Des Guimauves Tressées

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—
things I had no words for.

—Georgia O’Keeffe

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche

I’m doing my best to unravel, slowly, and allow my brain to melt into a pool of relaxation.
I even took a hot bath last night.  Who am I?  The luxury!

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche

Okay, and yes, I am SO behind on holiday posts!
But here is the first, and there are many yet to come as well.

Now that I’m home, I’m baking up a storm, trying to squeeze in all these ideas that I have.
(My idea of relaxation…)

BTW: I really wish I had gotten my life together to the point that I could make some sufganiyot for Hannukah, but alas, I was busy being too big of a nerd to take my head out of my books for a little while. Next year, I promise.

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche

Today I’m sharing a confection that’s perfect for gifting and is really quite cute.
Vanilla marshmallow ropes, long candy cane-esque cables of fluffy mallow goodness!

I was inspired by Heather’s pastel marshmallow ropes, and I thought it would be sweet to make them red and white for Christmas season.
These are really easy to customize for an event—they can be any shade of any hue that you desire!
(Just have lots of food coloring on hand.)

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche

Are you giving any edible gifts this holiday season?

I usually make a few little boxes of various cookies to gift to friends.
This year, I’m doing Russian tea cakes, 5-spice snickerdoodles, peppermint chocolate shortbread, and cinnamon cereal treats (and perhaps some eggnog roll-and-cut as well).

Last year, I made honey spice and dark chocolate roll-out cookies, decorated in many different shapes.
I also made chocolate, sour cherry, and coconut cookies, grapefruit butter cookies, and dark chocolate pecan snowcaps.
All were a big hit, and they made for a very nice assortment in my cookie gifts.

The year before, I made pepparkakor, beautifully decorated Swedish gingerbread cookies, as well as
candy cane and chocolate macarons,
Nutella and various fruity jam Linzer cookies,
and maple, nutmeg, and rye roll-out cookies.

As you can see, I like to make lots of different kinds of cookies to lend some variety to the gift boxes!

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche

These marshmallows would make a perfect gift, especially if they came with a little jar of homemade cocoa mix on the side!
They keep very well and are definitely unexpected.

They’re quite simple to make—the twist comes from just piping and winding long cables of mallow together.
(Pun intended.)

They’re very fluffy and light; chewy enough to not dissolve straight-away in your mug, not to mention totally adorable, duh.

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche

If you’ve made marshmallows before, these will be a real breeze—they’re only marginally more effort than square marshmallows due to the piping.

You’ll notice that I went ahead and divided the ingredients for the red and white marshmallows for you—this way, it’s less confusing because you don’t need to halve the batch and tint it, but rather, make two completely separate batches and tint one.
This decreases the likelihood of making silly measuring mistakes
(take it from me, who had to make 2 batches before getting it right…!).

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche

Note: you’ll need about 1 standard packet of gelatin for these, as 1 packet contains ~2 1/4 teaspoons of gelatin.
That being said, I’d advise you to keep 2 on hand, in case you get a packet that has closer to 2 teaspoons in it!

Marshmallow Ropes | La Pêche Fraîche
Marshmallow Ropes
adapted from Shauna Sever
makes 40-50 1 inch marshmallows

ingredients:
for the coating:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

for the white marshmallows:
1 1/8 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cool water
2 tablespoons corn syrup, divided in half
1 tablespoon water
pinch salt
3 tablespoons sugar

for the red marshmallows:
1 1/8 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cool water
2 tablespoons corn syrup, divided in half
1 tablespoon water
pinch salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
red food coloring

directions:
Sift the powdered sugar and cornstarch together; set aside.
Make the white marshmallows: sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cool water and set aside until bloomed, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of the corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Place the other tablespoon of corn syrup, 1 tablespoon water, the salt, and sugar into a small pot.
Place over medium heat and heat until temperature reaches 240 degrees F.
While the sugar mixture is heating, place the bloomed gelatin in the microwave for 20 seconds, until melted.
Place into the bowl with the first tablespoon of corn syrup and whip on low speed while the syrup heats up.
When the syrup reaches 240 degrees F, carefully pour into the whipping gelatin.
Increase speed to top speed and whip until tripled in size and opaque white; about 5 minutes.
While the marshmallow is whipping, prepare a pastry bag with a plain round tip and lay out a large piece of parchment.
Dust the parchment with a little of the coating mixture.
When the marshmallow is cooled and fluffy, place into the piping bag and pipe long ropes onto the parchment.
Dust with a little more of the coating, and make the red marshmallows.
Make the red marshmallows: sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cool water and set aside until bloomed, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of the corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and add some red food coloring (about 1 teaspoon) and the vanilla extract.
Place the other tablespoon of corn syrup, 1 tablespoon water, the salt, and sugar into a small pot.
Place over medium heat and heat until temperature reaches 240 degrees F.
While the sugar mixture is heating, place the bloomed gelatin in the microwave for 20 seconds, until melted.
Place into the bowl with the first tablespoon of corn syrup, food coloring, and vanilla, and whip on low speed while the syrup heats up.
When the syrup reaches 240 degrees F, carefully pour into the whipping gelatin.
Increase speed to top speed and whip until tripled in size and opaque reddish pink; about 5 minutes.
While the marshmallow is whipping, prepare a pastry bag with a plain round tip and lay out a large piece of parchment.
Dust the parchment with a little of the coating mixture.
When the marshmallow is cooled and fluffy, place into the piping bag and pipe long ropes onto the parchment, about the same length as the white mallows.
Again dust with more coating, then allow to set completely, at least  2 hours.
To wind the ropes together, pin one of the red ropes and one of the white ropes together with a toothpick at one end.
Gently wind the ropes together, pinning with another toothpick at the other side.
Repeat until all of the ropes have been twisted.
Allow to set for 24 full hours (this will ensure the ropes are bound together and won’t come apart) before clipping the ends off and cutting the marshmallows into small pieces that will fit into a mug!
Marshmallows will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Magical

Vegan Eton Mess | La Pêche Fraîche

You know what a loser is? A real loser is somebody that’s so afraid of not winning, they don’t even try.

—Little Miss Sunshine

Vegan Eton Mess | La Pêche Fraîche

I recently tried something new and a little big magical.
It wasn’t quite perfect, but it wasn’t half-bad, either.
I learned a lot and I know now that I’m going to try it again—maybe even until I get those near-perfect results.
Maybe not.  Depends on my patience.

Either way, it was supercool and blew my mind.

Vegan Eton Mess | La Pêche Fraîche

As some of you might be aware of, this past spring, a nasty outbreak of avian influenza has decimated populations of chickens and poultry, particularly hens kept in unsanitary and inhumane factory farms.
(Just being frank, friends.)
Michigan recently cancelled its poultry fair, as the first cases of bird flu spread to their state.

There’s no vaccine—so sick and healthy birds alike must be killed to try to stop the flu.  Some 40 million of them, in fact.
This boils down to eggs being in shorter supply and the US agricultural economy taking a huge blow.

Think this is enough to get us all to stop and think about our farming practices and how animals and animal products are raised and made?

And how can we responsibly move forward as consumers and customers?

Vegan Eton Mess | La Pêche Fraîche

You all know my favorite desserts contain meringue (read: pavlova, daquoise, macaron, IMBC…).
And we all know that meringue can’t be made without eggs, right?

WRONG!

Sorry for shouting.  BUT YOU GUYS some genius food scientist figured out how to make vegan meringue out of aqua faba, or bean water.  Yes, the stuff that you drain off the top of a freshly opened can of beans.

Egg whites, in reality, are just water with suspended proteins; when they are whipped, the proteins form a net and the water is suspended, creating a foam (meringue!).

Using another type of protein solution, as it turns out, can work nearly as well.

So these eton messes are vegan.
And the meringue is made of chickpeas.
And I saved a couple eggs in the process.

Vegan Eton Mess | La Pêche Fraîche

It’s so, so simple.
Just use the drained water from a can of beans, and whip the living daylights out of it until it forms a foamy, fluffy meringue.
Stabilize with a little powdered sugar and starch, and you’ve got fluffy, pipeable meringue.

This was my first attempt, and my lovely fluffy meringues got all deflated in the oven, so that although they were crispy and light, they weren’t as tall as I wanted.
I’m going to try again, with different methods of stabilization and perhaps different beans.

The rest of the vegan eton mess was a bit of cold and creamy coconut whip, some sweet sliced bananas and crunchy toasted coconut, and a few golden star sprinkles for an extra magical touch!

Vegan Eton Mess | La Pêche Fraîche

Since my first vegan meringue didn’t come out quite perfectly for me, I’m still working on my own adaptations to the recipe I used so that the meringues stay super fluffy and tall, even after baking.  They were delicious as is, though, so I want to direct you to the original recipe should you want to try.
Check it out here, at Wallflower Girl!
For coconut whip, check out Minimalist Baker (duh).

Monster

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“Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live?
Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?”

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

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More green.  I’m afraid I’m the worst.
I really was displeased with the way this cake looked.  I originally topped it with those little green meringues, in the hopes that it would be springy and light and lovely, but it looked really fucking weird, guys.
The meringues did NOT mesh with the aesthetic of the cake, and the colors were all off.
They looked like white and green diseased dog shit on top of an unnaturally colored cake.
Sooooo ugly.  Tooooo ugly. I gave up photographing the cake and plucked all the meringues off to photograph.

I was really frustrated; I had been very excited about this mint and chocolate cake and yet to me, the cake looked like the cartoon version of Frankenstein’s monster, green skin and black-brown hair with weird sideburns.
UGH.  (I am actually laughing out loud at how creepily similar this cake is to the monster.  Good god.)
I chopped it up, ready to throw in the dish towel, but then I ended up half-liking how it looked all cut up into fat wedges, so I plonked it back on the table and took a few shots.

And that’s the riveting story of this monstrous cake.

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Here’s the story of the interior:
The fastest chocolate cake EVER (accidentally vegan!) provides a tender, moist base.
Sandwiched between the layers is whipped chocolate ganache, deep and dark and lovely.
The cake is frosted with the silkiest, lightest mint Italian meringue buttercream, refreshing and buttery and NOT toothpaste-y in the least (at least I’ve got that going for me).
Hot, melty ganache is dripped along the sides of the cake, for extra va va voom and shits and gigs.

Someone in my house triple texted me, begging for a slice after they caught a glimpse of it sitting in the kitchen.
By the time I got home, the thing had been decimated by a pack of hungry monsters college students.
I take that as a sure stamp of approval, ugly or not.

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Mint Chocolate Cake
ingredients:
for the chocolate cake:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

for the mint Italian meringue buttercream:
3 egg whites
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
pinch salt
1 tablespoon water
2 sticks butter, cut into chunks, softened but cool
drop peppermint extract
drop green food coloring, if desired

for the ganache:
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
4 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons sugar
big pinch salt
1 ounce (heaping tablespoon) corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter

directions:
Make the cakes: preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour 3 6-inch pans.
Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda together.
Add all the wet ingredients at once while whisking.
Pour batter (will be liquidy) into prepared pans and bake for 20-22 minutes, until springy to the touch and a tester comes out clean; allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream: place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Place salt, water, and sugar in a small pot over medium heat; begin whipping the egg whites.
When the syrup reaches 240 degrees F, the egg whites should be at soft to stiff peaks.  Carefully pour the hot syrup over the whipping egg whites, avoiding the whisk so that there is no splattering.
Whip meringue until it has reached body temperature; whip in butter 2 tablespoons at a time.
Add in the peppermint extract and food coloring and beat until buttercream is shiny, fluffy, and smooth.
Set aside while you prepare the ganache: melt all ingredients together in a microwave or double boiler.
Place in a blender or blend with a stick attachment until smooth, shiny, and glossy, about 1 minute.
Remove 1/3 of the ganache and set aside.
Place the rest of the ganache in the fridge and allow to set softly, about 30 minutes.
Remove from fridge and whip until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
To assemble the cake: spread first layer with 1/3 of the whipped chocolate ganache, then place the next layer on top and repeat.
Frost the exterior of the cake with a crumb coat of the buttercream, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set.
Finish icing the exterior of the cake with the remaining buttercream, then place in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
If the reserved ganache has set, simply microwave it for 10 seconds until it is smooth and flowing once more; drip or pour the ganache over the edge of the cold cake; it will set as it drips down the side.
Allow the cake to come to room temperature, and serve!

Wonder Woman

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Disclaimer: this post contains explicit words, but it also contains chocolate.  Read at your own discretion, my loves.

Wake up ready to kick this day’s ass.

Put on those leggings that make you feel like fucking wonder woman
pull them up up up
snap the waistband
choose your warmest wool socks and your favorite sports bra.
Admire your butt in those leggings.

Ready to yoga this day away.

Om, motherfucker, om.

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Get to your bike
jiggle the key into the lock
key won’t turn shit shit shit
take it out, try again.
No luck.  Contemplate forcing it open, worry that it will break.
Pull off your gloves with your teeth, smash the key but no, it’s really fucking stuck.

Check the time: you’re too goddamn late for class anyways.
Stream off all the curse words you know.
Blame the bike;
blame the cold;
blame the key,
just not yourself.
Decidedly not yogic.  Fuck it.

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Back inside, strip off the scarf, jacket, socks, gloves.
Back into the warmth of the kitchen.

Retreat into your head.
Slice gorgeous little Concorde pears, whip eggs with a touch of sugar,
brown butter, stir in heaps of dark chocolate until it’s smooth and shiny.
Dip in a finger and then another.
Dance around listening to Van Morrison, spoon in mouth, chocolate smeared down your chin.
Talk to your father on the other side of the Atlantic; try to make yourself seem calmer than you really are; pretend you have your shit together.
Switch to Stevie Wonder as you munch on gingersnaps.

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Bake the cake for half as long as all of the Stones songs in your library.
Work on yet more goddamn chemistry problems while you wait.
Celebrate the correct ones with a piece of chocolate.

Paint your toes electric blue.
Wish for the ocean.

Braid your mile-long hair and notice that your arms are tired by the end of it;
resolve to do 10 extra chuttarungas today.
Pick all of the crispy, crunchy bits off the cake: they were going to fall and burn anyway.
Wish for a cup of milk,
settle for your water bottle.

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Shudder when Christmas music comes on;
no no not ready too much too soon Jesus let me take it one fucking holiday at a time.
Watch the cake rise rise rise
and then fall in the center, cooling into a gooey pudding.  What the fuck.

Giggle and agree when your friend says it’s kinda ugly;
gracefully declare it “rustic” but secretly plan to hide its hideousness with globs of whipped cream and a shower of powdered sugar.
Call it a torte and explain that it’s supposed to look that way.  Pick the pears off the top when no one is around.

Laugh at your ugly fucking cake through the lens of your camera.
Serve that motherfucker with love, gratitude, humility, and a chocolaty smile.

Om.

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This cake is utterly simple, almost flourless, and full of lovely chunks of pear, whose juices turn it into a pudding.
The center will collapse in; fill in the crater with whipped cream and no one will be any the wiser.
It’s almost brownie-like in its texture, and the sweet pears play a beautiful foil to the rich chocolate.
Serve it in mugs with spoons.  Feed your heart; feed those you love.

Much love from my full heart to yours.

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Pear and Dark Chocolate Torte
adapted from Cook Eat Love
makes 1 6×3 inch cake

ingredients:
170 grams (6 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
140 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons) butter
pinch kosher salt
120 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
3 large eggs
25 grams (3 tablespoons) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 small pears, peeled, cored, and chopped and tossed with an extra 25 grams (3 tablespoons) flour
360 mL (1 1/2 cups) whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks
powdered sugar, to taste, and for dusting

directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease and flour a 6×3 inch springform pan.
In a saucepan, brown the butter; stir in the chocolate and whisk until a smooth ganache forms.
Whisk in a pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar until they are tripled in volume and very pale in color, about 7 minutes.
Sift the flour and baking powder over the eggs, then fold it in.
Fold in the chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour-covered pears.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, until the center is barely jiggly; immediately transfer it to the freezer.
Softly whip the cream with a touch of powdered sugar, if desired, then spread over the cooled cake.
Dust with chocolate shavings and powdered sugar.
Eat with a SPOON.

Scavenged

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This cake soothed some of my OCD tics for a beatific hour or so.

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It was very fulfilling to separate the Reese’s Pieces by color.  I felt good, even though it ate away at 45 minutes of my free time, which is precious little here in college.

I ended up sorting through almost twice as many as I needed.  Oh well.

While I was mindlessly dropping each color into its own bowl, I stopped biting my lips, something which has become quite a subconscious and destructive tic.

Cake works wonders, I tell ya.

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The inspiration for this cake hit me in a CVS candy aisle, like all good ideas do.
I was buying Robitussin for this ridiculous cold I still have.
They were selling bags of Reese’s Pieces, 2 for $6.

My first thought was

CAKE.

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Reese’s Pieces have never been among my top candy choices.
To be honest, I would almost certainly choose m&ms over them any day.
That being said, they are purrrfect for Halloween treats.

Other times of the year, the colors leave something to be desired.
When Halloween rolls around, though, it’s go time.

Armed with lots of Reese’s Pieces, I began to plan for a Halloween cake.

Obviously, it had to be peanut butter

and therefore

also chocolate.

But most recipes I found were chocolate cakes covered in some sort of peanut butter frosting.
I had my heart set on the opposite- peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting.

Mainly because, well, have you seen how many chocolate cakes are on this blog?  It’s a little ridiculous.
I feel like I make a chocolate cake every two weeks.

I needed change.

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In the end, the cake was a two layer peanut butter cake which was soft and flavorful, covered in whipped peanut butter and bittersweet chocolate ganache, and decorated with Reese’s Pieces and PB cups.

It was supposed to be three layers

but

I dropped one of the pans and it fell on the ground and broke into a million pieces and my friends and I gobbled it up, fresh and hot, right then and there.  RIP.

This is a scavenged cake because I swiped the peanut butter for it from the dining hall.
I convinced my friends to each grab me a few of the little tablespoon-sized packets.

I myself grabbed a few and the resultant ridiculous amount of PB was smuggled out in my backpack, which ended up being the perfect amount for this cake.
Hooray!

P.S. note that this is another Halloween post sans pumpkin.  Ahem.

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Peanut Butter Cup Cake
cake portion adapted from Simply Gloria
ingredients:

for the cake:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
big pinch kosher salt
2 eggs
splash vanilla
1 cup milk, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

for the ganache:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream
6 tablespoons butter
8 ounces (1/2 pound) chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup peanut butter

for decoration (optional):
Reese’s pieces
peanut butter cups, chopped

directions:
Make the cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 3 6-inch pans.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together; set aside.
Beat peanut butter and butter together until completely smooth, about 4 minutes.
Add in the sugar and salt and beat until combined well, about 2 minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla; beat until completely combined, 2 minutes more.
While mixing very slowly, stream in the buttermilk while simultaneously shaking in the flour mixture.
Mix until completely combined then scrape the sides of the bowl and mix a little more.
Spread into your pans and bake for 25-27 minutes.
Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: melt the cream, chocolate, and butter together in a microwave safe bowl; gently stir together and put in fridge to cool.
Once the ganache is semi solid and chilled, whip it until it becomes fluffy; add the peanut butter and whip until the ganache is fluffy, light-colored, and spreadable.

Decorate to your heart’s content!

Strides for Sarah

Today’s will be a quick post because I have a more substantial one coming up tomorrow.
Last week, a project of a friend of mine, Rachel, came to fruition.  It was a 5K run/walk benefit to raise money for Camp Good Days, in memory of her cousin, Sarah, who recently lost a valiant battle with brain cancer. 

It took a tremendous amount of work and effort for her to put the fundraiser together, and she did an awesome job.
I ran in the race… And managed to pee my pants. Yes, you read that right.  I had to “go” so badly that in the middle of the race, well, yeah.  Now that more than fifty percent of my readers have closed the window and vowed never to read my blog again out of disgust, I will leave the rest of ye loyal followers with some delicious recipes that I whipped up to bring to the benefit’s snack table: blueberry lime coconut cupcakes, SprinkleBakes’ swirl cookies (she is amaaazzzinnnggg), and a “Hot Chocolate” cake. 


Sigh.  A flop.

Oh and also, a flop in the kitchen (lime tarts) turned on its head into a frozen treat.
Here’s to Sarah and her entire family, and here’s to Rachel, for working so hard on an inspiring event.  xx


Lime Curd
Makes 2 cups, adapted from userealbutter
Ingredients: 
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup  fresh lime juice
1 tbsp lime zest
Directions:

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Whisk in the cornstarch and sugar together, then whisk that mixture into the water.  Bring back to a boil.  It will be very thick and gooey. Add part of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper.  Then mix the egg yolk mixture back into the rest of the cornstarch-sugar goo.  Whisking constantly, bring back to a boil.  Then remove from heat, stir in butter, juice, and zest.  Cover with plastic wrap, making sure to press the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin, and chill until you need it.  

Blueberry-Lime Coconut Cupcakes
Makes around 12 regular size cupcakes (I, the genius that I am, managed to get a yield of 11 by filling a couple cakes too much)
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Big pinch sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one lime
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
2 small eggs or 1 extra large
1/3 cup neutral oil
1/3-1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut (depends how frisky you’re feelin’)
1/2-3/4 cup blueberries (Same goes here as for the coconut)
Directions:
Line a regular muffin tin with liners. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Rub the zest of the lime with the sugar until fragrant.  Mix all the other ingredients, except the blueberries and coconut, (Dump n’ run!) together until homogeneous.  Then stir in the coconut and gently fold in the blueberries.  Fill each cupcake liner up approximately 2/3 of the way full (use an ice cream scoop for uniformity…).  Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking for doneness around 20 minutes.  Cupcakes are done when they spring back from a light touch.  

Coconut-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Enough to frost 12-ish cupcakes
Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup lime curd
Directions: 
Beat all ingredients except the curd and sugar together until fluffy, then slowly add in sugar until incorporated.  Mix in the curd.

“Hot Chocolate” Cake

Makes 1 3×8 layer cake
For the cake: (adapted from Sweetapolita)
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
big pinch sea salt
2 eggs
1 cup hot black coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup neutral oil
healthy splash vanilla extract
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour three 8-inch pans.
Mix everything together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Divide evenly into the pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes (check around 25!).  Cake will be springy when done.
For the frosting and filling:
Ingredients:
7.5 ounces egg whites (it’s okay to go over)
7.5 ounces sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
24 ounces butter, cut up into small pieces and at room temperature
3/4 cup Ovaltine
2 ounces melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate
Directions:
Heat egg whites, sugar, and salt in a double boiler until they reach 145 degrees F.  Remove from heat and beat until thick, glossy, and cool (bowl should be neutral to the touch).  using the paddle attachment, slowly add in the butter in pieces until all is incorporated.  Remove all but 2.5 cups of the buttercream and place in another bowl.  With the remaining buttercream, mix in the Ovaltine and melted chocolate.  Fill the layers with the Ovaltine buttercream, and frost the outside with the regular buttercream.  

Lime Meringue Pie Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients:
190 grams (1 1/2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
20 grams (1/4 cup) milk powder (optional)
25 grams (2 Tbsp.) sugar
3 grams (3/4 tsp.) kosher salt
55 grams (4 Tbsp. or 1/2 stick) butter, melted, or as needed
55 grams (1/4 cup) heavy cream
The rest of the lime curd (or just use the whole batch, and don’t make the cupcakes.)

3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups Greek yogurt 

1/2 cup heavy cream
Directions:
Pulse the first 5 ingredients together in a food processor.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes.  Remove, let cool, and break into chunks.  Mix the other portion of heavy cream, the Greek yogurt, and the sugar, and let sit for a little while so the sugar can mingle with the dairy.  Then freeze in an ice cream maker, until frozen but ever so slightly soft.  Fold in the lime curd and graham crust.  When you stick it in your freezer to store, be sure to place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent ice crystals from forming.


Be prepared for some layer cakes coming up in the near future! Weeeee!  


I wish the sprinkles stuck on a bit better.