Hello Folks – I’ve been working on recipes for my third book, Farm-to-Dessert Table, due out Spring 2017, and I just had to share something I created yesterday. I spotted some end of the season tangerines at the market that looked too good to pass up. I figured a tangerine flan seemed like the perfect use for these sweet citrus fruits. This recipe uses only 2 tangerines and yet has amazing flavor thanks to a healthy dose of tangerine zest and fresh squeezed tangerine juice in the custard base.
I baked my flan in a 9x5x3 loaf pan. It made slicing even portions a breeze.
Make sure to cook the caramel long enough to achieve a dark amber. There’s nothing more disappointing than flipping out your flan only to see a barely there caramel!
If you’re like me, then you too wake up to your stomach growling. In fact, I think my stomach growls actually wake me up:/
So on many mornings at the beach house I treat myself to the best granola that I prepare the night before. That way my breakfast is literally waiting for me to walk down the stairs and into the kitchen, all ready to be enjoyed.
I like to pack a lot of heart healthy and fiber rich ingredients into my granola recipe like sunflower seeds, almonds, flax seeds and olive oil. I’ve experimented with adding other ingredients like dried fruit (after baking) and walnuts (before baking) and it always turns out delicious so feel free to get creative with my recipe on your own!
The granola keeps well in an airtight container for 2 weeks. Hope this granola makes your mornings brighter! Enjoy!
Happy Summer everyone! Last week was the much anticipated Beach House Baking release party held at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. After a month full of emails, phone calls and taste testing, the Beach House Baking Release Party went off without a hitch.
I’m thrilled to share with all of you some memorable shots from the party. And if you haven’t checked out my book yet, Beach House Baking is now available for purchase on Amazon here. It’s full of great summer and beach-inspired recipes for everyone!
First up – dessert! I baked up a variety of sweets from my book and created a beachy dessert table for guests to pick and choose from. The recipes I made from my book included: PCH (pina colada highway) cupcakes, Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate Cupcakes, Blueberry Lavender Pie, Tsunamis and Coco Hut Macaroons.
The reception was held at Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern in the St. Regis Monarch Beach, where I was the former pastry chef. Below are just some of the delicious canapés they served: avocado spheres filled with Dungeness crab, fried chicken bites, crispy kale chips, kobe beef sliders.
I was thrilled to have some very special guest bloggers and editors on hand. Anita Lau of Mad Hungry Woman, Valerie Mitchell of Mama Likes to Cook, Shelby Barone of OC Mom’s Blog, Caryn Bailey of Rockin Mama, Angela Saldana of Momfluential, Priscilla Mayfield of Orange Coast Magazine and Cathy Thomas of OC Register/ Cathy Thomas Cooks.
Guests spent the evening perusing through my new book in between sips of champagne and my Berry Sangria.
Lots of friends came out to partake in the celebration, too!
All in all, it was a hugely successful event that was enjoyed by everyone!
The other week, I offered to watch my friend’s 9-year old son for the evening so that she could have a relaxing night off from motherhood. Instead of taking him out for dinner, I decided to have a pizza night at home! And not delivery pizza (cue the DiGiorno jokes)– I decided to make pizzas at home as a fun and creative activity. Needless to say, it was a hit!
We topped our pizzas with green peppers, mozzarella and pepperoni. But what really stood out was the pizza sauce. Just thinking about it makes me drool. Yes, it was that good! So good, in fact, that I just had to share it with all of you on this blog post.
I used oregano and fresh garlic and threw in paprika at the last minute to add a delicious flavor of pepper and some mild heat. I added a generous serving of sugar, which is needed to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.
This pizza sauce recipe is so simple to make, takes 2 quick minutes to whip up and yields about 2 cups of sauce.
After weeks of anticipation, here it is: my Piña Colada Cupcake recipe! This is one of my favorite cupcake creations at my bakery, Sugar Blossom Bake Shop, and I’m so excited to share this recipe with you.
My Piña Colada Cupcake was inspired by a Puerto Rico trip my girlfriends and I went on together. Every time I bake these cupcakes, memories of sipping on piña coladas under an umbrella shade with my feet buried beneath the warm Puerto Rican sand come flooding back to me.
The cupcake is super flavorful thanks to the rum and coconut milk in the batter. You can use any rum of your choice, but I highly recommend using Ron del Barrilito rum; This full-bodied Puerto Rican rum is exceptional and will give your cupcakes an excellent flavor. It’s a bit of a challenge to locate here in the United States, but well worth it if you manage to get your hands on a bottle.
I frost the cupcake with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut. I find that the cream cheese complements the flavors well and the toasted coconut adds a welcome crunch. See my blog post for how to toast coconut.
The “piña” is in the form of a caramelized baby pineapple ring. Brover sells canned baby pineapple rings of excellent quality. See my blog post for how to caramelize pineapple.
Beach House Baking’s Pina Colada Cupcakes
1½ cups cake flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup Ron del Barrilito rum
2 large eggs
¼ cup sour cream
2 cups toasted shredded coconut for garnish
14 caramelized baby pineapples (Brover brand) for garnish
14 maraschino cherries with stems for garnish
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
6 ounces cream cheese, cold
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the cupcake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with 14 liners.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, coconut milk, and rum on low speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Scrape bowl. Add the sour cream and dry ingredients alternately, beginning with cream and ending with the flour.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them just below the rim. (I use a 2-ounce ice cream scoop.) Bake for 16 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Make the frosting:
Sift the powdered sugar and set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl well and mix for another 2 minutes to ensure no lumps remain.
Add the powdered sugar all at once and beat on low speed just until sugar is incorporated. Then beat at high speed for 10 seconds. Scrape down sides well. Beat the mixture again on high speed for 10 seconds.
Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting, crumb the edges with the toasted coconut, and top with a caramelized baby pineapple and maraschino cherry.