Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines

Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines

I had tea with with a well mannered hedgehog once on a crisp fall day. He brought me a tiny bouquet of flowers, which I placed in a small jam jar filled with water. He said the delightful maple scent of these Madeleines reminded him of his time in the woods, as a young hoglet. When he had his fill of the delicate little cakes, I wrapped some in a tea towel for his journey home.

As cooler weather approaches, I’m always looking for a little something to enjoy with a warm drink and a good book. Although traditional Madeleines typically remind me of spring, these Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines have a cozy fall feeling. They go well with coffee, tea or hot cocoa. If you want to make them for a friend, make the batter and keep it in the refrigerator. Bake the Madeleines right before your friend arrives.

I used a spherical Madeleine pan to make these maple scented little cakes. The Madeleines made in this pan are a little thicker and fluffier than those made in a traditional oval pan. To find the Madeleine pan I used, click here. You can certainly use a traditional pan if you prefer. Keep in mind that the baking time will be shorter and you will end up with about twice as many.

Print Recipe
Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword madeleines, maple
Servings
Ingredients
Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword madeleines, maple
Servings
Ingredients
Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines
Instructions
Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar and maple extract, on high speed with an electric mixer, until batter is voluminous, light in color and holds its shape when you lift the beater, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Combine melted butter and maple syrup.
  4. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture in three additions, alternating with the melted butter. Fold just until combined, being careful not to deflate batter. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all flour is combined.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a spherical Madeleine pan* with nonstick spray or melted butter. Dust the pan with a light coating of flour. Tap out the excess flour.
  7. Fill the wells of the Madeleine pan with batter 3/4 full, about 2 tablespoons each, using a scoop**, a spoon or a piping bag. If you're using a traditional oval Madeleine pan, fill 3/4 full, about a generous tablespoon of batter in each.
  8. Bake until golden brown around the edges and puffed in the center, about 10-12 minutes. Baking time for oval Madeleine pan will be about 7-8 minutes. Do not over bake.
  9. Cool in pan for one minute then turn Madeleines out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Top with maple icing and nuts.
Maple Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, maple extract and one tablespoon of milk. Add additional milk as needed. Stir in a pinch of salt to taste.
  2. Brush icing onto Madeleines with a pastry brush. Apply nuts to the edges of Madeleines. Serve immediately. Madeleines are best served the day they're baked.
Recipe Notes

*To find the Madeleine pan I used, click here. **To find the scoop I used, click here.

Blueberry Donut Holes with Homemade Blueberry Sugar

Blueberry Donut Holes with Homemade Blueberry Sugar

If you landed here from one of my social media accounts, welcome! I’m really glad you’re here. I love to create fun, pretty and sweet treats like these delicious blueberry donut holes! The thing that really makes these special is the homemade blueberry sugar, which adds a burst of blueberry flavor. Freeze dried blueberries are combined with sugar to create a beautiful, flavorful sugar that you can use for many other things. It can also be used in tea, lattes, lemonade, cocktails or sprinkled on cookies or scones. Keep in mind that freeze dried blueberries are not the same as dried blueberries. Dried blueberries still contain some moisture, so they won’t work for this purpose.

The donut hole batter comes together quickly and easily. The most challenging part for me is frying them. I found that using a thermometer and testing one donut hole first, helps you determine the perfect oil temperature. Using a small ice scream scoop helps you get uniform donut holes. Make sure the outside of the scoop is clean between each donut to help them keep the round shape and avoid pointy tails.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Donut Holes with Homemade Blueberry Sugar
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
donut holes
Ingredients
Blueberry Sugar
Blueberry Donut Holes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
donut holes
Ingredients
Blueberry Sugar
Blueberry Donut Holes
Instructions
Blueberry Sugar
  1. Process freeze dried blueberries and sugar in a food processor or a clean spice grinder until finely ground. Be careful not to over process or you may end up with powdered sugar.
Blueberry Donut Holes
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Do not over mix! A few lumps are okay.
  4. Fold in chopped blueberries.
  5. In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 340ºF.
  6. Drop tablespoon size scoops or spoonfuls of batter into hot oil. I used a #60 ice cream scoop. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  7. Cook donut holes until golden brown on all sides, about 2-4 minutes, flipping halfway through. If donut holes cook too quickly on the outside, turn heat down.
  8. Briefly drain donut holes on paper towels, then toss warm donut holes in blueberry sugar. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Success tip: Use a small ice cream scoop sprayed with nonstick spray to drop donut holes into oil. Make sure the outside of scoop is clean between each donut hole to keep the round shape and avoid tails on your donut holes.

To find freeze dried blueberries, click here.

To find the ice cream scoop I used, click here.

Lilac Vanilla Mini Cakes

Lilac Vanilla Mini Cakes

Once upon a time, there was a little black bear who woke up from a long nap. As she stretched, she felt her tummy growl. She ventured into the morning sunshine and smelled something sweet. She sniffed the air, following the sweet fragrance until she came upon a beautiful purple tree. She climbed up to a comfy branch and ate the tender, purple blossoms to her heart’s content.

Bears, butterflies and bees know something good when they see it. We humans can also enjoy lilacs. I knew lilacs were edible, but I hadn’t tasted them until recently. The flavor reminds me of beets, slightly sweet with a vegetable aftertaste. I really wanted to try lilac syrup after seeing so many photos of pretty purple syrup online. I discovered that lilac syrup is not purple. It’s more of a dull, brownish blue-green. Many people use food coloring or blueberries to color their syrup. I decided to skip that step since I would be using my lilac syrup inside of cake layers. I made a simple syrup with lilac blossoms and let them steep for a couple of hours. It was just long enough to give a subtle lilac flavor without being too floral. If you want a stronger lilac flavor, I suggest using more lilac blossoms rather than steeping longer to avoid bitterness.

I paired the lilac syrup with this soft, fluffy vanilla cake and silky Swiss meringue buttercream. If you aren’t a fan of lilac syrup, feel free to use vanilla simple syrup instead and just use the lilac blossoms to decorate your cakes. They look stunning on any cake or cupcakes.

Print Recipe
Lilac Vanilla Mini Cakes
Soft, fluffy mini white vanilla cakes with lilac syrup and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, topped with lilac blossoms
Course Dessert
Servings
mini cakes
Ingredients
Lilac Syrup
White Vanilla Cake
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Course Dessert
Servings
mini cakes
Ingredients
Lilac Syrup
White Vanilla Cake
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Instructions
Lilac Syrup
  1. Combine lilac blossoms, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently to dissolve sugar.
  2. Turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow lilac blossoms to steep for 2 hours. Pass lilac syrup through a mesh sieve.
White Vanilla Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, oil and vanilla bean paste with an electric mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. On medium speed, beat in egg whites in two additions, then beat in egg until well combined.
  5. On low speed, beat in one third of the flour mixture, then beat in sour cream just until combined.
  6. Beat in the remaining flour in two additions, alternating with milk. Beat just until combined.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared cake pans. Bake for 28-33 minutes, or until top is light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake.
  8. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and continue cooling on a wire rack.
  9. Cut cakes into twelve 2 3/4-inch rounds using a cookie or biscuit cutter.
  10. Using a pastry brush, brush mini cakes generously with lilac syrup or vanilla simple syrup.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and temperature of 160ºF is reached.
  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on low speed, gradually increasing to medium-high speed. Whisk until glossy, stiff peaks form and mixture reaches room temperature.
  4. Turn mixer to medium-low speed. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, allowing butter to fully incorporate before adding more. If mixture looks curdled, keep mixing and it will correct itself.
  5. Switch to a paddle attachment. On low speed, mix in vanilla bean paste and salt. Continue mixing on low speed for a few minutes until smooth.
  6. Remove about 3/4 cup of frosting and transfer to a small bowl. Using a toothpick, place two tiny drops of lilac gel food color and one tiny drop of violet gel food color into the bowl. Mix with a spatula until well combined.
Assembly
  1. Smear a bit of frosting on each mini cake board. Top with a cake round, frosting, then a second cake round. Frost with a crumb coat if desired. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Frost mini cakes with white Swiss meringue buttercream, then smear small amounts of lilac Swiss meringue buttercream around the sides and top. Smooth frosting with a bench scraper and smooth the tops with a small offset spatula. Decorate with lilac blossoms.
Vanilla Simple Syrup (optional)
  1. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract.
Recipe Notes

*If you can't find ultra fine granulated sugar, it's ok to substitute with regular granulated sugar.

**To find the lilac gel food color I used, click here.

***To find the violet gel food color I used, click here.

****To find 3-inch mini cake boards, click here.

Strawberries and Cream Profiteroles

Strawberries & Cream Profiteroles

Hear me out. Imagine you’re in a beautiful room, reclining on a plush velvet chaise lounge. There’s a dainty table nearby. On the table is a cake pedestal with a little pyramid of small, perfectly plump, pink pastries. They’re filled with sweet, luscious strawberry cream. And they’re all yours. This Strawberries & Cream Profiteroles recipe can make that dream come true. Maybe not the velvet chaise lounge, but really any comfortable chair will do while you indulge in these delicious little gems. Profiteroles have a way of making you feel regal and indulgent. I think princesses and princes snack on them. Most of us don’t have a personal pastry chef or the budget to order from French bakeries every day, but we can certainly follow a recipe and make one of the easiest pastry doughs there is. Choux pastry or pate à choux is used to make profiteroles, cream puffs, eclairs, churros and other pastries. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.

This recipe features fresh strawberries, but frozen strawberries will work too. You can also substitute raspberries or peaches. To find the recipe for Peaches & Cream Profiteroles, click here. The strawberry purée can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator. To make it easy on myself, I like to make the strawberry purée on day one, the pastry cream on day two, then make the profiteroles and strawberry icing and assemble on day three. It’s also helpful to practice the French culinary style of prep, mise en place, which means to have all of your ingredients and equipment in place before you begin. Everything will go much smoother and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Print Recipe
Strawberries and Cream Profiteroles
Bite sized choux pastry puffs filled with fresh strawberries and cream filling and topped with fresh strawberry icing
Course Dessert
Servings
profiteroles
Ingredients
Strawberry Pureé
Strawberries and Cream Filling
Profiteroles
Strawberry Icing
Course Dessert
Servings
profiteroles
Ingredients
Strawberry Pureé
Strawberries and Cream Filling
Profiteroles
Strawberry Icing
Instructions
Strawberry Purée
  1. Purée strawberries in a blender or food processor. Strain puréed strawberries through a sieve.
  2. Transfer strawberry purée to a small saucepan. Stir in lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until strawberry purée is reduced by half.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberry extract. Set aside to cool completey.
Strawberries and Cream Filling
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the egg and whisk until smooth.
  3. When milk starts to boil, remove from heat and pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract.
  6. Pour mixture through a sieve placed over a bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and let cool completely.
  7. Set aside 2 tablespoons of strawberry purée. Add remaining strawberry purée to cooled pastry cream and stir to combine. Cover strawberry pastry cream and chill in refrigerator.
  8. In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks with an electric mixer at high speed. Fold whipped cream into cooled strawberry pastry cream. Set aside in refrigerator.
Profiteroles
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper,
  2. Combine water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat. Add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball.
  4. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until steam dissipates and mixture cools to lukewarm.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed until smooth, stopping to scrape down bowl.
  6. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. (I used *Ateco tip 808)
  7. Pipe 1 1/4-inch mounds, about 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets. Smooth tops with a wet finger.
  8. Bake 15 minutes, then turn down the oven heat to 350ºF and continue baking until golden brown, about 8-10 more minutes. Using a toothpick or skewer, prick a small hole in each profiterole to allow steam to escape. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Use the tip of a paring knife to make a pilot hole in the bottom of each profiterole.
  10. Place strawberries and cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. (I used **Wilton tip 12)
  11. Place tip into the pilot holes and fill each profiterole with filling.
Strawberry Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all icing ingredients together until smooth. Spoon over filled profiteroles. Refrigerate profiteroles until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

*To find Ateco tip 808 click here.

**To find Wilton tip 12 click here.

Mini Orange Olive Oil Cakes

mini orange olive oil cakes

Ever since a certain celebrity cut a hole from the middle of her favorite olive oil cake back in 2020, the internet has been obsessed with olive oil cakes. I must confess that I was a fan of olive oil cakes long before that! I first tasted one at a restaurant years ago and fell in love. The flavor and texture was so delightful, that all it needed was a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Now that the dust has settled, I’m sharing my favorite orange olive oil cake recipe. Not because it was ever trendy, but because it’s a really delicious recipe that tastes like spring.

I made cute little orange scented, personal cakes that are really just elegant cupcakes. The recipe is easily adapted to your tastes. You can switch up the orange flavor and substitute with lemon or any citrus of your choice. Even if you don’t like olive oil, you’ll still like these little cakes. I use light olive oil, rather than extra virgin olive oil, for a more subtle olive oil flavor. Feel free to use your favorite olive oil or replace it with the oil you prefer. Grape seed, avocado and canola oil are some examples of oil you can use as a replacement.

This recipe contains almond flour. It helps with texture and flavor, so it’s a necessary ingredient. Almond flour can be pricey, but it’s good to have on hand. Adding it to your baked goods will make them more moist and tender. To find almond flour click here,

Print Recipe
Mini Orange Olive Oil Cakes
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, olive oil, orange
Servings
mini cakes
Ingredients
Mini Orange Olive Oil Cakes
Orange Simple Syrup
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, olive oil, orange
Servings
mini cakes
Ingredients
Mini Orange Olive Oil Cakes
Orange Simple Syrup
Instructions
Mini Orange Olive Oil Cakes
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 12 serving muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract together until smooth.
  4. Gradually mix in olive oil and beat until well combined.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with milk and orange juice. Stir just until combined. Do not over mix.
  6. Fill wells of muffin pan 2/3 full with batter. Do not overfill or cakes will be more difficult to remove.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops look light golden, but still moist and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. They bake very quickly, so check them a few minutes before to avoid over baking.
  8. Cool cakes in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack.
  9. Brush warm cakes with orange simple syrup and allow to cool completely.
  10. When cakes have cooled, dust with powdered sugar.
Orange Simple Syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, stir together sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, and orange zest.
  2. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

Summer is nearly over, and after the recent heatwave here in Southern California, I’m more than ready to welcome fall weather. But before I put on my fluffy sweater and dive into pumpkin spice everything, I want to enjoy the tail end of peach season, don’t you? Farmer’s markets and stores near my home are still brimming over with fresh peaches, so I picked up some peaches and decided to give them a proper goodbye and send them off in style.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

I created some luscious peaches and cream filled, bite-size puffs of choux pastry, called profiteroles. They’re like cream puffs, only smaller. The filling is creamy, but so light and airy that I’m convinced that these profiteroles have no calories! The recipe I’m sharing with you uses fresh peaches, but feel free to substitute frozen peaches if fresh peaches aren’t available. There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but the steps are done in stages and are very easy to do.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

I decorated my profiteroles with fresh, pesticide-free miniature rosebuds, also known as spray roses. If you can’t find miniature rosebuds, pesticide-free rose petals would be a good substitute. You may not get a chance to embellish these little beauties. They have a way of popping into people’s mouths even before you can decorate them!


Print Recipe


Peaches & Cream Profiteroles

Bite-sized puffs of choux pastry filled with a creamy, fresh peach filling and topped with fresh peach icing.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French

Servings


Ingredients
Peach Purée

Peaches & Cream Filling

Profiteroles

Peach Icing

Course Dessert
Cuisine French

Servings


Ingredients
Peach Purée

Peaches & Cream Filling

Profiteroles

Peach Icing


Instructions
Peach Purée
  1. Purée peaches in a blender or food processor. Strain puréed peaches through a sieve. Stir in lemon juice.

  2. Place puréed peaches in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

  3. Reduce heat and simmer until peach purée is reduced by half.

  4. Remove from heat. Stir in peach flavoring and set aside to cool completely.

Peaches and Cream Filling
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the egg and whisk until smooth.

  3. When milk starts to boil, remove from heat and pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.

  4. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

  5. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and extracts.

  6. Pour mixture through a sieve placed over a bowl. Cover the surface of pastry cream with plastic wrap. Let cool.

  7. Set aside 2 tablespoons of cooled peach purée. Add remaining peach purée to cooled pastry cream and stir to combine. Chill in refrigerator.

  8. In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks with an electric mixer at high speed. Fold whipped cream into peach pastry cream mixture. Set aside in refrigerator.

Profiteroles
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Combine water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

  3. Reduce heat. Add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from sides of the pan and forms a ball.

  4. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until steam dissipates and mixture cools to lukewarm.

  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth, stopping to scrape down bowl.

  6. Transfer mixture to a piping bag, fitted with a large round tip. (**I used Ateco tip 808.)

  7. Pipe 1 1/4 inch mounds, about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Smooth tops with a wet finger.

  8. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn oven temperature down to 350ºF and continue baking until golden brown, about 8-10 more minutes. Using a toothpick or skewer poke a small hole in each profiterole to let steam escape. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Using the tip of a paring knife, poke a pilot hole in the bottom of each profiterole.

  10. Place peaches and cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. (***I used Wilton tip 12.)

  11. Place piping tip into the pilot holes and fill each profiterole with filling.

Peach Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk all icing ingredients together and spoon over filled profiteroles. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Recipe Notes

*To make peaches easy to peel, blanch them  in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then dunk  in ice water.

**To find Ateco tip 808, click here. ***To find Wilton tip 12, click here.