Friday, June 24, 2011

This week was officially the first week of summer vacation - with the kids being home all week as well as summer solstice being Tuesday, 6/21. Rain most of the week kept us indoors, much to the kids' dismay.. I don't mind the rain though.... more quality baking time for me! :-)
I decided to take the two mangos sitting on my counter and make a jam with it before they got spoiled and I had to throw them away. My kids are HUGE fans of mango juice but for some reason stay away from the fruit! I'm thinking it's because of the stringy texture of mangos. Dunno what else it could be because mangos taste just like their nectar.... So they usually just sit on my counter until they go bad and then I feel terrible to throw them out. I remember having mango jam as a little kid on toast with butter. Yum. This recipe hit the spot.

I made a Nutella-inspired cake for one of my friends who just had a beautiful baby boy..! She shares my own passion for this incredible food item, so I was excited to make the cake. It was a Nutella cake with a Nutella ganache filling and Nutella frosting... It was delish but I wanted a little more Nutella flavor - next time I think i will add ground hazelnut flour to the cake itself and maybe a hazelnut praline to the ganache.

I had some extra batter, filling and frosting so I made the kids (who are big Nutella fans as well) some cupcakes as dessert for the week.

Last but not least, I made the kids some pancake muffins because I couldn't be bothered to stand over the stove flipping pancakes on Thursday morning. I was looking to try something different for breakfast and my son was looking to have pancakes. The result - pancake muffins. They were yummy, portable, poppable, dunkable - everything a kid could want. And it only took me a total of 12 minutes to bake it from start to finish.

I think my hubbie got it right on the money when we were talking the other day - "Lucky kids." :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hi everybody!
This week was choc-full of baking as we were closing out the school year. We made cake pops for the kids at school. They had funfetti cake inside. Kids love cake pops because basically, they are personal-sized adorable balls of sugar. I, myself, am not the biggest fan. There's too much sweet and not enough flavor. But it's all good, because like i said - the kids love 'em and they are super easy to make.

For the teachers, we made little cakes shaped like apples. The cakes were apple spice with a yummy cinnamon buttercream. You may be wondering why I keep saying "we" rather than "I..." well, I happen to be lucky enough to have two little elves who are always assisting me in the kitchen, so it's a team effort! Now, if only they would help me in other areas of the house......

As if that wasn't enough, I felt compelled to make even more.. I'd finally gone out and bought myself a kitchen scale - a necessary tool for a baker - and so I decided to try my hand at making the elusive macarons! Two hours later, following explicit directions to a T, and breaking my blender in the process, I came out with these beauties! Success!!

I filled some of them with the leftover cinnamon buttercream from my apple cakes and others with Nutella. The kids and I preferred the taste of the cinnamon buttercream-filled macarons. Yum!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My very first post...

Hello! My name is Leela and I love all things baked! Once upon a time, I had lofty goals to go to culinary school for pastry and become a master pastry chef, owning my own bakery and all!
As is usually the case in life, things didn't go as planned.... I had kids - two little cupcakes! And they are the most beautiful, wonderful things in my life. After having devoted the past 7 years to them, I am ready to start getting back to the things that I love doing for myself... Now that they are older, I have more time to bake and once again, pursue my own dreams. Only now, I am going about it a slightly different way...
So I welcome you to my new blog: Leelabean Cakes. It's a place where I display custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other sweet confections. I love to design beautiful and unique creations for any occasion.
I will take you through my sweet adventures and post the goings-on in my kitchen. I am new to the blogging scene, so I hope you'll be patient with me as I learn the ropes..
Click on the link to the left and you will be taken to My Album where I have displayed some of my past works... Enjoy!  If you are interested in my work, send me an email: