I’m back from Portland and currently flying my body to Boston for a book signing and wreath-making workshop. I actually really love traveling during the holidays. I love the shitty Christmas lights and decorations in stores and in airports. I think it’s because it reminds me of Home Alone.
If you haven’t heard, SERIAL just dropped season 2. I kinda wish they just posted all of the episodes like Netflix does. I mean, part of me doesn’t because I wouldn’t get anything else done but you know what I mean!
Let’s talk about hot buttered baba au rhums! When Billy came to my house the other day so we could test these, he was like what the hell is that. I explained that they’re kinda like a French version of a tres leches cake and it all made sense to him. (Billy was also Mexican in his past life because he knows more about Thalia and Mexican pop culture than anyone I know.)
If you’ve never made this cake there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. This batter is very wet. Like, you might think I’m playing a joke on you or you made a huge mistake but you didn’t!
2. This cake is yeasted. But it’s a million times simpler than making any form of dough because there’s no forming of any kind. The first rise doesn’t even have to be transferred to a clean bowl. It’s very hands off.
3. This cake is very dry…that is until you but all that hot buttered rum business on top. That’s the good stuff.
I have this sort of minor, sort of not minor obsession with speciality baking pans. I have one that’s shaped like a big ass dog bone; there’s another one in case you wanna make a gigantic doughnut; and then there are all my ornate bundt pans. I like them!
I’m always a bit hesitant to buy them (I mean, I still do) because many of you might not want to purchase them and then does that mean you can’t make the recipe? Sometimes the answer is yes, unfortunately. But not with this pan!
The person who was designing this was using their brain because it uses the same amount of batter as a typical 9×5-inch loaf of anything. So, that means if you don’t want to buy this pan, you can simply make a larger pound cake and all will be good in your world. It also means, if you do buy this pan, you can rest assured that you can reuse this pan to make mini banana breads, zucchini breads…the sky is the limit.Thank you, human, who was using their brain when they designed this!
Can we talk about how much I love lebneh frosting? It’s almost like a more tart version of cream cheese icing. This is a cross between a glaze and a frosting.
I do things at the holidays I don’t always do during the year: I (attempt) to decorate every corner of my apartment; I bake any chance I get; and I put antler ears on Amelia and force her to take pictures with me. Basically, what I’m saying is that I embrace the season and try and make the most of it. A big part of taking advantage of the season is creating things, arranging things, and making my home look as pretty and magical as possible.
Today I teamed up with Target to show you a pretty and fuss-free dessert table. Treat-making is my favorite thing to do but I do know that during the holidays it’s tough to tackle a gigantic project for a party (I tackled a buche de noel on Saturday, more on that later!), so I wanted to give you something super easy: Cappuccino Truffles! The best part about this recipe is the fact that it requires a lot of downtime, allowing you to turn your attention to making the dessert table look as cute as possible. I wanted the dessert table to feel cozy (I know, surprising), neutral and natural, and rely on gold and silver to bring some sparkle.
The recipe starts with heating cream and pouring it over chopped chocolate, after a little stir action, it goes in the fridge to chill.
During this time, I hung this cute tree garland around the table. I also hung this wall garland I made a few days prior that consisted of some cedar, pine cones and tallow branches. All you need a bit of floral wire and a few nails! Super easy.
16ouncesbitter-sweet chocolate, chopped (chips are also fine!)
1/4cupcoffee granules, finely ground
1/4cupinstant milk powder
1tablespoonpowdered sugar, plus more for garnish
In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream until it reaches a light simmer. Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Pour the chocolate into a shallow dish, such as a 9-inch pie dish, and transfer to the fridge to chill for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, add the coffee, milk powder, salt and powdered sugar. Pulse until finely ground and mixed. Transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside.
Using a #20 ice cream scoop (or a melon baller), scoop out mounds of the chocolate mixture onto a piece of parchment or wax paper (they’ll look a bit like wonky circles—don’t worry!). Transfer to the fridge to chill for an additional hour. Remove from the fridge and using your hands, roll the mounds of chocolate to form a circle (don’t worry if they’re not perfect circles) and then immediately transfer to the fridge to chill for an additional 15 minutes. Roll the chocolate balls in the coffee mixture and place in mini cupcake liners. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve, at which time, allow to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, just to take off a bit of its chill. Garnish, if you like, with a teeny dusting of powdered sugar.
I have turned into a full on holiday baking psycho woman. It wasn’t my intention but there’s something about a cold drafty apartment, a twinkling Christmas tree in the living room and sticks of butter in the fridge calling my name, that gets me in the mood to bake.
I spent the better part of Saturday, baking, sculpting and arranging a bûche de noël with my friend Hourie. It was a bit of a challenge. There were a few mini meltdowns (the recipe we were using wasn’t foolproof) but at the end it was really pretty. And I remembered why I love this season. Why I love baking with friends. Why I do what I do.
I may sound super ignorant about pound cakes but it was just a few months ago that I learned a pound cake is supposed to have a pound of butter, a pound of sugar and no leavening. Those two work wonders with one another and create a dense cake that isn’t too, too dense. I dunno about you but that’s a lot of damn sugar.