Thursday, September 27, 2007

Agave Sweetened Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Last night I decided to start my experimenting using agave nectar as a sweetener in some baked treats. In these cakes I used light agave nectar however next time I use the nectar with chocolate I might try the dark agave nectar. I would like to see what effect this would have on the taste. These mini chocolate dairy free cupcakes pictured above are topped with chocolate ganache. I am very pleased with these! The cupcakes are very moist & have a great flavor. Agave nectar has a different sweetening effect than regular sugar but it is very delicious! I noticed also that the cupcakes have a nice smooth crumb to them & the tops of the cakes are very smooth. They could even be topped with a bit of powdered sugar for a different effect.

I am very excited about the possibilities of agave nectar & will continue experimenting with it. I think it might pair very well with lots of fruit flavors such as lemon, orange or some fall flavors such as pumpkin, apple or pear. Stay tuned for more experiments. Coming next week....more gluten free cakes!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New York City Chocolates & Bakeries

Now that I'm settled in back at home here in Oregon I'm ready to post about some delicious chocolate shops & bakeries that we visited while on vacation. Pictured above are some cool souvenirs that I bought in New York City. On the left is a "kangaroo cup" that I bought at the Max Brenner chocolate shop that we visited with my sister in law. You can put pieces of chocolate on the side that can melt into your cappuccino or hot chocolate drink! It's so neat & so much fun to drink out of!

On the right is a bag of superb baking chocolate from Jacques Torres also known as "Mr. Chocolate". It is 72% bittersweet & can be used for baking & hot chocolate. I can't wait to experiment with it & create a fabulous dessert! Also, I bought this little bar of milk chocolate which I can put into my kangaroo cup to enjoy with my coffee! Yum!

We also visited two bakeries in NYC. On our first day in the city we went to the famous Magnolia Bakery known for its cupcakes. We tried a vanilla cupcake, red velvet cupcake & a small round flourless chocolate cake. They were definitely very good, but I feel proud saying that we at Farmer's Tea can make cupcakes that are just as good & probably better!

Then, on another day we visited Babycakes Bakery. They are a very unique bakery because they make many gluten free & dairy free-vegan items as well as items with spelt flour. They sweeten most of their baked goods with agave nectar as well. I tried a chocolate cupcake, carrot cupcake, cinnamon bun with raisins, chocolate chip cookie & cornbread. It was a good sampling of their offerings. Their bakery was very cute & old fashioned. I really applaud them for making alternative baked goods! I thought that their chocolate chip cookie was very good. It was very moist & satisfying. The cinnamon bun was also excellent as it was very moist & sticky! Yum!! I thought that the cupcakes could use a little more flavor, but the frosting was really nice. Overall I think their baked goods are great & I congratulate them! It inspires me to try out more gluten free, dairy free & alternatively sweetened baked goods!

This week I'm going to try working more with agave nectar making some mini cupcakes for a party & next week I'm going to try out some more gluten free & dairy free cakes. I'll be back with more baking experiments shortly!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Super Saturday!

I'm now back from vacation in New York City & ready to catch up on all of our wonderful baking projects! I'd like to talk about our great market day on September 15th & what we are looking to do this week & next week. Above you can see a photo of our scrumptious gluten free hazelnut coffee biscotti which is very popular at the market! It is delicious & perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Below is a picture of our Tres Leches Babycakes which is a traditional Mexican sponge cake with a custard poured into the cake. It's topped with a meringue frosting & toasted coconut. It's heaven in a cake!

Next, I'd love to introduce you to some lovely vegan (dairy & egg free) cupcakes that we offered at our last market day. These are yummy pina colada & chocolate cakes! Delicious!! The pina colada cake is the next best thing to being on the beach with a tropical drink in hand. I'll leave you with the image below & be back soon to share with you the bakeries that I visited in New York City & what is yet to come in our baking world!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Holiday Goodies!

Today we also started talking about holiday goodies. Pictured above are some little fruitcakes that I covered in marzipan, fondant or royal icing & decorated with holiday motifs. We are all very talented at making cookies, cakes, pies, candies & other treats for the holiday season, so we have started to come up with some ideas for what to offer.

We are working on mini cookie tray offerings as well as many other treats for the holiday season. Providing mini cookies lets people sample a wide variety of treats as this special time of year. We'll be offering some of our favorites such as:

  • Lebkuchen- a spiced, honey cookie
  • Peppermint Buttons- a buttery, mint cookie
  • Hazelnut Coffee Biscotti- flavored with strong coffee
  • Mexican Wedding Cakes- with ground hazelnuts
  • Spritz- a buttery, rich cookie
We'll begin working on these cookie trays & other delectable items soon & provide some samples at the Oregon City Farmer's Market.

If you are interested in any of our regular menu items, cakes or would like to learn more about us you can visit our web site at:

Thanks for reading & we'll be back with more mouth watering baked good photos & experiments very soon!

Our New Fall Line Up

We had a wonderful lunch meeting today to discuss our new fall offerings & things we'd like to try baking using seasonal ingredients such as apples, pears, pumpkin, hazelnuts and even squash. We have such fun looking through piles of cookbooks, photos & clippings in order to create new goodies for our farmer's market booth.

When we return from vacation we will begin to post about our new creations. Here are some of our ideas for fall:

  • Hazelnut Honey Sticky Buns
  • Pumpkin or Squash Spice Cake
  • Apple Upside Down Cornmeal Cakes
  • Apple Cider Baby Cakes with Caramel Glaze
  • Autumn Cake- filled with apples, spices & nuts
  • Saffron Pear Cake
  • Acorn Squash and Honey Pie
  • Chocolate Nut Pie
  • Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie
  • Flourless Hazelnut Torte
  • Maple Nut Pear Upside Down Cake
We will be so excited to get started on using the bounty of the fall harvest here in Oregon! We look forward to coming back to the kitchen in late September & posting pictures of our latest desserts!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


We'd like to announce to our loyal Oregon City Farmer's Market customers that we will not be at the market on Saturday, September, 22nd. My husband and I will be going to New York City on a much deserved vacation & my Mom and Sister in Law will be taking the day off as well. We'll look forward to seeing you all the following Saturday, September 29th. Thank you!

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Preserves

Welcome to the first post on Farmer's Tea Baking! I'll regularly post our latest creations & baking experiments that we are working on here.

Last night I decided to try out a flourless chocolate cake (pictured above) as a glorious gluten free option at our farmer's market booth in Oregon City, OR. It is as dense as a brownie but has more of a fudge type texture and is extremely smooth & decadent! It was really fun to make & it tastes amazing! The cake has a pound of chocolate in it! Wow! And, I decided to top it with a yummy raspberry preserve that I made myself! I can't wait to share it with friends & family before making it again this Friday for the farmer's market.

We are working hard to create a variety of options for our gluten free & vegan customers at the market. I want them to have as many options in delicious organic pastries as possible. Very soon I will continue to work on creating some pastries using agave nectar for people who are diabetic or want a low sugar option.