Sunday, 29 April 2012
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Traditional American cakes and cupcakes meet pastel pink, baby blue, and sprinkles...sound familiar? The cupcake shop has become predictable but can you blame them? Pink and blue with buttercream frosting just, works. And its not just an American thing. Even across the pond, British cupcakeries like Primrose Hill Bakery have adopted the same quintessential pastel ethos. So are they all taking note from a mystery master, one cupcake at a time?
This certainly is the case at Billy's, for the owner previously worked at its rival (and mother bakery) Magnolia Bakery and has certainly borrowed similar elements... save the colossal waiting lines and the amount of sugar and butter in their cupcakes (favouring a lesser amount.) When you roll out of Billy's, you're not actually asleep yet from the sugar-butter coma as you are after eating at Magnolia - you're in more of a hangover state (which is more manageable...)
|Chai Spiced Cupcake|
Peaking through the cakes at the men baking up a storm in the open kitchen (a concept also had at Magnolia.) I think I need a kitchen of men baking cakes for me...
|The American classic, key lime pie.|
|The main counter at Billy's in Chelsea.|
My attire for a treat at Billy's... Dior bag, Miu Miu sunglasses, Repetto flats, Topshop shirt, and vintage palm-tree trousers (ones I fell in love with at a market in NY... I had to have them!)
|The fabulous palm tree pattern on my trousers|
|Billy's in Chelsea NYC|
So I asked myself - was that really Billy's or more Magnolia Bakery? Billy's. They hold their own.
Monday, 23 April 2012
Do you have a favourite dessert recipe and fashion trend?
Tell me about it and have a chance to be featured on Haut Appétit!
What you'll need to do...
1. Submit recipe (ingredients and directions)
2. Submit photos (at least 100KB in size) of your dessert (make your recipe and take photos of the finished product, fresh out of the oven, or fridge!)
3. Submit photos (at least 100KB in size) of a fashion item or street style (or you wearing your own street style!) that you love and think works well with your dessert!
See an example here.
Please email all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, 22 April 2012
Have a favourite post? I'd love to hear which one!
Thursday, 19 April 2012
I'm not one to drop celebrity names, but the fact that Heidi Klum star struck this low key gelato parlour on NYC's favourite list makes the experience much more flavourful. Not to mention that the guilt one might feel scarfing down scoop-fulls of Dulce de Leche gelato is swiftly eliminated when you see a picture of Heidi Klum on the doorway scarfing down her own fair share...
Yes, models do eat. Case in point. Although, Heidi probably has the best names in personal trainers planning their next Fat Heist on her thighs, especially after those cones! Regardless, Heidi knows best, and Haut Appétit certainly agrees with her gelato choice. Just look at all these flavours to choose from!
The melon sorbet mélange of watermelon and cantaloupe that I tried (gelato I skipped, as I'm slightly lactose intolerant) proved to quench my sweet thirst in the recent NY heat wave. But for those well acquainted with dairy, try the tiramisu or corn flavours.
|Watermelon and Cantaloupe Sorbet slightly melted in the sunshine.|
Happily about to dive in...
|Me and my sorbet!|
If you're in NY this summer and looking for some of the best gelato and sorbet in town, don't forget Cones.
Milling about the meatpacking district later that evening, I spotted this woman sporting a Cambridge Satchel. She would have fit right in with the pop colours at Cones...
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
The Gluten Free Baking class that I attended at Leith's Cookery School in London inspired me to make my own gluten free renditions of this Italian classic, so I reworked the biscotti recipe shared by our teacher Adriana. I treated some of my friends to a few (not specifying that they were gluten free) and they never knew the difference! How naughty of me...giving gluten free biscotti to unsuspecting mouths... Delicious dipped in tea or coffee, these are a must on your kitchen table.
Gluten Free Orange Hazelnut Biscotti
200g Doves Self-Rising Gluten Free Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g granulated sugar
3 medium eggs
1 1/2 Tblsp orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp orange zest
125g hazelnuts, toasted
Demerara or Granulated Sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 190C/375F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
(Optional) Place hazelnuts on the baking sheet, and put in the oven for 5-10mins. Remove and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and orange zest with a whisk.
Break the eggs into a separate bowl and beat a bit, then add the vanilla and orange juice. Add wet ingredients to dry and combine. The dough you will get will be sticky and wet. Finally add the hazelnuts to the dough and combine.
Sprinkle some flour onto the baking tray (lined with baking paper.) Scrape the dough onto the floured baking tray and sprinkle more flour on top so that you can manage the dough without it sticking to your fingers! Shape the dough into a rounded rectangle (flattened log.) Brush or dab some water on top of the log so that it is moist but not wet, then sprinkle some Demerara sugar on top (the water will help the sugar to stick.)
Bake for approx. 20mins, or until the dough is just cooked through and it turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10mins.
Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 1 inch thick pieces, which will be your biscotti. Place them cut side up back onto your baking tray, and bake for another 10-12mins until golden and crisp.
**Option: You can make biscottini (smaller cookies) by shaping two smaller logs, instead of one large log. You'll need to adjust the baking time to half (10mins instead of 20mins.) Once sliced into cookies, bake further for 5mins instead of 10mins.
Gluten Free Almond Biscotti
For these crisp almond treats, follow the same directions as above, but use a slight change in ingredients.
100g Doves Self-Rising Gluten Free Flour
100g ground almonds (almond meal)
1/4tsp baking soda
1/2tsp baking powder
125g granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tblsp almond extract
Absolute stand-out street style at Milan Fashion Week 2012. Mixing prints to a T (python, blue & white floral, and stripes) but keeping in true Italian style. I bet she munches on biscotti with her cappuccino.
|Pic courtesy harpersbazaar.com|
Monday, 2 April 2012
|Making my first Battenberg with my baking partner Lauren!|
I finally booked a baking class. For months I had been scouring the internet in search of cooking classes that would expertise-ify my amateur baking knowledge. Yes there is Le Cordon Bleu, day classes in Paris, and the best of the best in New York City, but this damn gluten free baking kept sliding into my recipes - and I say damn in the most endearing and loving of ways. But none of the major schools were offering one-off gluten free baking classes (get with it Cordon Bleu!) I guess gluten free still has that cringe-worthy stigma attached to it - of hippies smelling of overcooked peas and tempeh. What's tempeh? Nevermind...
Then, from a recommendation by former model, Leith's Cookery Graduate, and TV Baking Chef Lorraine Pascale, I came across Leith's Cooking School in London. And guess what...they offered gluten free baking classes.
We started the day making a quintessential English cake called a Battenberg (gluten free of course.) For myself and two other North Americans in the class, I had never heard of a Battenberg before, but was delighted to make it for the first time.
|Cutting the marzipan to size to roll over the Battenberg.|
Our teacher Adriana had a relaxed and approachable style of teaching, a hefty list of credentials, and offered some key gluten free baking tips... Below, she showed us how to assemble the Battenberg.
|Assembling the Battenberg.|
Adriana Tip 1: When asked to cream butter and sugar in a recipe, don't just throw them together and beat with a mixer. First, it is essential the butter is at room temperature (unless of course you're making pastry.) Then slowly add the sugar bit by bit to the batter as you beat with a mixer. You'll get a gorgeous light and fluffy batter in the end, and even more so, cake!
Adriana Tip 2: You can substitute eggs for milk in baking if wanting to make the recipe dairy-free. Experiment with adding an egg or two to suit the recipe. Here, you must separate the eggs into whites and yolks. Beat your yolks until you have a texture similar to custard. Next beat your whites until soft peaks form. Then, with a metal spoon, gently combine the whites with the yolks little by little until all incorporated. This might be added work, but will give your cake/cookies a lovely texture, and make it dairy free!
For other tips, you'll just have to take the class...
|My very first Battenberg complete!|
They also provided the most outstanding lunch... Yes, this fruit is real.
Every review requires a downside of course, and if I had to pick at something, it would be that the ovens didn't keep their heat properly, so some of our recipes didn't turn out as planned - Alas! Oh, and sore feet...
|Chocolate cupcakes in process|
The class ran from 10am-4pm and included an hour lunch (with wine!) We baked four recipes:
Chocolate Fig & Pistachio Biscotti
At the end of the day, we got a booklet of recipes made in the class, including a few more, and a certificate of completion. Cost £150.
|Looking a bit dishevelled after a day of baking, but pleased!|