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A word from Gilles Marchal
This chocolate tart is renowned the world over. At La Maison du Chocolat, we have been following the same recipe scrupulously for thirty years, preparing it exactly the same way every morning in Paris, London, Tokyo, New York, and Hong Kong. I like to serve it with a soft, spiced caramel, a fruit compote, or a citrus zest praline. The shortbread can be prepared the day before by filling the tart molds with dough and then leaving them in the refrigerator. The way the crust is baked is essential to the flavor and how well the dessert lasts. Personally, I prefer it slightly crisp rather than underdone.

Reprinted with permission from La Maison du Chocolat: Timeless Classics with a Twist by Gilles Marchal, copyright © 2009. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Photo credit: Veronique Durruty © 2009

La Maison du Chocolat: Timeless Classics with a TwistLa Maison du Chocolat: Timeless Classics with a Twist by Gilles Marchal
Hardcover: 152 pages
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1584798009

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Posted on Nov 2, 2009



Try making this Wizard Hat Mini Cakes by Elisa Strauss the cake designer of Confetti Cakes in New York City and author of Confetti Cakes For Kids: Delightful Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City’s Famed Bakery.

1 cake recipe
1 Swiss-Meringue Buttercream recipe

1-½ pound of fondant or gum paste
Shortening (for rolling out fondant or gum paste)
Food-coloring gels

Plastic mat
Paring knife or X-acto knife
Three 3-inch round cardboard or foam core bases
Round cookie cutter (2-¼ inches, 3-½ inches)
Pastry bags and couples
#10 pastry tip
Small offset spatula
Small serrated knife
Small rolling pin
1-inch round cookie cutter (optional)
Heart and star cookie cutters (optional)
Paintbrushes or wooden dowels (to make sugar streamers)
Palette knife


1. Divide half (12 oz.) of the fondant or gum paste into three 4-ounce portions. Dye the sections with the food coloring gel colors you chose.

2. From each color you will need to make 25 balls and one hat topper. On a plastic mat greased with shortening, roll out 3 of the 4 ounces of each color into a long rope, approximately 8 inches long and ¼ inch thick. Use a paring knife to cut each rope into twenty-five 3/8-inch sections. (Re-roll the fondant until you have enough pieces.) With lightly greased hands roll the pieces into equal-sized balls.

3. To make the hat topper, roll each remaining 1 ounce piece of fondant into a ball. Shape the ball into a cone. Stick the points of the bones about halfway onto toothpicks. Pinch the ends of the cones to secure them on the toothpicks. Use scissors to make repeated cuts to create the fringe.


1. Prepare the cake batter and bake in a half-sheet pan as directed in the recipe. Let it cool for 20 minutes, remove from pan, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour. (This makes the cake easier to cut.)

2. While the cake is chilling, make the buttercream.

3. Cut the cake into six 3-½ inches rounds and six 2-¼ inches rounds.

4. Place a dab of buttercream on each cardboard, then place one layer of the 3-½ inches round cake on top of the buttercream. Coat the first layer with ½ inch of buttercream and place the next 3-½ inches round layer on top. Repeat this method with two of the 2-¼ inches rounds. In the end you will have four layers of cake and three layers of filling. After the top layer of cake is on, push down slightly to secure the layers. Place the stacks in the freezer until they’re hard to the touch, approximately 1 hour.

5. Using a serrated knife, carve each cake into a cone shape. Start carving at the top and work your way down to the bottom. Crumb coat the cakes with a very thin layer of filling.

6. Mix the buttercream colors you plan to use. For the hats pictured, we used blue, purple and pink. Put each color into a pastry bag fitted with a #10 tip.

7. Pipe dots of buttercream all over each cake, with no spaces in between. Start at the bottom of the cake and stagger the dots until you reach the top of the hat.

8. Use a clean toothpick to make a hole in the very top of the hat. This allows the topper (on its own toothpick) to slide right into the cake. Place the topper on the cake.

9. Divide the remaining 12-ounces of fondant or gum paste into three 4-ounce pieces and dye the colors for the heart, star, and circle decorations pictured.

10. On a plastic mat greased with shortening, roll out the gum paste to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out the various designs using shaped cutters. You need approximately 10 decorations for each hat. Place the shapes in a scattered pattern right onto the buttercream, being careful not to press too hard or they will ruin your piped pattern.

11. Carefully transfer the cake to the plate or tray on which you plan to serve it. Press the fondant balls lightly into the buttercream around the bottom of the cake, with no spaces in between.

Cake flour- 3-½ cups (14 oz.)
Unsweetened cocoa powder- ½ cup (1-½ oz.)
Salt- 1-½ teaspoons
Canola oil- 2 cups (16 oz.)
Granulated sugar- 2-¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon (16 oz.)
Large eggs- 3
Red food coloring -1/3 cup (3 oz.)
Pure vanilla extract- 1-½ teaspoons
Buttermilk- 1-¼ cup (10 oz)
Baking soda- 2 teaspoons
White vinegar- 2-½ teaspoons

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the bottoms and sides of the pan with melted butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the oil and sugar and beat on medium speed until incorporated.

4. Set the mixer to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping thoroughly between each addition.

5. Add the red food coloring and vanilla in a slow stream and beat until incorporated.

6. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk in two batches, starting with the flour. Scrape down the bowl between each addition and beat until thoroughly combined.

7. In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and vinegar. Set the mixer to medium speed. Immediately add the baking soda mixture and beat for 10 seconds.

8. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans or muffin tins. For 9-inch cake pans, bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean; for half-sheet pans, bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean; for cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until they spring back after being touched.

9. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. Once the cake is cool, release it from its pan by running a metal spatula or knife along the sides of the pan. Flip the cake over onto another pan of cake board and peel away the lay of parchment.

Granulated sugar- 2-¾ cups plus 3 tablespoons (20 oz.)
Egg whites- 1-¼ cups (10 oz.)
Unsalted butter, cubed and softened – 2-½ cups (5 sticks; 20 oz.)
Pure vanilla extract – ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (2-½ oz.)

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, thoroughly whisk together sugar and egg whites.

2. Set the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisking constantly, heat the mixture until all the sugar crystals have dissolved and the mixture is hot. Get it as hot as you can but be careful not to cook the eggs.

3. Put the bowl back in the mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Beat on high speed until the mixture forms a stiff meringue and the bottom of the bowl comes to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

4. Stop the mixer and replace the whip attachment with the paddle attachment.

5. Set the mixer to low speed and add the butter, a few cubes at a time. When all the butter is incorporated, turn the mixer to medium speed and beat until fluffy.

6. Set the mixer to low speed and add the vanilla. Once the vanilla is incorporated, scrape the bowl and continue to mix on medium speed until you have a smooth, creamy texture. If the buttercream is too liquid, refrigerate until completely cool and stiff, then rewhip.

7. You can use the buttercream immediately, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days, or refrigerate it in an airtight container for ten days.

Excerpted from The Confetti Cakes Cookbook: Spectacular Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City’s Famed Bakery by Elisa Strauss, Little, Brown and Company (2007)

The Confetti Cakes Cookbook: Spectacular Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City's Famed BakeryThe Confetti Cakes Cookbook by Elisa Strauss
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316113077

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Posted on Sep 21, 2009


These are impressive tarts that are surprisingly easy to make. Blair Van Sant, a self-styled pudding enthusiast, devised this recipe for us. It is toothsome and vaguely nostalgic. The butterscotch flavor is simple and straightforward, and it pairs magnificently well with the oat wheat crust. The crust is fairly forgiving, and the filling is a simple (albeit addictively delicious) homemade pudding. When topped with a few crumbled pieces of a Butterfinger candy bar, the tart becomes a whimsical dinner party dessert.

Reprinted with permission from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, copyright © 2008. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Photo credit: Tina Rupp © 2008

Baked New Frontiers in BakingBaked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Language: English

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Posted on Aug 25, 2009


CakeLove owner Warren Brown walks you through the process of making chocolate chip cookies. He talks about the advantage of mixing brown sugar together with the white sugar and warns against hot-spots in the oven and much more. Watch the video and learn how Warren Brown makes chocolate chip cookies.

7 oz light brown sugar
3 oz extra fine granulated sugar
4 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
10 oz all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 oz bittersweet pistoles

*** For directions watch the video.***

Posted on Aug 4, 2009


Watch and learn with Warren Brown, owner of CakeLove, how to make a simple, easy, rich, moist Yellow Butter Cake from scratch with all natural ingredients. Use this recipe to make cupcakes, too!

6 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
14 oz extra fine granulated sugar
4 large eggs
7 oz all-purpose flour
2 oz potato starch
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup half-n-half
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons brandy

*** For directions watch the video. ***

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

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