Welcome to another edition of Burning Down The Kitchen.
This is a weekly series where I have the huge honour of interviewing fellow bloggers. I also make a dish of theirs I’ve bookmarked. This series started when I realized I’d been bookmarking tons of recipes for my Lunatic Loves These Links series but I had not been making the recipes. So this seemed like a unique and fun way to make the dishes I love staring at while getting to know the blogger behind the dish. It’s my way of peeking into the lives of my friends and somehow getting away with asking them weird and obscure questions. I love this series to bits and I hope you enjoy it as well.
BURNING DOWN THE KITCHEN WITH MEGHAN FROM BUTTERCREAM BLONDIE:
This week I have one of the coolest bloggers you could ever meet joining us for Burning Down The Kitchen. Her name is Meghan and she blogs at Buttercream Blondie. Meghan is a pastry chef and is well-known for glamming up America’s Fave Recipes. She takes classic dishes and makes them pretty and glamorous. Her motto is “flirt with dessert”. She has a huge love of pink so of course we’re like soul sisters because of that. Meghan makes some of the most amazing food you’ve ever seen. She can take any dish and turn it on its head. Which you all know I am a huge fan of.
Meghan also does instructional videos. You can find her How2Heroes videos on her site. You can also see some on YouTube. She really does a wonderful job. I’ve watched a few of them and she has a wonderful way of explaining things. She also has a very calm way of moving through the steps. I find it useful to watch so you can see the step by step. I would do videos too but I am not young or gorgeous like she is. So photos is a much better fit for Lunie.
I’ve bookmarked quite a few of Meghan’s recipes. I was going to make her Blood Orange Cornmeal Bundt Cakes for this series. But I’m going to be honest, it’s about a gazillion and one degrees here in Ontario so there’s no way I was turning my oven on to bake. So they will have to wait for cool weather. I went in hunt of other recipes of Meghan’s that I’ve bookmarked. It led to poking around her site for some time looking at recipes. She is wicked talented and there is so much to choose from. She made a Christmas Tree Cake that made me weak in the knees. I’m also seriously smitten with her Meyer Lemon Chiffon Cake. Her Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake makes me want to dive head first into a bowl of raspberries. Once you see the photo of that one you’ll understand. It’s okay, go look, I can wait for you to come back. Okay, see what I mean, it’s spectacular. Her Bailey’s Irish Cream Cookies were seriously adorable. Her Ghost Cupcakes make me swoon, they are so cute. Her Monster Cupcakes are one of my fave all time recipes anywhere on the net. They are beyond sweet and I don’t even have little kids but I want to make them so badly. Her Glamour Peeps are going to blow your mind, I mean seriously so cool. She also does a Cauldron Cake that is worthy of an award. It’s wicked cool and even has a video for those of us who are not so talented. Meghan has so many interesting and gorgeous recipes that it makes deciding what to make really hard. But my criteria was to keep the house cool so I settled on her makeover of the Eskimo Pie. So glad I picked it because it rocked. My socks. Right! Off!
For those of you who know Meghan you are aware she is stunningly gorgeous. She’s the kind of gal that gals like me want to kick in the shins when we see them. Nothing personal, just because she’s tiny and gorgeous. I don’t kick them to hurt them, just stun them a little. What? Like you’ve never kicked a hottie in the shins out of pure jealousy before. Pfftt!
Rapidfire Q & A with Meghan from Buttercream Blondie:
1. How did you get started blogging?
Friends were telling me to start a blog for a while, and then one day I just figured I’d give it a try. About a week later I was hooked!
2. You studied under Jacques Torres at the French Culinary Institute, how was that experience for you?
Jacques Torres was the Dean of Pastry Arts so we got to see him do quite a few chocolate demos. It was great to see and learn first hand from someone so talented. He is also very down to earth, and it’s easy to see he truly loves his craft.
3. Your motto is “flirt with dessert”, can you tell us what inspired that idea?
I find that a lot people are intimidated by baking, and I just want people to have fun with it. I hope to inspire others to think outside the box (literally), and try something new!
4. You are known for taking classic recipes and glamming them up. How do you decide which recipes need a makeover?
It’s usually just whatever pops into my head. Often times I’ll pick up what’s in season, such as peaches, and start thinking about what I can use them in. Other times inspiration comes from a conversation, a place I visited, or even a song.
5. We share a serious of love of pink. Tell me how your obsession with pink started?
I’ve always been a complete girly girl, shocking I know! It’s gotten to the point where almost all my appliances are even pink… My mom has always been all about pink, so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far.
6. What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day is a morning run followed by a large coffee and emails. After that it’s baking/working on new recipes, conference calls, orders for clients, consults, photographing desserts, editing photos, writing, endless food shopping, more emails, and social media. I usually work until everything is done or I’m done!
7. How do you find balance between blogging, life and work? Any tips for the rest of us?
Ha, there is no such thing as balance in my life! The one thing that helps me stay a bit balanced is running. I work out first thing in the morning no matter what I have going on. It is the one time of the day that is “me” time with no phones, computers, etc. It does wonders!
8. What camera do you use for your photos? Any photo setup advice for fellow bloggers?
For the first year of blogging I used my cell phone and little Sony snapshot. I recently upgraded to a Canon Rebel and I love it. The best advice I ever got on photography is, “no matter what equipment you have, you have to learn to see.” That struck a chord with me, and I couldn’t agree more.
9. If you could recommend 3 must have tools/toys for a home baker, what would they be?
First is definitely a Kitchen Aid stand mixer,
Second is a scale,
Third is a great collection of sprinkles and disco dust. Even when everything else goes wrong, it will make you happy just looking at them ☺
10. How do you find working on video? I love your videos by the way. I need to learn your mad piping skills.
Lol, thanks Kim! I love doing videos, and I find that a visual really helps people. While they are a lot of work, videos are my favorite outlet.
11. Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
12. Biscoff or Nutella?
Praline Paste – It will change your life!
13. Candy or potato chips to snack on?
Chips preferably with hummus.
14. Cream cheese or mascarpone?
15. Pepsi or Coke?
16. Do you have one food you could eat every day and not get sick of it?
Guacamole! At the risk of sounding like a complete weirdo, I would never get sick of tuna either.
17. If you could cook with any celebrity chef who would it be and why?
Paula Deen! Could you imagine how much butter we would go through!
18. What would you make if I was coming by for dinner?
We would so be having dessert for dinner! If it was during the holidays, I would make you the pink 3D Christmas tree cake! Otherwise I would create a new dessert just for you, but it would definitely be pink.
19. Apron or no apron?
No apron only because I think they’re all too cute to get dirty (I’m a bit OCD).
20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is blogging still a big part of that picture?
In 5 years, I hope to have pushed my self further than I thought possible. I love what I do so I’m excited to see where my career takes me next! I think blogging will always be a part of the picture because I love it!
Dare Portion of Burning Down The Kitchen:
Dare option #1: Show us a picture of your glitter/disco dust/sprinkles/cupcake liners stash!
Dare option #2: Show us your kitchen mid baking mess!
I love the pink stand mixer. I want one of those so badly. I also am loving the jar on the top counter with what looks like sprinkles. Could you just die from cuteness. I am such a pink girl that I covet Meghan’s tools something awful. I’m not going to lie, I covet her figure too. But at the risk of sounding totally lazy I tend to only run when someone is chasing me with sharp objects. Oddly enough it really doesn’t happen very often.
I decided to make Meghan’s Eskimo Pies. She glammed them up and I just thought they were adorable. So I just had to make them. I did tweak to my taste a bit. It’s cherry season so I decided to add cherries to the ice cream. And of course swapped out the hazelnuts for pistachios. Hey, it’s what I do. I’m nothing if not consistent in my love of all things cherry and pistachio.
- 2 cups graham crumbs
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup vanilla sugar
- Pinch of vanilla sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon cherry extract
- 1½ cups cherries stems removed and pitted
- 4 tablespoons of nutella
- For the Ganache:
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 4 heaping tablespoons of nutella
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- Magic Shell to taste
- ¼ to ½ cup crushed pistachios
In a bowl combine your graham crumbs and melted butter. Mix well. Press into 4 individual size spring form pans you’ve sprayed with non stick spray. Tamp them down with the bottom of a glass or a honey dripper works really well too. You can pop them in a 350 degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes if you like. I find when setting ice cream pies up in the freezer it’s not necessary so I don’t risk heating my house up and forgo baking the crust.
It also helps to line the bottom of you spring form pan with plastic wrap prior to making these. The next step uses loose ice cream that can leak. I always forget so just making sure you don’t.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of Nutella over the crust. It helps to heat it up a touch so it spreads nicely. Otherwise it will pull back your crumbs and annoy you.
In a stand mixer combine your whole milk, sugar and salt. Mix well.
Now add heavy cream and cherry extract.
Add your cherries.
Cover with tinfoil and place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
Remove and transfer liquid to an ice cream machine bowl you’ve kept frozen. Turn on and let it spin for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Now pour the ice cream over the crust and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours to set before adding ganache.
Over medium heat warm up your heavy cream in a saucepan. You want to scald it.
Then in a glass heat proof bowl pour the scalded cream over your chocolate. Mix well with a whisk. It will look weird and you will think you’ve done something wrong but have faith. It will come together.
Now add nutella and corn syrup. Whisk some more.
Let cool a bit.
Pour cooled ganache over the ice cream.
Place back in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours.
Remove ice cream from freezer.
Put each pie on a small plate and remove the pie from the spring form pan.
Now pour magic shell over top (heat it up for a few seconds in the microwave to activate the stuff) and watch the magic happen.
Top with crushed pistachios.
Serve with a big old Eskimo Pie smile!
Recipe adapted from Buttercream Blondie
Remember this recipe has lots of waiting for things to set time. So while the cook time says 2 hours it's mostly inactive work.
I am telling you this was the bomb. I mean the bomb diggity. The bomb.com. You must try this. It’s so good. It’s step heavy but oh so worth it. You could change it up. Use oreo crumbs or no crumbs. Switch out the ice cream. Switch out the chocolate to peanut butter. Switch out the toppings. The possibilities are endless. But why would you change it. I mean look at those cherries sliding out of the ice cream as the magic shell melts it.
I would like to take the time to thank Meghan for allowing us into her world today. She is such an amazing blogger and this chick can bake up a storm. I am so jealous of her creativity and mad fondant/piping/glitter skills. Meghan you are a rock star and it’s been a total pleasure working with you.
If you are not already following this lovely lady I suggest you get your hot, tired butts over to her blog, Buttercream Blondie and subscribe already. You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. You can also watch her tutorials on YouTube.
Toodles and smoochies! xx