Baking/Life Update

As my lovely friend/co-worker Libby says “So Surry”

I have been bad and haven’t posted in what seems to be close to a month! I may not have been posting but I promise I’ve been baking in between, just hasn’t been specifically Thursday and things havent turned out as they should have…

With that said, I have a few things to put up, I just need to sit down and do it.

If you have all forgotten about me and my baking project, well I will make it up to you.

To come:

  • Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes with Ganache
  • Chocolate Flourless Torte  (for the parents’ birthday)
  • Amazing Granola Bars (That didn’t turn out but I’ll tell you about them anyways)
  • Pictures of my niece!!
Also, I’m toying with the idea of adding real food onto my plate, so to speak. I figure I should try and branch out and make some real meals maybe. Thoughts?

Malibu Tide Pools

I went to the tide pools in Malibu with my mom the other afternoon. They were amazing. Beautiful stuff. Lots of sea stars, sea anemones, and other cool sea shore animals. But I guess I have this new formed soft spot for sea creatures since I’ve started working at the aquarium. It’s such an awesome feeling going to the beach and being able to know what I’m looking at and explain what it is to other people who have no idea that whatever it is.

Sea Stars!

On the aquarium note, I started teaching classes. I started with a group of 25 five-year-olds and I was helping teach them their five senses and using a sea star to explain it. Let me tell you, five-year-olds are freakishly intimidating. It’s all fun and games when we’re running around the aquarium and the little girls are coming up and hugging me, but when it comes down to teaching them, they just scare the crap out of me. But I will get better with time :). I love working with kids, even if I get a little scared.

The lovely creatures that I get to teach twice a week

Looking forward to sharing my food and life with you,

Madeline

#17 Blueberry Muffins

I write this to you from Coffee Bean in Santa Monica as I wait for my last day of training for my internship. [Sidenote: I found a Krispy Kreme on Wilshire in Santa Monica. :D!] This morning I did my first day interning and got to watch/help with a PreK class from downtown LA. They were beyond precious. If you know me even slightly, you know I am baby crazy and these little kids were just, sigh…so cute.

Anyways! I have made Blueberry Muffins a bunch of times before but was never satisfied with them. They were always good, sure, but not good enough. I ventured out and found a new recipe, and its amazing. I’ve made it last weekend and then this week too. I had 3 this morning…

The batter is very deceiving. Looks like it isn't going to make anything!

Covered in chunks of butter and cinnamon for a yummy crust on top!

The recipe only makes 9, but doubling it wouldn’t be very difficult. And 9 is perfect for my family. Six for me and 3 for my mother. The father does not like blueberries in his Blueberry Muffins, go figure.  🙂

These are really simple to make. I woke up the other morning and walked downstairs and made these. I was half asleep the entire time. Definitely worth getting out of bed for though.

Right out of the oven! I dont use liners for muffins, just seems silly. Just grease the tin.

And….

It is as good as it looks

It’s best if you eat them right away, but that is never an issue in my house.

I welcome all of you over for breakfast on the weekends and I’d be happy to make you these muffins 🙂 But incase for some reason you don’t want to come over….here is the recipe 🙂 Link to recipe.

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

 Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups.
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
Enjoy!

Madeline

Update!

My deepest apologies for the past two weeks.

I have been all over the place the past two weeks. Last week I was at work every day prepping for our big conference, DICE Summit, in Las Vegas. I’m currently still in Vegas, I’ve been here since last Saturday, and have lots to share with you guys.

Be prepared for:

– Slightly failed Tiramisu Cupcakes (all were eaten regardless)

– Detailed meeting/my day with the Executive Pastry Chef, Jaret Blinn from Red Rock Resort and Casino.

– Video of me on G4 as an awards girl for Indie Game Challenge.

Great week. Great. Week. I feel so inspired and excited for whats next.

Heads up, I’m starting classes again (finally) on Monday. Not that this means anything, I’ll still be baking. Couldn’t stop it even if I tried 🙂

Love you all. Thanks for supporting me and what I love to do.

Madeline

#9 Vanilla Bean Caramel (Sauce) with Fleur de Sel

For as long as I have been baking, when ever I thought about making candy I would always assume that it was the most challenging thing ever so I never tried it. After hearing about my boyfriends younger brother making caramel and then watching my sister-in-law work with it while they visited for the holidays, I knew I needed to step up my game a little bit.

I found this recipe on this amazing blog Annie Eats, which is run by this truly outstanding woman who has a full time job as a resident physician, has one kid with another on the way and still makes time to bake/cook and maintain her blog. Anyways, I’ve looked at this recipe for a few weeks and finally decided to try it. I ordered Fleur de Sel on amazon, pricy stuff I might add, and took advantage of the giant bag of vanilla beans my sister-in-law gave to me.

This is the special salt for this recipe, Fleur De Sel. I tried a little bit and it is some salty salt my friends, but it melts instantly in your mouth.

It started out great, but in the end my caramels never decided to get their act together and get hard. So I accidentally made caramel sauce, which is really good, but not what I was intending to make :). A few things could have gone wrong but I have a feeling it’s my candy thermometer. I brought it up to the temperature it called for in the recipe, but after reading through a few comments of other peoples mistakes, my thermometer might be a little off. Or maybe I just messed it up completely because I was so intimidated by candy, we’ll never know 🙂 But for now, lets blame it on the thermometer.

I also accidentally left my camera’s ISO setting on 3200 while I was taking pictures inside so my pictures turned out awful.

All the ingredients, very simple!

In a small pan, you melt down and bring to a boil the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, pods, and fleur de sel.

In a bigger pan, bring to boil the sugar, corn syrup and water.

The next part I couldn’t get pictures of because it all happened really fast. Basically after this sugar mixture turns a caramel light golden color, you pour the cooled cream mixture into the sugar mixture. After that, you put in the candy thermometer and keep an eye on it, while you stir it, and bring it up to the correct temperature.

After the cooking is done, you pour it into a pan where it SHOULD set up and get hard. After about 30 minutes you sprinkle the Fleur de Sel on top and continue to let it harden.

I took a picture the day after of my caramel sauce to post up here but I come to find that almost all of it is gone! So even if your caramel doesn’t work out either, its damn good caramel sauce!

Caramel Sauce!

If you are still interested in the recipe despite my mishap, you can check it out over here.

This sauce is great on ice cream! And maybe some cupcakes 😉 Stay tuned for that.

-Madeline-

#7 Update

Alright.

I reluctantly brought the Chocolate Mocha Toffee Cupcakes into work and although there were very few people that decided to attend work today, the ones that did seemed to enjoy it. So maybe I was a little too cynical about the recipe.
I will make them again, but I think instead of using the cake recipe from this one, I’ll use a recipe I like better and adapt it with the mocha/toffee.
I’ll try them again eventually and post me edits to it if you are interested.

🙂