Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guava-Orange Margaritas

I'm heading to Cancun this Sunday and even though it will not be an escape from this wretchedly hot weather we've been having in Southern California, at least I'll be greeted with crystal clear waters and the luxurious amenities of an all-inclusive resort. All I can say is, I'm going to be drinking a lot of girly, tropical drinks and no, I'm not ashamed to admit it. You know what they say... when in Rome, or in this case... when in Cancun.

Anyways, I can't wait for bottomless margaritas and pina coladas, and hopefully they'll be as tasty as this margarita here ;)

Guava-Orange Margaritas
Yields: 8 1/2 cups
Adapted from here.

2 cups orange juice 
2 cups tequilla
1 cup grand marnier
3 cups guava puree
coarse sugar, such as turbinado, for rims

Combine everything in a large pitcher. Refrigerate until chilled. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Adoravel Pt. II

We added bunches of new stuff to the shop! Check it out :)

You can get everything here.

savai | cube-shaped champagne beads on gold plated chain with gold plated bars accents

simplicidade | gold plated chain rings

callia | layered mixed metal necklace of gold plated chain and silver plated bars

millieu | chain and bead rings (in graphite and mint)

* also available in fern, gold, jet and silver.

lingua | morse code initial bracelets made of silk cord, gold plated bars and gold plated beads

{letters 'l' on top, and 'm' on the bottom}

petra | a delicate gold leaf on gold plated chain

la paz | mini gold hammered pendant on gold plated chain

daphnia | coral and gold beads hanging on gold plated chain

diptico | gold plated bar and hanging thread of rhodochrosite stones on gold plated chain

{me wearing the diptico}

prelude | miniature rose-colored fresh water pearls on gold plated chain

tarvisio | hand-forged, hammered pendant on gold plated chain

{me wearing the tarvisio, layered with the savai}

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

I seriously cannot believe it is already August; where has the time gone? It's amazing how at one point, summer felt so far away and in an instant, it's gone in a blink of an eye. I'm still looking forward to my vacation at the end of the month though - it seems like it has taken forever to come. 

I'll be going to Cancun, which I wasn't all too excited about at first because it's a little cliche and overrun with tourists, but I decided I was gonna make the best of it. I started researching all the awesome places to go, like here and here and here, and now I find myself incredibly excited. Underground caves? Yes, I'd like that, I'd like that very much. A fine example of why you shouldn't judge things too quickly.

Anyways, I'm pretty sure I made these last summer, goes to show how much of a procrastinator I am. But since it's summer now, these cupcakes are perfectly fitting for the season. We actually have gorgeous peach trees at home, both yellow and white, so I love baking with them. These cupcakes will inhabit your dreams, they do mine, while I reminisce about eating them last summer...

Full of fresh peach chunks and a tender cake, then topped with a crispy-crunchy top. On top of that, a fluffy frosting made of pudding mix! I wanted to try something new and I'm glad I did. It's perfectly rides the line between being too sweet and not sweet enough and it's velvety on the tongue. Definitely a home-y, comforting little cake.

Peach Cobbler Cupcakes
Yields: 16 cupcakes
Cupcakes adapted from here. Frosting adapted from here.

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup peaches, skins removed, roughly chopped (about 2 medium)

For the crumble:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

For the peach-pudding buttercream:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 pkg. white chocolate instant pudding mix
1/2 - 3/4 cup heavy cream (depending on how thick you want your frosting)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
1/2 cup powdered sugar (or more depending on your taste)

To make the crumble, mix everything in a bowl with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with liners and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugars in a stand mixer for 1 minute until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the peaches. Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 full. Sprinkle each cupcake with about 1 tbsn. of the crumble mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

To make the frosting, in a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and silky. Turn the speed to low and add the pudding mix, when incorporated, slowly add in the cream, a little at a time. When fully incorporated, bring the speed up to high and beat for 5 - 7 minutes this ensures you beat the grit of the pudding mix out). Turn the speed back down to low and add the powdered sugar, tasting along the way. When it is sweet enough to your taste, beat again at high speed for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and spices then bring the speed back to low and beat for 3 minutes longer.