Flower & Flour | Bicostal Kitchen (the baking challenge)

WEEK FIVE / RECIPE SIX

#HOTANDHORNBY

This week we changed up the order in order to celebrate a friend's birthday. We baked up Hornby's Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, and they were delicious! Joe and I did not alter anything from Hornby's recipe. We followed each ingredient and each step / technique. However, Idid run out of white chocolate and so I made my filling out of marshmallow fluff and cream cheese. It was still delicious. Hornby does warn you that the batter will be sticky.... but trust us it turns out just fine. We dare you to only eat one.

Week 5 - "Red Velvet Whoopie Pies" - by Jane Hornby - Recipe 6

Photo by Joe Amella Jr

Photo by Joe Amella Jr

Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 stick room temp butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
Filling:
  • 1 1/2 stick room temp butter
  • 14oz cream cheese, cold
  • 1 1/4 cups powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz white chocolate
Steps (my condensed version of Hornby's):
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 baking sheets + line with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy
  3. Mix dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt)
  4. Put eggs, buttermilk + food coloring in with creamed butter + sugar
  5. Sift dry ingredients into bowl then beat until smooth
  6. Spoon mixture evenly onto lined baking sheets
  7. Bake for 9-10 mins, cool completely before removing off sheet

 

Photo by Shanel Marie - Red Velvet Marshmallow Whoopie Pies

Photo by Shanel Marie - Red Velvet Marshmallow Whoopie Pies

Photo by Joe Amella Jr - Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Photo by Joe Amella Jr - Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Flower & Flour | Bicostal Kitchen (the baking challenge)

WEEK FOUR / RECIPE FIVE

#HOTANDHORNBY

The week we tackled the jelly roll. Rolling a cake is no easy feat. The timing and the technique for rolling the cake are two absolutely crucial components.

For this- Joe and I applied two different but often used techniques. We did not use Hornby's technique and I went a step further and also altered the ingredients.

I whipped my eggs and sugar until I got to the ribbon stage. When you can lift your whisk and do a figure 8 with the mixture, you know you're set! I then folded in my dry ingredients along with the vanilla and a dash of milk. Joe separated his eggs, and whipped up the egg whites which he then folded into the batter. We both reached great results so, I couldn't say what would of happened if we tried Hornby's way.

I stayed on the classic jelly roll side and filled mine with a homemade raspberry jam and Joe filled his with a homemade tangerine marmalade and some fresh cream.

 

Week 4 - "Favorite Jelly Roll" - by Jane hornby - Recipe 5

Hornby's Recipe:
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 eggs room temp
  • 3.4 sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Steps:
  1. Grease a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet + Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put milk and butter in a pan and heat gently until butter melts - set aside.
  2. Put the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl and whisk until doubled in volume.
  3. Stir dry ingredients then sift on top of eggs mixture. Fold
  4. Pour the warm butter + milk around the edge of the batter bowl. Fold.
  5. Carefully pour batter into pan. Bake for 10 mins.
  6. Flip the cake over while still hot and carefully roll. Cover with dish towel until warm.
  7. Carefully unfold cake and fill
Photo by Joe Amella Jr - Tangerine Marmalade Jelly Roll

Photo by Joe Amella Jr - Tangerine Marmalade Jelly Roll

Photo by Shanel Marie - Rasphberry Jelly Roll

Photo by Shanel Marie - Rasphberry Jelly Roll

Flower & Flour | Bicostal Kitchen (the baking challenge)

WEEK THREE / RECIPE THREE+ FOUR

#HOTANDHORNBY

 

This week Joe and I decided to do two bakes. Jane Hornby's buttermilk pound cake and peanut butter cookies.

Since we have two recipes to discuss let's jump right into the first one - pound cake. This was the first recipe that Joe and I did not alter... well Joe did add blueberries but that was it! We followed Hornby's recipe and step - by - step instructions for this bake. The result? It was a C-A-T-A-S-T-R-O-P-H-E! I'm not sure where we went wrong but we both had the same exact results. The result although edible, was not a dense and buttery pound cake. Instead it was a light, airy and crumby cake. I had put mine in mini loaf tins and Joe put his in a bundt pan and due to the crumby texture... was horrible to get out. It broke all over the place.

While we were baking we did not have our usual conversation, instead we had a lot of questions. A little peak into our conversation below (be warned, we did say un-pretty words and we were in all caps for at least two episodes of SATC - which was playing in the background):

sexandthecity_baking
Joe - HOLY SH*T
CATASTROPHE
I'M GOING TO PULL THIS SH*T SHIP TO SHORE
IT'S STILL NOT DONE! IT BROKE!
HORNBYYYY
Me - HOW THE F**K DO I GET THIS OFF THE MOLDS
WHY IS IT FALLING APART
WHY IS IT CRUMBY
WHY IS IT NOT DENSE?
HORNBYYYY

 

 

nachos

I get really grumpy when a bake goes wrong. AND this is the first time in an extremely LONG time that I've had a bake end up in a disaster. #dramatic! Not sure if it were the ratios, the temp, the time or if this is suppose to be a British pound cake that I'm not aware of...but something was off. Not to brag, but us whisk takers can tackle any bake...but apparently this pound cake is not one of them. So, to help lick our wounds we turned to nachos (it's okay to eat your feelings every once in awhile :-)  and talked about how bad SJP's hair was in certain seasons on SATC. #friendship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is Jane Hornby's recipe with my edited steps. If anyone does try this recipe and comes out with much success please let us know.

Week 3 - "Buttermilk Poundcake" - by Jane hornby - Recipe 3

Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (plus more for greasing)
  • 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 eggs - room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 / 2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
Steps:
  1. Grease pan + preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Beat butter + sugar until creamy and pale
  3. Crack eggs into a measuring cup and beat with fork. Pour 2 tablespoons of egg into butter mixture, beat until incorporated. Repeat until all of the eggs have been worked in. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Stir dry ingredients (flour, baking soda + powder, salt) fold in half. Fold in buttermilk and then remaining flour mixture.
  5. Bake for 30 mins and then turn down oven to 325 and bake for another 20 - 25 mins until it passes the toothpick test.

Below are mine and Joe's pound cakes. I did not alter the recipe or add anything. Joe did add blueberries + drizzled and topped with more berries at the end.

Photo by Shanel Marie - Buttermilk Pound Cake

Photo by Shanel Marie - Buttermilk Pound Cake

Photo by Joe Amella Jr - Buttermilk Pound Cake with drizzle + berries

Photo by Joe Amella Jr - Buttermilk Pound Cake with drizzle + berries

On to the next bake - Peanut Butter Cookies!

To be honest, I was disheartened from the pound cake disaster AND I didn't want to waste anymore precious butter... so I altered Hornby's recipe and technique. Joe a little more optimistic than I, stuck to her recipe only changing the ratio of butter, pb and eggs.

The results? FANTASTIC. I mean, can we talk about emotional roller coaster here?  Who says baking isn't fun? :-)

Joe jazzed up his cookies by making them into ice cream sandwiches! #yum ! Who needs nachos now!? I think Hornby's pb cookies were meant for ice cream! It's gritty (crumbly) texture and nutty flavor compliments the deliciousness that is ice cream.

I jazzed mine by adding chocolate chips + marshamallows. Soft and chewy in the middle, crunchy on the outsides...the taste is similar to that of a peanut butter s'more. #yass

 

Week 3 - "Peanut Butter Cookies" - by Jane hornby - RECIPE 4

Photo & Adaptation by Shanel Marie - Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Photo & Adaptation by Shanel Marie - Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Recipe:
  • 1 cup whole unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups AP flour
  •  1/ 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 sticks of butter
  • 1 / 3 cup peanut butter
  •  1 egg (room temp)
  • 2 tbsp honey
Steps - refer to Jane Hornby's "What to bake and How to bake it"

Joe's Adaptation - All stayed the same with the exception of butter + pb. 3/4 stick of butter, 3/4 cup pb + 2 eggs were used.

Shanel's Adaptation

Recipe:
  • Half stick of butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (room temp)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 light brown sugar
  • 1/3 sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Chocolate Chips + Mini Marshmallows to your liking.
Steps:
  1. Cream butter + sugar
  2. Beat in peanut butter, when properly incorporated add egg and beat
  3. In a separate bowl mix flour + baking powder and slowly mix into the butter / pb mixture.
  4. Stir until incorporated fold in marshmallows + chocolate chips (careful to not over mix)
  5. Roll about a tablespoon into ball and press down in a criss-cross with fork. Chill in fridge for 10 mins
  6. Bake for 10-12 mins at 350 degrees, allow to cool on pan for 5 mins before transferring to cooling rack. .
Photo and Adaptation by Shanel Marie - Peanut Butter Fluff Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Photo and Adaptation by Shanel Marie - Peanut Butter Fluff Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Photo and Adaptation by Joe Amella Jr - Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches

Photo and Adaptation by Joe Amella Jr - Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches

Till Next time!

xo - SM&JA

Flower & Flour | Bicostal Kitchen (the baking challenge)

WEEK TWO / RECIPE TWO

#HOTANDHORNBY

 

This week's challenge - cupcakes. I'm not sure why, but I've never been a huge fan of cupcakes. I can't tell you the exact reason because I love all things mini! Mini loaves of banana bread, mini cheesecakes, mini croissants, mini pies...MINI CAKES. Some would even argue that cupcakes are a form of mini cakes. So what's my thing against cupcakes? Who knows...let's get back to this week's challenge. Jane Hornby's "Fruity Cupcakes".

Joe is somewhat in the same boat with me when it comes to cupcakes. So this week's challenge left us uninspired but, as per usual us whisk takers whipped up something different and delicious. #hairflip

These cupcakes were easy to whip up and Hornby's base batter is delicious. Before getting into this recipe, I'd like to give one little tip.

  • Don't over mix! Hornby instructs us bakers to mix several times. If you're not careful you can over mix your batter. Over mixing will give you the dreaded dome! I saw this happen to one of my cupcakes (partly because I over filled the tin) and Joe saw this start to happen to one of his.

Week 2 - "Fruity Cupcakes" - by Jane hornby

Photo by Shanel | Vanilla Cupcakes with Blueberry + Lavender Frosting | "Fruity Cupcakes"

Photo by Shanel | Vanilla Cupcakes with Blueberry + Lavender Frosting | "Fruity Cupcakes"

Recipe:
For the cakes:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) room temp butter
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
Steps: (this my edited version of Hornby's steps)
  1. Preheat the ovento 350 degrees. Line your pan with 12 paper cupcakes. Beat the sugar and butter until pale and creamy.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together your dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, butter, salt) Then add half of this mixture to your butter and sugar. Add your eggs and half of the milk as well.
  3. Beat the ingredients together until creamy and smooth. Once smooth add the rest of flour mixture and milk. Beat until creamy again
  4. Fill batter into prepared pan and bake for 18-20 mins or until cupcakes are an even color and pass the toothpick test.

This week's adaptations to Hornby's recipe were centered around frosting. Her batter is delicious but I added extra vanilla in mine to give it a stronger vanilla flavor and compliment my frosting(s). Joe skipped the fruit this week and topped his with a cookies and cream inspired frosting. I figured since Hornby drizzled hers with a fruit glaze I could do a fruity frosting. The one pictured above is a blueberry + lavender buttercream frosting. The one below is a cream cheese frosting with blueberry drizzle + heart sprinkles (to get into the mood for Valentine's Day).

 
Photo & Adaptation by Shanel Marie

Photo & Adaptation by Shanel Marie

Photo and Adaptation by Joe Amella Jr

Photo and Adaptation by Joe Amella Jr

Till Next Week!

 

xo
SM&JA

Dried Flowers

HOW TO AIR DRY YOUR FLOWERS

DRIED PEONY

DRIED PEONY

When it comes to my flowers, I like to produce as little waste as possible. There are several ways I accomplish this:

  • I buy what's in season and choose the blooms that will be in my arrangements every week. This way I know that every single stem will be used.
  • I offer one size when it comes to my local arrangements this way I can calculate, calculate AND calculate the exact amount of blooms and greens I need.  #mathwizard
  • Of course, no matter what I do there are still blooms that don't make the cut (pun :-). So, I air dry all of my "extras".

I know there are many different ways to dry flowers. Mostly, depending on what type you are trying to dry. But I've stuck to this technique. I've dried everything from peonies to roses, eucalyptus to hydrangeas and daisies to lavender. I've had great success with letting the flowers and air do its thing.

Drying flowers not only keeps the memory alive, but it's beautiful decoration for your house (if that's your style). I have dried flowers everywhere - by my bed, on my desk, in my closet and its always included in my packaging (I love adding a few dried flowers or petals when I ship things off).

DRIED ROSES

DRIED ROSES

It only takes 2 steps to dry your flowers:

  1. Remove excess foliage from flowers and cut stems to desired length (no shorter than six inches). To help flowers retain their color during the drying process, make sure to remove them from sunlight as soon as they’re cut. Hang flowers individually or rubber-band stems together to hang a bouquet.
  2. Find a dark, dry area with good circulation. Tie and secure the bottom of the flowers’ stems to a hanger so that they hang upside down to dry. Leave flowers for two to three weeks until completely dry.
DRIED LAVENDER AND FRIENDS

DRIED LAVENDER AND FRIENDS

sm_driedbunch1

Tips:

DRIED ASSORTMENT

DRIED ASSORTMENT

  • Air drying flowers does take several weeks (but worth it) and need a cool dark place in your house for it to dry properly and retain its color. The closet works best, a dark room, or a shady spot away from direct sunlight.
  • Hanging robust flowers such as roses and lavender work well. For bigger blooms such as hydrangeas letting them dry in their vase once the water is dry is best. Once the water has evaporated the flowers will dry gradually. This method will help retain more of their fresh-flower color vibrancy than if left upside down.
DRIED HYDRANGEA

DRIED HYDRANGEA

Once your flowers are dried the possibilities are endless. I'll touch on the many uses of dried flowers in future blog posts. :-)

 

xo,
S

Flower & Flour | Bicostal Kitchen (the baking challenge)

Week One / RECIPE ONE

#hotandhornby

 

On a Wednesday morning (2am) I decided to finally get my act together and start my blog. A blog that will consist of DIY, baking, food, flowers, and floral tips!

I thought it best to kick this blog venture off with a food post. I mean, I am always hungry, and if I'm not eating I'm in the kitchen whisking away. #pigemoji #sorrynotsorry

One of my good (best) friends Joe and I were having one of our weekly catch ups ( after 11 years in New York City I moved back to my hometown Los Angeles so, phone dates have to suffice) and we got onto the topic of food. Joe had this brilliant idea to bake through a book. He is culinary trained and on current beast mode in the industry. I, on the other hand ...  have always had a penchant for flaky crusts. I found that baking came natural to me just as natural as loving my loves (husband, puppies and flowers).

Now, here we are, the whisk takers bi-coastal baking! Baking through Jane Hornby's "What to Bake and How to Bake it" #hotandhornby. The recipes are simple enough that Joe and I aren't dreading our weekly bakes but also adaptable enough we can add our own spin.

Week 1 - "Golden Citrus Drizzle Cake" - by Jane hornby - RECIPE 1

The Golden Citrus Drizzle Cake - photo by Joe Amella Jr.

The Golden Citrus Drizzle Cake - photo by Joe Amella Jr.

 

Recipe:
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup) + extra for greasing
  • 2 lemons , 2 limes & 1 mandarin (with a vibrant orange skin)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup lemon flavored or plain whole yogurt
  • For Topping:
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
 

*Note - Our adaptations + review

Joe paired his with fresh whipped cream #yum

Photo and Adaptation: Joe Amella Jr. | Golden Citrus Cake

Photo and Adaptation: Joe Amella Jr. | Golden Citrus Cake

I cut mine into circles to make mini cakes. I also made a simple syrup with the citrus zest (instead of the topping), soaked the cake and topped it with a light drizzle. #teatime

Photo & Adaptation: Shanel Marie | Golden Citrus (mini) Cake

Photo & Adaptation: Shanel Marie | Golden Citrus (mini) Cake

Review:

We both found this to be a citrus cornbread. But as my cake cooled and with the help of the simple syrup the texture became more cake - like and less cornbread.  The addition of the cornmeal gave it a nice texture, acting as a highlight not focal point. 

We would suggest if you're not a fan of cornmeal to change the cornmeal vs flour ratio.

Till next the baking challenge! 

xo- SM&JA