Embark on a Pastry Affair

This blogger's recipes will have you falling in love

Kristin Rosenau thought she’d be an astroparticle physicist (we had to Wikipedia it, too), but that was until she fell in love with pastries, inspiring one seriously lovely – and highly acclaimed – food blog, Pastry Affair. It’s packed with recipes, prose, and gorgeous photography (her genius camera skills certainly come in handy).

These two eats in particular have us positively drooling. For more where they came from, be sure to visit Kristin’s blog – we promise you’ll fall in love, too.

Pastry AffairPhotos by Kristin Rosenau of Pastry Affair.

Summer Berry Pavlova
Yields 4 mini pavlovas

“This Summer Berry Pavlova is sweet, light, and fresh. The pavlova is a large meringue with a crisp exterior and a soft, marshmallow-like interior. When it cools, the center collapses, revealing a cavity that is filled with a white chocolate whipped cream. The pavlova is topped with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, with white chocolate shavings and a dusting of powdered sugar. These are a cool delight when the heat is high and friends are near.”

Pavlova
1 teaspoon vinegar (or lemon juice)
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, place the vinegar onto a paper towel and rub over the bowl and egg beaters to eliminate grease (which can prevent the meringue from rising).

Beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and cornstarch and keep beating until stiff, shiny peaks form. Whip in the vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (do not skip this step!).

Divide meringue into 4 equal portions and form into disks approximately 2 inches high, creating a slight dip in the center for filling later. Bake for 55–65 minutes, or until meringues appear dry and are barely gaining color. Turn off the oven, crack the door, and allow pavlovas to cool to room temperature before removing from the oven (the centers will fall; do not be alarmed). Very carefully remove from parchment paper and transfer to serving dishes.

White Chocolate Whipped Cream & Berries
1 3/4 cups (414 ml) whipping cream
1/4 cup (59 ml) white Creme de Cacao liquor
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
White chocolate shavings
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Meanwhile, whip together the whipping cream, white Creme de Cacao liquor, powdered sugar, and vanilla until peaks form. Chill the whipped cream until ready to serve.

To Assemble
Fill the centers of the meringue with whipped cream. Top with fresh berries and white chocolate shavings. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Yields about 18 cupcakes

“These Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes are a dream. The cupcakes have a bright, exuberant flavor aided by a good dose of vanilla and a smattering of blueberries. The frosting is thick and tangy, offsetting the sweet blueberries with a coveted balance.”

Blueberry Cupcakes
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (169 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (76 grams) sour cream (or plain, non-fat yogurt)
1/4 cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups (340 grams) fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the milk, stirring until batter is uniform and smooth. Stir in the blueberries.

Fill baking cups about 2/3 full (or a little less) and bake for 16–18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack, and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups (375 grams) powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. If frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add more milk until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Before serving, pipe or spread frosting on top of cooled cupcakes and decorate with a few fresh blueberries, if desired. If cupcakes will sit out more than a day, keep refrigerated in an airtight container to help preserve the cupcakes. Serve at room temperature.

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April 28, 2013