Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart {And A Fabulous Friday}

Delicious food, amazing people, princess tiaras, and fabulous news. I had a seriously great Friday.

Reason #1.

My best friend of almost 13 years had a lovely birthday lunch that was so over the top girly and pink it was the almost to the point of ridiculousness, but managed to pull itself off quite nicely. I’m not a pink kinda gal, but in honor of such an awesome friend I embraced it and made some princess tiara sugar cookies for the party, as well as a Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart.

The lunch was hilarious. Six chicks sitting around socializing, drinking champagne, and acting like wearing a tiara at 1pm on a Friday was normal.

Oh, and mister Stormtrooper made an appearance and met his new best friend, Stormtrooper alarm clock. It was a normal afternoon if you ask me.

Reason #2

This Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart was amazing! I’ve been flipping through Joy the Baker’s new cookbook pretty much everyday. I fantasize about shutting myself off from the world and staying in the kitchen until I make everything in that cookbook. If you don’t already have it, go on Amazon or out to Barnes and Noble and you buy it right now!! It’s rare that I find a cookbook with so many recipes in it that I love that I don’t even bother Post-it noting it because there would be a note on every page!

The recipe is pretty basic, which was perfect since I made it at 10am for a 12:30 lunch. It’s funny how simple desserts like this always look so impressive and taste so good, but require hardly any effort.

The ganache is silky smooth, and it’s dark chocolate which is known to be good for you! So this is kind of good for you. 🙂

The crust of the tart was so quick and easy to whip up because it’s a press in crust so nooooo rolling!! It has a bit of cinnamon in it which adds a nice flavor to the always mouthwatering combination of chocolate, whipped cream, and fresh berries.

Reason #3

It’s been two years since I left UCR to take a different approach to my college experience, and it’s been a long two years to say the least. I am proud to say that I just received my first acceptance letter into UCSB’s Geography program :). See picture below for how happy I am.

Side note: For some strange reason I do not have a 9inch tart pan, only a 10 inch and a large rectangular one, so I opted to use a spring form pan instead. I suggest using the tart pan, but just know that you could use a cake pan if you dont have one!

Enjoy!

Madeline

Cinnamon Rolls {You Knead To Make These}

I have been thinking about making cinnamon rolls for months. I would find a recipe, drool over the pictures, and then read how it needs 2+ hours of waiting for the dough to rise at different stages. The thought of getting up at 5AM to make cinnamon rolls on a Saturday seemed silly, right? Maybe if I was trying to impress someone, then I would take the time to get up early and knead dough with one eye open, but that’s not the case right now.

I found this recipe in one of my new cookboks, Home Baked Comfort, and there was a little note off to the side saying that I could pop them into the fridge before I do the last step of rising. WHAT! Why didn’t anyone tell me this before!

After you roll up the cinnamon rolls, cut them up, and put them in your pan, this is where you’ll place them in the fridge for the night. Putting them in the fridge stops the dough from rising temporarily. In the morning, take them out of the fridge about an hour or so before you want to bake them. They need to come back up to room temp and then puff up so that they look like this:

They’re ready for the oven!

The hardest part about making these the day/night before is knowing that after you spend all of your time kneading and rolling, you don’t get to eat them until the next morning. It was torture! I wanted to go to bed at 8pm so that I could just wake up and eat them already.

Oh they smelled sooooo delicious.

I had extra Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting left over from my Stout & Bailey’s cupcakes the other day so I used that on top. It really did taste quite delicious, the Bailey’s is so subtle but it adds a nice flavor. I included the Bailey’s in the recipe, but feel free to completely leave it out, it will taste just as good.

You don’t need to be an expert baker to make these, you just need a little time and patience. According to the recipe, you can do all of the kneading in your mixer with a dough hook. I tried that approach and just wasn’t getting the results that I wanted so I took it out at the end and kneaded it for a minute or two by hand on the counter top. Don’t be afraid of kneading dough, seriously! It sounds intimidating but it’s nothing crazy, just get into it, it’s fun!

Must. Make. To. Top!

Enjoy!

Madeline

Introducing The Secret Foodie Life of a Stormtrooper & Our Trip to Huckleberry

I have to admit something to you guys. I recently have fallen in love with Stormtroopers. I can see your face right now, head tilted to the side, eye brows scrunched up. Madeline what’s happened to you?

I don’t know. I just don’t know. It is like all of my upbringing filled with videogames and legos finally set in. I resisted it at first, but that could only last so long.

I’m going to share with you possibly the best picture of me ever taken. Ever.

So now that my big secret is out, I need to introduce you to Stormy, the Stormtrooper. He has come into my life so that we can explore different bakeries, restaurants, and food outside of my kitchen. He is extremely photogenic, so beware.

First on the list: Huckleberry. Located in Santa Monica, California.

This charming bakery & cafe is nestled in between a variety of little shops on Wilshire Blvd. Owned and run by a hubby & wife team, they offer a huge variety of freshly baked pastries, breads, as well as sandwiches and a little bit more.

We went there around 11AM on a Saturday and my oh my was this place packed. The line was out the back of the place! I had heard a few good things about this place, but had no idea that everyone else had too.

Not thinking clearly, I ate breakfast about 45 minutes before we left to go here, so I wasn’t up for a big breakfast. I got a chocolate croissant, but not just a normal chocolate croissant, a Valrhona chocolate croissant. The creme de la creme of chocolate.

It was enjoyed by both of us.

Overall, this cafe is definitely worth the trip. You’ll stand in line and chat with friends, or maybe make some new ones with the people around you. The food is rustic and delicious and the variety of pastries could please anyones sweet tooth, big or small.

 The next day….

I went to the store and saw what I have been waiting for for 8 months – Girl Scout Cookies. I know I can make a better quality cookie in about 30 minutes, but these are so near and dear to my heart. I hardly share these with anyone, including best friends & loved ones. With that said, I’ll leave you with this picture.

"I didn't do it!"

Love,

Madeline & Stormy