Thursday, July 28, 2011

Panna Cotta

On those summer days when it's too hot to turn on my oven, I turn to cool desserts that are simple and easy to make!  Panna cotta has to be one of my favorites and I have actually made it more times than I can count.  It's a delicious creamy Italian dessert that is really refreshing and even better when topped with fresh berries. 

I used half and half instead of heavy cream for the base and fresh sliced strawberries as a decorative touch.  Although most panna cotta desserts are taken out of their molds, I think it's nice to have a personal dessert.  I can guarantee you won't want to share.  Check out the pics below!

Stay cool everyone and enjoy the rest of the summer!


Daniella :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies

I made these blondies for my new friend Eddie when I helped out at the Club Monaco Sample sale! By the way, the sale was pretty intense but so worth it!

Eddie is a fan of brownies so why not treat him to something a little special!  These blondies were made with brown sugar which makes them chewy and very rich.  I then melted some white chocolate, mixed with some heavy cream, and spread a layer over the warm brownies while they were still in the pan.  Next, I toasted some sweetened coconut flakes to really intensify the coconut flavor.  To top it all off, I drizzled the rest of the white chocolate over the entire coconut layer and let me tell you, it was pretty hard not to dig in.  My patience was really tested.  Check out the pic below! :)

Thanks for everything Eddie!


Daniella :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Salted Caramel + Chocolate Cookies= DELICIOUS!

I baked these cookies for my good friend Michelle and her husband Bill.  It was his birthday and I figured this would be the best present! These cookies were so simple to make and delicious on their own but I knew I wanted to go a step further.  I made some salted caramel and added it in between two cookies.  To make it even more decadent, I melted some bittersweet and dark chocolate and spread that around the outside edges.  Talk about AMAZING! If you don't believe me, I'm sure Michelle and Bill will be more than happy let you know!  These were by far my favorite cookies that I've made.  I guess you really can't go wrong with something a little sweet and salty! Check out the pic below and it's okay if you want to eat your screen (I'm not responsible for any damages or hungry tummies)! :)


Daniella :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Butterfly Cake

My mom's friend Martha found a Betty Crocker video which showed you how to cut, ice, and decorate a butterfly cake.  She asked me if I could make one for her since her relatives were coming to visit.  I, of course, jumped on the opportunity because I have never made anything like this especially considering that there are shaped cake pans that do most of the labor for you.  Martha wanted a one layer chocolate cake with a fresh strawberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting.  She let me use my imagination when it came to the decorating. 

For the most part, the cake itself was easy to make.  However, it did require a lot of labor.  Cutting a one layer cake is not the easiest but thanks to my cake cutter, I was able to do that easily.  After that, I had to cut the butterfly shape, fill, and ice each individual piece.  Icing the parts was definitely the hardest.  Since I cut the layer in half and then into pieces, there were a lot of crumbs.  Since I was using vanilla frosting, it was pretty difficult to keep the crumbs from spreading all over the icing.  The trick that I found helped was to have a crumb coat and then ice it again once the crumb coat was set.  That ended up being a great help and although the cake still had a few crumbs, it was definitely less noticeable.

After the base was ready, I piped stars and circles and added little pearls for decoration.  I also added some shredded coconut around the cake to make it a little more special.  Overall, it was a great learning experience and I would totally do it again!  Check out the pics!

Thanks for the idea and inspiration Martha!


Daniella :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thank You!

I just wanted to thank everyone who has supported me the last few months on my new journey! I've had a lot of positive responses that have definitely kept me motivated to push myself a little more each day.  Whether it's my baking or illustration work, I have had such an amazing experience and I hope to continue to do this for the rest of my life! Thanks again and stay tuned for more updates! :)



Saturday, July 9, 2011

Celebration Cakes!

Last Sunday my family and I celebrated my mom's birthday and my cousin's high school graduation! In honor of both occasions, I wanted to bake their favorite cakes. 

My mom, like me, is a chocoholic.  So anything with dark chocolate is always a good choice.  I decided to get a little fancy and I baked her a fresh raspberry dark chocolate truffle cake! I filled it with a fresh raspberry filling and used the rest of the filling to make the chocolate frosting. The flavors were awesome and it was just right in terms of sweetness. 

My cousin loves tres leches so I didn't have to get that creative.  I made him a traditional tres leches cake with fresh whipped cream and decorated it with a gel pen! I think the next time I make it, I won't use the whole can of condensed milk and add more whole and evaporated milk.  Other than that, everyone loved it!


Daniella :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Say hello to my little Peanut!

A little over a week ago, Jeff and I became parents to this little puppy whom we named Peanut! I wanted to take a mini break from blogging about my baked goodies and show you my new source of inspiration.  Peanut is only 8 weeks old and we love having him at home.  People were not kidding when they said having a puppy is like having a baby.  We have not had a solid night of sleep since we got him but it is all worth it. 

In case you are wondering, he is a mix between a pug and Japanese chin.  Not much information is out there about this mixed breed but I can tell you that he craves a lot of attention and love.  How can you not love this little face?! :)

I will be posting more about the adventures with Peanut soon! Stay tuned! :)



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Last Friday was Jeff dad's birthday! Since he doesn't like things that are too sweet, I decided to make this really simple, delicate buttermilk cake.  The recipe originally called for fresh raspberries and I didn't have any on hand.  I cut up a few strawberries instead and added them to the top of the batter.  I then sprinkled some sugar over the entire cake.  As it baked, the strawberries started to slightly sink into the cake and the sugar developed a sweet crust.  I loved how rustic it looked and of course, how delicious it tasted.  Check out the pic!

Here is to another year! :)