Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Orange Fairy Cakes

I think we've all gone a little royal wedding crazy, both sides of the pond.

Slightly more dignified than the pez dispensors is the official Royal Wedding website, which showcases the wedding ceremony guest list and seating chart, musicians and choirs performing, the wedding procession route, the charitable gift fund set up by William and Kate and about anything else that might spark your interest.

Luckily, the site includes information on the royal wedding cake.  This enormous task has been placed on the shoulders of Fiona Cairns, British cake designer and cookbook author.  Even though I'm tiring of the constant coverage on trivial matters pertaining to the wedding, I'm still rising early tomorrow morning to view the ceremony live as well as bake some treats to celebrate the day.  And I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for a sneak-peak of Cairns' cake.

I decided to bake fairy cakes, the British version of cupcakes.  The cake is similar to that of American cupcakes, but fairy cakes are iced with royal icing instead of buttercream.  I found inspiration from Fiona Cairns cookbook, Bake and Decorate, although I have a feeling these little cakes aren't anything near as grand as the cakes she's preparing for tomorrow.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mini Orange Chiffon Cakes and Iced Butter Cookies

Le Petit Lapin has a favorite holiday.  Can you guess what it is?

It's not just because Easter is centered around an infamous bunny and his/her (I'm not sure about the Easter bunny's gender) chocolate eggs.  It has a lot more to do with the  coinciding transformations from brown to bright green and bare to speckled with delicate buds in the world around. Easter heralds the arrival of robins hunting for worms, bright yellow daffodils and cute open toed sandals. 

There's no heavy meal laden with gravy, mashed potatoes and stuffing, nor is there the stress of purchasing gifts for family and friends.  Just stock up on cadbury cream eggs and peeps, and you're all set.

To celebrate Easter, the little rabbit is keeping it simple this year with iced butter cookies and mini orange chiffon cakes.  Nothing rich and heavy,  just some light desserts to welcome the arrival of the robins, daffodils and all things Spring.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Currant Scones

Ever since I moved to Vermont, I've been driving a lot more than I used to.  It's not day-to-day driving that's increased, but the longer car journeys to visit family and friends at home.  I've been bouncing back and forth for the various holidays and birthdays that seem to be stockpiled between November and April.

I enjoy going home, but I'm not fond of long car rides.  I decided that I needed a little treat during these treks, which led to the birth of scone and cappuccino car rides.  At the beginning of each trip, I treat myself to a warm, tall jolt of caffeine to keep me awake and a scone because I love them and need something to go with the cappuccino.

I usually start sipping the coffee before I've even made it from the coffee shop to the car, but I always stash the scone for later.  After a few hours when all my music starts to sound the same and the scenery becomes dull and drab, I reach for the scone and break off a corner.  The first bite is always a crescendo of excitement for a much needed diversion.

Unfortunately, not all scones are created equal.  In fact, some scones are downright dry and flavorless or heavy and overly iced.  So you can imagine the wave of disappointment I experience when the scone I've been saving stinks.

A scone should be delicate and moist on the inside, speckled with sweet currants or other fruits and nuts, lightly sprinkled with sugar and baked to a light golden brown. It's even better served with clotted cream, jam and lemon curd. 

After too many dud scones, I've tweaked my scone and cappuccino tradition.  I bake a large batch of scones, then thaw one for each car ride, guaranteeing a delicious scone each time.  I'm tempted to bring a tub of clotted cream and jam, although I'm sure my steering wheel will end up slicked with grease and my pants spotted with jam.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Birthday French Macarons

It started with a request for French Macarons.  I baked my trademark flavor, a cinnamon shell filled with honey buttercream.

Under normal circumstances, this would have been enough.  But these weren't normal circumstances.  These were macarons to take the place of a birthday cake for someone very special.  So I whipped up some matcha and rose macarons.

Still not enough. Along came lavender, lemon and orange flower blossom macarons.

When you're celebrating the birthday of someone who puts the needs and desires of everyone else before her own, one flavor isn't enough.  Even six flavors isn't enough to say thank you for all you do each day, but at least it's a start.

And in case you're wondering who the birthday girl is, it's the artist who drew the beautiful logo for Le Petit Lapin.

It's my mom's birthday!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Homemade Larabars

Am I the only one who finds the granola bar section of the grocery store just a little out of control?

Cliff Bars.  Power Bars. Luna Bars.  Nature Valley Bars. Nutrigrain Bars. Special K Bars. Quaker Chewy Granola Bars. Kashi Go Lean Bars. Cascadian Farm Granola Bars.  Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars.  Atkins Advantage Bars. 18 Rabbit Granola Bars. Kudos Granola Bars. Health Valley Granola Bars. Purefit Nutrition Bars.

Chocolate Chip.  Honey Nut Apple.  S'mores.  White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. Chocolate Fudge Brownie.  Ginger Cookie.  Vanilla Crunch.  Oatmeal Raisin.  Apple Pie.  Strawberry Yogurt.  Crunchy Peanut Butter.  Carrot Cake. Mint Chocolate. Key Lime Pie. Oats n' Honey. Cranberry Maple Nut. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter. Cranberry Orange. Honey Almond. Chocolate Hazelnut. Sweat and Salty Nuts. Apple Crisp. Chocolate Coffee.

For an indecisive person like myself, I find the process of selecting a granola bar impossible.  If I manage to pick a brand, I can't decide on a flavor.  After going back and forth between Strawberry Yogurt and Super Fudgy Chocolate Brownie with Peanut Butter, I usually lose interest and buy a candy bar instead.

Despite this, I've managed to discover Larabars.  In a world of overly processed foods containing a plethora of chemical ingredients, I love the simplicity of Larabars.  The base of Larabars is chopped dates, and they're jazzed up with healthy items such as nuts and spices to create the different flavors.  Larabar's cashew cookie bar, for example, contains just dates and cashews!

Not only are Larabars void of unpronounceable chemical ingredients, but they taste delicious.  While eating a cashew cookie bar a few days ago, I realized these bars should be simple to make myself.  After some reading, I came up with a few different recipes, all of which taste great!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

California Food Adventures.

The 'little rabbit' has returned from California.

After meeting up with another 'little rabbit' and picking up a rental car, two little rabbits set off on a California adventure.  Yes, the forecast all week was rain, but that wasn't stopping us.

So we set off.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...