Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Butternut squash glazed tart

Welcome, November. 

For the tart:

1-pound butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 store-bought 8 ounce puff pastry sheet
1 8 ounce jar apricot preserves, warmed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Arrange squash slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar. Roast for 30-45 minutes, turning once. Once they are cooked, remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 375°F.

Meanwhile, roll out puff pastry sheet into a 14"x6" rectangle and place on another parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with parchment and another baking sheet. Prick the pastry to allow for air holes during cooking. Place in the 375° oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature before assembling.

While the pastry is cooking, mix together the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and cinnamon. 

Spread the puff pastry evenly with they cream cheese mixture. Place the candied squash on top. Heat up the preserves until warm to touch, then spread over the potatoes. Last, sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Cut into triangles and serve!

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Turn that latch, open, and look 60' down into
 a boiling vessel of 3,000 pounds of chocolate.

17 hours later, the plant at night, in the rear view mirror. 

Monday, October 22, 2012


 Here to make hot chocolate on a large scale. Hoping third time is the charm. Fingers and toes crossed, every one.

Halloween special: chocolate spiderweb cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting:

3 cups confectioner's sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the spider webs:

1 cup dark chocolate candy coating

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare 18 cupcake molds with cupcake liners.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into cupcake molds.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. Using an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, combine cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Once the cupcakes are done cooling, frost using a piper with a large tip, or make a make-shift piping bag using a thick, quart-sized plastic bag. Fill the bag with frosting and cut a hole at the tip of one end. Then squeeze the frosting out onto the cupcakes.

Last, melt candy coating in a microwave in 30-seconds intervals, stirring well in between, just until melted. Transfer melted candy coating to a piping bag or plastic zip-lock bag; snip a verrrrry small hole in the end of the bag. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Pipe freehand spiderweb designs. I made a few extra to eat. Nom.

Top the frosted cupcakes with the spiderwebs. Voila!

Cake recipe from Hershey's, everything else by Broma!

Friday, October 19, 2012


 One week open on the Upper West Side.
 New window signage to mark the occasion.


At least the shattered glass was before the fire trucks arrived.


So long, sneeze guard.
Looking down into a bucket of
shattered glass.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Finishing touches to Quilty, almost, almost, almost...
My taxi home from Upper West Side too late last night. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012


We're putting finishing touches this week on our next Birdbath, opening in a few days on the Upper West Side. We inherited an old quilt shop in an even older building. We've been slowly [too slowly] turning it into what will be a sweet and lovely new bakery on the corner of Columbus Avenue and 85th Street. Our nickname for this Birdbath is "Quilty," [all Birdbaths have nicknames], in part because "Down Quilts" was the prior tenant for a long-lived 29 years and in part because Peter Sellers as Clare Quilty in the original version [1961] of "Lolita" is an all-time favorite role in du cinema.


Monday, October 1, 2012


Two of the eight feet of our rickshaw staff arrived in this combo
  of shoes and socks this morning. Watch out city streets, watch out.