Monday, March 7, 2011

Long Time No Post

It's been such a whirlwind since we landed in Florida!! We moved ....and then had to move AGAIN due to nutty landlords. For now, I think we are on stable ground but anything is possible here in the land of the rich and aging.....HA!! So just a few pictures of cakes that have been happening at the bakery over the last several weeks. I will try to post more often to keep this blog current....enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Prepping for the Holiday Madness

Some fun pictures of what we have been working on at the bakery in anticipation of the upcoming bustling holiday season. Today we whipped up several batches of cookies to be rolled out, cut out or formed in some fashion!
Marzipan birdies to be used as decoration

A village of gingerbread awaiting candy decor

Gingerbread house pre-finishing.
This is a piece Amanda worked on for Moroccan theme birthday party. I will need to get pictures of the finished cake that was absolutely gorgeous!

Honey Lemon Pots de Creme

I scored some local honey at a new farmers market in town and picked up some Meyer's lemons at a produce stand in Estero soooooo...decided to try out a new recipe with them. One of my favorite bloggers is Helene from Tartlette so I scanned her website to find something interesting. This is her recipe which is light, flavorful and delicious!

Honey Lemon Pots De Creme:

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups (375ml) heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup honey
zest and juice of 2-3 lemons (you’ll need 1/4 cup or 60ml of juice)
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325Fº and position a rack in the center. Place your ramekins in a heavy deep pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Turn the heat off but keep the cream warm.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and honey for a couple of minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest and salt and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour the heavy cream over the egg yolk mixture, whisking well. Let stand for a couple of minutes to let any foam rise to the top, skim it off and divide the mixture among your ramekins. Pour hot water inside the pan, making sure the water comes at least halfway up the sides of your dishes. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Few Pictures

To hold you over until my next post...

Wasn't able to get a picture of this one before it was boxed up and sent out. It was beautifully finished by chef Emily with black stencilling to match the wedding invitations.

A brilliant bow to be used as a cake topper.

The finished Diego cake. Amanda again showing her cake genious!
Completed bow cake to sit atop a tier of cupcakes for a wedding.

Gorgeous fruit tart in the making.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Busy Season is Upon Us!

I have been a bad blogger of late....but not without reason! We are getting busier and busier at the bakery and I am STILL unpacking/organizing from the cross country move. It's been challenging to try to make it all work and yet have a little time to unwind and explore. Whew!

I am going to try to combine the last few weeks at the bakery instead of making separate entries for all of the hustle bustle that has been happening.

First up....macarons!! We did a slew of gorgeous red macarons filled with ganache and decorated with gold leaf. These were packaged into tiny gold boxes to be given out at a charity ball event here in Naples. They were gorgeous so I feel I must include a few pictures from that day:

I will hopefully be posting more macaron pictures soon.....we may be making trees and balls out of macs for part of the holiday decor!

Next up....I don't think I have written about our latest team member, Amanda. She is a cake genious and I am so excited she made the move from NYC to Naples FL to join the team. Amanda attended the prestigious French Pastry School in Chicago and because of her amazing skills was hired on at a top bakery in NYC where she built up a portfolio of amazing, incredible cakes. She is very generous with her knowledge and I am thrilled to be able to learn from her. I am so grateful to be in a place where I can gain valuable skills with decorating, finishing, etc. Cakes have always intimidated me but both Amanda and Emily are more than willing to teach so....I will be taking advantage! A few examples of Amanda's creative wizardry:

Diego from Dora-- will post pics of this one when it's finished. How talented is this girl??!!

Yesterday we had a pastry tasting to introduce the new product line at Tony's Off Third that Chef Emily has created. The entire team was on hand to help and it was a hit! Lots of attendees took advantage of the free bites and hopefully we will continue to build on the introduction with more PR and word of mouth. A few pictures from the event:

Not all attendees were of the human variety!

Prepping peanut butter pie tartlettes

The display table was full of different treats, chocolate decorations, menus, etc.

Kym hamming it up for the camera

This is Tony of Tony's Off Third

Chef Emily prepping for the event.

Busy, busy ladies!

Amanda keeping things stocked.

And a little fun after a lot of work....throwing pastry gangsta signs....HA!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Working the Chain Gang....via Opera Cake!

It was another busy day at Tony's Off Third! I am still feeling a bit lost but gaining my sea legs day by day and enjoying every bit of it. Chef Emily is full of energy and new ideas so it's very hard not to catch the wave of enthusiasm she is riding and join right in. To end the day today....we formed a bucket brigade of sorts to build Opera cakes that are complicated in that they take so many steps to create:

Next to macarons, these are probably my favorite French treats (and pain au chocolate and eclairs and frangipane and and and....HA!). What you see here are super thin layers of almond jaconde cake soaked with coffee syrup and then alternating layers of chocolate ganache, coffee buttercream topped with a chocolate glaze that hardens and brings it all together. Decadence!!!

Some other random photos from the day:
Gorgeous strawberry pistachio tarts.
Large Tiramisu chocolate cups.
Chocolate/caramel tart topped with whipped cream, chocolate and chocolate. Did I mention the chocolate??

Another great day....looking forward to tomorrow!

Monday, November 1, 2010

New job-- Tony's Off Third!!

Before even landing in Florida, I had several interviews lined up so that I could hit the ground running. The job I really wanted though was Tony's Off Third.

After reading about the new chef in charge of the bakery, I was very excited about this place as chef Emily has an illustrious background with Ritz Carlton and has worked with some of the finest pastry chefs in the business. She works closely with the French methods and likes to create beautiful desserts that are full of flavor and color. I knew I could learn a lot from her so I was just hoping the interview went well, and it did as I got the job! I have been at Tony's now for a week and while I feel completely lost at times, I am enjoying every bit of the hustle and bustle while gearing up for the busy season. We have a great team and everyone puts forth their best effort to make chef Emily shine. Her ideas are fresh and her execution is spot on. The people of southwest Florida have a gem of a bakery in Tony's Off Third with chef Emily at the helm!
Assorted petit fours with lemon meringue, opera, tiramisu cups, fruit tarts, chocolate ganache tarts.

Lots of wine tastings going on here!

Chef Emily's gorgeous cakes in the windows.

Some of the display cases getting stocked up-- something to tempt every pallate!

Shiny ganache tarts awaiting finishing.

Gorgeous fruit tart-- Florida lends itself to lots of variety here!

Chocolate flourless cake decorated by the amazing Ellen!

Smaller fruit tarts before glazing.

Petit fours

Bananas Foster tarts.

Chocolate peanut butter tarts.

Cherry cheesecakes.

Tiny tiramisu treats pre finishing-- you can even eat the chocolate cup!

Halloween cookies.

And the emcee herself....chef Emily-- a truly talented and generous individual. I can't wait to dig in next week and see what more she has in store for us!