photographer | slp | language & literacy | love good design, engaging books, reggio emilia, documenting | @averyandaugustine on instagram

founder of littlelitbookseries.com | @littlelitbookseries on instagram

m@michelle-sterling.com

 

 

Entries in desserts (47)

Friday
Mar282014

candy clay cupcakes

Today I'm featuring an interview with my friend Jennifer Kim of Candy Clay Cupcakes.  She makes gorgeous custom fondant cupcakes that range from whimsical to chic.  You can find more of her work on her website and follow her on her Facebook page, Pinterest and Instagram feed.

How did you start your business?  

I started by biz by happenstance.  I wanted fondant cupcakes for my son's birthday party.  I was going to ask my friend to do them but didn't want to overwhelm her since my son's birthday is December 26th and it was smack in the middle of all the holiday frenzy.  I decided to try them myself and HAD SO MUCH FUN!  I kept making them for friends, and potlucks, as gifts, etc.  Everyone kept encouraging me to start a business, so with a final push from some good childhood friends, and much help from totally awesome, wonderfully supportive girlfriends, I launched Candy Clay Cupcakes at the beginning of 2014.

How long have you been baking?

I've been baking most of my life, since I was 6-years-old.  I really got into it after taking Home Ec in junior high.  I even got the Home Ec award when I graduated junior high, lol.

What are your favorite combinations of frosting and cake?

I love all things chocolate!  Devil's food chocolate cake with a rich chocolate ganache frosting...yum!!

Why do you think cupcakes are so popular?

I think because of their convenience.  At parties, you don't have to trouble yourself with cutting the cake, putting them on a plate, grabbing a fork for each plate, yadi-yadi-ya.  Cupcakes are quick and easy.  And pretty cupcakes definitely add to your party decor!

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

Everywhere!  Everywhere I go, I always see things that can be translated into a fondant cupcake design!

What’s your favorite baking or cooking memory?

In college, I used to study sitting in front of the oven.  I would be baking cookies while digging out the themes in A Midsummer Night's Dream. :)

What else do you like to bake or cook besides cupcakes?

I love baking all kinds of DESSERTS--triple chocolate brownies, crinkle cookies, cheesecakes, peach cobblers...anything sweet and scrumptious. :)

Photos by Jennifer of Candy Clay Cupcakes, edited by Michelle Sterling.  

Tuesday
Sep172013

biscoff ice cream truffles

Ingredients

Trader Joe's French Vanilla ice cream

Biscoff Spread (creamy kind)

Baker's Angel Flake Coconut

 

Directions

These Biscoff ice cream truffles were pretty easy to make for our summer party and the flavors of the Biscoff and coconut complimented each other really well.  First, I put some shredded coconut in the oven at 350 degrees for maybe 10 minutes or so, until most of it looked toasted.  I let the toasted coconut cool a bit and then poured into a small bowl.  I scooped some Biscoff spread into a ziploc bag and snipped off a corner to get it ready for piping.  I found this great tip for filling a ziploc bag for piping using a glass--I don't remember the original website, but here is another reference.  I scooped a thin layer of ice cream into a flat-bottomed glass Pyrex bowl and piped swirls of Biscoff spread all over it.  I spooned a thin layer of ice cream on top of all of that, piped on more Biscoff, spooned another thin layer of ice cream on top, then put the bowl in the freezer for at least a few hours to harden.  When the Biscoff ice cream mixture was ready, I used a small ice cream scoop (this one from Sur La Table) to scoop out small balls of ice cream with Biscoff swirled in them.  I rolled each ball in some toasted coconut, then immediately stuck it in the freezer.

At one point in the process, I stepped out of the kitchen to take care of something upstairs and Nate grabbed the Biscoff jar from the kitchen counter and helped himself!  I had given him a little taste earlier and I guess he decided that he liked it. :)

Thursday
Sep122013

roasted peach caramel popsicles

Ingredients

Peaches (I used organic yellow peaches from Ferraro Farms)

Trader Joe's French Vanilla ice cream

Fat Toad Farm goat's milk caramel

Trader Joe's Speculoos cookies

Brown sugar

Sea salt 

 

Directions

When I first started thinking about what kind of popsicles to make for our summer party, I looked through so many delicious recipes and ideas (and pinned some to my Summer board on Pinterest) and eventually decided on a peach and caramel popsicle.  I knew I wanted to use Fat Toad Farm's caramel, but couldn't find an exact recipe for the popsicle.  I eventually found this apricot salted caramel popsicle from Johnny's Pops in Vancouver and later received this recipe in an email newsletter from Fat Toad Farm.  After doing some more reading about other people's experiences with homemade peach ice cream, I went on to experiment.

I sliced the peaches, sprinkled them generously with brown sugar and roasted them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at about 350 degrees.  Also, based on some friends' advice, I sprinkled the peaches with some sea salt, which enhanced their flavor.  While waiting for the peaches to roast, I set out the ice cream to let it soften a bit and also smashed the Speculoos cookies into crumbs in a ziploc bag using a heavy ice cream scooper.  After the peaches were done, I peeled and chopped them and put them in a small bowl.  I poured some Fat Toad caramel sauce into a sandwich-sized ziploc bag and snipped off a corner to get it ready for piping.  I found this great tip for filling a ziploc bag for piping using a glass--I don't remember the original website, but here is another reference.

WIth all the ingredients ready, I scooped a thin layer of softened ice cream into a big bowl, mixed in some chopped peaches and drizzled the caramel sauce over all that.  Then I spooned the mixture into 3 oz. Dixie cups, sprinkled Speculoos cookie crumbs over the top, packed the crumbs in a bit and inserted a wooden ice cream spoon halfway into each cup.  I repeated the process a few times until I had enough popsicles for the party.  I let them freeze overnight, but depending on how cold your freezer is, at least 24 hours might be best to give the popsicles enough time to solidify.

A few notes: I read somewhere that fruit tends to lose its sweetness after being frozen and definitely found this to be the case.  Next time, I will probably use more brown sugar while roasting the peaches.  I chose Trader Joe's ice cream to use as a base for the popsicles because it is dense and doesn't have a lot of air in it (compared to some other brands), kind of like gelato--that was the kind of texture I wanted the popsicles to have.

Friday
Apr262013

thanksgiving play date

We're well past Thanksgiving, but I wanted to share this play date that we had last November.  The table set-up and craft ideas came from Fiskars.  The afternoon included turkey sandwiches (it was Thanksgiving after all) and snacks served in this play date favorite (a clever bus platter by Innobaby).  I started to use this puzzle sandwich cutter to make the sandwiches, but ended up not having enough time to cut out all the puzzle pieces, so we ended up having trianglular sandwiches instead.  Later, my cousin Amy made apple bites dipped in fleur de sel caramel along with Nutella and pumpkin pie pops.  It was a delicious and fun afternoon!

Friday
Apr052013

boat-themed baby shower

These photos were from a baby shower given for a good friend a while ago. There were many loving hands that prepared a delicious menu, folded a fleet of paper boats, hung up decorations, etc., in order to set the stage for a fun afternoon. The colors and nautical theme were inspired by posts by Scouts Honor Co., Dozi Design and Once Wed. The spread include egg salad sandwiches, fruit salad, mini spinach and mushroom quichecrostini with sundried tomato jam, Asian noodle saladblueberry mochi mini cakes and panini, buttered and filled with provolone, prosciutto and arugula. The striped navy flags atop the egg salad sandwiches were courtesy of Hank and Hunt. The favors were sugar cookies with swirled royal icing designs packaged in little blue chevron bags. It was a wonderful time and lovely way to welcome a little one into the world!