The layers of Copenhagen Pastry

Don’t you love places that make you feel you’ve been transported somewhere else the minute you walk in? On a rainy, Saturday morning I stopped by Copenhagen Pastry in Culver City and it really felt like I was in a small town neighborhood bakery. With its charming and minimalist Scandinavian-designed space, the light and flakey pastries really stand out, some filled with my favorites like almond paste and custard. It was so hard to choose but the friendly staff offered samples of their best sellers and patiently explained what’s in everything. My favorites are now spandauer and kringle piece!

When I saw this behind the scenes video of Copenhagen Pastry, it reminded me of the warmth you feel walking into their bakery. It’s nice to see people who love and care for their work and you can really feel and taste it in their pastries.

 

Recipe | Vanilla Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche frosting

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Remember when Orla Kiely created a line of housewares for Target a few years back? To this day, I still love the tablecloth I bought from there. I found this old photo of cupcakes I made around the same time inspired by the pattern, and hey, it’s never too late to share.

I made a stencil for the flower by drawing and cutting out the pattern on cardstock. I used a circle stencil to make the center of the flowers, and the colors were created by mixing food dye with fondant. All the shapes were cut out using a clean exacto knife. A little dab of water with a paint brush bound the dots and the flower pattern together. I placed it on top of a caramel-colored dulce de leche frosting as a background (I bet chocolate frosting would look great, too). Once it’s all put together, you’ve got Orla Kiely inspired cupcakes!

orla-kiely-cupcakes

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted by Amy Sedaris
Makes 12-14 cupcakes

3/4 stick of unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1-1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
1-1/4 cups of flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Combine milk and vanilla extract in another bowl.
Beat sugar and butter with mixer on high until creamy, fluffy and light in color (about 3 minutes).
Add egg and mix until combined.
Add in 1/3 third of the dry ingredients and beat on low to medium speed. Then add in about half of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry.
Scoop batter a little more than half-full into a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on cooling rack.

Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup dulce de leche (I used La Salamandra)
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter with mixer on medium high speed.
Add cream cheese and dulce de leche and beat until combined.
Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until well incorporated.

I assembled the cupcakes the same way I did it here.

Recipe | Coconut Avocado Ice Cream

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When I first discovered guacamole at a young age, I was repulsed. Avocado mixed with tomatoes? And you scoop it up with tortilla chips? Ew. It’s not supposed to be salty. Growing up in the Philippines until I was 7-years-old, I only knew avocado as a sweet ingredient. It was a special treat when my mom brought home some pricey avocados from the store because I knew she would be making her special dessert. I would watch her scoop the avocado meat into a bowl, throw in a bit of sugar and cover the whole thing in cold Carnation evaporated milk. My family would gobble it up fast and fight over who got the last bit of avocado infused milk left over in the bowl.

Recently while sitting at the doctor’s office, flipping through my third magazine, my eyes lit up when I saw a recipe for Coconut Avocado Ice Cream. Ooh! I’ve had avocado shakes before but never ice cream. Plus the addition of coconut would be an interesting spin on my favorite Filipino dessert. I immediately pulled out my camera and snapped a picture of the recipe. Continue reading

Recipe | Leftover egg yolks means Creme Brulee!

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Even though a dozen large eggs cost about $1.50, throwing more than four yolks down the sink makes me cringe with guilt. When I was making batches and batches of macaroons for Father’s Day, I was left with nine egg yolks. I looked at them as if they were little abandoned orphans who needed to be saved from the dark hole that leads to the InSinkErator. Luckily for these cute, yellow buttons I always have the perfect home for them- whisked into the sweet, decadent goodness of creme brulee. Continue reading

Recipe | Chocolate Macaroons

chocolatemacaroons

I think my dad and possibly five other people in the world might say that their favorite American candy bar is Hershey’s Mounds. Remember those dark chocolate-covered coconut bars? Surprisingly, they still exist. My dad will happily eat any coconut confection you give to him, unless you pour white chocolate all over it, which would cause him to cringe in horror. For Father’s Day I wanted to make my dad a coconut-y treat and what else could I choose but the classic Coconut Macaroon.

Perhaps my dad is just getting older and his palette has changed, but he has recently developed a low threshold for anything sugary. The man who used to pack soda in his lunch bag everyday for work suddenly realized that it’s too sweet. Oh well, more for me! Continue reading

Recipe | Hawaiian-Inspired Chocolate Cupcakes

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I volunteered to bake cupcakes for a friend’s baby shower and got instantly inspired when I found out her favorite flower is from her home state of Hawaii: the plumeria. Opportunities like these push me to try new recipes and it was also a chance for me to finally play with fondant. I know most people think it’s the most horrible thing ever but you’ve got admit that it can sure make a cake look pretty. Continue reading

Recipe | Sweet & Sour dessert: Balsamic Strawberries with Vanilla Ice Cream

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When I first heard about balsamic strawberries with ice cream, I was really curious about this combination and I thought it’s so weird that it’s got to be good. Surprisingly, once you put that syrupy balsamic vinegar into the vanilla ice cream it almost tastes like chocolate sauce. It’s like an elevated sundae!

Because I’m not rolling in money, I don’t have a pricey aged bottle of balsamic vinegar sitting in my pantry and I have to make one MacGyver style. Good quality balsamic vinegar is already thick and syrupy on its own but you can achieve this consistency by reducing the inexpensive ones you get from the grocery store. It’s easy to do and you will feel super cool when you say you’ve made a balsamic reduction. Continue reading