Make French Crepes with a Real French Guy

12 Apr

I’m back!!! I’m ending a several-month silence by making traditional French crepes with my favorite Frenchman. Check out the video and let me know what you think! Have you ever made homemade crepes? This is an easy recipe – give it a shot!

Traditional French Crepes

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
4 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup beer
4 cups half and half or whole milk at room temperature

Put the flour in a large bowl and make a large well (Geoff calls it a pit) in the center.

Whisk the eggs well and pour into the well, along with the melted butter and salt. Begin whisking in the center, very slowly and gently, to start incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Slowly add the milk in small amounts along with the beer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. The beer helps the crepes to be light and fluffy, but pick something with a mild flavor, like High Life (the champagne of beers – sort of French?) so that you can’t taste it. You’ll whisk for 10-15 minutes total, and the batter will be very thin. The batter can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Get a small nonstick pan very hot over high heat and spread a tiny amount of canola oil in the bottom with a paper towel to prevent sticking. You’ll only have to add oil every 5-10 crepes, not every time. Pour 1/4-1/3 cup of crepe batter into the bottom of the pan and swirl so that it reaches the sides and coats in a very thin layer. The edges of the crepes will be lacy. If your first crepe is too thick because your pan is smaller, just use a little less batter on the next pour.

Cook over a medium-high flame until the edges of the crepe look browned and feel crispy, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Run a spatuala underneath the crepe to make sure it doesn’t stick, and flip the crepe to cook on the other side. Afraid of flipping like we do in the video? No problem – you can also use the spatula to turn it like a pancake. Contine cooking until the crepe is set, 1-1/2 additional minutes. Remove from the pan and continue making crepes like a French boss.

This recipe makes a huge stack of crepes – great for a party, or for a crepe cake! If you don’t want to make them all at once, store the extra batter in the fridge for 1-2 days. Whisk it well before using.

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Totally Homemade Smores

26 May

totally

I am not a camper, but I can totally get down with s’mores, especially if they’re made with ooey-gooey homemade marshmallows and crispy from-scratch graham crackers! That’s right – mine are totally homemade smores and crazy delish! You don’t even need a campfire!

If you like this video, subscribe to my YouTube Channel! I post a new baking video every Wednesday.

 

Totally Homemade Smores
Graham Crackers
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add half of flour mixture and beat until partially combined. Add the wet ingredients and beat until fully combined. Add the rest of the flour and and beat until fully incorporated, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Divide the dough into 2 disks about 1 inch thick and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Dust the countertop generously with flour and roll one disk of dough at a time to 1/8 in. thickness. Cut into squares and pierce with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and chill for at least 20 minutes to help retain their shape. Bake for 14-18 minutes or just until the edges of the cookies darken slightly.

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
Nonstick spray

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 in. pan completely with shredded coconut, leaving no bald spots.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the gelatin with 1/2 cup of the cold water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then cover and cook for 3 more minutes. Uncover,the pot and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F (softball stage), approximately 7-8 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to low speed to break up the set gelatin. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. When all of he syrup has been added, increase the mixer speed to high and whip until the mixture cools to lukewarm, about 15 minutes. It will become more voluminous, thick, and very sticky. Add the vanilla and coconut extracts during the last minute of whipping. Pour the mixture into the coconut lined pan, using wet hands to spread it evenly. Sprinkle additional coconut over the top to cover the marshmallows completely. Let them sit uncovered for at least 4 hours to set up. To cut, gently loosen the sides of the marshmallows from the pan before removing the entire sheet. Spray a pizza wheel with nonstick cooking spray and cut into large squares. Dip the sticky sides into more shredded coconut. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

How to Make an Easy Smash Cake

20 May

easy smash cake

Every birthday deserves a great cake, and first birthdays are no exception! Smash cakes have become so popular for 1st birthday parties, so when I was invited to a party for my friend’s 1-year-old, I knew I had to make an easy smash cake for the birthday girl. Watching a baby dig into a cake with their tiny hands, smearing frosting all over their faces and tasting the sweetness for the first time is magical. But since the cake is going to get demolished anyway, why spend a lot of time or effort? It doesn’t take much skill to make this fluffy, cute easy smash cake. To me, the soft colors and texture resemble a cuddly baby blanket.

The nubby texture is easily made by piping buttercream with a tip 233, also known as the grass tip. Watch how easy it is to decorate – well worth the time to see the baby dig in on her special day!

If you like this video, subscribe to my YouTube channel! I post a fun baking video every Wednesday and would love to have you!

Lemon Cake with Sugared Flowers

6 May

crystallized flowers

Sugared flowers look beautiful and impressive as cake decorations, but they’re very easy to make. Many larger grocery stores stock edible fresh flowers in the herb section of the produce department. They come in plastic clam shell packaging, just like the other herbs. Opening up a package is a bit like Christmas morning – you’re not sure what’s going to be inside, but expect vibrant colors and a great variety of shapes. Common edible flowers include nasturtium, marigolds, geraniums, and lavender.

Making sugared flowers is simple. All you need is a pasteurized egg white, a splash of water, some granulated sugar, and a small brush. The result is a sparkly, crystallized effect that is gorgeous on top of a baked treat like this little cake. After the crystallized flowers dry, they have a slightly crunchy texture and a very mild floral taste that pairs perfectly with lemon. That’s why I showcased my sugared fresh flowers atop this homemade lemon cake.

Mother’s Day is this weekend. and I think that this is the perfect way to celebrate your Mom or the other fabulous women in your life. A homemade cake AND fresh flowers? What mom wouldn’t love that?

Here’s how easy it is to make!

Like what you see? Subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly baking videos!

Perfect Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

27 Apr

Vanilla SMBC Title Card

I love Swiss Meringue Buttercream so much that I’ve already blogged about it. It is my absolute favorite frosting recipe, the one I turn to 99% of the time I make cakes or cupcakes. I’ve made this basic icing recipe so many times that I no longer need to reference the recipe during cooking. I have it memorized. I wonder how many times I whipped it up before it became stamped in my mind forever…that’s a lot of frosting…

For all of you visual learners, I’m now sharing my SMBC* love via video. Check it out, and let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help you out!

*SMBC is what all of us “serious” cakers call Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Because who’s got time to say all 7 syllables when there’s cakes to be baked, and stacked?

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

6 egg whites
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
2-3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, granulated sugar and salt. Set over a double boiler over simmering water and whisk frequently until the mixture reaches 150°F on a thermometer.

Whip the hot mixture at high speed with an electric mixer until the outside of the bowl is cool to the touch. Switch to paddle attachment on mixer. While beating on medium-low speed, add the butter, one chunk at a time, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and beat until well combined.

How To Make An Easy Princess Leia Cake

28 Jan Princess Leia Cake Princess Layer Cake

Princess Leia Cake Princess Layer Cake

I love puns! I love them almost as much as I love cake, so when it was suggested that I make a Princess Leia Cake to play on the phrase “layer cake,” I knew that I had to do it. It was just to punny to pass up!

This is a silly, fun little project that anyone can bake. It’s a great tribute for Star Wars fans, for a Star Wars themed birthday or a movie viewing party. Please share this video with the Star Wars enthusiasts in your life – we all have at least one, right?

Easy Princess Leia Cake

In full disclosure, I have gone 36-1/4 years without seeing any of the Star Wars movies! How is this possible? The Star Wars culture is so permeating that even without seeing them, I know what a Wookie is, I know that Darth is Luke’s father, and I know all about Leia’s amazing hairdos. But tell me Star Wars aficionados, which movie should I see first? Where should I start? What’s your fave Star Wars film?

Please share this video, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and may the force be with you!

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I’m Sorry

27 Aug

Yet another t-shirt I should add to my collection, because no one gets more hangry than me. It’s borderline belligerent, and apologizing afterwards is so awkward. Might as well just be upfront about it.

hungry

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