Marshmallow Fondant

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Making your own fondant is ridiculously easy. You can make it in 10 minutes and it tastes a lot better than the store bought sugar-flavored plastic they call fondant. True it’s a little sticky to work with, but as long as you have plenty of powered sugar and a cold room it’ll be fine. This batch makes quite a lot of fondant, about 1 and a half pounds of fondant. I colored my fondant using regular food coloring and I still have plenty in my fridge. I guess this means more themed cupcakes and sweet treats are in order.  Anyway, this fondant is really easy to work with and the recipe is easily doubled or halved. However I found out the hard way that it tends to get sticky and moist in warmer temperatures, so if you plan on decorating cupcakes, it’s probably best to shape the fondant before hand and then decorate the cupcakes the day of.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1 bag marshmallows
-2 lb powdered sugar (You won’t use all of it, but it’s good to have extra handy)
-food coloring

Directions:

  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt your marshmallows on high for one minute (or until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded). I do not have a microwave and it was pretty easy to replicate this using a double boiler (aka the bowl of marshmallows over a pot with a/2 an inch of simmering water).
  2. Stir the marshmallows occasionally with a rubber spatula until it is a smooth and sticky paste.
  3. Add in about 2 cups the powdered sugar and mix with the spatula until it becomes incorporated.  After you mix in the intital batch of powdered, dust your hands with extra powdered sugar and knead the marshmallow-sugar mixture. Continue adding in powdered sugar by the cup until it’s nice and smooth . Keep it mind that the longer you knead it, the heat from your hands will melt the sugar and make it sticky. Also too much sugar will make the fondant stiff and difficult to work with. Yes I know, it’s really finicky, but it’ll be worth it.
  4. Once you’ve got your initial batch of fondant, add in several drops of your desired food coloring and knead the dough until the desired shade is achieved. Usually, a water based food coloring will make the fondant sticky again, so be sure to have extra powdered sugar nearby.
  5. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and store in a cool room or the fridge. If you do store it in the fridge, you will have to warm it up a bit with your hands until it’s workable.

One you’ve got the fondant ready, it’s time to decorate! If you want to roll out your fondant and cut out shapes, I suggest you use wax paper dusted with lots of powdered sugar. This will keep the fondant from sticking to the wax paper and it’ll also make clean up a less of a hassle. I found that as long as you work quickly and use powdered sugar, it’s like working with clay.

Now you can make whatever you want with your fondant whether it’s flowers, mickey ears or cute little animals. I personally can’t wait to start making more themed cupcakes!


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Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Disney cupcakes!

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Hi everyone!

My name is Mimi and in case you didn’t know, I am casually in love with Disney.

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I love all things disney and I’ve watched almost of their movies. More than once. Including the sequels. I may have a problem. But I don’t mind. People can say whatever they want about Disney, but I will still remain absolutely obsessed with Disney because it was my childhood and their movies never fail to make me feel happy and wonderful. But actually. If you can guess all the disney movies that I represented in the cupcakes, you will win a virtual high five and we should all watch disney movies together.

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Anyway, this weekend was a baking milestone of sorts for me. I decided to make my own fondant and let’s just say that I felt like my cupcake/cake decorating game just went up a whole new level.  I’m not usually a huge fan of the tooth-achingly sweet sugar-y treats, I know that’s weird considering that I love baking cupcakes and stuff, but I hadn’t really been interested in fondant. However, after I found out that my friend, Julia, was going to be interning at Disney for three months and flying to California for said internship, I knew I had to make some amazing cupcakes for her surprise going away party.  The party was today and she was thoroughly surprised :) These are also probably my best baking achievement of all time. Here’s to more fun themed cupcakes!

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To make disney cupcakes, I knew that I couldn’t just do ordinary cupcakes with oreo cookies for mickey ears. I mean that’s not a bad idea, but I wanted to make something really DISNEY and something that would blow her mind. So I took a deep breath, bought some marshmallows and 2 pounds of powdered sugar and thus began my journey to make fondant. It wasn’t bad at all and it was super easy!
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For the cupcakes, I made regular vanilla cupcakes and used whipped ganache frosting as well as meringue frosting. It was quite fun to make and because fondant is so tooth achingly sweet, I tried to keep the cupcake from being equally sweet.

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So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
-1 stick unsalted butter, softened
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla paste
-1/2 cup milk
-1 cup AP Flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
Decoration
-Chocolate ganache frosting
-Meringue Frosting 
-Fondant

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the sugar and butter together until it’s nice and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg and the vanilla paste and mix until combined.
  5. Alternately add in the milk and flour in two different batches, mixing until the flour and the milk are just incorporated. Do not over mix or you will end up with tunneling (hard cupcakes with large air bubbles, aka not so very delicious cupcakes).
  6. Spoon the batter into the paper liners about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
  9. Shape the fondant into your favorite disney shapes. I used a variety of fondant colors to make various disney images such as mickey’s ears, minnie and daisy’s bows, goofy’s and donald’s hats, stitch ears, mickey’s shoes, Pluto’s color and a whole lot of other characters. Let the fondant firm up on a wax paper lined baking sheet. If your room is too warm, place them in the fridge. Trust me it’s easier to handle if they aren’t sticky. Use plenty of powdered sugar. You can always wipe it excess with a damp paper towel once the fondant has set. 
  10. Make the frosting for your cupcakes and frost them.
  11. Once you frost the cupcakes, especially with the ganache, allow the frosting to set a little bit before placing the fondant decorations on top. DSC_0654

And that’s it! I had so much fun making these and everyone at Julia’s farewell party loved them. I can’t wait to make more themed cupcakes in the future!

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Let me know if you want to see any other nerd themed cupcakes in the comments!

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Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Meringue

Hi!

It’s been a while! I apologize, my family friend was in town for a bit and since he was like my little brother, well he technically is, I had to take him and his mom around NYC. In addition, my mom flew into NYC on the 20th and I was hanging out with her. I got to spend some fun quality time with her. Since my mom was in town, I was staying with her in the hotel, which means I was sans oven and baking ingredients for a few days. But don’t worry, I’m back! And I brought you lemon cupcakes.

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I had two lemons in the fridge and since I wanted to do something new, I decided to make lemon cupcakes with meringue frosting. Did I mention I bought myself an electric hand mixer? Well I did! Although I don’t recommend it for mixing batters. When I made these cupcakes, I creamed the butter, whipped egg whites, made meringue and even beat the batter with the mixer. Everything came out great, except the batter. I over mixed it. If you over mix, you’ll end with pretty hard cupcakes and big air bubbles called tunneling. This is caused by the gluten forming and thus you end up with dense cupcakes. Isn’t food science awesome?  Anyway, one day I’m sure I’ll get the hand of it, but for now I think I’ll stick with hand mixing batters.

Anyway, I made the lemon cupcakes using a recipe I got from Food 52 and tweaking it to my taste.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Cupcake batter
-1/2 cup sugar, divided
-1 stick butter, softened
-3 eggs, divided into yolks and whites
-1 lemon
-1 1/2 cup flour
-1/2 cup milk 
Frosting
-2 egg whites
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 pint raspberries
-1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Directions:

  1. Zest the lemon and let it sit with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for about 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
  3. Mix the butter and and the lemon juice together. Add in the lemon zest sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk in the egg yolks until incorporated. Alternate mixing in the flour and the milk until smooth. Be sure to not over mix.
  5. In another clean, non reactive bowl (I find that a stainless steel bowl works best), whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gently fold in the egg whites into the batter in 3 batches. (minifoodlesson: since the egg whites have plenty of air, this cupcake recipe doesn’t call for baking powder to make the cupcakes rise)
  7. Fill the cups about 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them sit in the cupcake tin for 10 minutes to cool and then transfer them to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
  8.  While the cupcakes cool, put together you meringue frosting. In another clean, non reactive bowl, add the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmer water and whip for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the egg whites are in soft peaks.
  9. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking until the meringue becomes glossy and stiff. Add in the raspberries and beat until incorporated. It might also be pretty to only partially mix them, so that the meringue is a swirl of pink and white.
  10. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag, select your piping tip and frost the cupcakes.  If you don’t have a piping bag, use a large ziplock bag and snip off a small corner. Eat right away or keep them in a covered container until ready to serve.

Share them with friends, co-workers or eat them all by yourself. Garnish them with lemon twists or raspberries to make them look fancier and to give people a hint as to what the flavors are.  I liked how the lemon and the raspberry complimented each other in this cupcake. It was almost like eating raspberry lemonade! While my mom was in town, she visited the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and got me a gorgeous piping kit, so you’ll be sure to see some more posts focused on baked goodies that require frosting ;)

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Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Homemade Caramel

Whoaaaa I found this sitting quietly in my draft box and realized that, whoops, I never posted it. I think it&s because I wanted to get better photos but, I haven’t had a chance to remake the caramel because I STILL have caramel from the last batch. Sighhhhh I’m going to have to wait to make caramel again. But there’s no reason as to why you should wait :)

Here we go!

As you may know, I am a little obsessed with chocolate. Okay, I’m really obsessed with it, but I’m here to tell you that caramel is a close second. I love everything caramel, especially salted caramel. I’d never made caramel before because it seemed super hard to make. Well, I had attempted it a few times and failed. But this time, I found a promising recipe, watched the sugar carefully and succeeded!

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It seems really hard and I know a lot of recipes call for candy thermometers. However I was able to make this recipe without a candy thermometer. The recipe I found was from, of course, bon appetit. I enjoyed making it so much, I made another batch before I even finished the first.

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The recipe is easily doubled or halved or if you’re caramel obsessed like me, quadrupled. This is probably why I have so much. The jar contains about 2 batches of the caramel and the squeeze bottle contains 4. So stay tuned for lots of recipes involving caramel. Afterwards, I think I’ll try making salted caramel. Because salted caramel is just the perfect salty-sweet treat!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-2 tbsp water
-2 tbsp heavy cream
-2 tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring the sugar until it turns a deep amber in color, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Once the caramel hits amber brown, immediately remove from heat and add in the heavy cream and butter. Whisk to combine and let it cool.

I told you it would be easy :)

Hugs and puppies,

Mimi

 

Irish Disco Biscuit

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Okay, so I realized that while I was in London, I flippantly promised that I would make this amazing cocktail milkshake for you all and then I completely forgot about it. Whoops. Well now it’s summer and I think it’s the perfect thing to try on a lazy weekend afternoon. For those of you who have no idea what I’m blathering about, I studied abroad in Madrid for a semester (you can read about all my silly adventures here) and I spend one weekend in London where I did everything from spend some time with the security guards at a random train station (that’s got to be one of my best London stories) to wandering around the magical world of Harry Potter to dancing at Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter Show at the O2 to volunteering at a soup kitchen and eating kangaroo burgers.

But you’re not here to listen to those stories. After the Beyoncé concert, I met up with my friends for a drink and had the most amazing milkshake ever! It was called the Irish Disco Biscuit and it was an oreo milkshake that was spiked with kahlua and creme de menthe. I still dream about it to this very day. So I decided to make it!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find creme de menthe near the liquor stores around me, so instead I just used kahlua and godiva chocolate liquor. It was absolutely delicious and I’m dying to make it again. The alcohol makes the drink more grown up while the still indulging the child within ;)

Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

-Vanilla ice cream (about 2 scoops per person)
-1/2 cup milk
-ice cubes (about 3 per person)
-1 shot kahlua
-1 shot godiva liquor
-oreo cookies (as many as your heart desires)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

That’s it :) One day, I’ll make the real Irish Disco Biscuit, but until then these are just as good. Oh and if you don’t like oreos or kahlua, feel free to try other milkshake combinations. I feel like a peach milkshake with some bourbon would be fantastic or maybe banana with rum? Let me know which ones you try!

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Happy Saturday! Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Easy Fruit Tarts

 

DSC_0711I don’t know about you guys, but I always need a pick-me-up on mondays and what better way to face the week than with these easy fruit pies? All you need are two ingredients, fruit and puff pastry. Of course you can make your own puff pastry, but there’s nothing wrong with buy store bought. I mean let’s be honest, making puff pastry sounds super hard and I swear I won’t tell if you don’t. It can be our little secret ;) i’ve been dying to try these ever since I saw Ina Garten made them on one of her episodes that I saw way back when…or maybe it was the Pioneer Woman? Or maybe both? Anyway, they also appeared in my bon appetit magazine and they seemed super easy and with the summer heat, no one wants to slave away in the kitchen. So I thought they would be perfect for a quick dessert after a day at the office. I literally made these in 20 minutes and I think these would be great to make for parties. Or for dessert whenever you want, because it only requires two ingredients. I mean hey, as a foodie thats always looking for something to fix that rumbling in her tummy, there is no judgment here. We have a word that describes people like that in Japanese. 口が寂しい (kuchi ga samishii) it roughly translates into “a lonely mouth” and I suffer greatly from a lonely mouth. My mouth is always looking for a friend, but they always seem to go and hang out in my stomach, leaving my mouth behind.

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Okay, enough rambling about the fact that I’m just hungry 24/7. Today, I used white nectarines (they’re Pat’s favorite) and sprinkled the edges with granulated sugar. After I pulled them out of the oven, I sifted some powdered sugar on top.  These would probably be great topped with ice cream or homemade whipped cream.  These are super customizable, you can make them any size you wish as well as use any fruit you like. I’d love to try them with raspberries or peaches, apricots or blackberries? Though it’s probably best to use stone fruit. Before I get lost in a vision of fruit tarts let’s get started shall we?

Ingredients:

-puff pastry
-fruit of choice (peaches, apricots, raspberries, blackberries, etc)
 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F
  2. Cut puff pastry in square (about 4 inches by 6 inches for individual tarts)
  3. Prick the center of the square, leaving a border.
  4. Cover the pricked area with fruits (sliced or diced)
  5. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the puff pastry is a golden brown.
  6. Shift some powdered sugar on top and garnish as you wish!

It’s probably the easiest dessert you will ever make and it will probably impress your friends! It’s definitely the perfect summer treat since stone fruit is in season and you don’t have to have your oven on too long. However if you don’t want to use an oven at all, you can always make an icebox cake! Now excuse me while I go make myself another tart….

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

I have a new instagram!

Hi everyone!

I just spent the weekend at the Spoon University Brain Food Conference and met a lot of interesting people, speakers, bloggers, etc.  

I really loved talking to Chris Stang from Infatuation, the creator of the hashtag #eeeeeats. He advised me that perhaps to keep my personal and my blog life separate, to get a separate instagram for my blog! 

So I made a new instagram: @les_saveurs_de_mimi

Please check it out for some fun photos! 

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi