Tag Archives: cakes

February 2021 Chef Of The Month – Amy Brace

We’re excited to welcome our February 2021 Chef of the Month into the mix – meet Pastry Chef Amy Brace! She’s the proud owner of Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe, a divine pastry shoppe in Hopkins, Minnesota that serves made-from-scratch custom cakes, gourmet cupcakes, macarons and more! Pastry Chef Amy has been baking her entire life and after working in the medical field for 10 years, she decided to follow her passion. She first began her baking journey out of her home in 2014 with 5 weddings. By 2015, she grew to 36 weddings, and in 2016, her dream came to fruition when she opened her first brick & mortar. Chef Amy is a lover of breakfast food, a proud small business owner and a dedicated, creative individual. Read more about her story below, check out her shoppe & shop her look!

1. Where were you born? 

Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2. Where do you work and where are you based?

I am the owner of Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe in Hopkins, Minnesota.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My favorite tool would have to be a piping bag! You can do so many different things with what you put in it such as frosting or macaron batter and changing out tips to create beautiful artwork that comes out of the bag.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

I would have to say hearing is my sharpest sense. So no secrets around me, ha!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs? 

For aspiring chefs, I would remind you to never stop learning. There are things to learn from every mistake, every person, and every situation you are put in. Learn not only about what you are passionate about, but what those around you are passionate about too.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Every chef should know how to make a beautiful silky buttercream. As a pastry chef, your cakes can live and die by the buttercream you make them with.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is always made from scratch. Every aspect of the dish has been thought out and planned to be together to accent the other parts of the dish. Once they are put together in that perfect bite, you are transported to true beauty in food form.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 

When selecting my chef outfit, it needs to be comfortable, breathable, stretchable, and the arms aren’t too long that they have to be rolled up to not get caught in a mixer.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

My favorite ingredient to work with would have to be butter. It can be added to so many different desserts, and completely transform them. From using it in ganache to using it in Swiss meringue buttercream, either one wouldn’t be the same without butter.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

We haven’t been to too many cities outside our own, so I would have to say Hopkins! We have everything we need from everyday staples, to authentic tacos and amazing pub food.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

The best dish I have ever made I would say was a turtle bonfire cake. It was a chocolate cake filled with salted caramel, chocolate ganache and pecans frosted in toasted homemade marshmallow frosting. It’s like a cozy summer night all wrapped up in a cake!

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 

Breakfast! I would eat breakfast all day every day if I could. I started making our bread for home fresh anytime we need a new loaf, and my favorite has been French toast made with Japanese milk bread topped with bourbon maple syrup and bacon.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

I would love to bake for Kristen Bell, because I think she would love the desserts we make at the Shoppe, and would think our little bakery in Hopkins is adorable not only for adults, but for families with kiddos.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I have been baking all my life with my mom, and had been working in the medical field for 10 years. After watching Cupcake Wars and bringing my experiments into work, it turns out I was ready for a change. I started out of my home in 2014 with 5 weddings, and quickly grew to 36 weddings in 2015, and opened my first brick & mortar in June 2016. We have grown a crazy amount as a company in the last 4.5 years, and say cheers to many more!

Connect with our February 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @amyscupcakeshoppe
Facebook: @amyscupcakeshoppe
Twitter: @AmysCupcakeShop
Website: https://www.amyscupcakeshoppe.com/
Pinterest: @amyscupcakeshop

Chef Karen’s Coconut (CocoLoco) Mousse Recipe

coconutmousse

If you’re looking for a light and creamy dessert, look no further than Chef Karen‘s Coconut Mousse recipe. This fluffy sweet treat is easy to make and guaranteed to satisfy. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients

  • 250 grams (8.8 ounces) Mascarpone cheese

  • 100 ml. (1/2 cup) coconut milk 

  • 250 ml. (1 cup) heavy whipping cream

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

  • 6 tablespoons icing sugar

  • 150 grams (6 ounces) whole wheat graham cracker crumbs

  • 50 grams (2 ounces) melted butter

  • 50 grams (2 ounces) fresh coconut flakes

Directions

First of all, you need to prepare your coconut flakes.

  1. Using a sharp tool, carefully poke a hole in each of the three spots on the top of the coconut. Flip the coconut over onto a cup or bowl and allow draining.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180 C (356 F) and place your coconut on a baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until you see a crack developing. Separate the white meat from the shell using a knife.
  3. After you have the white meat cleaned and cut into pieces, you could either shred it using a hand shredder or a food processor.
  4. Mix the graham crumbs with the butter and the coconut flakes. Place the crumbs in every serving cup and press until a crust layer forms.
  5. Mix the Mascarpone cheese, coconut milk and coconut extract in a large bowl, using either a rubber spatula or your food processor.
  6. Mix the heavy whipping cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla extract, using a hand mixer or a stationary mixer. Place the whipped cream in the refrigerator until you need it.
  7. In another bowl, combine egg whites and the rest of the sugar and mix on highest speed of your electric mixer until stiff, dry peaks form.
  8. Add the whipping cream to the Mascarpone mixture and carefully mix, using a rubber spatula. Then add the egg whites.
  9. Be careful not to over mix & pour the mixture in the serving cups. Serve cold.

Connect with our May 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @sweetville_cake_shoppe

FacebookSweetville Cake Shoppe

Chef Karen’s Marble Cupcakes Recipe

marble

Here’s a recipe you can “marble” at. Our May Chef of the Month has shared her Marble Cupcakes recipe- you’ll never have to choose between chocolate or vanilla.

Now you can have your cupcake…and eat it, too!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temp
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, room temp
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, sifted
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 tsp pure Dominican vanilla extract
  • 1/2 pure Mexican vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • Cream cheese frosting or confectioners sugar to put on tops of cupcakes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with paper liners. sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl.
  2. Combine milk and cream in separate bowl. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Beat in vanillas.
  4. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 additions of the milk mixture. Beat until combined.
  5. To make chocolate batter: measure out one cup of batter, transfer to other bowl. Combine cocoa and boiling water in a bowl. Stir into reserved 1 cup batter.

  6. Fill prepared cups with alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter, filling each 3/4 full.
  7. Run toothpick through batter in figure-eight pattern to make swirls. bake, rotating half-way through, until tops are golden and cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  8. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate with Buttercream or powdered sugar.

Connect with our May 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @sweetville_cake_shoppe

FacebookSweetville Cake Shoppe

Chef Karen’s Limoncello Buttercream Recipe

buttercream

Add zesty, creamy Limoncello Buttercream to your next culinary masterpiece courtesy of our May Chef of the Month, Chef Karen. This frosting is perfect for cake fillings or frosting toppers (or eat it alone, we don’t judge). Chef Karen’s perfected recipe can be found below.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter – Softened (we used Salted Sweet Cream Butter)

  • 5 cups of Powdered Sugar

  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract 

  • 1 tablespoon of Lemon Zest

  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

Directions

  1. In a mixer, add the butter and the lemon juice.
  2. Mix together on low speed until they are completely combined.
  3. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and continue to beat on medium speed until the frosting is creamy.
  4. Add the lemon zest and 1 small drop of yellow food coloring (if desired)
  5. Add clear vanilla extract
  6. Continue to mix.
  7. If the frosting is too runny, add 1/2 cup additional powdered sugar.
  8. Keep adding powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you have the frosting at the desired consistency.

Connect with our May 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @sweetville_cake_shoppe

FacebookSweetville Cake Shoppe

May 2020 Chef of the Month- Karen Padilla

3We’re happy to introduce our May Chef of the Month, Karen Padilla! Chef Karen was born in lovely Puerto Rico and now resides in New York as a cake artist and luxury cake designer. Her craft was inspired by her mother, who first began a small side business making cakes that then developed into a prestigious company. Chef Karen’s impressive cakes are a result of talent, passion and a love of the arts. Read more about our creative chef below and shop her look!

 

1. Where were you born? 

I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 

I currently work in Maritime Parc, Jersey City.

I’m based in Staten Island, New York.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

I Love using the Hobart Mixer, but my favorite tools to create my masterpieces are my hands.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

My sense of taste which allows me to make sure my cakes not only look amazing, but taste amazing as well.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

My best advice is to be organized, clean and to be very creative and enjoy what they do! My husband always tells me the phrase “I think therefore I am”, It reminds me to always think positive, because your mindset gives you the ability to always do more.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Always use the best ingredients and do it with lots of love.

7. What does good food mean to you?

A good food is the one that nourishes my soul.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?

To be stylish and comfortable.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Love to work with fondant!

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

Definitely San Juan, the best food ever.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

My decadent and signature Vanilla Cake infused with Brandy.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 

A good filet mignon with steamed vegetables, a good wine, followed by a tasty Crème brûlée.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

My clients and of course, my dear husband.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

My mother’s determination to overcome obstacles. She raised 4 kids while working as a teacher, and decided to run a small side business making cakes. This side business eventually became a prestigious company where its unique taste and skills set itself apart. This led me to study arts such as painting, sculpting and even graphic arts.

Thanks to her, I was able to learn from her experience and combined it with my love for traveling around the world, appreciate different cultures and sceneries. Also, my love for art and creativity helped me to become the cake artist I am today.

Connect with our May 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @sweetville_cake_shoppe

Facebook: Sweetville Cake Shoppe

 

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