WE'VE MOVED

Hello!

Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!

Sincerely,
Syl

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Four Happy Years

Dear Reader,

Today is our blogiversary, it's been four happy years!

It doesn't matter if you've been reading our blog since the beginning or if you just started today. We still want to thank you for joining our journey. Whether you only read the blog, or interact with us on facebook, twitter, instagram, or pinterest, we hope that we're finding and sharing things that you enjoy, too.

We hope to never stop posting, it's for our benefit too as we're getting older and more forgetful, it's nice to look back at our creations and remember the work and story behind it.

It's been four fabulous years as we've learned how to: make more desserts other than cupcakes, make dishes other than desserts, and take better photos. We were fortunate enough to test new products, attend events, and experience travel. We read some great food magazines and books along the way. And watched documentaries that changed our outlook on cooking.

We think you can tell that we made another mille crêpes cake for the celebrations tonight. Following the same recipe here, we adjusted it by adding two tablespoons of matcha (green tea) powder to the crêpe batter. We stirred the matcha powder into the milk after it was steamed.

There's a hint of matcha flavour in it, but it's not very strong. Maybe we'll need to do a matcha pastry cream next time. We stuck to the vanilla flavoured one because it is so darn delicious.

Guess who got to use the kitchen torch again? Sigh.

Mmm, crepe cake for breakfast.

To another four years of nomming!


Your friends,
Sylvia and Howard

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Life in France

Food enthusiasts, chefs, cooks, restaurants, and bloggers all over the world are celebrating 100 years of Julia Child today. I love that so many passionate people are paying tribute to her.

Best known for her contribution to the 734-page Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child penned over a dozen books, starred in a number of TV series, and won various awards. However, I want to commemorate by sharing her book, My Life in France, with you.

My Life in France
Written by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme

ISBN-13: 9780307277695
ISBN-10: 0307277690
Publisher: Anchor Books
Paperback: 368 Pages

This is a book full of love. Julia Child tells us right from the start: "This is a book about some of the things I have loved most in life: my husband, Paul Child; la belle France; and the many pleasures of cooking and eating." How amazing is it that? I can't speak for everyone, but if I were to write about anything, it would loosely be about those topics. (Well, what is this blog about anyways? My partner, Howard; travel, which I would love to expand on; and the pleasures of cooking and eating.) It's no wonder we're drawn to her, we can relate.

As Julia recalls her journey to France, we get a sense of her adventurous spirit. Best of all, we get a glimpse as the book includes photos that Paul took. Of course, the pages that really make you lean in are her lessons at Le Cordon Bleu, opening her own cooking school, the work behind creating Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the frustrations of getting published, and her rise to fame on television. And funnily enough, she even writes, "In late 1949, the newspapers informed us that something called 'television' was sweeping the States like hailstorm ... we read an article about the horrifying effects of TV on American home life..."

Most of all, this read provided insight to her friendship to Simone (Simca) Beck and Louisette Bertholle. To say that Julia had dedication towards their project is an understatement. No matter where she was, she was determined to work on recipes, test them until they were right, and research all the right measurements and ingredients for the American household.

Regardless of Julia's frustrations, ups and downs, you become immersed in her world. My Life in France is lighthearted, humourous, and an engaging recollection of a woman who changed the food landscape in America. She was brave and fearless, and not only in cooking!

Bon anniversaire!

Disclaimer: A review copy of My Life in France was sent to me for review from Lindsey Reeder at Random House of Canada Limited. Thank you! No incentives were used to produce a positive review of this book.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cinnabon Sprinkle Beignets

Highlighting the new Cinnabon Sprinkle Topping, we took the Cinnabon Creations Challenge today. This new topping is meant to taste and smell like Cinnabon cinnamon and frosting. You know that aroma when you walk by a Cinnabon in the mall or subway station? You can now add it to some of your favourite foods. I recommend trying it with French toast, pancakes, and beignets!

Cinnabon Sprinkle Beignets
(Makes about 16)

2 cups of cake flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of buttermilk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Cinnabon Sprinkle Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  2. Using your stand mixer, whisk the buttermilk, egg, egg yolk, and vegetable oil until combined.
  3. Carefully add in the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Remove the whisk attachment and take out a rubber spatula.
  4. With the remaining cup of cake flour, add it into the mixture and combine with the spatula. The dough will get very sticky (which is why the whisk isn't a good option anymore).
  5. Scrape the dough out and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze for at least an hour.
  6. Remove the dough and dust your hands with all-purpose flour. Roll the dough into the size of a ping-pong ball. Set aside and repeat until all the dough has been transformed into small ball shapes.
  7. Fill a saucepan with about 2-3 inches of peanut oil over medium-high heat. Fry the beignets and gently turn then over. They should be golden and ready in about 3 minutes.
  8. Transfer the beignets to a paper towel to let the oil get soaked up. 
  9. Toss in or sprinkle with Cinnabon Sprinkle Topping.
Ekks! This was my first time frying anything in my kitchen! I even asked to borrow a deep fryer, but found that it would use up too much oil. Luckily, this little saucepan did the trick.

Beignets on a stick!

Disclaimer: A press representative from ACH Food Companies, Inc. and Cinnabon, Inc. contacted us about their Cinnabon Sprinkle Topping and Cinnabon Syrup. They are holding a new product challenge, Cinnabon Creations Challenge, and offered to send us samples of their products. We agreed to receive the samples and participate in the challenge. However, we are not eligible to enter the Cinnabon Creations Blogger Sweepstakes. No incentives were used to produce a positive review of these food products. No monetary exchange took place. All opinions are our own.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ampersand Cupcakes

Just a quick post about some recent cupcakes we made. Vanilla fondant ampersands (painstakingly hand-cut) on vanilla buttercream and chocolate cupcakes.

The ampersand. There's actually quite a history behind it. An evolution of ampersands!

And I'm ending this with things Howard and I like:
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