Next Up in Dede’s Bakery!


Here is a list of bakes added to my calendar.

Next up: Working on something.

Next in Queue: Sometime down the road I want to remake some entremet. QC bought me the pans for them, but I haven’t used them in 6 years.

Further On Down The Road (Taj Mahal): Nothing else is planned at the moment.

Completed: Fresh Ginger Muffins with cream cheese frosting

Happy Valentine’s Day 2023

For your (meaning our) indulgence I prepared filled chocolates and a tri-colored macaron tower for this years Valentine’s Day.

Macaron Tower

I had problems with the macaron tower. Being frugal, I used left over almond flour. Mistake! The flour was too coarse, even after running through a fine mesh sieve. The resultant batter was grainy and too thick to pipe properly. However, the taste was fine and they were crisp on the outside, had good legs, and were chewy on the inside.

I thought building the tower on my parchment-lined-styrofoam-cone would be easy if I started with a nice even base, then add macarons in a logical sequence row by row. Let’s just say it failed, not due to any ineptitude on my part but rather from geometrical issues with the cone. (It becomes smaller as you go up. Who knew?) I deconstructed the tower (breaking several macarons in the process) and re-built it by placing a single color in a spiral from bottom to top. (The nice teal one.) This method was better, but next time (and there will be a next time) I need to compensate the spiral with basic Euclidean geometric principles.

The teal macarons are filled with homemade plum jam, the pink with plum/raspberry jam and the white with hazelnut butter. They all taste good, but the hazelnut butter didn’t adhere well and the cookies tended to separate. QC suggests using a tart filling like lime or lemon curd to balance the sweetness of the macaron.

Filled Chocolates

I made three trays of chocolates, each with a different shape. To make them a bit special I piped lines of tempered white chocolate in two of the molds and let it cool before filling with tempered 64% chocolate. For the third, I piped some white chocolate into the bottom of each well and used a toothpick to made a star pattern. It worked reasonably well but led to my major mistake with this treat.

I attended a seminar on working with chocolate in Hawaii last year. The most important takeaway was the use of Mycryo to temper chocolate. I changed how to heat the chocolate and now use the microwave. 200g of dark chocolate requires 90 – 120 seconds with a 1000w microwave. After 60 seconds use small bursts and check the temperature between each one. If the temperature exceeds 104F it’s ok, just don’t go too high.

I failed to allow enough time between my golf round in the morning and our traditional happy hour dinner/drinks at our favorite pizza/bar. I tried to un-mold the chocolates too soon and broke many. In fact only six of the orange jelly confections survived. I should have allowed time to put the in the freezer for a few minutes to help them release. Oh well.

Notice the lack of shine on the macarons, and the points. Plus they were too thick, but had good feet. You can see a chip in the chocolate in the center candy, but also see how the white chocolate lines came out.

The confection with the faint stripes (left) are filled with fresh orange juice jelly, the hearts with soft caramel and the dome shaped ones (right) with coconut cream (think the inside of a Mounds bar. )

Overall, everything tasted good and that’s the most important!


I had a few oranges left over from “poaching” my neighbors, John and Amy’s, trees. Luckily, I saw a Jaffa cake on GBBO which gave me the idea of created a Jaffa-ish dessert. Populate in Britain, Jaffa cakes include sponge, orange and chocolate.

I also had some pistachios left over from another project so I made the “cake” a pistachio flavored one. Actually, I didn’t make a cake, I made cookies, where they should have been biscuits. Whew! That’s a convoluted way to say I made pistachio flavored – mouse filled – cookie based tempered chocolate domes. Hmmm, that’s not much shorter, is it?

The orange paired nicely with the chocolate but the combination of those flavors overpowered the pistachio. I made some plain pistachio cookies with leftover dough and they were excellent. To make the pistachio cookies leave the rolled dough about 1/4” thick.


Procedure Outline:

  1. Make orange jelly 1/8” thick – refrigerate
  2. Make whipped cream – refrigerate
  3. Streak silicone molds with melted white chocolate – allow to cool
  4. Coat white chocolate streaked silicone molded with tempered dark chocolate – 2x – allow to cool between each coating
  5. Make pistachio biscuit 1/8” thick – allow to rest a couple of minutes
    a. While warm, cut into appropriately sized disks to fit in silicone molds –
    b. allow to cool. They should snap like a biscuit.
  6. Make vanilla mousse
  7. Fill domes ~ ¼ full with mouse (piping is easiest)
  8. Insert appropriately sized cut disk of orange jelly into each mold
  9. Cover jelly with vanilla mousse
  10. Fit pistachio biscuit over bottom of mold
  11. Cover biscuit with vanilla mousse
  12. Pipe tempered chocolate around the edge of the bottom.
  13. Cover bottom with a layer of tempered dark chocolate – approx 1/8” thick.

(Note: my orange jelly and biscuit were too thick (1/4” each) so I reduced the amount of mousse in each cup and couldn’t cover the bottom of the dome with chocolate. The directions reflect appropriate changes. Next time!)

Orange Jelly


  • 600 ml (2½ c) Orange juice, about 5-6 oranges
  • Orange zest from 3 oranges
  • 50 g ( ¼ c) Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 65 g( ½ c) Cornstrach
  1. Grease 9-inch (24cm) square pan or similar size pan with oil and set aside.
  2. Zest two oranges and place it in a sauce pan.
  3. Squeeze the juice from the oranges and measure 2½ cups (600ml). pour the juice into the pan.
    Add the sugar, salt and cornstarch.
  4. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until thickened, about 6-8
  5. Pour the mixture into prepared pan, spread to 1/8” thick, allow to cool to room temperate, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Vanilla Mousse – Vegetarian

• 1 c whipping cream
• 4 tbl confectioners sugar
• 1 ½ tsp Cream of tartar
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 cup white chocolate chips
• 3 tbl whipping cream
• 2 tsp Agar Agar
• 2 tbl warm water



  1. Before beginning with the recipe, place the mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to chill.
  2. Once the bowl has chilled, add heavy cream and vanilla and beat on low speed until the cream starts to thicken slightly.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and powdered sugar and beat with increasingly higher speed until stiff peaks form. Once done, set it in the fridge to chill.


  1. Mix 2 tsp Agar agar powder with 2 Tbl lukewarm water
  2. Whisk to combine
  3. Let set 4 – 5 minutes for the agar agar to bloom


  1. Heat the white chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave. Start with one minute, stir. If not melted try 15 seconds and stir again, then 10 seconds.
  2. Add agar agar mix and stir for 5 minutes. It will be thick like jelly, that’s ok. The white chocolate and agar agar will turn smooth and shiny.
  3. Add 2-5 Tbl warm milk and mix until the chocolate is thick but runny. Don’t add too much
  4. If desired add a few drops of white food coloring to lighten the yellowish mixture and mix well
  5. Gently fold the cool to touch white chocolate [and agar] mixture into the cool whipped cream until combined. Do not beat and deflate the mousse
  6. Add remaining 1/3 cup of ground pistachios and gently fold into vanilla mousse.

Pistachio Shortbread Cookie

• 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 and 1/4 (281g) cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup (100g) finely chopped pistachios, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a double layer cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, salt, and flour and beat on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed as the mixture combines. Don’t over mix. Add 2/3 cup of the finely chopped pistachios, reserving the rest to add to the mousse.
  3. Roll the dough out between sheets of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
  4. Bake the shortbread for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on top and around the edges.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Cut appropriate sized circles. Be sure the circles are ¼” less diameter than the molds, allowing 1/8” space around the cookie for chocolate.
  7. I ended up cutting 1/8” bits off the circumference of the large cookies.