{kitchen de ferrer} ombre valentine cake push pops.

ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.

It's no secret I would rather take pictures of my food (and eat them!) than bake/cook them. And it's no secret I take even more pics when I actually do bake/cook. Hard work can do that to ya. In this case (if you couldn't already tell from the multitude of aftermath visuals), I worked hard! And pretty dang proud of it. =D

The making of a cake push pop, it seems, is pretty straightforward. Bake a sheet cake, level it off, cut circles out with push pop container, pipe in cream cheese icing in between cake layers. Sounds easy enough! The Jin version is slightly different. Bake mini cupcakes using a mini muffin pan instead! Once cooled, cut off the cupcake tops, leaving the bottom portions (perfect height and width!) to be squeezed into the push pop containers. No need to level off!

As for the ombre part, I opted for various Duncan Hines cake flavors. Red velvet, strawberry and yellow cake. Half the yellow cake batter I added food coloring (red, orange + yellow) to get that nice bright red color.

Aaand construct away! Cake, icing, cake, icing, etc. Top off with lip sprinkles. Perhaps take the decor step further with some washi tape fun. Makes for 'derrricious-looking' (as Hanh puts it) and 'what the hell these push pops are delicious' (as Eric puts it) Valentine treats for Jincent's closest Austin friends!

besos ... jin.

{foodie adventure} macaron by patisse.

2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.
2.2.13 - macaron by patisse with jojo.

 Pictures by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.

Per Miss Jen Tabangcora's caption of her Macaron by Patisse Instagram pic:

"I know where to find Jin next time she's in Houston :) @jin_chu"

Oh, fa sho. Ain't gotta tell me twice. And so Little Chu + I moseyed on over to the newest, swankest, chicest macaron shoppe in Houston (by far!) this past weekend. Must be all that River Oaks juju vibin' and jivin' up in this patisserie. Everything looked almost too pretty to touch! But nevermind that. We came here for the macarons. ;-)

Just to be totally honest, we cop'd all the macaron flavors avail that day. And ate it all before we left the patisserie. =X Hey, the friendly reminder found inside one of the pastry boxes said to enjoy the goods in room temp. We had a full day's worth of errands to run afterwards and the macarons would have been sweating it out in the hot, hot car. We couldn't have that. Besides, it gave us ChuChu sisters enough time to chat with one of the store owners (Hi, Mohammed!) and take a gander around the shoppe.

With Coco Chai Tea in hand, we went to town with our macaron loot. Blueberry Vanilla Bean + Ferrero were JoJo's faves, Matcha Green Tea mine. But the ChuChu unanimous fave was this giant heart-shaped Lychee Raspberry macaron with Rose buttercream in all it's pink'd out glory. It took 10 heavenly bites, maybe 12, to finish off this gigantor of a macaron, and oh em gee was it mind-blowing delicious. I've read somewhere that the macarons here are 50 calories each and gluten-free. That's even more of a reason to come back. ;-)

besos ... jin.

[diy] christmas in a box.

diy christmas in a box.

So this 'Christmas In A Box' is something I almost always do every year as Christmas favors for close friends. Almost 'cause there are years where V + I would travel our little hearts out for the holidays. =) These boxes are usually filled with homemade baked bite-size goodness, and every year, as a challenge to myself, I never give away the same holiday treat. There are so many yummy delectables out there, why bake the same recipe twice, yah?

diy christmas in a box.
diy christmas in a box.

This year the boxes were filled with Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites and Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bites. Christmas for your tastebuds, if you will. ;-)  A little bit of mint tissue paper, red/pink nylon string, gold glittery birds (thanks to Heather's awesome cricut!) A nice eco-friendly looking treat box for good measure. Boom. All gussied up and ready to subtlely wow!

diy christmas in a box.

Hope this inspires your own 'Christmas In A Box'!

besos ... jin.

{kitchen de ferrer} gingerbread cheesecake bites.

gingerbread cheesecake bites.

It's that time of year again. 'Christmas In A Box' time. Oh yes. It's totally what you think. But better and yummier. Almost every year I would put together and give away Christmas favor boxes to close friends. And almost every year I would bake something new. Still bite-size, of course. ;-) So what did I put in these boxes? Well, one of them is this nomlicious mini gingerbread cheesecake recipe I found a few weeks ago. It was love at first bake. And it was so good I had to bake it again to share with friends. The recipe! It's so freakin' easy! Be sure to top off the bites with chocolate chip morsels - it's so much more tastier!

 

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites adapted from Created By Diana

1 (30 oz) package Pillsbury Gingerbread Cookie Dough (refrigerated section)

4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup flour

A bag of semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels

 

1 -- Let's make the filling first, shall we. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Put filling into a piping bag or ziplock bag. Cut off the tip of plastic bag and place in fridge.

2 -- Mix flour into the cookie dough. This will make the dough firmer, resulting in less puffing when baking and less collapsing when cooling.

3 -- Roll 2 teaspoons of gingerbread dough into balls. I used a small ice cream scooper to make the process a little faster. Depending on how big your ice cream scooper is, you may need 1.5 to 2 scoops for a good-size ball. Place balls into a mini cupcake/muffin pan with paper liners.

4 -- Make a well or indentation into each ball. To do this, place the end of a mini rolling pin or a wine cork and press into the dough.

5 -- Fill each well halfway with cream cheese filling. This will help the dough from rising too much.

6 -- Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

7 -- Let the bites cool before filling them up with more cream cheese. Top off with chocolate chip morsels.

gingerbread cheesecake bites.
gingerbread cheesecake bites.
gingerbread cheesecake bites.

Share. Or not. We don't judge. It really is that good!

besos ... jin.

{Pictures by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.}