Sunday, December 27, 2009

a chocolate cake so decadent, it gets its own bath...

nigella! i love the woman... soft focus on film, curves, english accent, large appetite, domestic goddess to all. i got her cookbook from my secret santa, and i got it just in time to try something for xmas day at the bon bons (should i just rename this blog 'keeping up with the bon bons' ??)... i looked through the whole thing twice and the cake that seemed the most irresistible was her chocolate mousse cake. it's a lot of egg, a lot of chocolate, and a water bath!

i decided to bake it in the morning before heading over, and it really was quite easy for a cake this rich. i enjoyed melting the chocolate and butter in a double boiler--- breakfast of champions! the recipe (if you don't have the book) can be found here.

then the cake pan took a little bath...

and: MMM!

this cake went over very well at the bon bon xmas! also the next morning the bit i had left was destroyed by melissa, who consumed it all and demanded i make her her own cake next time.

a very merry jewmas indeed.

AND... the next day we went to buttercup bake shop for cupcakes. tasty weekend! jojo was NOT complaining.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

CHRISTmas cookies for butter lovers and vegans too!

happy holidays ya'll! this week has been busy! parties, gift swaps, going through holiday hate mail at work (it's not a HOLIDAY tree, it's a CHRISTmas tree), spending time with old friends, spending time with new friends, and baking my little heart out!

i decided to make cookies for the guys that work in my building. i was going to make classic butter cookies for all, until i discovered my 50-something dominican handyman is a VEGAN (upon saying my handyman was a vegan all my friends pictured a young skinny hipster--- but this is not the case). i have had some pretty delicious vegan desserts, but i have never gone out of my way to bake something vegan before. this cookie making extravaganza also gave me a chance to make some brooklyn bridge cookies (YESSSS).

for the butter cookie dough, i used martha's recipe. i added a tiny bit of maple syrup and brown sugar to add a bit more sweetness to these.

for the icing- i combined 2 cups of confectioners' sugar with one egg white and 1/3 cup of water. i beat this until it looked smooth (like paste) and then i added one drop of food coloring.

i also added some snow flake sprinkles to the sugar cookies with icing. WOOT! snowflakes.

i made nutella sandwiches out of some of the sugar cookies as well. i want to nom nom all of them. also some sugar for dusting... gorge.

some of these are going to my doormen, but some of them are going to my lovely bon bons, who i spend christmas day with every year. when i gave my super his box of cookies, he said ' i am going to eat them all- none for my children or my wife'... what an awesome man he is. i also discovered one of my doorman is a vegan as well--- so i am happy both the vegans in my building were taken care of... especially after i stressed how delicious kangaroo tastes to one of them (adorable AND delicious).

for the vegan cookies, i decided on a mexican wedding cookie. i combined the following in my lovely electric mixer:
2 sticks unsalted vegan margarine (room temp)
2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup ground walnuts
nice pinch of salt
2 big spoonfuls of maple syrup
splash of vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon

after i mixed this together, i wrapped in cling film and put in the fridge for 2 hours. after that, i rolled the dough into small dough balls, and placed on a baking sheet. bake it at 350 for 15-18 minutes. after that, let them cool for a few minutes. then, while they are still a tiny but warm, toss them in confectioners' sugar until well coated. let them set and cool. then... nom nom nom your vegan sweets for days.

the packaging for my cookies were courtesy of blue ribbon general store and a cook's companion. i LOVE both those stores--- i could spend hours debating between sprinkles, stickers and gift boxes...

a very merry brooklyn chrismakkah to all!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

egg nog cake + kelby: a love story

egg nog is just so delicious. because i grew up jewish, i never had it in the house... but i would always go to the bodega and get some which i would hide in the back of the fridge until my mom found it. she always seemed somewhat dissapointed that i liked it so much, as if it was a sign i might start going to church or something. i just like the egg nog! i mean, non jews eat bagel and lox, right?

let me tell you about some of my favorite people: the bon bons are a rowdy group of siblings that are my close friends--- practically family. they are michael, jojo and marianne; and they are fabulous. michael bon bon was turning 21, so i made his favorite- egg nog cake with cinnamon icing and pumpkin filling. i made it for the bon bons on christmas last year, and michael consumed nearly the whole thing in a weekend.

i followed this egg nog cake recipe. i followed this basic buttercream frosting recipe (but added cinnamon). i also put some pumpkin filling in the center with some frosting. i decided to do this brooklyn bridge design as a tribute to mr bon bon, who is also a born and raised brooklynite. the cake came out great.

i also purchased some amazing candles and party hats from annie's blue ribbon, which i LOVE. the candles are perfect for someone like michael, who thinks life goes downhill after 21.

everyone was oohing and ahhing over the cake... unfortunately, we left it unattended for minute too long, and kelby, the bon bon's akita, got a bite, broke a glass, but looked adorable when caught in the act (as usual). kelby had cake fever bad after that, he really wanted more- we wouldn't give in!