Thursday, October 1, 2015

swanky cake

we don't need no stinking white picket fences.
we do need water and pillows and smiling.

we don't need $8 beers or ridiculous things on top of cakes,

but guurl, we want them.

(i made this cake for a bachelorette party.)

the innards were strawberry vanilla cake + chocolate whipped cream, and the cake skin was vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. a neapolitan type mash up, if you will. (will you?!)
kind of like this one from way back, but 100% schmancier.

in other news, i just mopped the floor and watered every plant. someone come give me a high five.


use any simple vanilla cake and load it with fresh strawberries before you bake it
and this is simple formula i always use for swiss meringue buttercream

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

some vanilla bean + strawberry mini cakes

hey sugarplum fairies.

lately, i've been making cake, drinking yerba mate, and doing that thing where you question your entire existence.*
how bout you?

*us millenials can be such pains the asses, you know?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

new yorkish

whoa whoa whoaaaa, hey!
i've just concluded the 2015 summer wedding madness lineup.
several of my loveliest friends got married in these past two months, so pretty much my liver and my bank account are all like, Fuck You.

but it's been such fun, and all worth it, and i've put those chicken cutlet boob things on twice now.

i got back from new york, after a 6 hour flight next to a girl who had food poisoning. that was unfun.
my college roommate whom i lived with in the same room for 3 years got married to the dude who used to be her chemistry study pal, and then they eventually professed their obvious love to each other, putting me in the position of Head 3rd wheel.

this was the first wedding i've ever been in, if you don't count the time when i was 4 and the only flower girl who forgot to drop the flowers.
what's that saying? 'once a nervous weirdo, always a nervous weirdo?'

it's cool though, we have alcohol. 

the festivities were so fun and they were so cute and she looked so insanely beautiful and bridal.
when i talked to her a few days before the wedding, her main concern was that people would be scared to talk to the bride, because everyone knows they only get like 2 minutes, so what do you say!? you've gotta cram in anything you've got, so it's basically:  Hi! You look so incredible! This is so amazing, the ceremony was so beautiful, look at this place! We're having so much fun. Ah! nice. You two....Just so happy to be here...

here's the problem when you're tight with the bride. she's finally over by our table and we get to say some words to each other! i give her a hug and make weird faces at her and try to say a thing, and i can see that it is just distraction overload in her eyes. she smiles and says "hang on, one minute" and THEN she goes and talks to another friend.                  (!#ohnoshedidnt)

cue tequila voice telling me to get worked up and butt hurt,
but then my rational voice comes in and is like dude, chill, you can't be mad at the bride.

and then i stayed in manhattan for a bunch of days after and everything was great
(except for the fact that my entire system shuts off in 'hot/humid as balls' weather.
i have 20 separate layers of dried sweat covering my body, i complain, i don't process sentences as quickly..)

but other than that, new york, your streets make me feel alive and i love you.

places gone to eat/drink: (i was there for 9 days, no judgements.)

el rey
no fun
the wythe rooftop
bedford cheese shop
di fara
el sombrero: frozen margaritas
russ and daughters cafe
grand banks oyster bar
officina latina
the butcher's daughter
the meatball shop
three's brewing: featuring food by granny's
van leewen
jack's wife freda
mimi's dumplings
schiller's liquor room
dos caminos

the gold medial winners: di fara, grand banks oyster bar, and russ and daughters cafe.

Friday, July 17, 2015

blackberry oreo cake

i made cake.
i have no photo of cake innards.
but i like the top enough that i don't care!

it's a blackberry oreo cake - 3 layers of dark chocolate cake, filled with stabilized whipped cream laced with chunks of oreo, and covered with blackberry swiss meringue buttercream.

i've been quite into decorating cakes lately. it's fun to start with no decoration plan and just go after it, and keep on adding random shit until i like it. i was walking to the 99cent store to see what kind of birthday candle situation they had, and i spotted bougainvillea poufs laying on the sidewalk, all purple and pretty.

sometimes i feel like i live for those moments when inspiration really does just fall into your lap. (or sidewalk.)

i'm also currently 'job hunting' and it sucks. what's up with you?

Blackberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

150g egg whites (about 5 egg whites)
1 1/4 cups sugar (250g) 
3 sticks + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cool but not cold
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup blackberry puree
pinch salt

to make blackberry puree: throw a thing or two of blackberries in a blender or food processor (i always do more than what i need so that i can freeze some extra puree for whatever next kind of blackberry thing i feel like making, so my measurements on this one are not so helpful. i believe i pureed two 6oz containers of berries.) then pass through a fine mesh strainer to separate the juices from the finicky seeds. 

put egg whites and sugar in a pan or bowl set over simmering water. (double boiler situation) whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 160 degreesF, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved. 
transfer the whites/sugar concoction to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed until the meringue is glossy and thick, and the bowl is cool to the touch (about 9-10 minutes.) Once the bowl is totally cool, switch to the paddle attachment and on low speed, begin to add the butter, a tablespoon at a time. until each is incorporated. if the mixture begins to look weird and curdle-y, don't worry! this is good, just keep it going and it will eventually come together. 
we are essentially forcing fat into a mixture that isn't typically used to so much fat, so it acts weird at first, but eventually everything will emulsify. also, if the mixture seems too runny, refrigerate it for 10 minutes and then continue. sometimes temperature can be a huge factor with buttercreams. 
once it comes together, add in the vanilla extract, pinch of salt, and then the puree, a bit at a time. 

yay done. frost yo stuff. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

ricotta pound cake with cherries

this feels hard.
like that awkward small talk you cannot avoid when you make eye contact with an old high school acquaintance at jamba juice.
except that it's only awkward on my end.

i don't think many of you come by these internet parts anymore, and understandably, i did that annoying thing of dropping off the internet planet, leaving my poor site lonely and unloved.

i used to be so bothered when a blog i loved to read on the reg suddenly started posting less and less and then ...  gone.
that is such a bummer and i so don't wanna do that.

because i still cherish you, site! you've been here for me in many difficult times, smiley times, and why-can't-i-fucking-sleep-again times.

i won't apologize, because this is overall a site for me and also because i'm definitely writing to no one but internet bots.

the truth is i haven't been baking or cooking much of anything. and i know that most of the people who used to stop by this here site were in it for the goods, the recipes and gooey close-ups.

this ricotta pound cake is as good of a place to pick up as any.
because i love it, and it's a quick mix.

it's got the wet crumb vibe going on, which is something i'm way into. and also i have a hardcore thing for things flavored with almond paste or extract. so, i win!

if you don't have a cherry pitter, than don't make it with cherries. that'd be a little annoying. no fretting though, because it'd be good with a slew of other fruits - any berry, plums, nectarine, apricots..
or make it with no fruit at all. it'll still be tasty as yo mama's lips.

Ricotta Pound Cake with Cherries
slightly adapted from Gina DePalma's Dolce Italiano

1 1/2 c cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 stick butter (6 oz)
1 1/2 c whole-milk ricotta
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest (or citrus zest)
1 tsp almond extract
cherries, pitted and quartered

preheat oven to 350 degreesF and place rack in center. grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan. 
in a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or hand beaters) cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until smooth and light. beat in eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl, then add the vanilla and almond extracts. on low speed, beat in dry ingredients til just combined, scraping sides of bowl again. gently fold in the cherries (or whatever fruit) 
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth top with spatula. tap the pan on the counter to knock out some of the air bubbles. put the cake in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the pan for even browning. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degreesF and bake until cake springs back when lightly touched, and the sides have pulled away from the pan a bit, about 25-35 more minutes. 
allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 
(the flavor is best the next day!)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

hello weener heads. i'll be bock.


Monday, January 26, 2015

oh hey

since i last type-blabbed on the internet, i've:

i've eaten 200 english muffins, one side apricot jam, one side something else.
i drove to monterey and back.
i drove to palm springs and back. where i attended my first drag show and my favorite lady was named Pandora Box.

i've thought about making a lot of dinners. and then didn't follow through.
i've eaten many pints of McConnell's mint chip.
i've done a lot of (unhelpful) contemplating.
i bought a swell harlequin rug via chairish

i spent the new year at jason mraz's house, catering his nye/engagement party. they had a major amount of avocado trees that supplied their local chipotle with avocados.
bravo, jason mraz. an outdoor wood burning pizza oven, a giant tipi, multiple hit songs, And the avocados that make chipotle's guacamole. bravo

i've gotten fully settled into a new apartment. i have more house plants than i have friends, and far more cookbooks than any 26 year old should have in their possession.  i've developed a dust buster addiction, and i like it all very much.

are you ready for february? onward and upward, i say! hope everyone is being nice to themselves and  and making sure to breathe.

and i hope it continues to rain in LA.

love, julia