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28 novembre 2010 7 28 /11 /novembre /2010 13:09

The past two weeks have been crazy: As half of what I do is Vegan, I was supposed to participate to PARIS VEGAN DAY.

I spent the past two weeks preparing for this event which is taking place today.

And YES, I am not in Paris but at home....

On friday, I had to cancel everything as the weather seemed really unpredictable. Living in Brittany, the risk of not arriving in Paris was quite big and I would have lost a lot of money (hotel, prepared food...).

 

And, waking up this morning, it seemed that I had taken the wright decision: DSC 0068-copie-1

 

 MY GARDEN

 

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I also had to make a birthday cake for this week end.

And, same thing: the snow decided otherwise....

I made the cake but, the people who ordered the cake had to cancel.

Doesn't matter: I will be making it again for next week-end!

 

The order: a SPIDERMAN birthday cake for a little boy called ANDREA who was turning 5:

 

SPIDERMAN CAKE

 

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 The cake is make with simple vanilla sponge cakes filled with organic vanilla buttercream and organic raspberry jam. 

 

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   I tried to create a little story: Spiderman just caught a thief.

 

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View from the top

 

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The good thing about all this: I do not need to redo the characters: just the cake itself.

And I get a chance to make an even better one!

 

I also have two other cakes to make for saturday: Angelina Ballerina and Mr & Little Miss!

 

 

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7 novembre 2010 7 07 /11 /novembre /2010 19:57

Today, I wanted to experiment with new recipes.

 

I had a small pumpkin ("potimarron") leftover and I really wanted to try to use some in a cake.

So, I made Pumpkin and Chocolate chips Cupcakes:

 

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It tasted great!

I cooked the pupmkin and mashed it, then I added it to the batter.

Then, 1/2 TSP of Cinnamon. Finally, the Organic chocolate chips.

The cupcakes were topped with a small amount of Cinnamon icing.

 

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The only thing I would say is that I was expecting to taste the pumpkin a lot more.

I used a small pumpkin, also called Potimarron in french. It is sweeter than an actual pumpkin.

And I used a fresh one, but the one mentionned in the recipe was canned.

 

 

 

I love the orange color.

 

Then, I made some Marble Cupcakes:

 

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It is a simple Vanilla & Chocolate Marble Cupcake.

 

For some reason, the liners did not stick to the cupcakes.

It did as they came out of the oven, but after 30 minutes to an hour, the liners started to open up.

Therefore, it looked really bad!

Another thing: It tasted a bit too sugary. 

 

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To make the Marble effect, I put Vanilla batter in a pastry bag, and chocolate batter in another one. Then both of them in the same one.

 

I did not had any icing or buttercream as I wanted to be able to show the marble effect.

 

 

 

 

That's it for today! 

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30 octobre 2010 6 30 /10 /octobre /2010 19:50

Today, I made some Halloween-inspired mini-cupcakes.

It really wasn't planned.

Our neighbours have created an association named: Autisme Trégor-Goëlo.

Their daughter, Mathilde, suffers from Autism.

Every saturday, they try to offer an hour of activities for autistic children and their brothers/sisters.

The main activity is Painting. And as my husband is a painter, he offered to help.

 

We thought it would make sence to concentrate on an Halloween theme rather than a Xmas one: after all, we are still in october, which most shops seemed to have forgotten already!!!!

 

So, after 1h30 of painting, we all had some little cupcakes.

 

The first one:

 

The Pumpkin Mini-Cupcake

 

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The is a really basic vanilla cupcake covered with a little white chocolate cream and finally, a little pumkin made out of sugarpaste.

 

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Then, we had:  

The Ghost Mini-Cupcake

 

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Once again, a simple vanilla cupcake topped with milk chocolate cream and a little Ghost made out of sugarpaste.

 

These were really basic and simple but the kids loved it.

 

The REAL Halloween cake is for tomorrow night and it is (hopefully) going to be pretty BLOODY!!!

 

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22 octobre 2010 5 22 /10 /octobre /2010 23:48

Hi there,

 

For one of my friends' birthday, I decided to make some cupcakes.

I had originally planned to make a massive three tiered cake but, so much has happened lately that i just did not have the time.

It's the advantage of baking cupcakes: it really takes a lot less time!

 

Despite her not being vegan, i decided to try some new vegan recipes.

 DSC 0007

 

First, I decided to use one of her favourite fruit: Rhubarb.

As I personally do not really like Rhubard (I find the taste too odd), it was difficult to know what to expect taste wise and how to use it.

 

Rhubarb Cupcakes 

 

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 I made Agave Nectar & Vanilla Cupcakes. Then, I cut the tops off and filled the middle of the cupcakes with organic Rhubarb compote.

Then I put the tops back on and sealed them with Rhubarb jam.

 

DSC 0033

 

 I finally toped them with a simple Vanilla buttercream and a drizzle of Rhubard Jam, which I had drained.

 

Then, I tried to make Speculoos Tiramisu Cupcakes.

One of my friends made a Tiramisu the other week and added Speculoos to the recipe.

i am not a fan of coffee at all and therefore, not a big fan of Tiramisu. But this time, I loved it.

The Speculoos really complemented the coffee.

Speculoos are little traditionnal Belgium Biscuits.

The only known brand still following the original recipe, suitable for VEGANs, is LOTUS.

Other brands tend to add powdered eggs, milk or honey to it.

 

 Speculoos Tiramisu Cupcakes

 

DSC 0002-copie-1

 

I made a batch of simple vanilla cupcakes, cup the tops off, added a tablespoon of coffee (instant coffee + water + speculoos). Then, I added a Speculoos & Vanilla buttercream and put the tops (dipped in the coffee mixture) back on.

Finally, I crushed some speculoos and mixed them with organic unsweetened cocoa powder and sprinkled a little of this mixture over each cupcake. 

 

DSC 0027-copie-1

 

Verdict: They tasted great but nothing like a Tiramisu....!!! 

 

Finally, I decided to use pears from my friend's garden and apples from my sister's garden.

I made Pear, Apple & Chocolate Chips Cupcakes.

 

Pear, Apple & Chocolate Chips Cupcakes

 

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First, I made a batch of simple Vanilla cupcakes. I then added chopped pears, chopped apples and organic chocolate chips to the batter.

I then took the tops of and filled the middle of the cupcakes with a homemade compote. (I used the same pears and apples).

 

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I chopped the tops in 2 and put them back on to create butterflies wings.

Finally, I melted the rest of the organic chocolate chips with some Soya Creamer and tried to decorate the cupcakes. After four attempts with swirls, I came up with the idea of highlighting the wings with the melted chocolate.

 

  All in all, the cupcakes tasted good but I have to solve a little problem: I have swapped my basic flour for an organic one and since then, my cupcakes feel kind of "heavy": not light.

I hope it is just that i am using the wrong type of flour....only way to find out: MAKING MORE CUPCAKES!!!

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17 octobre 2010 7 17 /10 /octobre /2010 19:12

Lately, any excuse is good to try new recipes!

Even more when the testers are from my own family: normally, family members have the reputation to just tell you that anything you do is great. Why? simply because .... they love you.

Well, in my case, it's the opposite: when it comes to food, they are the toughest judges!

And being french does not make it easier neither.

 

But, This is all good as i really need good and constructive critism.

I try to keep notes of the critiques I get.  

I mean, I know that with food, you will never manage to please everyone: it's like with any artistic thing: it's a question of taste!

 

So, today, I wanted to try some new Vegan Cupcakes recipes.

 

First, I went for a Carrot Cake Recipe:

 

 Carrot Cake Cupcake

 

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I never actually tried a Carrot Cake before as, in the past, I used to be "a bit" difficult food-wise...

So, I had no idea what it was meant to taste like but, MAN, it tasted AMAZING! It really did.

 

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The only thing missing: Ginger. I didn't have any left.

And I also had a bit of a problem with the Buttercream: it was meant to be a Creamcheese Buttercream but, in Brittany, you have to order Vegan Cream cheese: you cant' just find it so easily!

So, I just made a simple Vanilla Buttercream.

 

 

Next, I wanted to try a recipe with Agave Nectar instead of Sugar.

I made a batch of Simple Vanilla & Agave Nectar Cupcakes.

I devided the batter into two bowls.

First bowl: I didn't add anything: i just kept it simple and it was great.

 

Simple Vanilla & Agave Nectar Cupcake

 

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We felt that this cupcake could be eaten with no toppings at all.

But my son wanted a mixture of: Chocolate Buttercream and Blueberry Buttercream.

I was supposed to make an Agave Nectar Buttercream but: I run out of time....! I'll try it next time!

 

 

 Second bowl: I mixed some organic Blueberry Gelee to the batter:

 

Blueberry Gelee & Agave Nectar Cupcake

  

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I made some basic Vanilla Buttercream and added some of the Organic Blueberry Gelee.

 

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Next time, I will add real Blueberries in the batter rather than just gelee.

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9 octobre 2010 6 09 /10 /octobre /2010 18:06

Last week was my little niece's birthday.

She turned 2! Already!


I really wanted to make something special for her.

While trying to find the perfect idea, I stumbled upon some of my son's books: Mr Men & Little Miss.

 

I also found a Mr Men & Little Miss toy so I went for that idea.

 

First: The idea: I wanted to tell a story, or stories: I wanted to have few characters interacting with each other.

 

Second: finding which characters to make???

There are so many! So i just chose the ones me & my husband loved the most as kids.

Mr BUMP, Miss NAUGHTY, Mr TICKLE, and so on...

 

Third: Spending a long time wondering what to put on top of the cake. I knew I wanted her name, and her age, and I wanted it to look simple and cute.

 

So, here is the result:

 

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 And here are the stories:

 

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First story: Miss NAUGHTY laughs as Mr BUMP falls.

 

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 Second story: There is not really a story here....just Mr SMALL and his house on top of the valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Third story: Mr TICKLE tickling Mr GRUMPY, who is clearly not finding it funny!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, the top of the cake:

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  Simple little colourful cubes.

 

 

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The inside of the cake was made out of 3 sponge cakes filled with white chocolate cream and covered with fresh strawberries.

 

The things my niece loved the most: the cubes! we had to hide them as that's all she wanted to eat

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1 octobre 2010 5 01 /10 /octobre /2010 22:01

Hello there,

 

Finally: it's THE WEEK END!!!!

I have been waiting for this all week!

But the week is far from being finished! I have a birthday cake to make tomorrow for a little girl turning 2.

The theme: Mr Men & Little Miss.

I'll post some pictures of the finished cake on sunday.

 

I also had to do a BEN 10 Birthday Cake for a 7 year-old boy this week.

  ben-10-cake.jpg

 

 

This little boy asked me for a BEN 10 Alien Force character on top, which is, in my opinion, harder to do.

So, my BEN 10 looks kinda strange really :(

He has a pretty BIG nose...really big hips...and a rather tight vest....

 

ben-10.jpg

 

Despite all the fuck-ups, the kids loved it!

They all knew that it was BEN 10 on top of his OMNITRIX.

And they pretty much ate it all.

 

The base of the Omnitrix was made with a vanilla sponge filled with white chocolate ganache.

The rounded top of the Omnitrix was also made with two sponge cakes but this time, filled with white chocolate ganache, and dark chocolate ganache.

 

Once again: I struggled with the sugarpaste! I can't make it took look flat and smooth when put on the cake.

I am going to try a new technique tomorrow with the Mr Men & Little Miss cake. Hopefully, that one will work.

 

Another thing: despite BEN 10 being a cartoon character, like MARIO, I thought MARIO was way easier to make, or at least to make it look like MARIO.

BEN 10 looks a lot more realistic as MARIO is far more cartoony with more bold features. He is like a caricature.

 

Anyway, it's a learning process ;)

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25 septembre 2010 6 25 /09 /septembre /2010 22:38

As promised, I am now goignt o reveal my secret ingredient when it comes to Vegan Cupcakes:

 

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This book was written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

 

I bought this book this year while on holiday in England.

I bought this book mainly because of one of my co-workers.

We bring food at work for every reasons on earth: birthdays,...I just realised that we don't tend to have a reason but more of an excuse to bring cakes all the times ;)

Anyway, one of my co-workers being vegan, he was most of the time left starring at us while we were pigging out on all the cakes!

So, I decided to try something new.

 

 Vegan 15DSC 0333 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say that, despite being vegetarian, I was really sceptic on making cakes without eggs, cow's milk,...but it was a revelation!

I was trying out lots of recipes before buying this book: I was trying to find the perfect cupcake batter.

 

I finally try the basic Vanilla Cupcake from this book and BANG! It tasted better than all the other ones: the texture was right, the flavour was right, the colour, the height...I mean, just perfect!

Bye Bye Martha Stewart!  

Wanting to open a little Home Bakery here too, I am probably going to have to bake both kind of Cakes & Cupcakes: Vegan & Non-Vegan!

We are not the most open-minded kind of people when it comes to food...we are really big meat-eaters and we have a LOT of pre-conceived ideas about being Vegetarian or Vegan.

I have made quite a few recipes from this book and everytime, I gave some of the cupcakes to Non-Vegan people. And it is surprisingly always a winner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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25 septembre 2010 6 25 /09 /septembre /2010 20:05

Hi There,

 

Last week, I made a cake for two old friends of our family.

The cake is called MIRK POT as it is a representation of their house (which is called Mirk Pot) and of themselves.

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The cake: the house, is made with two yogurt cakes and two chocolate cakes, filled with chocolate ganache and covered with fondant.

 

Everything else is made out of fondant or buttercream.

 

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 They live in a cottage in the middle of the woods. The cottage is a listed building from the 17th century (if I remember correctly) and the wood surrounding them has actually being planted entirely by them. There are flowers and plants everywhere.

 

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A lot of things in this cake are really personal to those two people.

I used to go there every year on holiday as a child, and this is as I remember it all.

 

They seemed really surprised and really happy when they saw this.

They looked at every little details and they seemed really pleased that I had incorporated all these little elements: The red squirrels (for the past few years, they have been helping to save the Red Squirrels as they tend to be killed by Grey squirrels), the little birds (they come every morning to eat in front of the house), the giangantic tree with the squirrels house, the bench, the bushes, the plants, the Pine trees, ...and so on...

I have to say that being able to make a cake like this, so personal, was trully something!

 

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25 septembre 2010 6 25 /09 /septembre /2010 10:04

I have done quite a lot this week and it does not look like it is going to slow down for next week!

 

Let's starts with a big batch of cupcakes made for the departure of one of my co-workers.

I made three different types of Vegan Cupakes and one non-Vegan.

 

 

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Let's start with the Vegan Ones:

 

First, we have The Peanut Butter Cupcakes:

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As a french person, I never actually had Peanut Butter before or used it.

If you love peanut butter, you will LOVE these. If you don't really like it, you might find it a bit much: the taste is really strong.

 

 

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Personally, I loved them. The chocolate on top really suits the rest of the cupcakes. 

Next time, I might try to put some chocolate chips inside the actual cupcakes. 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we have:

 

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The Apple Cider Cupcakes

 

Making these was great! My entire kitchen smelled AMAZING: to make these, you have to put together, in a little pan: Apple cider,Cinnamon sticks, Cloves, Allspice and Agar powder and bring the whole mixture to boil.

It smelled like Xmas for me: it reminded me of the smell of Mulled Wine that we used to make on Xmas day in England.

 I was really hoping that all these beautifuls smells would translate in the taste and it really did!

 

 

 

 

 

Finally,

 

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The Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes

 

I never had a Red Velvet Cupcake before so I really did not know what it was meant to taste like.

If they are meant to taste like these: Man, I understand why it is an American favourite!

 

 

 

 

 

And, let's not forget the NON-Vegan cupcake:   

 

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The BRETON Cupcake

 

I wanted to make a BRETON inspired cupcake:

The cupcake is a base on the "Gâteau au Yaourt" recipe (yogurt cake), then we have a Caramel au beurre salé center (salted caramel), then i covered the cake with the same Caramel and Palet Breton crumbs (Breton biscuits).

 

 

 

   

Here we go!

I will make a post later on about the book that I use to make these VEGAN Cupcakes.

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