Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Paris Cupcakes

The heat wave has finally passed and it is now acceptable to cook in my kitchen again! If you follow along The Boss’s “Paris Blog”, you will see here (the Notre Dame house) that the kitchen is about the size of my pinky finger. Without A/C in this joint and the temps hanging out around 98 degrees last week, I had been banned from turning on anything that could possibly create more heat in our house.

But alas, I give you, Paris Cupcakes! The toppers are hand piped using royal icing. What do you think?

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I can’t tell you how popular cute little dogs are here in Paris! They are so well behaved too. In fact we have noticed that restaurants are a lot more welcoming to customers with little doggies than they are small children!

Sadly, I have not seen a pink French Poodle in person yet… only in sugar!

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I especially love having the little Eiffel Towers in the background of these pictures. It’s fitting because I feel like where ever I am in the city, the tower is lurking somewhere behind!Paris Cupcakes-27

Some of you have emailed and asked how the transition is going. I can tell you that we are in love with it over here, and hopefully you can see that in my cupcakes!

And lastly, I leave you with my Instagram photo of all of the poodles! Are you on Instagram? follow me for sneak peeks of what’s happening in real time in my little kitchen!

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So far I have covered the French Poodle and Nutella! Are there any other iconic Paris symbols or flavors you want to see me tackle?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nutella Banana Cupcakes

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You have read correctly! I have been in Paris for a mere month and I have already been absorbed by one of their most used and abused ingredients! Nutella. If you have ever walked past a crepe shop then you must have seen the number of combinations these guys can pair with this chocolately hazelnut treat.

For anyone who is not completely up to speed on what a crepe is, I’ll give you a little crash course. Basically on every street in Paris you can find signs like this:

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Crepes come in both forms of “Sucrees” and “Savory”, otherwise known as dessert or dinner crepes. They are basically very thin, large pancakes that they make right in front of you. Once both sides have hit the heat, they spread the ingredients of choice on top and then fold it together into a triangle shape for easy eating while on the go.

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So far my obsession has fallen squarely on the Nutella Banana option, and I don’t see that changing any time soon! But I had to ask myself, if I am going to make a go of it with a cupcake shop here in Paris, could I do justice to converting a Parisian staple into an American cupcake? I think so!

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It began in the way that all of my new recipes do. With pencil and paper.

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I broke out all of the main characters, and then made adjustments as I went along.

I will note that it is a significantly different experience baking in my new “galley style” kitchen than it was when I could bask in the open space of the kitchen back back in Virginia. Though it’s not a bad thing working in this kitchen, as it forces me to be a lot more organized going in to it and makes me clean up as I go!

After a short bit of time finding all the right tools scattered about our kitchen, the first batch of cupcakes for Bertie’s Bakery in Paris were ready to take the oven!

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You will noticed that I ultimately decided against using the Nutella in the cupcake batter itself since I think it would have made the cake quite thick. This is not to say in the future, I would not go for a thicker, solo themed Nutella cupcake, but for now I wanted a lighter cake. So for this reason, I went with a banana cake and focused the Nutella aspect on the buttercream.

This was a good idea!

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Believe me, the Nutella supply in Paris might just be in danger of a shortage. This might just be the best buttercream produced in  my kitchen! I might have to have a show down between my Mexican Chocolate buttercream and this new Nutella buttercream!

Thanks for everyone’s patience while I have settled in over the summer. It has been a crazy schedule to say the least, but I am finally feeling like I have found my place in my new home. There is soon to be a stream of baked goods back on the Bertie’s Bakery horizon!

And as an FYI to any Paris locals, I am looking for taste testers so if your interested let me know!

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