Long Time, No Dessert!

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Did you miss me? (o:

It’s been a while… quite a while,  but I’m back. Where have I been? Well, lots of places, quite frankly. It’s been an amazing break from the work portion of Sift!. I’ve had the opportunity to reassess, make new stuff, release a few boundaries, make other new stuff, travel, become inspired, venture into some unknown territories (more about that in a later post), and return to a different place of peace. I put the whisk down for nearly a year, and decided it was time to see/do something different, but I only found that dessert/pastry never really goes anywhere as far I’m concerned. I could take a break by going to the woods for 6 months. But you better believe you’ll see a post at some point for Cinnamon Bark Leaf Cake – or something to the tune of that. (wink!)

Anyways, I hope you’re having an awesome summer so far. I hope it’s hot in the best way, full of swimming pools, laughing friends/family/you, get-togethers, barbecues, margaritas, porch lights, flip flops, and so much more!

I went to Europe, and while there, I laid eyes on some beautiful & fancy desserts. Stuff like this made me swoon. It was everywhere. A dream!

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I partook (is that a word?) in one special caramel one. If you know anything about me, you know that caramel and I have had a long standing love affair.

IMG_1252It is layers of refined caramel madness & moussey goodness from the vanilla mousse, burnt caramel mousse, thin layers of cake with caramel, all the way to the crunchy caramel feuilletine bottom. Super rich. Super yummy!

As time went on, I found myself wanting something simple but just as good. So I present to you this here cake… (duh duh duuuuuhhhnnnn). Don’t be fooled. She may not wear a ball gown like the gals above, but the flavor she packs makes her red carpet ready.

photo 2It’s my Vanilla Love Cake, and it’s perfect for the season. A quick bake in the oven, and then you’re done. What you choose to do with is your business, just so long as you do it. Smile! This is the perfect cake to have when you want to serve up something delicious without having to invest a day and a half. Enjoy.

Recipe:

1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, warmed
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make that 4 teaspoons if you don’t have any vanilla bean paste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour, Sift!-ed 3 times
14 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Oven 350F. Spray your pan and line it with parchment, spray it again. Set it aside.

Those eggs need warming. Not room temp, but warm. Run some tepid tap water, and put them in the water for about 5-10 minutes while you melt your butter. Warm eggs beat up to be volumous, exactly what we need to achieve proper texture and crumb.

Beat your eggs and sugar until mixture is pale,doubled in size, and like I said – volumous. Lift the beater. Does the mixture form thick ribbons? Mine actually came out like a really light mayonnaise. That is what I wanted, but the ribbon outcome will work just as well.

Add the vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract and salt. Mix very gently.

Sift about a third of the flour over the egg mixture. Use a spatula to gently fold the flour into the batter until no streaks remain. Move quickly, but gently doing another third, and then a final. The point is to incorporate the flour without deflating all of the precious air bubbles you just beat into the eggs and sugar. Air bubbles in this batter = gold!

Add the melted butter to the batter and fold gently but thoroughly using a spatula until the batter is well-mixed. You’ll have a nice shiny, and smooth looking batter.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 25. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, and finish with another 10-15 minutes. The cake should start to pull away from the sides.

Let the cake cool for about 10 or 15 minutes. Turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. this is essentially a sponge cake. Those dry up quickly if not wrapped. So especially after slicing, wrap it up or place under a dome.

I would like to suggest a dollop of lemon curd, and a full-bodied Americano.

Look for me online. I’m doing new and incredible things these days! From pastry to painting, and back again. Creativity is a beautiful thing.

Until next time!

Love & Hugs,

Tristen

Instagram: @dessertboutiqueatl

My New Instagram: @artfulhouse

A few pics from London…

Thank you for your continued Love & Support. Not sure I can verbalize my gratitude. I’ll be sharing my Paris photos soon on http://www.artfulhouse.wordpress.com.

The Taylors

Wilson Anna Love

AnnaandWilsonAaaahhhhh – these two. I had quite a time figuring out where to begin the story of Anna & Wilson’s photos here on the blog. Heidi and her fellow photographer @ Our Labor of Love did a wonderful job of chronicling the day. As hectic as weddings can be, and as often as they can become quite the rat race to “get to the altar on time”, it appears Anna & Wilson’s day was beautifully breezy. There’s lots of understated, and organic sophistication going on here. Let’s take a look.

Anna and Wilson have been sweethearts since their earlier school years, and it shows. When I first met them, the whole kindred spirit quality was definitely native to their relationship. That’s always a beautiful sight. Anna knew EXACTLY what she wanted, and I’m happy to say she was quite the muse. Two cakes were crafted especially for her and Wilson. One of these cakes happens to be quite possibly the best tasting dessert I’ve ever made, but we’ll get to that later.

Ring

StationeryThe wedding and reception were at Serenbe Farms.

Serenbe

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AnnaIV

AnnaIII

AnnaIX

SerenbeJust looking at these photos makes me want to grab some lemonade, and a hammock! So relaxing.

WeddingLovely, indeed. While this loveliness awaited everyone, here’s what was going on elsewhere.

Getting Ready

AnnaAnna’s getting ready.

SerenbeOh honey! This dress. I don’t know if there’s a photo that will every truly do it justice. It was breathtaking.

BottlesBottles are being chilled.

Mom'sMom’s are getting happy. Wilson’s mom is on the left. Anna’s mom is on the right.

ClutchAccessories are blingin’.

BouquetBouquets are being beautified by Amy Osaba. She’s a whiz at her job, by the way. Check her out. Here are some great detail shots.

Serenbe5Serenbe4Serenbe8Perfect!

Anna's ShoesAnna’s shoes.

Serenbe9Wilson buttoning up…

Serenbe12Serenbe11Do I see an heirloom before my eyes? Cool Stuff. So James Bond. (wink)

Serenbe10Looks like she’s ready to go (o: Beautiful!

Serenbe13Lookin’ good, Wilson!

WilsonPhotosThis is so cool. #lineage

Serenbe3VowsI truly wish I could have been there to hear what he told her. I’m sure it was super duper sweet!

Serenbe5Sealed with a kiss!

All Done!Time to par-tay! And it’s written all over her face. But let’s take it all in first.

TableTableCeremonyAnd here they are!

1Magical first dance…

9And now for some rather fancy bites.

AnnaLX

AWCAKE11yummy

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Let us not forget the magical wall of beer spouts! very cool touch – literally & figuratively.

Beer

BeerCake, please!!!

Cake Table!

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loveMy cake makes people kiss.

So Anna wanted to spoil her guests with cake, cake, and more cake. There was so much cake, that there’s one missing from this photo. Flavors ranged from whiskey and peach to lavender with honey, and dark chocolate with caramel. It was an amazing spread, and receiving sweet notes from guests made my millennium! I’m so  happy everyone enjoyed the cake. Anna really made sure that flavors spanned all types of palates.

AWCake12In case you’re wondering, this lemon lavender cake looks like this on the inside…

niceAnna specifically asked for an “herbal cake”. Something not too sweet, but definitely involving lavender. So, this is what I came up with. It’s a lemon chiffon cake with lavender cream, lemon curd, a fresh blueberry compote, and a very light lemon cream icing. I was so happy she liked the cake as much as she did.

Blueberry Gold!

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…and each slice was served like this…

Processed with RookieThere were two types of caramel cakes. The vanilla version had cognac, and the chocolate version had almonds with a hint of amaretto.

Dark chocolate cake with a caramel, salt, and almond filling.

AWCake10Anna and her family fell in love with this cake. When her mom told me that it is the best cake she “EVER ate”, I wanted to do a backflip! Frankly, there is no better compliment you can receive in this business.

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The wedding marked the beginning of summer, and a rather humid one at that. Kudos to everyone that was in the food prep area that day! It was no place for punks. With limited resources, making do was our mantra, and I must say we held things together rather boss-ly (o;.

Whiskey Peach

There were 2 types of caramel cake. One involved vanilla and cognac, and the other dark chocolate with salt and almonds.

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AWCake3

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Vanilla caramel sliced up like this…

Cognac Caramel Cake

Inside the cake.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Raspberry Lemon.

AWCakeLight lemon cake, lemon curd, fresh raspberry compote, and vanilla bean buttercream.

Here’s a photo of Anna at her tasting for this particular cake.

Blueb1It was so cute. I had to photog it.

Soooo, back to the reception!

Look at this!

Ceremony6Who knew?!

Ceremony7

And as the night wound down, and the magical beer wall began to tap its bottom, the couple realized they needed to take a sweet moment…

AWC

TO BOOGEY!

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while others took a moment to nap.

AWCDance, dance, dance!

AWC

And the beat went on…

AWCUntil it was time to officially end this magical night with this magical kiss beneath some magical stars after what I’m certain had been the most magical time.

To Anna and Wilson,

Thank you so very much for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful (and tasty) journey.

Hugs!

Tristen @ Sift!

Ice Cream Sundaes @ The Office!

Ice cream knows no bounds. All too often, I find that people want to confine ice cream to the summer months which just isn’t fair. Dessert is dessert is dessert is dessert! If you love cake, love it all year long. If you’re fan of coffee, drink up all year long. As for ice cream, there truly is no actual season for it. Just easily as I can whip up a wholesome batch of roasted sweet potato or white chocolate peppermint ice cream right now as we approach December, I can just as easily put together a lip-smacking pint of lemon or blueberry lavender sorbet in the summer. Let your flavors be your guide should timing & season play an important role in your dessert choices. Let the basis of your desserts (cake, ice cream, and so on) be absent from unnecessary confinement! With that said, thank you Athena Health for understanding the joy an ice cream brownie sundae can bring to the children in all of us!

This ice cream sundae bar was created by myself at the request of a very thoughtful office manager at Athena Health in the old Sears building in Decatur. Well, it’s a totally new building now. The dessert bar tops the list of my favorite creations! I cannot wait to do another one, perhaps with unusual ice cream flavor options as well as toppings. Feeling froggy? Jump on this idea! Take a look, and give us a call (o:

Ice Cream Sundae Dessert Bar

Ice Cream Sundae Dessert Bar

Ice Cream Lineup

Ice Cream Flavors

Brownies!!! I kept the brownies fairly basic. With salted bourbon caramel and espresso chocolate ice creams on the stage, the brownies only needed to stand in as background.

Brownies

Toppings!!! Roasted and candied nuts along with candied bacon. The bacon was meant for the salted caramel ice cream. The pairing must have been a favorite as(with the exception of the sign and bowl) there was no trace of it rather early on. There were even requests for it by the pound. *Flattered*

Nuts & Bacon

Ice Cream Toppings Waffle Wedges

Ice Cream Toppings
sundae

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Thank you for viewing! If you’d like to have a custom ice cream bar, let us know! There are plenty more ice cream flavors and toppings to choose from.

Tristen @ Sift!
678 234 7659
http://www.SiftAtlanta.com, http://www.Facebook.com/SiftDessertBoutique, Instagram – @dessertboutiqueatl, Twitter – @dessertboutique, Flickr – tpatriz

Christmas, Red, Wedding Dessert Table Inspiration

There’s something about this dessert table and it’s components that is so appropriately holiday. The red bows are an obvious point of interest for Christmas, or any holiday affiliation. And even though this spread was a part of a much larger presentation for a bridal show that featured Valentino-esque style, the feel of this dessert table whispers Christmas to me.The faint peeks of gold, the bold red, and the beautiful drapes in the background work well together.

With that said, take a look around. Be inspired! I hope something here makes you want to make the most of your dessert ideas at this most magical time of year. From macarons to parfaits, there’s a million ways to work with, and incorporate color. Especially red. Enjoy.

True Red Dessert Table

French Vanilla Cake French Vanilla Cake

Rose Macarons

Gold Berry Dessert Gold Berry Parfait

Red Bow Cookies Red Bow CookiesThanks for looking! See anything here that you’d like us to whip up for you? Let us know!

Love & Biscuits!

Tristen @ Sift!

678 234 7659

www.SiftAtlanta.com, www.Facebook.com/SiftDessertBoutique, Instagram – @dessertboutiqueatl, Twitter – @dessertboutique

Thanksgiving Desserts!

For those of you that are choosing to outsource your desserts this holiday season, there’s time…and options. I’ve lined up my classics for your ordering pleasure. Visit the website for new items like Salted Caramel Mousse Cake, S’mores Cake, Holiday Spice Cake and more.

Let us know what we can whip for you (o; In the meantime, keep these desserts in mind.

Cranberry Cardamom Cheesecake – Grand Marnier Cheesecake is topped with a lovely cardamom spiced cranberry compote. Other top picks around this time of year include Sweet Potato Cheesecake, Vanilla Bean, and Chocolate Caramel Pecan. Try a new one! White Chocolate Espresso is likely my fave. Remember – mini cheesecakes are an option.

Cranberry Cardamom Cheesecake SiftXmasTT-023Next Up – Appalonia. And how could we forget her? She’s the voluptuous babe other pies dream about. Want to feed many? This is the way to go. This pie moderately & deliciously feeds roughly 15 – 20.

Appalonia Slice

Applonia - Atlanta Dessert Delivery

Classic Pecan

Pecan PieTipper & Portia – both crowd faves and pleasers!

SiftXmasTT-014 Tipper with Slice Out

Tipper comes well-decked with a pumpkin filling and pecan pie topping.

Portia Portia

Portia is a balanced flavor combo of coconut, chocolate, and bananas. A creamy, not-so-sweet, perfect with dark roast coffee, and at the top of our favorites list.

Eggnog Cake & Synclaire

Eggnog Cake – Eggnog cake layers and lightly spiced eggnog buttercream. Simple and delish!

Eggnog Cake Synclaire

Synclaire – Sweet potato cake layers, toasting marshmallow buttercream with candied pecans. (Nuts optional)

Salted Caramel Mousse Cake – one of my new favorites!

cake

THE SALTED CARAMEL MOUSSE

Vanilla bean sponge is soaked with a sweet rum syrup, filled with a salted caramel mousse, and ribbons of luscious caramel, and covered with vanilla bean-caramel buttercream. I want some now… Try one!

Let us not forget this beauty! Old-Fashioned Six Layer Caramel Rum Pecan. No explanation necessary.

Caramel Pecan Cake Sift! Caramel Pecan Cake Caramel Pecan Slice

Other cake options to try – Pecan Pie Cake, Chocolate Coconut, and Raspberry Lemon (wonderful option!).

This should do for several quick options. Check us out this Thanksgiving! Our desserts would love to be a part of your dinner table lineup!

Love & Biscuits! Thank you for reading.

Tristen @ Sift!

http://www.SiftAtlanta.com, http://www.facebook.com/SiftDessertBoutique, Instagram – @dessertboutiqueatl, Twitter – @DessertBoutique

678 234 7659

For Thanksgiving, we are taking orders Sunday, November 23rd until 6pm. Otherwise, call the next day (o:

Checking In!

fortune cookie

Follow these directions, precisely.

Dear Sift! Followers,

You may have noticed some rather subdued activity from me lately. This too shall pass. (o:

I’ve been at work with several things – some dessert, and some not-so-dessert. Nevertheless, I will return with the deets on all of it. I am, however, going to hip you to one of these things right now. Back in January, I began volunteering my time at a local homeless shelter – The Atlanta Mission – something I have been trying to do for some time. Once a month, I gather all of my dessert stuff, create desserts, do a little teaching, and serve desserts to over 200 residents and program members. The first time I served dessert, it was my Butterscotch Brownies, and most recently I made a brown sugar corn cake with Blueberry Compote. I’m still working on next month’s sweetness.

There’s the actual homeless shelter, and then there are programs for ladies who have left unfortunate circumstances, moved into the facility, and are now re-acclimating to society, the workforce, and so on. Everyone there has a unique situation. In any case, I LOVE serving all of them, and as it turns out, they love it too! Of course, it’s rewarding, but it’s also a life class on strength, endurance, and friendship. The ladies support each other in their endeavors to live better lives, and they do it all so openly and graciously. Stir it all together in a big ‘ol bowl, and you’ll have “Tearjerker Batter”. I learn something every time I go. I’ve seen some beautiful acts of love from the staff to the residents, and between the residents. Although they move on to greener pastures, I’m sure it’s difficult for some of them to leave.

Sift! is 100% responsible for the costs of monthly dessert as the the shelter is unable to accommodate it financially. While explaining my absence at my sister’s wedding reception this past Sunday (where we had my famous So Very Strawberry Extremely Strawberry Whew! So Strawberry Cake, Chocolate Onyx Cake, and sister’s favorite, Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing) to a Sift! & Tristen Fan (Yes, I have a fan!!! Cool, huh?), out of nowhere SHE WROTE A CHECK!!! I have not been able to stop thinking about it, and I am so very grateful to you Theresa! Thank you a million times over. It will help tremendously. I never asked for donations because it was truly something I was doing for them and from me, and somehow the idea only manage to cross my mind once or twice. However, dessert for 200+ is no easy feat, especially for a small business. While I will continue to make a way for this to happen monthly, I am asking for your financial support. It will make dessert a mainstay at the shelter, increase learning opportunities for residents interested in the culinary industry, and open the possibilities for other shelters who will allow me to serve dessert.

SO – to donate – even if it’s just a buck, Paypal it to info@siftatlanta.com. Thank you SO very much from the bottom of my heart.

Things move fairly quickly at the shelter, but I will do a better job of getting photos of the desserts in the near future. In the meantime, please watch for any updates via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

And as always, thank you so very much for being a a part of what I do. Your support “makes my millenium”.

Tristen @ Sift!
IG – DessertboutiqueATL
Twitter – @DessertBoutique
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/SiftDessertBoutique

Caramel Taste Test! It’s baaaaaack. (Say Yay)

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Hi Guys!

Long time no talk, eh? There’s lots to show and tell, but in due time. For now, I’ve got a request. This is one you’ve heard before, but I hope you’re happy to hear of it again. The Caramel Taste Test – it’s back on, and I’m super excited! As many of you know, Caramel is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world next to Caramel (no that isn’t a typo including the capital C), wrinkly bulldog puppies, high heels/stilettos, Christmas time, coffee with lotsa cream, cheese fries, and beautiful kitchens. So this is likely to be my favorite taste test yet. In any case, I would like to get as many tasters as possible and location is not a factor. It’s nationwide, friends. We already have tasters from Washington state! I love that… So come one, come all! I’ve got quite a few flavors up my sleeve plus a surprise or two which is really just my way of saying thank you for holding tight during such a busy time for Sift!. I requested testers last summer, and ended up having to reschedule the tasting. For all those that hung in there, I really appreciate it. For all of the newbies, I welcome you with open arms.

Anyhoo, here’s the how: (But first, here’s an update on two very important factors based on questions we’re receiving: 1. The taste test is nationwide. Join us – wherever you might be! (o; 2. If you’re familiar with me and/or my taste tests, flavors and such are kept secret until you unveil what’s in your package. It’s fun.) Okay now —–>To reserve your spot in the Caramel Line, simply send a quick email (or fill out the form below) to info@siftatlanta.com that says something to the effect of “Tristen, send me that caramel.” For faster service (if emailing), please provide your full name, a contact phone number, and the address to where you want your caramels to be mailed. If there is a better time to reach you, please indicate that in your email. We will contact everyone, but please understand that spots are reserved on a first come – first served basis. You will be contacted as soon as possible to reserve your spot in the Caramel line at which time we will process payment of 9.50 + shipping (varies depending upon where you are in the US). Spots are limited, so the quicker you choose to join us the better. So far, roughly 40% of the spots are reserved. Reserve your spot!

I look forward to Caramel-izing everyone! Until then…

Serious inquiries only, please. If you have questions, please direct them to info@siftatlanta.com before filling out the form below. Thank you for your cooperation.

Love & Biscuits.

Tristen @ Sift!

http://www.SiftAtlanta.com

http://www.facebook.com/SiftDessertBoutique

Instagram: dessertboutiqueatl

Twitter: @DessertBoutique, @SiftAtlanta