Friday, February 25, 2011

Chocolate French Toast with Panera Bread


I'm back (already?!) with another post for Panera Bread!  I know, two posts in one day - try not to faint.  It's a rare occurrence, but my schedule has been a little crazy lately and it just worked out as such.

Whenever I'm out and about I like to stop by Panera Bread for a couple of artisan loaves; usually the Asiago Cheese and Three Seed Sour Dough.  One variety that I had not tried before was Country White French Miche (a Panera employee kindly corrected me).   I knew if it was comparable to the quality of the other breads they bake, it would be fantastic.  And it is!  Even a small slice seems enormous, which makes it perfect for hearty sandwiches. It is also perfect for the recipe I have to share with you today.

Lucky Vanilla Cupcakes


Can you believe March is only a few days away?  That means St. Paddy's day is not far behind.  I'm all for starting the celebration early, so let the baking of green treats begin! 

While shopping at the market last week I spotted some of the greenest pistachios I've ever seen!  Isn't it wonderful that such a brilliant color can occur naturally? 

I was inspired.  I had to have them.


They ended up being ground in the food processor for a colorful topping.  Sprinkled on a frosted cupcake, they make a cute little mossy knoll for a lucky horseshoe to sit atop.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake


I'm a bit short on words today.  Perhaps it's because I've been using so many elsewhere.  I'm currently working on a food styling article for Pixiq, so be on the lookout for that very soon!

In the meantime, here's my new favorite everyday cake.  Make it when you're in dire need of sunshine.  It's an instant mood changer!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cayenne Pepper Macarons


Consider these a metaphor for what Valentine's day should be: hot, sweet and most importantly, filled with chocolate!

The orange-red color of cayenne pepper is a sure giveaway of its spiciness, and a meager amount can have a big presence when added to a recipe - especially dessert.  I bought a fresh bottle last week and on a whim, I whipped up these spicy macaron shells.  Pairing them with ganache seemed like a natural choice, and if you are a fan of the chocolate/chili combination (usually sold in bar form) you will love these.


On another whim, I decided to make a short video of my macaron batter process. Warning: this may bore some of you to tears, and yes - my videography skills are lacking to say the least, but this is for those of you who want to see a little of my batter folding process.

I should say this; everyone has a different process, and this is what works for me.  Maybe it can work for you too.  I hope that you can use both the recipe and video together to have macaron success!




Note: Cayenne pepper can be omitted for plain macaron shells.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Heritage Red Velvet Cake


I have made and tasted many versions of red velvet cake, but this one stands out as a favorite.  I call it "heritage" red velvet because it has been passed down, passed around -and now I'm passing it on to you!  This recipe uses butter instead of shortening or oil,  and it is bright red as opposed to the usual dark red or brown-red.  The soft, moist crumb is the result of a healthy dose of buttermilk in the batter...
 

 ... and that is key! You can't make a good red velvet cake without buttermilk.





Before I get to the specifics of the cake, I'd like to share a recent feature.  If you follow me on FB, then you have already seen this, so please forgive the repeat.

Sprinkle Bakes is featured in the February/ March issue of Yum Food and Fun magazine.  Inside are two familiar SB recipes (plus lots more good lookin' grub!) and a little write up about the blog. 

This magazine can be found at grocery stores or at your local book store.

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