I am sure you are wondering how many egg whites were thrown away last weekend to prepare the massive amount of french buttercream for the wedding cake / cupcakes not to mention the chocolate custard and other such egg yolky components. The answer is none. They were all placed in freezer bags. Sometimes we like to pretend to be healthy and have egg white omelets (bacon, cheese, and egg whites mind you) but mostly I like to use these egg whites for desserts. Meringues, pavlova shells, certain fluffy cupcakes… but today we will consult Thomas Keller for his chapter on Macarons in Bouchon Bakery. I have eaten these iconic macarons in NYC and Napa Valley. They are insanely delicious and can be made in a variety of eye catching colors. I am having thoughts of red, white and blue macarons for the 4th of July. The tricky thing about macarons is the batter consistency. It must be thin enough to smooth out the tops of the cookies but thick enough to hold its shape. If you have questions about beating egg whites and are unsure what soft vs stiff peaks are, here is a nice video. This is the reason why you absolutely need to use a kitchen scale, it is the most accurate way to measure the ingredients for this delicate batter. There are actually two methods to make macarons, there is an amazing diagram here comparing the Italian and French techniques. I encourage you to take a look at this before following the recipe below.




You will need almond flour for this recipe. It is a bit expensive but I have found it is the most reasonably priced at wal-mart. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Flour Almond Meal but not all wal-mart locations will carry this, luckily it is available on amazon. You should invest in almond flour for your pantry, it truly changes the quality of tarts and other pastries. And when you decide to take the plunge and start baking from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, you will def need the almond flour. You will not regret it! We are actually learning together today, I have never made macarons. But I just did it and they are fabulous! I filled mine with leftover lemon mascarpone buttercream but I have some seedless raspberry jam as well. There are some great combinations and recipes in Bouchon Bakery for lemon buttercream and lemon curd, also raspberry filling. I am definitely planning on making the raspberry macarons sometime soon but for now, just use whatever you have on hand like I did today! Fill your macarons with some tasty jam or buttercream you have stored in the freezer. If you don’t have egg whites in the freezer and you are wondering what to do with those yolks, please I beg you, make the Robicelli’s Buttercream.




212 grams almond meal
212 grams powdered sugar
82 and 90 grams of egg whites, divided
236 grams of granulated sugar
158 grams water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment and trace two inch circles, leaving one inch of space between. In a large bowl combine the almond meal and confectioner’s sugar, whisking to break up any large clumps. Pour the 82 grams of egg whites into this bowl and mix them in with a spatula.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water, cook over medium-high heat with a candy thermometer in place (or be very careful and use a thermapen, frequently checking the temperature). Place the 90 grams of egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. When the temperature is around 200 degrees, add a pinch of sugar to the egg whites in your mixer and whip on medium speed. Whip until they form soft peaks. If you see soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248 degrees, turn the mixer down to low and keep them moving. Prepare to move quickly when the syrup reaches the target temperature.

When the syrup reaches 248 degrees, remove from the heat and increase the mixer speed to medium. Pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow and steady drizzle until it is all mixed in. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip the meringue until stiff peaks form, it will look very glossy (kind of like when you make buttercream). Add in any coloring at this point, use gel color if at all possible.

Take one third of the meringue and fold it gently into the almond flour mixture with a spatula. Gently fold in the rest of the meringue in small amounts. The batter will be very smooth so that after piping the surface texture with smooth away.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plan half inch tip. Hold the bag perpendicular to the prepared baking sheets and pipe the batter into the traced circles.

Place the baking sheet into the oven and decrease the heat to 325 degrees. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the tops are smooth and set and the macarons have feet underneath them. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Repeat the last two steps until all the batter is baked. Bring the oven temp back to 350 degrees before you continue baking the rest of the cookies. Store them in an airtight container, they may even taste better tomorrow after sitting overnight. Match the cookies up by size and pipe your filling with a plain tip (or just place the filling in a ziploc and snip off then end).

Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery.

Lemon Pound Cake

We had an extremely successful wedding last Saturday and were delighted to be a part of Allison and Tyler’s beautiful day! The reception was gorgeous, the food by On the Square in Tarboro, NC was absolutely wonderful. And I don’t think these cupcakes could have been any better! This wedding project definitely required some R&D. I have experimented with many cake recipes. I have found the absolute perfect recipe to make a giant cupcake cake topper for weddings or bridal showers.  For cake molds like the Wilton 2105-5038 Giant Cupcake Pan it is best to use a denser cake like pound cake. This lemon pound cake is exquisite and perfect for weddings, bridal showers and summer parties! Using this giant cupcake mold is actually super easy. The key is adequate butter and flour. 20140603-105211.jpg 20140603-105607.jpg
This cake is insanely good on its own (or with a lemon glaze) but I frosted this with the Robicelli’s French Buttercream for the wedding. I honestly had to troubleshoot this buttercream a little bit and there were a few moments of panic. I had the buttercream in the fridge for a few hours which is what started off the trouble, I then added the mascarpone which I think broke the butter cream. Lots of whipping with the kitchenaid and one stick of thinly shaved cold butter later, and we were back in business.  Below you will find a recipe that makes two 1 pound loaf cakes. This recipe easily filled the Wilton giant cupcake pan.

Lemon Pound Cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Zest of 6-8 large lemons
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your two loaf pans or the giant cupcake pan. Be generous and make sure every surface is coated.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes. It should be very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time while mixing on medium speed.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt, set aside. In a measuring cup mix together 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup butter milk, and vanilla. With the mixer running on low, add in the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, alternating. Begin and end with the dry mixture.

Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pans or giant cupcake mold, smooth the tops with a knife. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Use a sharp knife (or your thermapen thermometer if you have one) to make sure the cake is done all the way through. You may need a few extra minutes if using the giant cupcake mold.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Espresso Shortbread Brownie Bars

It is impossible to believe January is over and we are well into 2014. I have been cooking like crazy in preparation for next month. I will be working super long hours with only four days off. So I am stocking the freezer with lunches and dinners. Freezer recipes coming soon to the blog! I made these brownie bars on a whim. I was running out of time before a girl’s night dinner party. I was kind of skeptical while preparing them but they are amazing! I think all the dinner guests loved them as well. I would take their opinions with a grain of salt considering I took out a trash bag of 7 empty wine bottles the next morning.


In other news we still have not bought any bread in 2014. I feel very accomplished considering it has been over a month of home bread baking. I have been perfecting the recipe and will post my current go-to white bread recipe soon. It really is an interesting chemistry experiment baking bread every week. Bubbly Kitchen is also very excited to announce that we are providing cupcakes and other desserts in Eastern North Carolina for weddings, showers, parties, and any other occasions. Please see the events page for further details.

Anyway, here are the delish espresso shortbread brownie bars. We drank red wine with these and it was a perfect compliment. This rich dessert could be complemented by a dry red or sparkling wine. It is very important to stock your wine fridge in a strategic way. You should have bottles specifically for week night dinners, special occasions, dinner parties, and more rowdy parties. Although it is kind of ordinary, I like to have Ménage à Trois Folie à Deux on hand for parties. It is such a drinkable wine that everyone enjoys. It is also inexpensive, which is great when your dinner guests carouse late into the night.

Espresso Shortbread Brownie Bars

Shortbread Crust
10 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp finely ground espresso beans
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Brownie Topping
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
14 tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter with the flour, sugar, ground espresso and salt. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Press the crumbs into a 9×13 inch baking pan. Freeze for 10 minutes until form and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned.

Whisk together the flour and cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Melt the butter with the chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla, then stir in the eggs. Add in the dry ingredients, stir until smooth.

Pour the brownie batter over the baked crust. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes. The brownie is done when it is dry to touch and lightly cracked around the edges. Let cool before cutting.

Adapted from Food and Wine magazine.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

November has been extremely busy and not left me much time for cooking, baking, or blogging! I literally bought an apple from the hospital cafeteria so I could bake these cookies after a night shift. And I am glad I did because they are so easy. Not to mention, they are unique and stand out among the usual holiday baking. These oatmeal apple cookies are also pleasantly light in calories. So whatever you have to do, go buy an apple and some apple sauce. If you have been reading Bubbly Kitchen for long, your pantry should be stocked with the other ingredients. Applesauce (unsweetened) is my new fall pantry staple. It is a calorie cutting workhorse in my baked goods this fall. These cookies will disappear from your work holiday potluck in no time.


The holidays are a funny and frightening time to work in a hospital. Not because you are trapped in the hospital instead of being with your family. Not even because of all the death and despair. The baked goods and potluck dishes that people bring to work are shocking. I don’t have room in my day for calories that aren’t fabulous. I literally do not eat any treats offered to me at work. Trust no one. Someone may say “oh she makes the most fabulous cupcakes,” don’t believe them! You will be sorely disappointed when you find out you just wasted precious calories on a boxed cake mix and icing that you want to scrape into the trash. I don’t want to sound pretentious but I am perplexed by boxed cake mixes.  It takes 5 minutes more to make things from scratch and you actually know what your eating.


Apple Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple (1/8th inch pieces)
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla, and then the applesauce. Mix in the dry ingredients. Add apples and pecans and mix u tip just combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets, approximately 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, 15 minutes.

Let cookies cool completely on the pan. Store in an airtight container, place wax paper between cookie layers.

Adapted from Serious Eats.

Cinnamon Cupcakes

I hosted a party / couples baby shower for two of our best friends. Each guest at the party wrote down an unconventional / inappropriate boy and girl baby name. The winning girl name was Cinnamon. I obviously had to make cupcakes for the new family after she was born. And what was a more appropriate flavor than the baby’s pseudonym, Cinnamon. These are wonderful fall cupcakes. Seven-minute frosting can be tedious to make but is super retro and glamorous. This frosting recipe was featured in the past with lemon meringue cupcakes. This is an improved version of the recipe. It will take a few tries to master this frosting magic, but you will be very glad that you put in the work.



Cinnamon Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 cups milk

Seven-Minute Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar for dusting

Make the cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together all-purpose flower, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tbsp cinnamon.

Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add each egg mixing until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and reduce the speed to low. Mix in the dry ingredients mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, ending with the flour. Beat in the flour and milk until combined with each addition.

Scoop batter into the prepared cupcake liners, each should be three-quarters full. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pans, bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.

Make the frosting

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and egg whites. Set this over a pan of simmering water. Stirring constantly, cook for two minutes until the mixture is 160 degrees.

With the whisk attachment, beat mixture on high until the frosting is fluffy and glossy, for 5 minutes. Mix in vanilla.

Adapted from Martha Stewart.