ZoeBakes Cake Decorating Class – Rose Cake

 

Baker’s Against Racism Cake Decorating Class with Zoë

Racism is an issue that I’ve thought a lot about. I am part of a mixed-race family and the things I’ve seen and heard directed at the people I love most just shouldn’t happen to anyone, ever! Systematic racism is real and no matter the socioeconomics of a person, POC are treated differently. We should all have the same rights, the same freedoms, the same ability to walk down the street without fear or anxiety. The same access to protection from police, access to education, health care, healthy food, clean air and safe drinking water. Those things are not afforded to all people in equal measure and that is not right or just and needs to change. I have decided to donate the money we raise together to the NAACP, which works to advance all of these issues for POC. For my children and all children of color, we need these changes and we need them NOW! So, thank you for donating and I am looking forward to creating this cake and a whole bunch of change with you. 

This event came together with the generous support of Patricia and Craig Neal from The Center For Purposeful Leadership, who are hosting the Zoom class for me. They also happen to be my stepmother and dad! They have been facilitating zoom meetings for years, long before I’d ever heard of it. For more information about hosting meaningful and effective zoom meetings, contact them here!

If you would like to decorate the cake along with me, this is what you will need to have ready during the cake decorating class. Read More

Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate #blueberrycheesecakeday (yes, that’s a thing, a very good thing!) This cheesecake is full of both fresh and frozen blueberries to mark the special day dedicated to one of my favorite desserts. #ad Blueberries are one of those ingredients that need nothing more than themselves to be special. The color adds natural drama and the sweet-tart flavor is a dynamic pairing with the creamy cheesecake. I made a bright purple sauce by cooking frozen blueberries with nothing more than a touch of sugar and lemon zest, so the blueberry flavor is intense. I always have blueberries in the freezer for pies, smoothies, and occasions just like this. I swirled the sauce into the cheesecake batter so there are stripes of flavor and that gorgeous color throughout. After piping whipped cream over the top I covered it with big, fresh blueberries to add that juicy snap of flavor, plus they’re a beautiful and fun way to garnish the cheesecake. WATCH ME CREATE THIS BLUEBERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE IN MY Instagram Highlight Video

Read More

Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Cobbler | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

When my son was heading back to college after winter break I asked him what he’d like for his last homemade dessert before our long drive. He opened up Pastry Love by Joanne Change and pointed to her cobbler. The perfect choice. Perhaps nothing says comfort food as well and succinctly as a blueberry cobbler.  Bubbling sweet fruit covered with tender, flaky biscuits is exactly the image I hope he recalls of being home for the holidays. Joanne is a phenomenal pastry chef and owns, Flour, one of my all-time favorite bakeries in Boston, so I knew her recipe would satisfy this lofty request from my son. It did not disappoint and I have a feeling this will be an often requested treat in my house. Her book is filled with so many fantastic recipes from this quintessential comfort food to more refined pastries. A pastry book for every home!

Blueberry Cobbler | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

You can watch me make the biscuits and assemble the blueberry cobbler in my Instagram video and Joanne generously gave me permission to share the recipe with you below: Read More

Peach Dutch Baby

Peach Dutch Baby | ZoëBakes photo by Zoë François

A Dutch Baby, or as I called it way back in the day (1970s), a “Puffy Pancake,” was my first real baking adventure. It was also one of my very first posts on ZoëBakes in 2007. Going back to that original post will give you a glimpse of what blogging looked like when I first started out. The photography was really rough (terrible even), but it was a brand new landscape and the idea of sharing recipes on the internet was almost magical. I’ve kept that post exactly as it was 12 years ago, as a reminder of the times and of how far we’ve come. 

Several things have improved since 2007. My photos are a bit better and mostly in focus. Instagram has allowed me to share recipe tutorials, which is such a joy. And, I found a recipe that takes the classic Dutch Baby “puffy pancake” and makes it a summertime sensation! My friend Eliesa Johnson is a stunningly talented photographer here in Minneapolis and she traveled to Nashville to work on a cookbook all about peaches. The “Queen of Fruit” is the star of the book, but Jessica and Stephen Rose, who run The Peach Truck in Nashville, express their love (and encyclopedic knowledge) of Georgia peaches (when you read the book, you’ll follow the journey of the peaches from one state to another) and share 100 fantastic recipes. The Peach Dutch Baby caught my eye, because of my own history with the recipe, but also because Eliesa’s photos make you want to eat it straight off the page. Their recipe is almost identical to the one I have been baking for almost 50 years, but they elevate it with their peachy spin on things. 

You can watch me make the Peach Dutch Baby in my instagram video and Jessica and Stephen have graciously allowed me to share the recipe here. Be sure to pick up the book to try the rest of the peachy recipes; sweet and savory.

Peach Dutch Baby | ZoëBakes photo by Zoë François Read More

Peach Melba (Fresh Peaches with Ice Cream and Croquant)

There is nothing more satisfying than a perfectly ripe peach. When that happens, it is my job, as a pastry chef, not to screw it up. Nature is perfect, and often deserves to be left in its most pure form. Having said that, I am a pastry chef and what fun would it be to serve a peach, unadorned, on a plate? So, I peeled the peach (which may be the sexiest dessert of all), removed the pit, stuffed it full of perfectly whipped cream with croquant (caramelized almonds) and set it on a bed of peach ice cream, to create my version of Peach Melba (Fresh Peaches with Ice Cream and Croquant). Traditionally a Peach Melba is nothing more than peach, vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. I stuck to peaches throughout, so the ice cream and whipped cream have peach puree added to them. The original dessert was created in honor of an Australian opera singer by the first celebrity chef, Escoffier, back in the 1890s. Nellie Melba was performing in London and the chef created a dessert to celebrate her triumphant voice. This is very reminiscent of the story about the famous Pavlova, created for a ballerina. I am all in favor of worshiping creative genius with sweets. 

Despite the elegance of the this Peach Melba, it is really quite easy to make. You can watch me make this Peach Melba in my instagram video and the recipe is below. Read More

Silver Ombre Cake (banana & chocolate layer cake)

Silver Ombre Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

This Silver Ombre Cake was inspired by the arrival of Tessa Huff’s new book, Icing on the Cake. I’ve always been intrigued by cakes with the gradient shades of frosting, otherwise known as ombre. In her new book, Tessa shows us how it’s done, along with ALL her tricks of the trade she used in her California bakery. I made my ombre cake for Mother’s Day and was inspired by the silver hair I have developed from raising two fantastic boys! Hahaha. I’ve earned every strand and celebrate my grey hair with tremendous pride and honor at having lived a life that was full of challenge and joy. So, the cake is a reflection of my love of being a mom and celebrating being a woman of a certain age. And, it’s just so pretty! 

I had the great fortune of meeting Tessa while I was in LA last week. She is so lovely and it was a joy to meet the woman who creates the beautiful cakes. You can see a picture of us below. We were also joined by Adam and Ryan, who also have a new book, Husbands That Cook, which I’ll dive into next! 

Silver Ombre Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

The decorating is the real star on this cake and in Tessa’s book, but she provides her tried and true recipes for cakes, pies, cookies and anything else you can decorate. I used layers of my banana and devil’s food cakes, separated by a layer of a chocolate icing as the foundation. You can watch me create the ombre finish for the cake in my instagram video and recipes below.  Read More