Classic Meringue Shells

Meringue is an absolute staple in my kitchen because of its amazing versatility in so many recipes! Buttercreams, mousses, brownies, chiffon cake, lady fingers, jaconde sponge etc, etc, etc… 😉 If its light, airy and fluffy, you can bet it has some sort of meringue incorporated inside.

A little science…

So what is a meringue and how does it do the magical thing it does in so many of these wonderful dessert and pastry recipes? It’s a simple science really, when two baking staples come together and whip to a stiff peak of perfection. These two ingredients are egg whites and sugar.

We all know that egg whites contain proteins. When these proteins are agitated or whipped, they form a coil or interlocked system of protein, water and air bubbles. The more agitation, the stronger and tighter the proteins become. Sugar not only provides the sweetness to this meringue, but is also more importantly known to give more stability at the surface of these coil systems, therefore providing more of a stable structure for these egg proteins to form and keep their shape for a considerable amount of time.

Types of meringue

There are 3 different types of meringues that can be made known as French, Swiss and Italian.

French (common meringue) is made by adding dry granulated sugar into frothed egg whites and beaten to desired peak. Applications for this type of meringue are for topping pies and aerating cake or waffle batters or for piping and baking to make cookies like French macarons.

Swiss is made by whisking and heating the sugar and whites over a double boil to dissolve the sugar and cook the eggs until they reach 165F. Then it is transferred back to the mixer and whipped until stiff peak is formed. This is one of the more stable meringues and can be used in various applications like the common meringue.

Italian is made by cooking a sugar water mixture to soft ball stage(230-230F high altitude or 240F at sea level). At this point, the sugar syrup is then slowly poured into the frothed egg whites while beating on medium high speed and continues to beat until a stiff peak is formed. This is the most stable of the meringues and is used for making various mousses and buttercream and for a lot of decorative work.

Important Tips

  • Always start with a clean, dry bowl before adding the egg whites to it. You won’t have much luck getting a good froth much less the volume you are looking for otherwise.
  • A good ratio to always remember for making a good meringue is 1 part egg whites to 2 parts sugar. The sugar provides better stability and allows the egg whites to hold their shape longer!
  • a little amount of acid can be used to relax the proteins and provide more stability for the meringue. Acids like lemon juice, cream of tartar or vinegar are good options.
  • Room temperature whites will whip up faster, but I don’t find it necessary or see any difference in the finished product either way.
  • Avoid overwhipping egg whites. They will become dry, lumpy and the proteins will become so tightly intertwined that the water tends to seep out. If this happens, you should start the process over with new egg whites.

Classic meringue shells

Ok so now that we’ve had a little introduction into the types of meringues there are and how to use them. Let’s get to the recipe for meringue shells!

These are also known as meringue nests because of how similar they look to a bird’s nest. They are also more classically known as Pavlovas. Where they are baked and filled with some type of cream and garnished with fresh fruit. They make the most beautiful dessert perfect for spring and summer. It’s so light and delicious and the presentation so elegant. You will find that not only are they easy to prepare but they are a definite crowd pleaser and go-to spring and summertime dessert time and time again!

The Recipe

Yield: 10 – 4” round meringue shells

Oven temp: 200F

  • 175 g Egg whites
  • 350 g granulated sugar

Method

Place egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment… Start whipping on medium speed to get the whites frothy. This should take a minute or two.

Frothed egg whites

At this point, you can start adding the granulated sugar about a teaspoon at a time. This is a very important step as you want to be able to give the sugar time to dissolve into the moisture of the egg whites while also being careful not to over saturate the egg whites! If this happens you won’t get the volume you are looking for, so be patient and let the meringue develop into the pillowy, cloud of sweetness it’s meant to become!☺️

One teaspoon at a time…. while mixing in medium speed.

Once you’ve take the time to gradually add the sugar, you will see the meringue start to get glossy, thick and very white in color! Stop the mixer to do a peak test. Lift and pull the whip attachment from the mixer. Dip the whip into the meringue and if it keeps its peak when you turn it up, then you’ve achieved the perfect French meringue! It should be smooth and shiny in appearance…

Stiff peak French meringue

Now you are ready to pipe the meringue into shells onto a baking sheet…Make sure to line your pan with parchment paper or a silpat mat before hand. This allows the finished shells to be easily lifted from the pan after baking. You can also trace circles into the paper for even sizing. This helps you have a consistent product and serving size every time!

A prepared pan with circles traced for even sizing

Now you’ll need to get a pastry bag with a decorative pastry tip placed on the end. I love using a rosette tip like the one seen below..

Now fill the pastry bag with the meringue using a spatula. Fill bag half full for better handling when piping. Twist the bag closed and start piping!

You want to start piping into the center of each circle gradually moving outward creating a spiral. Once you’ve reached the edge of the circle, stop and then create a ring of meringue on the top edge of each circle creating a wall. Once you’ve finished, repeat the process until you have finished the whole sheet pan.

A finished tray of piped shells

Once you have your piped shells finished, You are ready to place them in the oven to bake! Now since meringues are so delicate, it requires a very low oven temperature of 200 F. So really, you are drying the meringues more than baking them. Let them dry out for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Once they are done, do not take them out, simply turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool with the oven doors slightly open. I do this for maybe and hour or two or even overnight. This will ensure that the shells do not deflate, as they are still soft in the center and need further drying to stabilize.

Baked and cooked meringue shells ready to be filled

Once your shells have cooled, you are ready to fill the centers with any desire Cream or mousse and garnish with fresh fruit or fruit sauce and serve!

If you want to make these ahead of time. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or can be frozen for up to a month for future use.

Lovely rosette piping finish!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as i do! It’s simple to do and so much fun! You might even find the piping to be somewhat therapeutic!! I know I do.

Happy baking everyone!

French Macarons

When I started this little blog journey, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to come up with recipes that inspired me to actually write about. I’m finding out more and more that you can’t push it. It has to come to you naturally; and when it feels good inside, you can feel it resonate and the words just flow. Today feels like one of those days and it makes me happy!

Springtime time is upon us and that means everything Is coming alive again! This motivates me to kind of cleanse, evolve and rejuvenate things involved with the kitchen, baking and anything else really to give a fresh and updated feel to it. So it’s all about getting back to basics and starting fresh. Making tasty treats in the most natural way possible. This is where the beets come in…

The recipe I want to share with you today is for French Macarons made with an Italian meringue that I’ve been developing for about a year now, except with a fun new twist! Instead of using almond flour like the most typical and classic French macarons, I used finely ground pecans. The main reason being because I ran out of almond flour and really wanted to make some macarons today!.. lol. The other twist about them is that instead of using food coloring, I used Beet juice. 😍

All about that natural color…

Not only is the color just gorgeous, but it’s so much better for you too! I’ve become increasingly inspired by baking things that are all-natural and using colors and flavors derived from the earth. Nature inspires me and I want to continue to work with it any way possible!

By the way, I was in no way expecting this recipe tweak to turn out the first time because of how sensitive these macarons are to any added liquid or fat! So I was running with sheer hope that if I followed the recipe to the exact measurements except replacing 2 ingredients with their equal counterparts, that it would turn out. To my pleasant surprise, they totally did! So, I have to share the recipe with you all because it’s delicious, simplistic and just an all around beautiful cookie to make and share!

So let’s get started! Here is the recipe for a French macaron made with beet juice and pecan flour using the Italian meringue method.

French Macaron recipe ( Italian meringue method)

Yield: 15-20 medium sized cookie sandwiches; 1 1/2″ diameter

140 g Pecans (finely ground)

140 g Powdered sugar

100 g Granulated sugar

40 g Beet juice/water mixture

97g Egg whites( 47 g for paste, 50 g for meringue)

Note- I only recommend weighing the ingredients with a scale for the best results!

Method

First of all, you want to make sure you have a food processor or blender that can ground the pecans very finely so that they can be easily sifted. The finer the better for a nice, smooth cookie surface.

Once you have grounded the pecans, you can sift them into a mixing bowl along with the powdered sugar. Set aside. Weigh out the 50g egg whites into a mixing bowl fitted with the whip attachment. Then measure the other 47g egg whites into your pecan and powered sugar mixture.

Incorporate the almond and egg white mixture until it becomes a smooth paste and then set aside.

Take 2 small sized beets, peel the skin off of them and then place them in a food processor with roughly a 1/4 cup of water. Just enough to make it easier for the beets to process into a liquid. Once you are done, strain the juice into a bowl and set a side.

In a small saucepan, measure out the granulated sugar and then pour 40 g of the reserved beet juice carefully over the sugar as to not spread any sugar crystals on the side of the pot.

Undivided attention…

This is the part that needs your undivided attention. Now you are ready to make the Italian meringue. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook until you get a thick syrup and the temperature reaches about 223 F. ( Do not attempt to stir this syrup while cooking! Crystals will form and that’s bad!) While the syrup is cooking, Start whipping your egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Once the syrup has reached the proper temp, turn the mixer on high and then you can ‘slowly’ drizzle the syrup into the egg whites until it’s all incorporated. Remember, This is a very delicate step as the whites are very sensitive to the heat. Now that you have incorporated the syrup and the meringue continues to fluff up and aerate, you have made a successful Italian meringue! just allow it to keep whipping until it has fully developed and cooled and has a nice shine to it.

It’s all in the folding…

Now you are ready to fold the meringue into your pecan sugar paste. Start by adding half of your meringue and carefully fold in and press any lumps out. You want to maintain a smooth consistency! Any lumps will show in the finished cookie and that’s not good.

Now add the remaining meringue to the batter.  With a very slow, fluid motion, even more gently this time, fold the meringue into the batter to incorporate fully. Keep folding until you have just the slightest run of batter when you pull the spatula up from the bowl.

Note: A lot of people say this is the make or break point in the cookie process because one too many folds will lead to too much spreading, leading to odd shapes and an appearance of over mixing when the cookie is baked.

Now you are ready to pipe out some macarons! As you can see in the pictures below, I have a sheet pan lined with parchment. The paper has circles traced with pencil( make sure the pencil traced side is down). I also like to use a pastry bag with a round tip about 1cm in diameter.

Add some batter to fill about half of the pastry bag and twist the end closed with your dominant hand. Carefully pipe the batter staying in the center of each circle and pushing batter out until it reaches the edge of the circle lift the back quickly in a side ways motion to release the batter from the cookie in a smooth motion. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the whole tray.

Now gently tap the tray onto the work surface until you’ve tapped any air bubbles out and smoothed out the cookie even more to create a nice, smooth shell.

Allow the cookies to dry out for 15-20 minutes. This is an important step that helps create the desired shell of the macaron. It’s less likely to crack open on the tops while baking when you its slightly dried out.

Preheat your oven to 260 F (conventional) or 250 F (Convection). Place the macarons in the very center of the oven and set a timer for 18 minutes. Note: All ovens are different! This is the temperature and time that works for my conventional oven. You may end up having to adjust these numbers. I hope it works for you, but I can’t promise anything!

The shells should start popping up and the feet should start showing between 5-7 minutes. Once the cookies are done. Take them out of the oven and allow to cool and finish cooking in the sheet tray.

Once cooled, you can start filling them with your desired fillings! This time around I used a dark chocolate ganache. Next time, I think I’ll try making a raspberry beet ganache or buttercream to fill them😋

Finished French macarons with a dark chocolate ganache filling.

Final comments…

The cookie made with pecans has such a great, toasted nut flavor! A little more rich and buttery in taste than the almond. Also, the flavor of the beets comes out ever so slightly! I almost taste a similar flavor to raspberry. Maybe It’s just me…

I recommend using the Italian meringue method over French (cold) meringue because I find the cooked syrup gives the cookies a lot more stability and structure. French meringue works great as well and works for many people, but I would not use this recipe to do it. The beet juice will be too much for the batter without the liquid being evaporated during cooking first.

I’m so excited to try other flours now!! Coconut flour, walnut flour, pistachio flour… oh the lovely, nutty options! 🤗😀 Lol oh and the colors!! I can see carrot, saffron, huckleberry, spinach…. Yay!! I have a vision of selling a variety of French macarons at this summers Farmers market.. Not making any promises just yet, but how cool would that be!?

I hope you enjoy making these French macarons as much as I did! If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask!

Shortbread

I always love a good shortbread. It’s a classic that will always stand the test of time in my opinion! So delicate and rich that it just melts in your mouth. Add a cup of your favorite tea and a visit with a good friend and you are set for an enjoyable time.

The simplicity of preparing it also inspires me to look back on sweet, simple times in my life. A memory that comes to mind is of my friend April and me walking along the sidewalk of our quiet neighborhood on a summer day to the local park. I just remember one of my favorite things to do was lay there in the green grass and look up at the big blue sky. Quietly, we’d sit to allow the senses to take everything in, the sounds of the birds, the trees flowing in the warm breeze, the sight of the billowy clouds rolling by. So grateful for childhood memories and the ability to look back upon them!

The love for baking started for me just a block away from the park at my Grandma’s house. You would often find me in the kitchen with her baking up cookies and other yummy baked goods like banana bread, raisin filled cookies and rolls talking about what we’d make for her next Bridge gathering or how one day we’d open up our own bakery! I just love my Gram. I miss the home she had that made our childhood. ❤️ Cooking and Baking seem to always have a way of bringing back those good childhood memories don’t they? I think so…

Well, without further ado, here is a great recipe for shortbread that you can easily whip up at home!

Shortbread Recipe 

  • 1 3/4 cup unsalted butter (380g), 3/4 tsp salt(3.5 ml), 2.5 cups AP flour (385g), 1 scant cup of cornstarch (108g), 1/2 cup granulated sugar (105g). Powdered sugar for dusting as a garnish.

Yield: one 9×9” Pan

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter your baking pan lightly. Place softened butter in the mixing bowl and mix on low speed to cream it up a little until smooth. Add salt and mix to dissolve. Sift the flour and cornstarch together. Add the granulated sugar to the butter and mix just until combined. ( note: you are not trying to incorporate any air as you would a cake.) Add the flour mixture and mix just until a dough forms.

Place the dough evenly into the prepared pan, pressing gently with your fingers or an offset spatula to create an even surface. Sprinkle the top with super fine sugar. Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool just until warm to the touch.

With a thin, sharp knife, cut the shortbread into desired size pieces. (Make sure that the shortbread is still warm, otherwise the cookie will crumble into pieces as you are cutting.) I like a more elongated cut (pictured) that is roughly 2.5X.5” in size. These cookies are ultra rich, so a small cut is important. Allow to cool completely before removing cookies from the pan. You can dust with powdered sugar before serving or they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for longer storing needs.

Welcome

Hello all and welcome to my Confections blog! I’m so excited to be here because there’s so much room for creative expression and to show a more in depth look of what I enjoy creating! Let me just say first of all, that the baking, pastry and confectionary world is HUGE!!! So I feel like a tiny little fish swimming in deep waters no doubt….However, I’ve come to realize that individual uniqueness is what it’s all about and I feel like there’s something special among us all to share among the crowd.  So this is an eclectic expression of Flavor, Love and Art from my point of view!

I’ve been reeling for quite some time on how to title this blog let alone my business, as my passion for this specific art expands farther than chocolates and the typical sweet known as a “confection.” But if you are to look up the word in a dictionary it’s not necessarily defined strictly as a sweet chocolate or candy. It is also defined as the act of mixing or compounding something or can be anything elaborately constructed. So this gave me room to work through the more broad spectrum of all things baking and pastry while staying relevant with the title!! Sweet! 😉

Alright now, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Lauren Langer. I’m from a small, quant mountain town in Teton Valley, Idaho. Located at the base of the Grand Tetons, just over the mountain pass from Jackson Hole, WY.  Its absolutely gorgeous here and I’m inspired by my surroundings on a daily basis.  You get the best of four seasons and there’s just something about small towns and mountain living that bring such a sense of peace and friendly feelings in the air. The communities are tight nit and neighbors care for one another.  it’s so refreshing!  I live here with my husband and 2 boys.  I’m thankful everyday for them and surrounding family and friends and the opportunity to grow and make a living here in the valley.

This is just a quick introduction, you’ll be sure to learn more about me along the way. I hope you enjoy this and can take something useful with you. I’m here to share more of what I do to a wider audience and hopefully inspire or teach a few in the process. You will find lots of great recipes, photos and how to’s of my sweet creations and catch a glimpse inside why and how the designs come and the inspiration behind them. I’ll surely be learning and having lots of fun in the process! Thank you and Enjoy!

Vegan Vanilla Lavender cake with toasted cake crumbs and Lavender buttercream frosting!

I recently had a request to make an anniversary cake inspired by a bride and groom’s wedding cake that I made for them last year. However, this time they asked if it could be made using all plant based ingredients! Even though I’m used to baking in a more traditional way, I was totally up for the challenge! I figured that just a few substitutions here and there from my vanilla Butter cake recipe would do the trick, so I did just that, and it turned out great! So here is my recipe for a Vegan Lavender Infused Vanilla butter cake with a Lavender Vanilla buttercream frosting!

Mise en place….

‘Mise en place’ is a French term that is often used in the kitchen that translates to ‘everything in its place’. So, the first thing that needs to be done before we start is prepare the work station with the tools and ingredients that we are going to use.

You will need…

A scale and/or measuring cups to measure ingredients. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. 1/2 sheet pan to bake cake crumbs *3 6″ round or 2 8″ round baking pans lined with parchment paper or greased with coconut oil and a light dusting of flour *Mini offset spatula *Rubber spatula for stirring *Serrated knife *6″ round cakeboard *Food processor *Pastry bag/Star tip *Pastry brush/squeeze bottle *Strainer

Vanilla Butter cake recipe

  • Yield: 3 6″ round or 2 8″ round cakes Oven temp: 325 F Sugar 397 g (1.5 cups) AP flour 376 g (2 3/4 cups) Baking powder 10 g (2.5 tsps) Sea salt 9 g (1.5 tsps) Almond Milk 180 g (1/2 cup) ‘Egg’ 227 g (Whisk 3.5 Tbs Bobs Red Mill Eggs replacer powder together with 5 Tbs water). Let stand for 1 min. before use. Vanilla Extract 10g (2 tsps) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery spread 227 g (1 cup)

Lavender infused buttercream recipe

  • Yield: 3 cups Frosting for 1 6″ round 3 layer cake or 2 layer 8″ cake Earth Balance Vegan buttery spread 227 g (1 cup) Powdered sugar 250 g (2 cups) Almond milk 90 g (1/4 cup) Vanilla Extract 5 g (1 tsp) Lavender 2 g (2 Tbs)

Lavender infused simple syrup

  • Yield: 1 cup Sugar 130 g (1/2 cup) Water 120 g (1/2 cup) Lavender 2 g (2 Tbs)

Almond milk recipe (optional)

  • Almond flour 48 g (1/2 cup) Pitted date 1 Water 300 g (2.5 cups) Vanilla Extract 2.5 g (1/2 tsp)

method: In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse together until mixture is smooth. You can strain the milk through a cheese cloth into a bowl for a more pure milk but in this recipe, I liked the more nutty textured milk. Reserve 1/4-1/2 cup of milk for frosting, add 2 Tbs lavender to it and set aside for later.

The Creaming method

So to begin the Cake batter, place softened vegan butter into a mixing bowl. Note: You can slightly warm the butter in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until soft. The mixing method for this particular cake is called a ‘Creaming Method’. This is where you cream the ‘butter’ and sugar together with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes at medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy. ( with stand mixers) this is the same with any hand mixer you may be using. You can surely mix by hand as well, that 5 minutes will give you a great arm workout! ;).

It’s a good idea to mix the butter itself first to soften and get any clumps you might have.

After the sugar and butter have been mixed together, you want to add your ‘Eggs’. I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free Egg Replacer.

To make your egg mixture, carefully follow instructions on the back of the package based on how many eggs and whites you will need. Mix thoroughly and let stand for a minute before adding. Once you have that done, you can slowly incorporate your egg mixture into your butter/sugar mixture while on medium speed, make sure to stop the mixer periodically to scrape the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Now for the dry ingredients…

In another bowl, sift together the AP flour (I like to use a quality unbleached All purpose flour such as Wheat Montana Natural White All Purpose Flour.) baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Be careful not to over mix!

Now once you have your dry ingredients, slowly incorporate 1/3 of this mixture into your creamed mixture just while mixing on medium just until incorporated. Now add 1/2 of the Almond milk and mix in. Repeat the process ending with the flour mixture, making sure to scrape the bowl as needed.

Side note: Did you all know you could make your own Nut milk? ….. I mean obviously, you can make a homemade version cause that’s how it all starts anyway, but somehow I thought the process would be much more time consuming and perhaps involve equipment that I didn’t have in my kitchen. To my surprise, I discovered that it can be made in a pinch! Yes, it’s quicker to just buy the stuff right? However, sometimes when you are smack dab in the middle of baking a cake while home with your toddler and baby and realize you forgot said store bought milk, you find ways to get creative to avoid getting them all bundled up again and in their carseats to head back to the store for just that! lol… SO.. what did I do? I made my very own homemade almond milk, and it took like 5 minutes! Not only that but it tastes way better homemade! Thank goodness the ingredients it called for just happened to be sitting in my cupboard!! phew… ok lets continue….

Now that you have the finished batter, you want to pour it evenly into 3 6″ round cake pans lined with parchment paper. You can also use 2 8″ round pans depending on the size cake you desire. Place the pans in a preheated oven of 325 F and allow to bake for at least 30 minutes or until the cake springs back up to the touch or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I highly reccomend that you Do Not open mid-baking especially if you have a conventional oven. This will most likely result in a sunken cake. Once your cakes are out of the oven, allow them to cool completely before unmolding from pans.

To make the Lavender simple syrup, in a saucepan, combine all ingredients and place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Let lavender steep for 5 minutes before straining syrup into a bowl. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

Lavender set aside for the garnish as well as infused simple syrup and almond milk

Now you can start your buttercream frosting! Just like you started creaming the buttery spread for the cake batter, you will do the same for the frosting. Once it’s smooth, add your powdered sugar, sea salt and vanilla extract. Start the mixer out slow as to not get powder all over the place, then increase speed to medium high. Slowly pour in the almond milk to emulsify all ingredients together, scraping bowl with your spatula as needed.

Mix buttercream mixture on medium high speed for about 5 minutes to ensure a nice, fluffy finished buttercream. It should look like this when its finished…


The picture below shows one of the cooled 6″ round cakes with the top trimmed off. You will want to carefully remove the top crust of each cake with a serrated knife to open up the crumb to better soak up the lavender simple syrup. (Note: remember to save the removed cake tops to garnish the cake later).

Now you are ready to torte your cake! It is very helpful to have some sort of turn table in order to frost your cake efficiently, but you can manage without. Make sure you have a 6″ cardboard underneath your cake as well for better maneuvering. Place your first layer of cake on top of the cardboard circle and soak the crumb with the lavender infused simple syrup with a pastry brush or squeeze bottle. (recipe below). Then put roughly 1/2 cup of lavender infused buttercream on top and spread evenly over the crumb with your offset spatula. A general rule for the ratio of buttercream to cake is no more than 1/2 the width of the cake for the buttercream. It’s all about balance, in flavors, mouthfeel and structure.

“It’s all about balance in flavor, mouthfeel and structure…”

The first layer of frosted evenly with buttercream.

Now you can finish torting your cake by adding the second and third layer of cake and buttercream, making sure to soak each cake before applying the frosting.

This is what it should look like once you’ve completed the layers.

At this point, you are ready to make your “crumb coat” or first layer of frosting on the outside. This initial layer keeps the crumbs locked inside so you don’t have a mess trying to make a pretty finish! I use a mini offset spatula thats perfect for this job, it allows you to move the buttercream around the cake smoothly with ease. (pictured below) After doing this, chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to stiffen the outside to prepare for the final coat of frosting.

The crumb coat is a very important step in creating a nicely shaped and clean finished cake. All good things take time.

Once you’ve allowed your crumb layer to set, you can pull it out and start your final coat of frosting. First, give your frosting another good mix with the paddle to incorporate more air at this point and then start frosting again!

Along with the offset spatula, this scraping tool is also very handy in creating perfect 90 degree angles on your cake.
Use the spatula to make a flat surface and clean edges.

Using your turn table, continue to rotate the cake in slow steady circles with your left hand, while frosting with your right, to make nice even strokes around the sides and top of your cake, stopping when you feel good about the finished look. Now that you have finished frosting your cake, place it in the fridge to set while you prepare for the finished look.

Take the cake tops that were set aside earlier, crumble them up with your hands and scatter evenly across a sheet tray with parchment. Bake in a 300 degree F oven until they are golden brown. This should take about 20 minutes. I recommend doing this even before you start frosting the cake so the crumbs have enough time to cool. Once they have cooled out of the oven, place then in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine crumb. You will get something like this…

Now take the remaining Lavender buttercream that you have and scoop it into a pastry bag with your desired pastry tip. You can always freestyle it too and create a nice decorative look with the offset or a teaspoon.

Very carefully, lift the cake from the turn table using the spatula and place the base of it gently on the palm of your left hand. Take the cake crumbs in your right hand and gently press them in to frosting in an upward motion starting from the base side of the cake and rotating around until you’ve covered the sides completely with the toasted cake crumbs( for less of a mess, use the sheet pan to catch the crumbs while you do this).

Next, gently place the cake back onto the turn table or counter top and pipe desired frosting design onto the top. Then take some dried Lavender, crush it slightly with your fingers and garnish the top with just a touch of it to finish off the look. Viola! Its Done! 🙂

Lavender gently garnishes the piped shells around the border and it looks lovely doesn’t it?

A simple, delicious and beautiful vegan treat that tastes just as good as it looks!

This is my very first blog post and I hope you liked it! It’s just the beginning to so much more… Thank you and Enjoy!