Posts Tagged ‘frosting

24
Jan
11

I say Hazelnut and you say Filbert…..

I notice that my blog gets a lot of hits using the search word Hazelnut. Hazelnut frosting,

hazelnut paste, hazelnut butter.  Lots of hazelnut.  I have written a few posts that feature

cakes frosted with hazelnut buttercream.  The addition of hazelnut paste to vanilla

buttercream equals hazelnut frosting.  I have divulged my recipe for the aforementioned

vanilla buttercream in previous posts.  But, where does one get hazelnut paste?  Well, truth

be told, I used to get it where I work when I was the pastry chef.  I would order 15 pound

buckets of the stuff from one of our fancy pants purveyors.  And it was pricey, but oh, so

worth it.  So, now that I only make cakes when a few close friends have birthdays or a few

clients who want to give me money for a cake, my need for hazelnut paste has waned.  Until a

couple of weeks ago, when my favorite client, Katie D., wanted a chocolate cake with

hazelnut frosting for her birthday.  I have searched for sources on the Internet, and there

are many, for hazelnut paste. Very pricey and the shipping is ridiculous.   Lots of calls to

specialty shops came up cold.  Then it hit me – “We have a Champion juicer!” I used to make

peanut butter with the Champion, why not make hazelnut butter?  So make hazelnut butter, I

did.

Lovely, creamy, natural Hazelnut butter

I bought 1 and 1/2 pounds of toasted hazelnuts. You can buy raw hazelnuts and toast them

yourself; the already toasted one were available at work and I wanted to save a step.  If

you want to toast them at home, set your oven at 350 degrees, spread the raw nuts out on a

heavy sheet pan and roast for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and nutty smelling.

I know, they have a dark brown skin on them, so how do you know when they are browned?  Some

of them will start to shed their skin and then you will see it.  Once toasted, dump them

onto a dish towel and rub vigorously to help remove the skin.  Not all of it will release,

but that’s okay.  You’re going to pulverize them anyway so what’s a little skin?

Straight through the juicer and into the jar. Talk about direct deliciousness.

Now, I have no clue how you would do this if you do not have a Champion juicer.  If you use

a blender or food processor I don’t think you will get a creamy nut butter.  More on that in

a sec……

Here is, the bad boy himself, the Champion juicer. Seriously worth every penny spent on it.

So now I’m all proud of myself for making hazelnut butter, but I realize this stuff is not

going to work for frosting.  I’ve made the error in the past by putting natural peanut

butter in buttercream and ending up with oily frosting.  Not good.  I really need hazelnut

paste.   Back to the Internet I go and, lo and behold, I stumble upon a website called

gourmetsleuth.com where I find a recipe for Hazelnut Paste!  And it is so simple!

2 cups toasted hazelnuts
2 large egg whites
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp Hazelnut liqueur

Dump 2 cups of toasted hazelnuts into your food processor

Grind it until it is course, like cornmeal

Add egg whites, Hazelnut liqueur and powdered sugar

You don't have to buy brand name sugar or liqueur to get excellent results

Process until smooth

So pretty, so shiny, so tasty!

Once I figured out that only hazelnut paste was going to work to make the frosting. I was on a roll.  I made the vanilla butter cream and started chucking in the hazelnut paste a scoop at a time and tasting after each addition until it was just right.  Not only was I making a birthday cake for a client, I had a second cake in the wings as well.  We were taking our good friend Robert out to dinner on the same night as I was making Katie’s cake.  We were celebrating Robert’s birthday and I could not show up to celebrate his special day without a cake from Vampire Gran’s Kitchen!  A light bulb went off in my brain like in the cartoons and I created a hazelnut filling to slather between the layers of cake.

This is literally two bites worth of cake. I made a taster piece like they do when you go to try cakes for a wedding, ya know? I had to make sure it all went together. after all....

The filling was fabulous!  I mixed the hazelnut frosting with a bit more hazelnut paste, added some of the hazelnut butter and a bit more of the hazelnut liqueur.  It was a bit thin so I thickened it with more powdered sugar.  It was perfection.

Katie's cake was a nine-inch, four layer job. I know, all of my cakes are starting to look-alike. Guess that's my signature style.

I made some chocolate curls to decorate both cakes.  These were fun to make but time consuming.  You have to soften the chocolate without melting it by zapping it in the microwave for like 6 seconds at a time.  Once it is the right – softness (?) – I used a vegetable peeler to make the curls.  Oh, you must have a chilled plate for them to land on as you’re doing this.  Don’t use the same plate that you use to microwave with.  It will be warm and melt your curls.  Yes, I know this from experience and that is why I am telling you.  Learn from my mistakes.

They look like little rosettes (or pencil shavings?)

So, let’s review.  Hazelnut frosting you need hazelnut paste, not hazelnut butter.   Hazelnut butter you need a Champion juicer or a nut butter machine.  Hazelnut paste is easy to make and you need a food processor.  Chocolate curls – microwave and cold plate and a vegetable peeler.

I hope you enjoyed our lesson for the day.  It just made me want a hazelnut butter and jam sandwich followed by a hunk of cake.

04
May
09

Elephant Cupcakes

I had a lot of fun making cupcakes for a special 3 year old girl’s birthday party.  The party’s theme was “Zoo Animals” and all of the children were going to be wearing animal costumes.  The birthday girl’s costume was an elephant.  Her parents ordered 2 ½ dozen cupcakes for the party and left the decorating up to me.  I decided to make individual elephant head cupcakes.  The pictures I took do not do them justice – they looked better in person.  But I just had to share them with my blog fans because they were pretty cute.

Vanilla Frosting

 

1.5 # unsalted butter, softened

2# powdered sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp vanilla

2 oz water (approximately ¼ cup)

1 tsp lemon juice

I used Wilton Brand Icing Color Black to make the frosting elephant grey.  Using a toothpick, add small amounts to the frosting until it reaches the desired color.

Here are step by step instructions on how I made the cupcakes transform into elephants

Start with a blank cupcake, frosting, pastry bags and pastry tips #804 & #124

Start with a blank cupcake, frosting, pastry bags and pastry tips #804 & #124

Using tip #804, starting on the outside edge pipe frosting in circular motion moving toward the center

Using tip #804, starting on the outside edge pipe frosting in circular motion moving toward the center

Beginning in the center, using even pressure, squeeze bag and move your hand slightly up and down and pulling toward your self and down, swirling up to the right when you reach the edge of the cupcake, creating the trunk

Beginning in the center, using even pressure, squeeze bag and move your hand slightly up and down and pulling toward your self and down, swirling up to the right when you reach the edge of the cupcake, creating the trunk

Use chocolate chip for eyes.  I used bitterweet chocolate chips that were flat.  If you use the chips that come to a point, place the point side down into the frosting.

Use chocolate chip for eyes. I used bittersweet chocolate chips that were flat. If you use the chips that come to a point, place the point side down into the frosting.

Using the #124 tip, start at the top of the head where you think the ear starts and pipe sideways using a ruffling motion.  This is a bit tricky, you just have to practice it until you get a feel for it.

Using the #124 tip, start at the top of the head where you think the ear starts and pipe sideways using a ruffling motion. This is a bit tricky, you just have to practice it until you get a feel for it.

There it is, your first elephant cupcake!

There it is, your first elephant cupcake!

Place your elephants on a baking tray and let them chill in the refrigerator until the icing is set before packing or placing on your serving platter

Place your elephants on a baking tray and let them chill in the refrigerator until the icing is set before packing or placing on your serving platter

There they are, ready for the party!

There they are, ready for the party!

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson.  If you have any questions or need a good cake recipe, please leave me a comment and I will be happy to help.




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