Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chanel Storage Bin

So a while back I feel in love with this photo on pinterest:

It led to a story on Yatzer featuring The House of DJ Pil Marques in Brazil. Pretty amazing house! 

Anyhoo I LOVED the industrial steel drum turned to chic Chanel side table- I knew that this was going to happen in our home!

I think that I forgot about it for a while, then we got this cool vintage hi fi stereo system for our entry way living room/dining room turned entry way and it replaced a little side table with storage basket that I used for all of our dog stuff. We have three dogs so there is a decent amount of leashes, collars, shirts, jackets, bandanas, and so on. I was at a loss for where to put all this stuff - I wanted something more stylish than just a basket and then the light bulb went off! 

I looked on line for a steel drum - the one in the picture is a 55 gallon drum which is HUGE! But they also make 10 gallon drums that was the perfect size. The cheapest price online was Amazon but surprisingly enough there is steel drum company only 10 miles from my house! AND their price beat Amazon's! Woo hoo!

I picked it up, used a can of flat black spray paint to pain the white lid and give the glossy black body a once over so it was matte too. 

I created a template on my Silhouette Machine using a font that was the closest I could find to the unique Chanel No 5 font:

Printed out on white vinyl and put it on my cute little drum!

It is the perfect storage for our dog accessories, the lid just sits on top of it so it is super easy to open, and is the perfect place for Z's backpack when he gets home from work! :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mini Boston Cream Pies

My absolute new favorite dessert to make is Mini Boston Cream Pies - not only are they incredibly yummy, they are actually fairly easy to make, and a great dessert for a party or barbecue because they are already in individual proportions! 

I have tested a few different recipes and my favorite is actually using the cake recipe from Martha Stewart, the cream filling from Six Sisters' Stuff, and the chocolate glaze is my own adaptation. They turn out so light and fluffy and decadent. 

This recipe yeilds about 18-20 Mini Boston Cream Pies 

The First Step:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter - softened
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter or grease and flour the cupcake tins. 
-Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. 
-Warm the milk and the butter in a sauce pan over low heat.
-Next, best eggs and sugar in a mixer on high speed until thick and pale [about 4 to 5 minutes]
- Beat in the dry ingredients - I turned the mixer down otherwise the flour will fly everywhere :)

Once the milk and butter have melted and started to boil add to the batter on low speed and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla. 

The batter will be lighter and thicker than a normal cake batter - put in muffin tins, filling halfway. 

Bake the cupcakes 12-15 minutes until golden brown. I find around 13 minutes tends to be perfect as if cooked for the full 15 they tend to be a bit dry. 

I run a butter knife around the edges of the cakes to help pop them out of the pan as they do stick a little bit. 
Once they are cool cut in half - I like to cut closer to the top so the larger portion is on the bottom (More like a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio). 

The Second Step:

This step is super easy (and yummy)!

1 (3.4oz) box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix all of the ingredients, pudding, cream, powdered sugar, milk and sour cream, in the mixer on medium until stiff peak forms- usually 2-3 minutes. 

Put the filling in a plastic bag and cut off the end (or use a pastry bag) and pipe the filling on to the bottom half of the cupcake. This works WAY easier than trying to spoon on (as I did the first time around - hence the picture)

Put the tops on:

The Third Step:
Chocolate Glaze/Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream
4-6 oz of chocolate - I mix semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat the milk on low/medium heat until right before it boils. 
Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Mix together slowly until the chocolate is all melted and then add the vanilla. 

I let sit for about 5-10 minutes before I spoon on the top of the cakes.

And then voila: 

These beauties are ready to serve!

I usually make day of but they could be made the day before. 
If transporting be sure to use a cupcake tote as they are messy and hard to move. 
Finally, I do not recommend putting them in the fridge- they are best served at room temperature!

Enjoy :)