Monday, April 28, 2014

the perfect baking book for hello kitty lovers

Sometime last fall, I briefly mentioned that I've been super busy with a "baking project" that I was dying to tell you about. Well, it's official now...

I wrote a book. A Hello Kitty book. A Hello Kitty baking book. I still can't believe it!!!

The book won't be released until September (just in time for Hello Kitty's 40th birthday!), but you can already pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and IndieBound!

If you've ever visited my blog before, you probably already know that I've been a longtime Hello Kitty lover. So as you can probably guess, I am crazy excited that I had the chance to not only write a baking book, but one filled with Hello Kitty desserts - my favorite type of dessert to make! The book is a fun collection of all the Hello Kitty desserts that I've baked and blogged about over the years, includes new recipes and desserts, and brand-new photos of every dessert! I've created recipes for simple desserts, and more complicated desserts that require multiple components, as well as variations for other Sanrio characters and other flavors if you choose.

Stay tuned for sneak peeks, web extras, and information on book-related events!

I still have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure I'm not dreaming!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

easter egg rainbow jello

I made these rainbow jello Easter eggs for Melodie's class party this year, and they were definitely an improvement from the last time I made them two years ago! (Last trime I tried to make pastel colors, but they didn't turn out so great! I much prefer standard rainbow colors like with this seven-layer jello).

Last time I scored this egg-shaped jello mold for free with the purchase of three boxes of jello, and while I scoured my grocery store for the same deal this time, I could not even find any molds for sale at all! Bummer, this meant that I could only make six jello eggs at a time, and I needed to make enough for 18 kids!

By 4am, I was done. But I had only made 12 eggs, so I chose to make the rest of the jello in a 9x9 inch pan.

Next time I'll remember to start earlier! Either that, or order another couple of egg-shaped jello molds in advance!

They were worth it though; the teachers and kids (especially Melodie) loved them!

Happy Easter!

*** Update: You can now find the recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

matcha green tea rose cake with whipped cream frosting

Two years ago I made my coworker Kim this matcha green tea Hello Kitty tiramisu cake (I didn't have a chance to make her a cake last year, since I was on maternity leave with my third baby at the time!), and since I know she loves anything green tea, I decided to make her another green tea cake this year!

This time I decided on a green tea chiffon cake that I've made in the past (see here and here), except that I wanted to decorate it with piped roses. This is one of my favorite ways to frost cakes, and I've done it many times (purple, purple ombre, white red velvet cheesecake, orange pumpkin spice, pink ombre), but the orirginal tutorial can be found here at I Am Baker. :)

For the chiffon cake, I began by separating my eggs and whipping the egg whites until stiff peaks formed.

Then in a separate bowl, I mixed the egg yolks, oil, and sugar, before adding cake flour, matcha green tea powder, baking powder, and salt.

Finally I gently folded in my whipped egg whites, for a fluffy green tea batter. Then I divided the batter between two 8-inch pans (ungreased, and simply lined with parchment paper).

I baked them at 350F for 20 minutes, and let them cool (with the pans upside down, in order to help keep the volume of the chiffon cake).

While they were cooling, I made a batch of freshly whipped cream, lightly sweetened with confectioner's sugar, and then added a paste of green tea powder mixed with hot water. I used this to fill and frost my cooled cake layers.

After smoothing out the top and sides of the cake with an offset spatula, I was ready to pipe my roses using a Wilton 1M tip.

I had intended on piping roses on the top of the cake as well, but I ran out of the whipped cream mixture! So roses on only the sides would have to do!

I brought the cake to work the next day, and we scheduled a "fake meeting" so that we could surprise Kim with the birthday cake!

Happy Birthday, Kim! Hope you enjoyed the cake!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

hello kitty matcha green tea tiramisu cake

My coworker Kim loves anything green tea, and while I wasn't able to make her a cake last year (since I was on maternity leave from work), I made her this Hello Kitty shaped green tea cake the year before. (Yes, this post is two years late!)

I made pretty much the same components that I had made for this Hello Kitty tiramisu cake, such as the same vanilla cake, and the same method of cutting out the Hello Kitty shape and layering the components.

Except that I made a matcha green tea syrup of the espresso syrup.

Which also meant making the green tea mascarpone filling instead of an espresso mascarpone filling.

After adding a second set of vanilla cake, green tea syrup, and mascarpone layers, I dusted the top with green tea powder (instead of cocoa powder).

Then I let it set overnight before unmolding it.

While the cake had great green tea flavor, I think it would have been better had I used the green tea chiffon cake that I made here and here. The more green tea flavor, the better!

Stay tuned to see the cake that I made for Kim this year!