Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Attempt at a Croquenbouche

I do not know what first drew my eyes into this amazing french pastry, but surely I appreciate learning about its existence! It may have been one of the many hours I spent gazing at desserts online, or walking into a local bakery, but not only is this beautiful, but its a masterpiece!

I really would have preferred an occasion to make this, but with all my excitement I had to give it a shot! OK, so maybe I don't want to make the cream puffs from scratch since this is just a test run....hehe

I must thank Sara Lee for her amazing sweet little puffy clouds of heaven since those were the foundation of this Croquenbouche. I also did another first today. I have a strong desire to learn about spun sugar so I found some pastries online that incorporated this as well. I have much more learning to do since I was only able to make a topper for this pastry. Next time I will make more and try new techniques.

I used chocolate ganache to dip the cream puffs and then layered them on top of each other to create a towering effect. I played around with chocolate decorations, but in the end I thought it looked better without them. Also I gave it a chocolate & white chocolate drizzle.
Before I removed the extra chocolate...

Not sure how the family would enjoy this, the empty plate 30 minutes into presentation kind of spoke for itself... lol
I love the chocolate on her face!!~

I hope you enjoy & Have a fabulous day!!~

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lasagna Our Way!

My hubby and I often talk about choosing lasagna for dinner, but it quickly gets tabled for another day. The main reason is because up until now I have only known how to make lasagna one way! Growing up I always watched my mom make it. Her motto was make sure there is enough for everyone with plenty of leftovers! Well, we prefer to eat on the lite side and not having that overstuffed full feeling when we are done.

Not wanting to miss out on this delicious Italian delight it came to me one day to use my cupcake pan to create little mini lasagna's! I thought why not, let me give it a try....

Success! Not only were they extremely simple to create, tasted wonderful, everyone enjoyed, but we didn't stuff ourselves silly!

Just a side note, when trying these (if you do), lightly spray the cupcake pan with some olive oil "pam-like" spray so they come out easily without a mess! I used the Wilton circle cutter on my noodles & on my mozzarella cheese.

A wonderful suggestion from Ingrid was to be able to create a lasagna for each family member since not everyone loves the same ingredients (i.e ground turkey, spinach, artichokes, etc). This dish was a true delight and I enjoyed making it. I hope you enjoy!!~