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1/23/15

Gluten Free Vanilla Cake w/ Dairy Free Chocolate Ganache



Who doesn't love ending the perfect meal with a delicious slice of cake. But, in my family there can sometimes be a bump in the road when it comes to traditional desserts and gluten free is a must. 

The best thing about eating healthier is that little alterations can make a big difference. Most of us tend to think that in order to cut calories you have to cut out flavor and luckily this isn't always true. Being that it's a new year, most of us are on a search for a healthier lifestyle. I was inspired by Aloha's natural healthy recipes and wonderful approach at clean eating by using wholesome, rustic ingredients to prepare something spectacular to enjoy with friends and family. 




Some would argue that the best cake is a classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. So, with that in mind I decided to make a cake that is just as beautiful on the inside, as it is on the outside. A gluten-free vanilla cake covered in chocolate ganache. Now chocolate ganache can be fattening when prepared with heavy cream so instead, we're using coconut milk! One can of coconut milk is only 9 grams of fat and we're using 3/4 of that. So not only is this cake gluten free but it's also low in fat and cholesterol. To take it a step further try making it dairy free and sugar free. This gf cake mocks the texture of a sponge cake and has a delicate flavor. My mom actually fell in love with this cake and had to ask me twice if it was gluten free, so it's definitely mother approved. Click below to view the video.




Gluten Free (GF) Vanilla Cake w/ Chocolate Ganache


Ingredients:

2 3/4 c. gluten free a.p flour
1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. gf baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. salted butter (room temp. cut in chunks) or a dairy free substitute 
1/2 c. vegetable oil
8 egg whites
1 1/4 c. skim milk (substitutions: almond, soy or rice milk)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)

Chocolate Ganache:

3/4 of a 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) to break up the clumps.

2. Add oil and butter. Beat with a mixer until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

3. Add the egg whites, mixing after each egg. Then, add milk and extracts. There's no such thing as over-mixing with gluten free because there's no gluten to over work.

4. Grease and flour two 9" pans or three 8" pans. Fill the pans 3/4 of the way with batter and bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. When done, allow to cool completely.

5. Pour the 3/4 of the coconut milk into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Or, cook over a double boiler until it reaches a simmer.

6. Stir in the chocolate until all morsels are melted and ganache reaches a smooth buttery consistency. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hrs. or over night. When cooled the consistency should be thick enough to spread.

7. If desired, level the cakes and fill with a thin layer of ganache. I prefer to flip the top layer upside down for a flat top. Spread a small layer of ganache on the top of the cake to fill in any small crevasses.

8. Melt the ganache in the microwave for 30 seconds or just until pour-able. For an easy pour, place the prepared cake on a rack with a sheet tray underneath to cake any chocolate. Position the bowl over the center of the cake and carefully pour the ganache allowing it to spread evenly to the edge. If needed, using a spatula or knife, spread the ganache around of the sides of the cake.

9. Top with fresh berries, orange segments, white chocolate, chocolate shavings or nuts. You can wait for the chocolate ganache to set or you can dig right in. Enjoy!






If you're interested in Aloha's products or a free trial click here.

 Couture in a Gluten Free Vanilla Cake!

1/5/15

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FOR US CAKERS & FOODIES


2015 will be our year of new beginnings, new relationships, fun, happiness and creating fabulous foods. At the end of the year I like to look back and remember all of the things that I wanted to accomplish. ::Stares off:: Cakes that I never got around to baking (angel chiffon), and dreams with visions of 5 layered deliciousness that I never got to turn into an edible reality. Well, 2015 will be that year for all of us epicureans who live for creating a piece of artwork from only a few pantry ingredients. With a heartfelt introduction, here are a few wonderful Culinary & Pastry New Years Resolutions.  

HOMEMADE BREADS

Once you've had a roll or slice of warm bread fresh out of the oven, a little flavor "omg" switch goes off in your heart and head. It's telling you that 1. You just had some of the best bread you've ever tasted in your life, and 2. You need the recipe because you're never going back to buying bread again. Unfortunately, the thought of bread making is a task in itself. One wrong move and you've got little rocks that are only good for chucking. Honestly, having a good mixer with a dough hook is half the battle. So, here's an easy and delicious bread that I've had the pleasure of baking a few times. It's fairly simple and bakes up beautifully.Quick Potato Rolls
Resolution: We will bake our own breads and leave the preservatives and extra sugars behind in the store aisles.

SPONGE CAKES

Sponge cakes (like the chiffon one I've been meaning to make) are such a beautiful lighter alternative to the classic yellow cake that most of us are used to. Contrary to what most may believe, they're actually very easy to make. If you can make a birthday cake from scratch, you can most definitely make a sponge cake. The trick to keeping your sponge cake light and fluffy is folding instead of mixing - a gentle hand is all you need. So, bring out your softer side and let's make this delicious lemon chiffon cake. Lemon Chiffon Cake
Resolution: We will take on the sponge!

SUGAR & SPICE MAKES EVERYTHING NICE

One of my favorite Chef instructors made all of his students taste each and every herb and spice that came into the kitchen. Not just taste it but actually hold it in your mouth for a while. No doubt this was hard to do, especially when it came to the spices. But with doing that I am now able to detect most if not all spices and herbs used in a dish. There are no rules when it comes to cooking, so add some cinnamon to your pot roast and a dash of chili powder to your chocolate cake. The sky is the limit!
Resolution: We will not let the break up of the "Spice Girls" be in vain. 

NATURE'S BESTIE


Nature provides the best cake toppers, fillers and dyes. We will incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies into our baked goods. I don't mean just for flavor, here's an example: The red dye used to color our beloved Red Velvet cake mixes are commonly extracted from a ....red beetle...yes you read correctly. Why use...Beetlejuice (sorry I had to) when beets can easily be used as a red dye. They not only carry a beautiful beet red, but are virtually tasteless when added to cakes. Pomegranates would also be a great alternative. Just something to think about next time you want to add a little bit of color to your cakes. Check out this delicious Red Velvet Cake recipe using beet puree.
Resolution: We will be nature's bestie!



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MAKE FRIENDS

Whatever your passion, find others who love to indulge as much as you do. There are plenty of cake decorating/baking and culinary boards for you to ask questions, converse in and share your wonderful creations. Reach out to others by sharing your journey on a blog or joining a group where others can connect. With the internet being a part of most of our everyday lives, connecting now is easier than ever. Just look at the women in the pic, don't they look happy?
Resolution: We will be bold and make new friends. 


EXPLORE NEW GROUNDS

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If you're like me you have dozens of cookbooks that you've gathered throughout the years. Either they were passed down or you went perusing through the bookstore with an appetite. Now, when was the last time you looked through those old cookbooks? Yup, I thought so - it's been a while. Let's get back to the basics shall we? Here's a challenge for all us: Let's pick up the oldest thickest cookbook that we have, and at least twice a month, make a new recipe from the book. It must be something that we've never tried before. I bought those cookbooks for a reason and it wasn't to one day hop on the internet to find the quickest way to cook a pack of ground turkey. So this new year, we'll try new things and before you know it it's December and you've made 24 recipes!
Resolution: Pick up a book, drop the nook (tablets, cells, laptops and anything else electronic).



You don't have to have a resolution. Just promise yourself to laugh more, love more, learn more and be yourself. 


~Couture in a Cupcake~

Share your New Years Resolutions below!