First I have to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dad, Craig Neal! He is leading a trip in the boundary waters  today or I’d bring him some cupcakes.
Last night I delivered a gazillion mini cupcakes to the annual Children’s Heartlink  Gala event. I was part of the live auction with my friends; Michelle Gayer (owner of the Salty Tart  and pastry chef who wrote Charlie Trotter’s Desserts ), extraordinary pastry chef Khanh Tran , Kevin Ryan (the author of Betty Crocker Why It Works) , Sue Zelickson  the grand dame of food in the Twin Cities, Andrew Zimmern , Marjorie Johnson (the author of The Road to Blue Ribbon Baking and frequent guest on Jay Leno) and the Kare11 host Belinda Jensen . We are having a bake-off-party at General Mills with the highest bidder. It will be a fabulous event for an incredible cause.
Michelle and I went to the Gala and served up some sweet treats to try to entice people to bid on our auction package. She came with a brown butter pear tart with maple cream and a black pepper tuile. I decided to go CHOCOLATE and made my Devil’s Food  with Outrageous Mocha Buttercream  with a honey tuile heart as the garnish. To make the honey tuile and see pictures of the event:
Honey Tuile by Jacquelyn Hopkins
3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup egg whites
1 cup all-purpose flour
I added red food coloring for this event, otherwise it is a lovely golden color.
Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add honey, blend well. Add egg whites, blend well Add flour and slowly mix until well incorporated.
Preheat oven to 325°
Pipe the tuile batter into desired pattern. Make sure that the piping is thick enough to hold up when peeled off the paper.
Bake for about 5 minutes or until they are clearly dry, but not coloring. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
To assemble the cupcakes I used a batch of Devil’s Food, Ganache, Outrageous Mocha Buttercream and the tuile.
Pipe a layer of ganache around the outer edge of the cupcake.
Fill in the ganache circle with the buttercream.
Top with the cooled tuile hearts. Perfect for valentine’s day or any other heart felt occasion.
Michelle Gayer, me and my friend Jen Sommerness (she generously agreed to help us for the evening)
After we finished giving out our sweet treats Michelle and I changed and joined the Gala for dinner. Here we are with Sue Zelickson (top left) and Marjorie Johnson (bottom left).
Here we are up on stage during the bidding for the celebrity bake-off package. I just love this picture. You can’t imagine how huge these two women are in personality, despite their petite size.
I mentioned the giveaway of Robin Asbell’s The New Whole Grain Cookbook: Terrific Recipes Using Farro, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Barley, and Many Other Delicious and Nutritious Grains  in my last post, I’ll be doing that next!
Thank you so much to Kim Vallee for the wonderful book review on her At Home with Kim Vallee website !