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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Merry Christmas

Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream

Merry Christmas


New York Cake Co.

To all of my supporters… Thank You!

Holiday sweetness - Red Velvet with Chocolate Buttercream; Chocolate with Chocolate Buttercream; and Chocolate with Peppermint Buttercream

Caramel Tart Creation drama!

One of the creations for the Wine and Dessert Social was the Caramel Tart… though I knew it would be great… I never made such before nor did I know of a recipe for it… Oh my goodness… why on earth did I suggest this to the client?  Will I have to create a recipe?  Oh boy!

The recipe search began… finally I found something called exactly what I was looking for, in Sherry Yard’s “the Secrets of Baking” book, called CARAMEL CUSTARD TARTS.  Oh my goodness, how cool is that!  Well it was cool until I read over the recipe and realized it was actually 4 different recipes that would make up this one little mini Caramel Custard Tart.  Really?!  Yes really.  For about a week I put off making it totally intimidated by the complexity and also the difficulty working with sugar.  Caramel is made from “cooking” sugar and just a few degrees off you either have a beautiful soft caramel or a hard brittle.

OK, procrastination time is over.  It’s Thursday evening after a long day at work and I began recipe #1 Master Caramel – obeyed the recipe by taking the sugar to 350˚ there was smoke everywhere and a terrible burning smell.  Well I thought somehow the burnt smell and taste would disappear so I continued on to recipe #2 Creamy Caramel Sauce using crème fraiche (first time I ever used that!)… still the burnt taste was there stronger than ever but surely something will change so I went on the recipe #3 Caramel Custard and poured it in the tart shell which is recipe #4…. oh no!  This is bad… really gross!   So about $50 goes down the drain.  I’m rather determined so the next night I do it all over again, step-by-step but this time I brought the caramel to 325˚ and continued on through the recipes.  This time it was A  L O T better but that burnt taste remained and then I did a test – the finished product did not “WOW” me.  When I do all that and I don’t fall over because of the deliciousness in my mouth… it is not worth it and will not be served to anyone.

Just one more day and still these tarts that I’ve “sold” are yet to be created…  Ok the 4-recipe Caramel Custard Tart is not working from Sherry Yard’s book.  So on to the internet I go… amazing what can be found there.  I find a very simple recipe and though it was late my sweet Mom was game to help.  My Mom is simply the best – washes all the dishes as I work.  In about 5 minutes this recipe was made, so simple and the taste I was looking for.  It was about 7 ingredients, all of which are in my kitchen at all times.  The 4-in-1 recipe called for ingredients that I never worked with, had to use all sorts of odd kitchen tools…. I quickly remember the saying “simplicity is best”  LOL 🙂

The new internet Caramel recipe was good but it wasn’t amazing… I read through many more cookbooks just to see what chefs had to say and I came up with the idea of some how including heavy cream into the caramel….. oooohhhhh my goodness… something happened!  That was it… the Caramel Tart has been created!  It was hit #1 at the Wine and Dessert Social.  Was it worth it?  I’ll say “Yes” a million times.  What I learned from making caramel three times was – what to do, what not to do and best of all determination to keep going until the best has been accomplished.  Now and forever there is a new item I can offer… the CARAMEL TART!

Keep It “Caramel” Sweet,


display at the Social

Wine and Dessert Social


What an amazing pair… Wine & Dessert!

Thanks to Dee Rieber, a Halstead Real Estate Broker, who hosted the 2nd annual Community Wine & Dessert Social.  Last year she hosted her own Birthday party at Pour, a wine shop on 75th Street & Amsterdam in NYC.  That was such a success she committed to doing it every year.  This was her 2nd and hopefully many more to come.  It was my privilege to create the dessert for this special event.

From my experience last year at Pour I knew who my audience (folk eating my desserts!) would be and I knew the type of setting Dee wanted – small two bite desserts that were delicate and delicious.  In a flash the menu was created… Petit Fours, Mini Cupcakes and… Caramel Custard Tarts.  She was all game and gave me a big green light.

Petit Fours I’ve made twice before so I knew what to do, Mini Cupcakes I could probably do in my sleep, but why on earth did I say Caramel Custard Tarts?  I’ve never seen a recipe for such, I’ve never made a Caramel Tart before… Am I going crazy or will I have to create a recipe so I don’t let my client down? (For the balance of the Caramel Tart drama read the blog post).

What an excellent night… Many compliments were thrown my way and the sweets were gone before all the guests got there.  Go ahead… you can drool.. they were delish!!  LOL 🙂

Keep It Sweet,


Butterflies and Buttercream

After a little hiatus I’m back!!  🙂

Why “Butterflies and Buttercream”…. well when you get a request for a teal green cake with butterflies and you canNOT use fondant… this is what you get.  What fun it was creating this cake!

You will find this funny… but this is only the second  cake where I used such a deep color for buttercream.  Normally, I would tint fondant such a strong color but not buttercream.  My first deeply tinted buttercream cake was the Hello Kitty cake (the blog post is called Hello Kitty Kitty).  Coloring fondant is so different than coloring buttercream, because of the fat content in buttercream the color will darken with time.   I added a some color to the buttercream and let it sit for a little then tada… a beautiful teal green!  Butterflies were the theme of the party so I quickly made these of gum paste so the wings will actually stay open for the butterfly’s “just landed” look.

It was good to get back to working with gum paste.  For my next few cake I think I will incorporate gum paste whether they request it or not… it’s such a fun and creative sugar medium.

Keep It Sweet,

Theresa  🙂

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