Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yuzu Mango Coconut Cake Shooters

What can I say, but that the generosity of my blogger friends continues to amaze me! Right now I'm speaking of Joyti of Darjeeling Dreams, one of the sweetest, brightest girls I know. Though we've been online buddies for a while, it wasn't until last August that I finally got to meet her (and her husband) while visiting San Francisco. Let me just tell you this, she's even sweeter in person than on her blog (and so pretty, too). Joyti blew me away again with her generosity when she recently sent me some fresh yuzu fruit after hearing my lament not having access to it. Not only that, she also sent me a bounty of other citrus, including Meyer lemons! We also decided it would be fun to post our yuzu recipes on the same day. Thanks for the lovely package, Joyti! I can't wait to see what you've made =D.

Yuzu Lemon Mango Cake Shooters
Lately I've been really into the idea of layered cake and other dessert shooters. They're such a lovely way to fit in multiple light desserts at the end of a party...even when you're mostly stuffed ;p. Especially having just added dessert shooters to my menu, I was excited to have this opportunity to test out a different flavor.

The results were delicious but I unfortunately didn't have enough juice to make the curd from entirely yuzu. Subbing in lemon juice to make up the remainder resulted in a curd that, while delicious, tasted as much of lemon as of yuzu. So if, unlike me, you have regular and abundant access to fresh yuzu, I recommend you use it and only it for the curd so that its delicate flavor and floral aroma is allowed to shine.

P.S. - I've finally submitted my graduate school application! Sorry for the long lull between new recipe posts -- I'm finding my way back slowly and surely =D.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday Favorites!

I took a break from essay-writing to gather this week's favorite food photographs -- hope you enjoy them! Seems to me, in retrospect, that there's a bit of a green theme running throughout. Maybe I'm just looking forward to Spring? Hope everyone's week is going well...only one more day until the weekend =D

1 Katskyful-Vege Soup Puff Pastry Cheesy Croutons Idea
Photograph of Rosemary-infused Olive Oil from Jennifer Davick
2 Jennifer Davick-Rosemary Olive Oil Flavored Gift Idea
Photograph of Seafood Pasta from John Cullen
3 John Cullen-Seafood Shrimp Clams Tube Pasta Stew Idea
Parsley Root Fries from My New Roots
4 MyNewRoots-Parsnip Ingred Baked Fries

Monday, January 23, 2012

Orange Passionfruit Curd Tartlets on Food Network UK Front Page!

My Orange Passionfruit Curd Tartlets on Food Network UK Front Page
Happy Year of the Dragon, my friends! And what a wonderful beginning it's been! When my friend Sanjana contacted me recently to share another recipe on Food Network UK's blog, Locally Sourced, I was certainly honored and excited. But never would I have expected to have my photo and recipe featured on their front page today in honor of Chinese New Year! Please head over to check out one of my favorite desserts, tangy Orange Passionfruit Curd and Poppyseed Tartlets -- a fun modern dessert that's perfect for a celebration!

Lemon Polenta Cranberry Cookies
I'd also like to wish my good friend Christine (of Pure Joy Events) a very happy birthday! It is just like her, of course, to generously offer up wonderful prizes to others as part of her 4th Party Tutorial Contest. Please head over to her blog to get all the details of the contest! Fabulous prizes include fondant cupcake toppers from the Lynlee's Petite Cakes, a $40 gift certificate to Piggy Bank Parties party supply store, and a fresh batch of decadent Oreo brownies, browned butter pecan chocolate chip cookies, or cranberry lemon polenta cookies from yours truly. Good luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Latest Music Obsession: James Vincent McMorrow


If you follow my Facebook page, you may have already seen this. But this gorgeous song (and the movie through which I discovered it) has wound itself so deeply into my heart that I feel compelled to share it on the blog itself. If you enjoy this song, please be sure to check out the rest of McMorrow's stunning album, "Early in the Morning." His voice is one of the most incredible sounds I've heard for quite some time.

Third Star, the movie which features this song, follows a 29-year-old man (arguably still a boy) terminally ill with cancer as he embarks on one last fun outing with his childhood friends. You'll not be surprised to learn that my favorite actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, plays the lead. Nor will you be surprised to learn, if you've seen any of his work before, that he is incredibly believable and moving in the skin of this boy who's forced to quickly come to grips with his mortality. I don't want to give away too much, but I will warn you that this film is likely to result in some tears being shed as well as some heavy reflection on the direction of your own life. I'd love to encourage you to purchase the film, but I can't seem to find a version that works in the US/Canada. If you're in this area, I'll just mention innocently that you may be able to find it on Youtube 8).

IBelieveinSherlock || MoriartyWasReal

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

STOP SOPA/PIPA


This Something Splendid post says everything you need to know, so here's a quote and please head over to her site to read the rest:

"If you’re a blogger, there’s an important piece of legislation up on Capitol Hill that will effect you – and you don’t have to live in the United States. The House of Representatives’ Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and its partner in the Senate, the Protect IP Act or PIPA, are bills that overreach and limits the right of free speech by blocking any website that so much as links to any content or website deemed to be “infringing” – even if the owner was not the one to post it. The proposed DNS blocking system is the same as the system used by China, so that anyone with an IP based in the United States will not be able to access the websites on the “blocked list”. If your website is flagged, you will lose your entire readership base in the United States."

IBelieveinSherlock || MoriartyWasReal

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Favorites and Baby Shower Cupcakes!

Phew! I can finally say that the GREs are fully behind me. I took them last Wednesday, and *knock on wood* but I feel fairly good about how I did. Of course now the hardest part lies ahead: writing my application essay! If any of you have tips for me, I'm all ears!

Baby Shower Cupcakes with Marzipan Footprints
I've still been able to find some time to bake, even if it was for an order. Last week a good friend from high school called to share the news that his sister-in-law was pregnant with a little boy! What's more, he asked me to make an assortment of cupcakes for the shower. Inspired by a photo I'd seen online, I even made little baby footprints out of marzipan as toppers. You can see the results above. Congrats, Pyi and Julia! I can already tell that you 2 will make wonderful parents!

P.S. - If anyone in the DC/Northern Virginia area is interested in ordering desserts for a baby shower or any other party, please check out my offerings and/or contact me via email.

Photograph of Eggs from Food and Story
1 Asri-Eggs Shells Baking Ingred
2 Anhsfoodblog-Simmered Soybeans Ginger Soy Sauce Japan Side Idea
3 Matt Armendariz-Lemon Meringue Cake Toasted

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tangerine Orange Mousse Recipe for Pure Joy Events!

Tangerine Mousse
Photography by Rebecca Watkins
A few months back I was lucky enough to contribute some Chinese New Year-themed desserts to a party shoot by Pure Joy Events for the online party magazine, Bird's Party. Christine liked my Tangerine Mousse so much that she asked me to share the recipe on her blog. Though this would be a great, simple dessert for any party, tangerines and oranges are especially suitable for CNY because their names in Chinese sound similar to the words for luck and wealth, respectively. They're thus are frequently given out around this time of year. Please head over to Pure Joy Events blog or if you're in a hurry, you can grab the printable recipe here!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Food Photograph/Styling Post Syndicated on BlogHer!

Food Photography Composition Diagram
Yay! I'm happy to share that BlogHer asked to syndicate my post from last year about food photography and styling! Please check out my article on BlogHer today. =D.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Most Beautiful (but Heart-breaking) Song I've Heard in a Long Time

Sorry for the lack of "real" posts. I actually postponed GREs for a few weeks because I didn't feel quite ready. I'll be back to regular schedule in another week or so. In the meantime, please please listen to this song. It will tug on your heart <3, XL

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

12 Tasks for 2012

I'm not a big fan of resolutions traditionally (usually too vague and easily forgotten), but I've found checklists for specific tasks are a great way to keep myself on track throughout the year. Thus I thought it might be fun to share with you just a few of the food and blog-related items on my to-do list for this year. Consider it a little peek at what's coming up on 6 Bittersweets =). Plus I hope it'll encourage you to make and share some of your own foodie goals for 2012!

Laduree Macarons in NYC
1. Make my first: multiple-tiered cake, fondant-covered cake, batch of homemade doughnuts, poppyseed strudel, French macaron tower, and choux pastry.

2. Make a Black Russian (Kahlua vodka chocolate) cake from scratch that's every bit as decadently satisfying as the popular version using store-bought cake and pudding mixes CHECK -- see the post HERE!

3. Decorate a cake with gumpaste quilling à la My Sweet and Saucy

I_0089a
4. Use my new silicone mold-making kit and edible image-capable printer (awesome gifts from P and his family) to make fun decorations for cakes and cupcakes

5. Try this unique and scrumptious-sounding cobbler with cherry tomatoes and caramelized onions The season's passed, so I've put this off until 2013...still excited though!

Martha Stewart-Tomato Cobbler Idea
6. Share more healthy and/or savory recipes on this blog

7. Learn to apply the brush embroidery technique with royal icing à la the cookies below by Etsy seller Sweet Ambs

SweetAmbsEtsy-Brush Embroidery Decorated Cookies Cupcakes Idea
8. Upgrade my camera to a Canon 50D (my friend who'd agreed to sell his 50D to me changed his mind, so I'll need to save up a bit longer for this) and expand my photography horizons beyond food/parties

9. Decorate a cake or cupcakes with French macarons à la the ones below by Cupcakes Couture of Manhattan Beach

Cupcakescouturemb-Cupcakes with Macarons
10. Come up with a reeeeally good tricksy recipe for April Fools Day O;-) Oops -- I ended up too busy to bake this April, but I've got some great ideas for 2013, I promise!

11. Recreate Laduree's incredible Orange Blossom French macarons at home

12. Convince as many people as possible of how awesome the BBC show Sherlock is (FYI, season 1 is on Netflix Instant!) and of how incredibly talented the actors Benedict Cumberbatch (photo collage top) and Michael Fassbender (photo collage bottom) are! (Yep, I know...not even a tiny bit related to baking or this blog but I regret nothing =D)

Cumberbatch Fassbender Collage
Oh and just a bonus tidbit of Sherlock candy...try not to swoon ;p

Sherlock Removing Scarf

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday Favorites!

Thanks for the lovely words in response to my previous post =D! I've a busy day ahead, but it's off to a great start with the realization that 6 Bittersweets has now surpassed 1 million page views and has almost 2/3 of a million visits! It's quite small in comparison to what you've given me, but I've moved up posting my weekly favorites in hopes that these photos will get your day off to a lovely start as well!

P.S. - The 2012 Bloggies are open for nominations until Jan. 15. Don't forget to VOTE for your favorites in the many available categories!

1 Fayeflickr-Sable Breton Sandw Cookies Lemon Verbena Mousseline Filling
Poppyseed Bars Photograph Styled by Dietlind Wolf
2 Dietlind Wolf (St)-Poppyseed Layer Bars Ingred Idea
Silver Wedding Cake by Yummy Cupcakes & Cakes
3 YummyCupcakesCake-Silver Metalic Gumpaste Flower Wedding Cake Idea
4 Timrobisonjr-Drinks Ice Bucket Cherries Cocktail

Monday, January 2, 2012

Your Favorite Posts of 2011 (Thanks for Making It Incredible!)

Wow wow, wow wow WOW...2011 was certainly a thrill-ride for me, in which the blog passed many incredible milestones and in which I've been greatly honored to make sweet treats for some really special people. And "lucky" is the only word I can think of to describe how it's felt to have you all along with me, backing me up every step of the way.

The past year's had so many brilliant moments that I simply couldn't imagine picking my favorites. Luckily you'd already done that job for me, and I bet ya didn't even know it! ;p Once the lovely Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures gave me a crash course on Google Analytics (over Twitter, no less!), it was a cinch to pull a list of my most clicked-on posts of 2011 to compile this list. I hope you enjoy reviewing last year's highlights as much as I have! Wishing you a Happy New Year with much love, XL

Boston Cream Pie Cake Pops...
More Cupcakes for Joy's Birthday
Composition Example 1
Homemade Irish Cream
Lemon Party!
Black Widow Chocolate Rum Cupcakes
5th Time's The Charm!
Diptych 7
Butter Paneer Curry Pizza
Cookies N' Cream Cake Pops