THEY’RE LETTING ME DO CUPCAAAAKES!!!
Well hey there. It’s been a while. I’m still cranking out tasty things at the tiny pink restaurant, still lack my own computer and camera as well as enough free time and interest to be sharing recipes and whatnots with you. The times they are a-changing, though, and I’ve promised a certain special fellow Lady of the Pastry that I’d document my latest adventure here. Because allegedly people like when I write things. Huh.
Anyway…those changes. Well, I moved, still in Brooklyn, but a different part. It’s got lots of parts. It’s big. My reason for moving is related to my love life and how there is someone new in it. I like him. Lots. The third change is related to my job. Very soon I won’t be all alone, so lonely, tweaking out about making all the desserts myself. We’re opening a second, much much much bigger restaurant a block down the street and guess who’s in charge of all things sweet o’er there. Yeah. So, it was decided that production for both places would be in the nice big shiny new kitchen, and that I could hire helpers.
Helpers! My very own army of minions! Three of them! Yup. Three makes an army, right? Okay. I’m basically trying to assemble a team of totally awesome Pastry Superfriends. With unique abilities and special powers. The applications are in, I hate my inbox and the interviews have begun. My little calendar app has never seen so much action. And I’ll be continuing this saga shortly so totally come back and stuff.
Hey there. I mentioned recently on Twitter that I’d like to start blogging casually again. Since my computer and camera were recently liberated from my ownership, I have no pressure to make things Tastespotting/Foodgawker-worthy. It’s all about the flavor anyway. I’m not into the tablescapes, carefully arranged heirloom tomatoes and blown-out whites.
So, here’s a thing I make at work a couple of times a week as a petit four. Consider them Rice Krispie Treats, perfected. They started out as these. Then they evolved.
Dirty Rice Krispie Treats
- 2.75 oz. unsalted butter
- Large pinch Kosher salt
- 15 oz. marshmallows
- 9 oz. Rice Krispies (or generic puffed rice cereal)
- 4.5 oz. cocoa nibs
Place the butter and salt in a large-ish pot, something with a wide bottom. Heat over medium until butter melts and begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Cook the butter to a dark brown (not black).
While the butter browns, spread the marshmallows in a single layer in a large mixing bowl or on a clean baking sheet. Torch the heck out of ‘em. You could also put them under a broiler if you have no torch, but a torch is really the way to go here. You want a burnt, black, crispy shell on at least 2 sides of those marshmallows. With gooey insides. Once the butter and marshmallows are done, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the marshmallows. Stir occasionally with a buttered heat-proof spatula until completely melted.
Combine the cereal and cocoa nibs in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Butter a medium rectangular baking dish (or a half sheet pan, if you’re in a professional kitchen…I cut them 1×1.5″ for petit fours so they don’t need to be that thick, but they’d be too thick to fit a quarter sheet) and line it with parchment. Liberally butter the parchment. Butter, butter, butter. Once the awesomely burnt goo in the pot is totally melted, add the cereal and nibs and stir to combine as evenly as possible. Scrape into your buttered vessel and smooth evenly. At work I use a liberally buttered large offset spatula. If you’re into cake decorating you’ll have one. If not…use whatever a home cook would use to spread and smoosh Rice Krispie Treats. I don’t know. After this, I butter another sheet of parchment and lay it on top, then wrap and let it set up for a few hours. Then I turn that sucker out and cut it up with a buttered knife.
Not sure what the next post will be. Banana jam? Toasted almond milk? How to make lame-ass cultivated blueberries taste like wild ones? Perhaps the infamous ANIMAL CRACKERS, the recipe for which I’ve only shared with one very special person?
I’ve been busy. Doing things like this:
I don’t have any good pictures of my desserts so far, so here’s a bad one…bad picture, that is, this dessert is rad.
Since I spend my days in a somewhat dark basement with poor lighting, and I only have my phone for use as a camera, I won’t be getting any good shots on my own…not that I have time to mess with more than a quick snapshot anyway.
…But if YOU are ever in TriBeCa, and have some nice photography skillz please come by and take pictures and share them (and your thoughts!) with me.
I have some idea what you might be thinking.
“That’s nice, Anna, but what about the recipes?”
I’m not sure about that yet. Honestly I’m using a lot of base recipes that have appeared on this blog, but some things are completely new…like those animal crackers. I’ll share a few things, when/if I have the time. Right now I’m a little more preoccupied with nailing my fifth dessert…and wondering if I have too much orange on my menu (it’ll be pinker soon).
I love sponge cake. I didn’t know it until I went to pastry school, because I never had it growing up. I don’t know exactly why I love the airy, eggy stuff – I can’t stand eggs on their own but add sugar and I’m all over ‘em.
The other day I was flipping through my copy of Joy of Cooking and I found a recipe for a sponge cake with rice or potato flour instead of the traditional wheat flour. I had just picked up a fresh box of mochi flour and thought to myself that a mochi sponge cake would be just about the most wonderful thing I could put in my mouth.
So I’ve been getting a little bored at home, waiting for the restaurant to get to the point where I can go in and at least do SOMETHING (once the water gets turned on I can go help clean things, wheeee!) and cataloguing recipes and making up menus just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I had to do something. I had to bake.
Lucky for me, I had ingredients for muffins after filling a St. Patrick’s Day request for Chocolate Chip Whiskey Muffins. Add to that a need to develop a super tasty blueberry muffin recipe for brunch. Then add to THAT some sour cream (leftover from tasty tasty tacos) and you’ve got the ingredients for a one woman muffin smackdown.
***Voting is over and the results are in…I WIN! Thanks to all my readers for the support.***
I know I don’t talk about myself all that much here. I’m more interested in telling you about food. But as this is food related, I figured I should mention it here.
I left my job.
I know. I really liked my job. And I still really like the restaurant. But sometimes, you have to move on to something else. So I decided to go in search of that something else. And I considered all sorts of things in my search…switching over to bakery work, learning a totally new cuisine, even raw desserts. Then I got lucky.
I’m not going to say too much now since it’s not open yet. Let’s just say I’m getting my very own pastry station. Dessert concepts have been submitted and approved. I can get in there and start testing in a matter of days. There’s a lot of work ahead of me, but it’s incredible that I’ve come this far, this fast.
Watch this space for more details (including, you know, name and address and opening date).
That’s enough of that for now. Let’s move on to the cupcakes I made for this month’s Mystery Box Challenge.
This month’s theme, luckily for me, was to make a pretty pretty birthday cupcake for someone special. My mom has a March birthday and what could be more special than that?
Hi! It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Do you know what that means for me?
Well, in the past it would’ve meant I’d be looking forward to a day (or at least an evening) off, spent snuggling and probably having a nice dinner or something with Z. But now? Now it means I’m gearing up for a long weekend of busy dinner service with a special holiday menu at work. Ah, restaurant life.
You know what I don’t post often enough? Breakfast foods. Oh sure, there were crepes that one time, scones at some point, then there were those amazing oatmeal clafoutis, and of course the epically wonderful pumpkin gingerbread muffins, but it’s been nearly a year since the muffins and I thought I ought to give more attention to the first meal of the day.
Even if I tend to consider noon “time to roll out of bed and think about eating something” time.
A few months ago I got a special gift of a really useful book and some wonderful wines to go with it. I used the red for sorbet, ended up just enjoying the white (a Riesling) on its own (sooo gooood) and stashed the sparkling in my fridge. For the holiday season. That book had given me some pretty good ideas and I couldn’t wait to put them to use. I was just waiting for the right time.