Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In the kitchen: Black Currant and Wild European Blackberry sauce

(I accidentally posted this at the farm page first and I'll leave it there for now - hopefully you won't be bombarded by doubles!)

Today I'm mixing up several cookie doughs and other sweets but what I am most excited about are the fillings for my tartlets.

This week's tartlets will be extra special as I'll be cooking down a rich and earthy fruit paste made from local black currants and locally foraged wild blackberries (European variety, naturalized).

I expect these to be super flavorful with hints of summer wines. I may yet put them over a chocolate or other base when they're in their final tartlet form. I'm hoping for now that they'll stand alone just fine, as I expect them to.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tomorrow is Mix Market!

These adorable vanilla bean cupcakes with caramel cream filling and honeyed plum buttercream will be there; will you?

200 w Michigan ave, Ypsilanti Michigan from 11:00 to 4:00

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today in the kitchen

I'm grinding candied blood oranges to use in future batches of shortbread! It's too bad this stuff gives me a major headache when I eat it.

Does anyone else have this problem? I'm thinking it could be tannins...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Market List: January 28th, 2012 - MIX Market

Well, it's that time of week again! I'm sitting at the table with my stack of note cards and several lists of lists, deciding what the market booth will have this weekend.

This week I'll begin to offer Valentine's Day specials, including some really adorable miniature layer cakes.

Here's the tentative market list for this week:

  • Mini Chocolate Chip Almond cookies
  • Blood Orange Shortbread
  • Pink Peppercorn and Fleur De Sel Chocolate Shortbread
  • Chocolate Salted Peanut Butter Gobby Hand Cakes (Whoopie Pies)
  • Chocolate Caramel Marshmallow Gobby Hand Cakes (Whoopie Pies)
  • Vanilla Guimauve (French Marshmallow)
  • Spiced Caramel Guimauve (French Marshmallow)
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Mini Hand Pies (think heart shaped pop tarts!)
  • Spiced Apple Mini Hand Pies (think heart shaped pop tarts!)
  • Chocolate Mini Layer Cakes with Vanilla Malt Buttercream
  • Vanilla Bean Mini Layer Cakes with Sugar Plum Buttercream and Caramel
  • Homemade Roasted Beet Crackers with Flaxseeds and Sea Salt

 If you wish to order any of these items ahead of time, just let me know and I'll be happy to package them up so they're ready for you when you arrive at the market. I will have limited amounts of each item available for sale at the market, so be sure to get your order in or get there early!

I have also begun taking orders for Valentine's Custom Conversation Hearts! Use these classic Valentine's Day candies to dote upon a loved one, amuse your friends or get a serious point across.

The MIX Marketplace is running this Saturday, January 28th, from 11AM until 4PM (please note the time change!) and we will likely be set up in the same spot as last time, along the back wall.

MIX Marketplace is located at 200 W Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti, Michigan. There is lots of public parking available behind the building (Adams street entrance to the lot) and metered parking all along Washington street, though I think the meters might be free on Saturdays.

Valentine's Custom Conversation Hearts

We are now taking orders for Custom Conversation Hearts! Use these classic Valentine's Day candies to dote upon a loved one, amuse your friends or get a serious point across. Whether you want them to say something adorable and classy like HEY GIRL or something personal like I <3 POOKIE, we can make it happen.

Do you have a more... satirical sense of affection? How about UR JUST OK, or even OH WELL?

Obviously I can get more and more ridiculous with these, outright rude even, and I'm happy to do so just for you! You can even buy them for your less-than-loved ones and have them stamped IT'S OVER or SO ALONE.

I'll even print foul language, if that's what you prefer. ;)

 Custom Conversation Hearts - Package of 1.2 ounces - $4.00
Order five or more packages and enjoy a 15% discount!

Custom Conversation Hearts are flavored with natural oils and extracts, colored with natural vegetable colorants (beet, red cabbage and curcumin) and made with organic sugar and organic (therefore GMO free) corn syrup. They may not be part of a balanced breakfast, but they're all natural!

Contact me to order your own conversation hearts today, or pick up an order form at our booth this weekend at MIX market in Ypsilanti Michigan!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valentine's Hand Pies

Who is your Valentine?

These hand pies are the perfect alternative to chocolates or cookies for Valentine's day! Their super flakey whole wheat crust melts in your mouth and is available with your choice of fillings: chocolate hazelnut, spiced apple, black peppered strawberry, raspberry maple.

Comment for ordering info and additional flavors.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Voila!: Chocolate Chip Cookie Trials, complete

So it's not often that a recipe that I've completely designed myself comes out on the first try, but today's seems very close to it!

This is what my tester looks like when going into the oven: flat, half flat and round.
This is what my tester looks like after it's baked. In this case, I opted for the half flat. It's a bit puffy and has nice tooth, but isn't quite so cakey as the round.

The first batch is light and sweet and apart from desiring a darker chocolate chip (probably coarsely chopped instead of whole chips) I am really happy with them! The duck egg keeps them moist and the almon meal keeps them from getting heavy and bready.


In the kitchen: Chocolate Chip Cookie Trials

I'm experimenting with posting while baking here. The trouble is that I can't place photos mid-post via phone. If anybody has a good iPhone app for blogger, let me know!

Anyway, when I test a recipe (or do a series of trials, like today) I carefully keep weight measurements of my recipes scrawled out in a little moleskine notbook.

I test the cookies by making up a half or quarter batch of the current recipe and I spoon out small, weighed balls onto a sheet. I then do a series of three per test. One balled, one slightly flattened, and one squished. This lets me see the way the dough spreads as it bakes. It's also a guarantee that for every one cookie I'm happy with, there are two less perfect that the husband and I get to snack on. Heh.

Morning Prep: Chocolate Chip Cookie Trials

I've done this before, and it resulted in tedium and mediocrity, but today I will be mad with joy as I create the perfect chocolate chip coooookie!!


I intend to make a protein punched chocolate chip cookie using almond meal, hard red wheat flour and duck eggs. Mediocrity better watch her back!

This was my last attempt at Chocolate Chip cookies. It was tasty, sure, but it wasn't the kind of cookie I would return to a bakery for. Typical and wheaty, it seemed too bland to be something I'd like to sell at the market booths. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Valentine's Brainstorming

So! I've been asked to set up at a local Valentine's benefit in Ypsilanti, which is definitely exciting. The theme is chocolate and I'm tossing about some ideas, new and old... Obviously I'll be incorporating hearts, pink, chocolate... the normal stuff.

  • Chocolate shortbread with pink peppercorn
  • Mini layer cakes (chocolate with raspberry frosting? hazelnut?)
  • Custom conversation hearts (SO excited for this one...)
  • Heart shaped gobby hand cakes (whoopie pies)
  • Heart shaped raspberry marshmallows, dipped in chocolate 
  • Chocolate mini tarts with candy peanut butter flake (or hazelnut? hmmm)
  • Mini s'mores tarts
  • ... and many more.
I'll be bringing examples of Valentine's goodies to the next few markets, and I'll bring some order forms as well. I can't wait to get cracking on the custom conversation hearts! Imagine the joy and delight of unwrapping an adorable little candy heart, hand stamped with the phrase "Go Away"... :)

Bakery Updates!

I'll be posting periodic bakery updates here, with possible cross-posts from my Farm Blog. I'll be posting the latest photos, newest sweets and most recent disasters here.

Be sure to check back for market booth updates as well!