham crust with caramel from the freezer and spread filling on top. Chop Twix candy bars and sprinkle across the top. Place prepared dessert back into the freezer until firm, about 6 hours.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nutella S'mores

I know I am way behind here, but I just tried Nutella for the first time today. I grabbed a jar while grocery shopping at the commissary this morning. When I got home I opened it up to find that it is quite tasty! It actually reminds me of a melted Hershey's bar in many ways. That gave me the idea to use Nutella in place of a chocolate bar when making S'mores.

Do we really need a recipe for this? If making in the mircowave, place a large marshmallow on a graham cracker and place in the microwave for 10 seconds. Spread about 1/2 Tablespoon of Nutella onto the other half of the graham cracker and sandwich together!
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