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A sweet addition to any dessert table! Photos By: Caroline Drake Bringing a sweet menu to your wedding doesn't have to be expensive or very difficult. Cream puffs are perfect to serve at weddings, and bring the right amount of fancy, but are actually very easy to make! The best part is that you can make them in advance, and easily put them together for the big day! Pastry Cream Ingredients: You will want to make the filling first, since you need to refrigerate it for at least a few hours or overnight to set. We adapted a recipe from Baking Illustrated. 2 cups half-and-half ½ cup sugar (divided into 6 tablespoon, and 2 tablespoons) Pinch salt 5 large egg yolks 3 tbsp. cornstarch 4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces 1½ tsp. vanilla bean paste (this makes such a difference if you can find it!) Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds. Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. Pâte à Choux Ingredients: 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces 2 tbsp. whole milk 6 tbsp. water 1½ tsp. sugar ¼ tsp. salt ½ cup (2½ oz.) all-purpose flour Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 425° F. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: To make the pâte à choux, whisk the eggs and egg white in a liquid measuring cup. You should have ½ cup (discard the excess). Set aside. Combine the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. When it reaches a full boil and the butter is fully melted, remove from the heat and stir in the flour until incorporated and the mixture clears the sides of the pan. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, using a smearing motion, until the mixture is slightly shiny, looks like wet sand and tiny beads of fat appear on the bottom of the pan (the mixture should register 175-180° F on an instant-read thermometer. Takes about 5-10 minutes on LOW heat. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Immediately transfer the mixture to a food processor and process with the feed tube open to cool slightly, 10 seconds. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: With the machine running, gradually add the reserved eggs in a steady stream. When they have been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process 30 seconds more until a smooth, thick, sticky paste forms. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip with the pâte à choux. Pipe the paste into 1½-inch mounds on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 to 1¼ inches apart (you should be able to fit 24 mounds on the baking sheet). Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Use the back of a teaspoon dipped in water to even out the shape and smooth the surface of the piped mounds. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Bake for 15 minutes (do not open the oven door during baking). Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F and continue to bake until golden brown and fairly firm, 8-10 minutes longer. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a paring knife, cut a ¾-inch slit into the side of each puff to release steam; return the puffs to the oven, turn the oven off, and prop open the oven door with the handle of a wooden spoon. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Dry the puffs in the turned-off oven until the centers are just moist (not wet) and the puffs are crisp, about 45 minutes. Transfer the puffs to a wire rack to cool completely. (At this point the puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month in an airtight plastic bag. Before serving, crisp in the oven at 300° F – 5-8 minutes for room temperature puffs, 8-10 minutes for frozen puffs.) Cream Puff Assembly: To fill the puffs, use a bread knife, and carefully cut the puff in half. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch plain tip with the pastry cream. Cream Puff Assembly: Pipe some of the pastry cream onto the bottom half, then place the top on the pastry cream, and sift powdered sugar onto the top. Repeat to fill all the puffs. This recipe will make about 24 small cream puffs. Such a simple treat to make, that will "wow" your guests!
Red, White, & Blue Real Wedding
Christina and Timothy pulled off a patriotic, 4th of July-themed wedding of total rustic elegance. See the photos from their day!
Photo By: Jen Lynne PhotographyPurple DIY Picnic Pack a picnic with all sorts of personalized touches... guests will swoon over the details! Red & White Party Ideas From red velvet cupcakes to ribbons to florals, here are a handful of creative ways to incorporate red into your party Photo By: Mary Swenson Farmer's Market Bouquets Create a deceptively sophisticated bouquet for your big day with seasonal stems from your local farmer's market. See more inspiration. Photo By: Chelsea Fuss Cool Raspberry & Yogurt Mousse Cakes These are a dream on a summer day... Catch this recipe (with a bonus raspberry n' cream macaron tutorial) right here. Photo By: Aran Goyoaga
Project and Photos by Brittni Mehlhoff Create inexpensive escort cards that are completely unique with this DIY idea that guests are sure to love. Why? It comes with a sweet treat, of course. These numbered cupcake toppers will satisfy any guests sweet tooth and cleverly direct them to their reception table. Materials: Decorative Paper Scissors Craft Glue Pen Pencil Fresh Flowers, such as Aster or Gerber Daisies How To: 1. Draw or trace numbers onto decorative scraps of paper. 2. Cut out each number carefully with scissors. 3. Hand letter guests names, with a pen, onto each number. These numbers will represent what table your guests will be placed at for the reception. 4. Glue small flowers to each number and let dry. Hang the finished escort cards from a bulletin board or rest each one on top of a cupcake for your guests to enjoy. Optional: If the paper you're using is thin and/or flimsy, attach a small bamboo skewer or lollipop stick to the number before sticking it into the cupcake.
Project & Photos By: Victoria HudginsLooking for a less traditional cake topper for your wedding? These vintage fabric stars will bring a dose of bright charm to your cake or dessert bar. Materials: To make them, you'll need basic star frame(s), mod podge, fabric, and scissors. Small cardboard star frames are available at your local craft store, while larger metal frames can be readily found at thrift stores or at many big box stores. Materials (cont.): Find a fabric that coordinates with your wedding day. Search Etsy for a wide variety of pretty vintage florals or check your local fabric store for vintage replica fabrics. Step One: Cut your fabric to the approximate size of your star and dredge it in a bowl of Modge Podge until completely wet. Place the fabric on top of your mold and use your fingers to gently shape it into form. Let dry overnight. Step Two: Once dry, cut the fabric closer to the frame shape and turn over. Secure any extra fabric in the back with glue. Step Three: Use wood glue to attach a stick to the backside of a large star frame. Many smaller frames come sold with small wooden sticks already attached. Display Tip: Place one large star in your cake for a bold bright touch or scatter smaller stars atop cakes, cupcakes and desserts.
Photos By: Chelsea FussYou'll need: 1. 3 cake pans (sizes: 11", 8", 4.5") 2. A cake stand (aprox "12 round) 3. A pound cake recipe 4. Buttercream frosting (4 cups) 5. 1 frosting knife 6. Flowers + herbs (make sure they are organic and edible!) Bake your cakes the night before and let them cool overnight. Put together with toothpicks holding the layers. Once you have placed your toothpicks, stack your cakes carefully! Almost there... Voila! Measure layers to make sure that all the cakes are centered from all sides. Frost with frosting knife -- get the knife wet to make it extra smooth. Clean off edges of the cake stand. Keep refrigerated until right before serving. Your cake is ready to decorate now! Have fun adding edible herbs and flowers. Herbs will hold up for a long time, but add the flowers last minute so add them that morning, securing them with frosting. Using a pound cake recipe is your best bet because they do not crumble. Buttercream frosting can melt easily, keep your cake as cool as possible before serving! Your gorgeous cake is ready! The best part ... tasting the sweet creation.
Photos By: Chelsea Fuss
Inspired by the sweet strawberry cakes that Swedes make during their Midsummer holiday each year, we came up with this festive wedding cake! It's perfect for an outdoor, rustic wedding. You can make the cake yourself, or simply embellish a store bought cake using our styling inspiration. It's easy and such a unique idea!
First you'll need a white dome cake. We used a citrus flavor dome cake filled with whip cream, from a small family bakery, and it was delicious. We just took off the doily and cardboard it came on and slid it onto a rustic wooden board. You could also make your own. Here are instructions on how to make a dome cake.
You will need around two pints of strawberries per cake.
Cut the stems off and slice the strawberries in half.
Lay the strawberries flat side down, all over the cake.
Keep the cake in the fridge until just before the reception.
Photos By: Chelsea FussYou will need a chocolate cake recipe, along with an equally delicious recipe for chocolate ganache which we found here. Ingredients for this yummy cake typically include unsweetened cocoa, buttermilk, flour, sugar, vanilla extract and baking soda. For the ganache topping, make sure you have plenty of whipping creme and semisweet chocolate chips. Always mix your ingredients together well and let sit for a bit!
Bundt cake pans. Each of these will serve approx. 5 guests. We like these.
Tip: Make the cakes ahead of time and freeze them.
Photos By: Katherine Chong
Are you a good baker? Then cut out the catering cost at your event and create your very own dessert table! With some jarred lemon curd, a quick swiss meringue and a torch, you can create lemon meringue tartlets in no time. Top them with some fresh blueberries and you have a dainty treat with a beautiful and natural color palette.
You can find pre-made pie or tart shells at just about any grocery store to save many steps. If you feel a bit uneasy about making meringue, use a packaged vanilla pudding mix to fill the shells, and top your tarts with some fresh fruit tossed in a simple syrup or apricot glaze.
Besides mini-pies, here's another idea: Fill your own tall and slender shot glasses with store-bought crushed chocolate graham crackers, vanilla pudding made from mix, freshly cut bananas, and some whipped cream. Drizzle some caramel sauce on top and sprinkle on a few dark chocolate shavings for an ultra chic version of banana cream pie.
For a more personal touch, roll out some sugar cookies topped with a monogram motif in pre-made royal icing tinted with drops of food coloring to match your wedding colors.Get creative with lovely tulips or any other simple arrangement to accent your table. Use fruit in season -- summertime tarts will make everyone really happy! People tend to eat with their eyes, so elevate a plain brownie square with a little floret of espresso pastry cream, sprinkled with chopped almonds for a decadent take on mocha almond fudge. Even if your wedding is on a budget, your guests will be impressed with these professional-looking (and tasty!) DIY dessert creations