Murphy’s Law

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Dear friends,

We decided to close up shop for the summer due to personal and family illness on both our parts.  We’ve been running ourselves ragged for the past several months and we thought it was a good time to take a break.  We figured our mixes were in enough stores to keep people happy for a few weeks, and no one bakes around here in the summer anyway.  So, with our webmaster already away on holiday, I did the only thing I actually know how to do on our website:  set all of our stock at “0”.  Then I posted a friendly announcement on our Facebook page and went upstairs to start packing.  I didn’t think anyone would notice – no one ever orders from our webshop in the summer!

Wouldn’t you know it…?  We received an email from a very nice, and very upset, lady today.  She had gone to our site to order some mixes and found she couldn’t!  Was there something wrong with her iPad?  Or were we – heaven forbid – out of business?!  I called her right away,  explained the situation, and offered to send her whatever she wanted.  All’s well that ends well!

If anyone has a baking emergency this summer, I’m afraid you’re going to have to go to Marqt or another one of our retail outlets.  Or… you’ll have to bake from scratch.  I know it’s more work, but it’s also fun and I’m sure you can do it!  If you’re looking for great recipes, try finecooking.com.  Their recipes are always very good and easy to follow.

And now Brigitte and I are going to wish you all a fine summer vacation and I’m going to get back to packing.  Hope you all have lovely plans to rest up, or travel, or just putter around the house.  See you in September!

Love,

Pavanne
antoinetteonline.com

“Let them eat cake!”

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Happy Anniversary Cupcakes!

I received some wonderful photos from a customer last week and I just had to share them with you!  It was her daughter’s 12 1/2 year wedding anniversary and she wanted to bake something fabulous for the party.  She had initially planned on baking a wedding type cake, but in the end she decided to use cupcakes instead.

Her husband made this fabulous cake stand, which she then trimmed with ribbon.  I don’t know about you, but I’d like him to make me one too!

She baked Antoinette Vanilla Cupcakes in gold baking cups and topped them with Seven-Minute White Frosting (here’s my recipe).

She then decorated them with just a few gold sprinkles and topped them with fondant roses.  What a great, beautiful, simple, and delicious idea!

Thanks for the pics!

If anyone else has some great photos using Antoinette baking mixes, we’d love to see them!

Love,
Pavanne
“Let them eat cake!”

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Cupcakes and Bunnies

Easter is upon us.  Everywhere you look, there are baskets, egg dying kits, assorted candies, chocolate eggs wrapped in colorful foil, and chocolate bunnies large enough to keep your children bouncing off the walls for two or thee days.  There is so much of it in fact, and it has been ‘in my face’ for so many weeks now, that I barely even notice the stuff anymore.  But something caught my eye yesterday, something I thought you might enjoy:  a “cupcake” pan with bunny-shaped molds.

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I decided to give it a go.  I used our Antoinette Lemon Cupcake Mix, but of course any flavor will do.  One mix makes 12 bunnies.  Once they were cooled, I coated them in lemon icing, stuck on some candy eyes, and let them dry.  Were I a decorating fanatic, I would have tinted some of the icing for whiskers and other embellishments, but I really just don’t have the patience for it.  Still I think they’re cute enough.  What do you think?

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Easter Bunny Cakes

You will need:

1 Antoinette Cupcake Mix for 12 cupcakes, plus recommended ingredients

Bunny baking pan

350 gr powdered sugar

4 TBS strained fresh lemon, orange juice, or milk

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 180° C and butter or spray you bunny pan.

Make cupcake batter as directed on the package and divide batter among the molds.

Bake as directed (about 15 minutes) and allow them to cool before removing them to a cooling rack.

For the icing:

Stir the juice or milk into the powdered sugar until you have a smooth spreadable icing.  You may need to add a bit more liquid if it’s too thick.

To assemble:

One at a time, hold the bunnies over the icing bowl and drizzle spoonfuls of icing onto them. Spread it very gently until coated.  Don’t worry if it looks like too much – it will spread and the excess will drip back into the bowl.   Lay them flat to dry.

Decorate as desired once the icing has dried.  You can color the leftover icing for eyes, noses and whiskers, or use it to glue on candies for eyes.

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There’s nothing quite like raspberries to make me feel like warmer weather is on the way.  I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but it’s supposed to snow here for the next couple of days.  A White Easter… ugh!  Maybe these will cheer me up:

Raspberries and Cream Cupcakes

You will need:

1 Antoinette Vanilla Cupcake Mix
80 grams butter
125 ml milk
2 large eggs
125 gr fresh raspberries

1 cupcake pan

For the topping:
125 ml whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
More fresh raspberries to decorate

Pre-heat your oven to 180° C and line your cupcake pan with paper baking cups.  Because you are adding the raspberries, you should get about 14 normal sized cupcakes (or 30 mini cupcakes).

Prepare the batter according to package directions, and gently fold in the raspberries.  Divide the batter between the baking cups – filling them 3/4 full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes (7-10 minutes for mini cupcakes).

Remove from the pan and put the cupcakes on a rack to cool completely.

Before serving, whip the cream and the sugar until it holds soft peaks.  Put dollops of whipped cream onto the cooled cupcakes with a spoon, or use a piping bag with a round tip.  Decorate the tops with raspberries.

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Yup!  Feeling better already!  Happy Easter everyone!

Love,
Pavanne

“Let them eat cake!”

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Easy Sunday Morning Cinnamon Rolls

P1000442Weekend, kids playing video games on the couch in their pajamas, you’ve just stumbled inside after the mandatory early morning dog walk in the cold and rain, and you want a nice breakfast.  Coffee’s brewing.  You look in the fridge:  you’ve got bacon, you’ve got eggs, you’ve got some of that lovely fresh strawberry-orange juice the supermarket was kind enough to squeeze for you, but you want something more.  You don’t want toasted two-day-old bread.  You want something sweet, and warm, and fluffy, and luxurious — and you want it fast and easy!  To my American friends, I say read no further.  You have:  Pillsbury cinnamon rolls.  Pop open a can, stick them in the oven and enjoy.  Are they healthy?  Probably not.  Are they all natural?  I seriously doubt it.  Are they really really yummy?  YES!

To my less fortunate Dutch friends: stick with me!  Now, cinnamon rolls made from scratch are extremely time consuming.  Realistically, you’re going to spend hours preparing something that is going to be eaten in under 3 minutes and, if memory serves, you have to start them the night before.  I have a good recipe, but honestly there are hundreds of them to be found on the Internet if you’re ever feeling inclined, so I’m not going to bother with that here.  This is my quick and easy just-as-fast-and-good-as-Pillsbury cinnamon rolls recipe.  Sometimes I like to bake them in a small round cake pan.  I thought it was my own idea, but Wikipedia informs me that it’s called a Finnish “Boston Cake”.

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Easy Sunday Morning Cinnamon Rolls

You will need:

1 can of croissant dough
4 Tablespoons of cane sugar (this is important – beet sugar doesn’t melt!)
1 Tablespoon of cinnamon

For the glaze:

1/2 a cup of powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons of milk
a little bit of butter

To make:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180˚ CP1000431
  2. Pop open the can and unroll the dough – pinch together the bits that have been pre-cut.P1000433
  3. Sprinkle the mixture of sugar and cinnamon evenly over the dough.P1000434
  4. Roll the dough up tightly againP1000435
  5. With a very sharp knife, slice into 6 rounds
  6. Line a cookie sheet (or in my case, a cake pan) with baking paperP1000436
  7. Place the rolls a few inches apart (or in my case, together in a circle)
  8. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes until goldenP1000441
  9. In the meantime, warm up the milk and butter and stir it into the powdered sugar until you have a smooth icingP1000440
  10. Drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rollsP1000443
  11. Enjoy!

Love,

Pavanne

Let them eat cake!

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Blueberry Banana “Thanks-for-having-me-to-stay” Muffins

I’m afraid I’ve been shirking my blogging duties of late.  What with the holidays, school vacations, tax time, and the business of business, baking for fun and writing about it sort of fell by the wayside.  But now I suddenly find myself with a week (sort of) off.  You’ve gotta love the Dutch and their many vacations.  This one’s called the Crocus Vacation (soon to be followed by the Tulip Vacation).

Having your own start-up company, combined with single-motherhood, can be pretty gruelling, so I decided to mix business with pleasure and go hide out at a friend’s to nip my impending burnout in the bud.  The weather here has been divine, up until this morning, when I awoke to a cold gray chill that was more reminiscent of Northern California than Los Angeles.  But no matter!  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to light the fireplace and bake my friend a batch of homemade “thanks-for-having-me-to-stay” muffins.  Actually, I originally intended to prove that I could whip up a batch of scones in under 20 minutes – my friend didn’t believe me – but alas there was no cream in the fridge…

As we sat eating our second helping of these delicious warm muffins with a nice big cup of latte, I thought of you, dear readers, and decided I should share this recipe for a cold and rainy day.  Muffins are easy and you can usually find the ingredients you need in your pantry at any given time.  For example, I used buttermilk, because I happened to have some left over from yesterday, when I whipped up some Antoinette Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.  But I could just have easily used milk or sour cream instead.  I found some blueberries in the fridge (not even a whole cup) and a red banana I bought at Whole Foods the other day, which has refused to ripen, but which was perfect for baking.  Feel free to use anything you have on hand – even dried fruit will do in a pinch.

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Blueberry Banana “Thanks-for-having-me-to-stay” Muffins

Dry ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar (210 gr)
2 cups flour (280 gr)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
1/2 cup butter  (113 gr) – melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk (125 ml)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Fruit:
1 cup blueberries
1 banana, mashed

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375˚ F (190˚ C)
  • Grease the cups of a 12-muffin baking tin
  • Put all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together
  • Add the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon until completely moistened (batter will be thick and lumpy)
  • Fold in the blueberries and mashed banana using a rubber spatula
  • Spoon batter into muffin cups
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes (muffins will be lightly golden)

Turn the muffins out of the pan and eat them warm from the oven slathered with butter – go ahead, live a little!  Muffins are best the day they are made, but you can freeze them and warm them up in a 300˚ oven for about 15 minutes.

And now I’m going back to quietly meditating by the fireplace (actually, I’m sneaking into the kitchen and nicking another muffin – shhhh…).

“Let them eat cake!”

Love,

Pavanne

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Coffee, Tea Or Me?

A few weeks ago, I was offered the opportunity to write an article for the brand spanking new and absolutely fabulous koffieTcacao magazine.  Naturally I jumped at the chance to combine two of my passions:  cooking and writing!  While I enjoy making our delicious mixes, it’s nice to get my creative juices flowing and bake “outside the box” once in a while.  I highly recommend you pick up a copy for yourself.  It’s gorgeous, it’s hip, it’s full of great articles, delicious coffees, teas, and chocolates, as well as directions to the hottest shops and coffee houses around.  And, of course, some yummy fall and winter recipes from yours truly!

Their first edition hit the newsstands this week, so get ’em while their hot!  They’ve also included a couple of my recipes on their website, so go take a look-see.  I attended KTC’s rockin’ launch party last weekend at Concerto in Amsterdam and I brought along some goodies for everyone to munch on.  I just couldn’t resist including some Antoinette Mocha Cupcakes  — not a crumb remained!  🙂

Would you like to taste our baked goodies as well?  We’ll be sampling at the two newest Marqt stores in Rotterdam this coming Saturday, November 17.  We’re bringing a bit of everything for you to nibble on, including some of our fabulous New York Cheesecake, which Marqt will start carrying in a couple of weeks, just in time for the holidays.  See you Saturday afternoon!

Marqt Bergse Dorpsstraat
Bergse Dorpsstraat 103, Rotterdam

Marqt Binnenrotte
Binnenrotte 77, Rotterdam

Let them eat cake!

Love,
Pavanne

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Cupcake Anyone…?

Brigitte and I spent the past two weekends passing out our all-natural baked goodies at Marqt grocery stores in Den Haag, Haarlem, and Amsterdam.  We’re exhausted, but we had a blast!  It was so much fun to meet our customers in person and watch their faces light up as they took a bite of one of our cupcakes, cookies, brownies and blondies.  Sometimes it felt as if we couldn’t refill our trays fast enough!

What I especially enjoyed was talking to everyone.  I got so many great ideas and had fun trading baking tips!  Did you know that you can also make mini cupcakes with our cupcake mix?  Just make the batter as directed and bake 7-10 minutes.  One mix will make you 36 of these little beauties!  One young woman told me she likes to put fresh blueberries in our chocolate cupcake batter.  Never thought of that (Americans generally only put fruit in muffins) but it sounds delicious and I’m definitely going to try it!

Another lady told me she made our chocolate whoopies and filled them with our lemon frosting.  I was a bit skeptical, but she said it was really good – so I’m going to try that too!  A woman, whose daughter was vegan, asked if she could bake our cupcakes using some fake egg product (the name of which eludes me).  I shall not rest until I find the stuff and test it!  I started several young men on a, hopefully long and happy, baking career.  Hey, if my son could bake our brownies without help when he was 9, it should be a piece of cake for a 20-year-old!  I also rescued a harried mother from two very small, and very loud, crying children – not another peep was heard out of them…  Who says you can’t solve the world’s problems with cookies?!

It was also fun to see who liked what.  Our lemon cupcakes were extremely popular with the ladies.  The older generation gravitated towards blondies and mocha cupcakes.  Young men went straight for the brownies.  Our youngest customers came back for seconds and thirds when it came to our chocolate chip cookies – they shall remain nameless since I promised not to tell their mommies!  And of course chocolate and vanilla cupcakes were popular across the board.

I’d like to take a few lines to thank my wonderful assistant Eszter.  She has been my right arm (quite literally) these past few months, and I’m not sure what we would have done without her.  She has now set off on a tiny sailboat to travel the world with her one true love – so romantic…  Eszter, we wish you all the best and please COME BACK SOON!  No worries though, the torch has been passed to Dimphy, who put on the apron and carried on like she’d been doing this her whole life!  Thanks Dimphy!

All in all, we had tons of fun.  We LOVE Marqt and I can’t begin to tell you how proud we are that our baking mixes are on their shelves!  Brigitte and I both went home with huge bags full of groceries (all four times…) and our freezers are now stocked with the most delicious fresh pastas, sauces, meats and breads you could ever wish to find.  And, by the way, check out the Kaas Vlinders in their bakery section – they didn’t last five minutes on the car ride home!  So unbelievably YUMMY!

We look forward to meeting you all again soon!

Let them eat cake!

Love,

Pavanne

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