Halloween Dessert Table: It’s scary in the woods…

October 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

October means one thing and one thing only for SWEETTABLESCAPES: Halloween is here! and it is now the final countdown to the scariest night of the year!!!

This year, we created a SCARY table bringing us back to one of those terrifying childhood nightmare: “lost in the woods”. Spooky creatures, poison apples, dark cakepops and black candy all contribute to the perfect atmosphere.

Halloween does not have to be orange and black every year and it is a holiday that lends itself to the wildest imagination, Here, Sweettablescapes got its inspiration from the built-with-twigs “SCARY” banner and stayed with a black, brown and wood-inspired palette. We used wooden and twig stands as well as wicker trays to fit the theme. Only the white of the eyeball-gumballs lightens the decor a bit and some red accents evoke blood. But any choice is fine as long as all your desserts have that scary vibe and a unified theme.

 

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Dark, bug-infested poison apples! DO YOU DARE BITE INTO ONE??

Dark, bug-infested poison apples! DO YOU DARE BITE INTO ONE??

Weird, black cakepops...

Weird, black cakepops…

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Eyeballs gumballs!!

Eyeballs gumballs!!

Chocolate Babka/ twisted log....

Chocolate Babka/ twisted log….

Woodland creatures and spooky vegetation...

Woodland creatures and spooky vegetation…

Biscotti and brownies!!

Biscotti and brownies!!

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Outdoor Movie Night: popcorn and cookies

October 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

In spite of a slight chill this time of year, SWEETTABLESCAPES recently hosted an outdoor Movie night for a few teenagers. Fun Flicks of New Jersey hosted the event and installed a huge inflatable movie screen in our backyard. The girls had a supply of warm blankets, popcorn and candy and left the party with some adorable favors. Easy, fun and a great night for all!

 

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Banana and Pineapple Cake: fruity, moist and slightly exotic!

October 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

SWEETTABLESCAPES loves looking for some easy (one bowl to mix in is all you need) and tasty recipes using bananas. For some reason, we either buy too few or too many and the ripeness level is not always the one you want. We have a bunch (pardon the pun!) of go-to recipes for “mushy” bananas (here and here) but this cake requires a ripe, yet firm fruit to be sliced. Combined with the crushed pineapple and pecans, the sweetness/crunchiness/moisture ratio is perfect!

Jamaica Cake (as it is called on allrecipes.com):

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You’ll need:

2 cups white sugar (many comments on the site suggested to do 1/2 regular sugar and 1/2 brown, and this is what we did. To reduce sweetness a bit, since pineapple is quite sweet on its own, we would also reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup each)

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 bananas, peeled and diced

3 eggs

1 (20 oz) can crushed pienapple with juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Mix together sugar, vegetable oil, pecans, flour and bananas in a 13 x 9-inch pan. IMG_8247Stir in eggs, pineapple with juice, vanilla, salt and baking soda.

Mix well. Do not mash bananas.

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Bake in a preheated oven (350F) for 60 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Is that easy enough? You bet!

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Blueberry, Apple and Coconut Crumble

October 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

When you need to produce dessert in the nick of time and make do with kitchen staples, a crumble is the way to go. Fresh fruit? Check! Butter and sugar? Check! A bit of flour? Check again!

No need for fancy ingredients and you can pretty much use any fruit you have in the house. This recipe from Redbook Magazine (October 2014) came in handy when SWEETTABLESCAPES needed a sweet finale in minimal time.

Blueberry, Apple and Coconut Crumble: IMG_8204

You’ll need:

1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup superfine sugar

2/3 cup shredded coconut

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped

3 cups blueberries

Directions: 

Heat oven to 350F. Add 1/3 cup sugar, coconut, butter and flour to a bowl and rub with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.IMG_8199 IMG_8200

Place 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, apples and blueberries in a bowl and mix well to combine.IMG_8198 IMG_8201

Spoon into a 10-ionch baking dish or pie plate.IMG_8202

Sprinkle crumble mixture on top and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.IMG_8203 IMG_8205

Makes 6 servings.

 

Freeform Chocolate-Orange tart

October 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Back from France with the usual heavy magazine load, SWEETTABLESCAPES pulled this easy recipe from Elle A Table.

Perfect for a casual get together, it’s prepared in a cinch.

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You’ll need:

200 g flour

50 g almond meal

120 g salted butter (cut into small pieces)

100 g granulated sugar

1 egg

For the ganache:

150 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped

15 cl heavy cream

50 butter

zest of 1 orange

Directions:

Mix flour, almond meal and salted butter in bowl of electric mixer until you have a mixture that resembles cornmeal.  IMG_7996

Add egg until mixture forms a ball. Refrigerate for one hour.IMG_7997IMG_7998

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough onto floured parchment to form rough circle (you can cut edges evenly if you wish)

Poke dough with a fork and bake for 20 minutes.IMG_7999 IMG_8000

To make the ganache: Bring heavy cream to a boil and pour over chocolate; add butter and mix until smooth.IMG_8001 IMG_8002

Sprinkle orange zest over baked dough and spread chocolate ganache over entire tart. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.IMG_8003IMG_8004

 

Muesli Blueberry Coffee Cake:

October 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

When you need to serve a crowd, a big cake is in order. If you want the added benefit of a healthy and moist cake, then this recipe (Martha Stewart, Sept 2014) will do the trick; white whole wheat flour, buttermilk and blueberries combine to create a delicious afternoon treat!

MUESLI COFFEE CAKE:photo copy

You’ll need:

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups white whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 3/4 sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup muesli (preferably unsweetened)

2 TBsp honey

2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 1/2-inch tube pan; dust with flour.IMG_8114

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.IMG_8115

Beat butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.IMG_8116 IMG_8117 IMG_8118

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Add eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each, then beat in vanilla.IMG_8121

IMG_8122 IMG_8123 Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk, beating until just combined. (do not overmix)IMG_8124IMG_8125 IMG_8126

Combine muesli and honey in a small bowl. IMG_8127Spread half of batter in prepared pan. Top evenly with blueberries. IMG_8128Spread remaining batter on top, then crumble muesli mixture over batter, pressing gently to adhere.IMG_8129 IMG_8130

Bake until tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes (if cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil).IMG_8131

Cool completely, at least 1 1/2 hours, before removing from pan. Cake can be stored at room temperature up to 2 days.IMG_8133photo

 

 

 

 

Mini Cookies: perfect for every occasion

September 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Since SWEETTABLESCAPES started creating these “MINIS” (usually 6 miniature cookies in a cellophane sleeve), they have become one of our staples and a very popular gift for many, many an occasion; here are some of our latest creations:

Hollywood Birthday Party: Action!!

Hollywood Birthday Party: Action!!

WPIX Staff Reunion: Go Channel 11

WPIX Staff Reunion: Go Channel 11

Happy 50th!!

Happy 50th!!

You Are My Very Very: URMVV promotional Minis

You Are My Very Very: URMVV promotional Minis

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