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Monday, July 28, 2008

Tea Anyone?

What a busy and exciting month July has been. I just returned from
Florida where the ICES convention was held this year and I was invited
to demonstrate making sugarpaste teacups.

I talked with so many wonderful people and was excited to meet Kim Morrison, whose cake, featuring sugarpaste teacups, was the Grand Prize Winner in the National Wedding Cake Challenge in 2003! She was my first inspiration to make a teacup. Thank you Kim!

I believe the process for making these cup and saucer sets are fun and simple; and I encouraged every person who saw this demonstration at ICES to go home and make a set for themselves.
I was surprised and honored this morning when, Patrice, one of the creative owners of Serenatea, sent me a picture of her first teacup and saucer! What a beautiful work of art!


If you are interested in learning how to make these cups and saucers, here are the dates of upcoming workshops...

August 16, 2008 -SugarWonders Cake Club-Dallas, Tx http://www.sugarwonders.com/workshops.html

October 22, 2008- Frost-A-Tiers Cake Club-Houston, Tx


Thursday, July 3, 2008


Just in time for the Fourth of July entertaining!
These rich 2 inch tarts are a great addition to any party.

Made with key lime filling over a pecan shortbread cookie, they are topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries, and drizzled with grenadine syrup.
Start by making the pecan shortbread (I used *Norpro mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms.) After popping the cookies into the oven, make key lime curd.

After both are cooled, just mix the filling and pipe it onto cookie, topping with fresh fruit.

Using strawberries and blueberries made these perfect for a patriotic theme. But they would also taste terrific topped with tart pie cherries, peaches, or raspberries. 



Pecan Shortbread
Key Lime Filling
Grenadine Syrup

Pecan Shortbread

1/2 cup + 2T. softened butter (10 Tbsp)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp *Butterscotch oil (opt)
1-1/4 cups sifted flour
2/3 cup pecans, finely ground

Cream butter and sugar together; add butterscotch oil. Mix in flour and pecans. Chill dough for about 15 minutes for easier handling. Divide into 24 balls and press into the bottoms of an ungreased *mini tart pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Key Lime Filling

1/2 cup *Nellie and Joe's Key lime juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch
6 egg yolks, all albumen removed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
8 oz. softened cream cheese

Blend key lime juice together with cornstarch. Pour into a sauce pan; whisk in egg yolks and sugar. Add butter and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until translucent and mixture holds its shape when stirred. 
Press through a sieve into a bowl; cover key lime curd with plastic wrap, chilling thoroughly. 

With a mixer, whip cream cheese; add key lime curd and blend together completely.

Place Key Lime filling in a pastry bag with a fluted tip. With shortbread still in pan, pipe filling over each cookie. Chill well; then lift out of cheesecake pan and remove the pan bottoms.

Arrange sliced strawberries and blueberries on the top of each tart, and drizzle with grenadine syrup.  (Pomegranate syrup works well too.)

Makes 2 dozen- 2" tarts.

*Links for Specialty Products listed in this recipe:

Recipe and Photography by
Jacque Benson- all rights reserved 2008

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May the saint protect ye-
An' sorrow neglect ye,
An' bad luck to the one
That doesn't respect ye
t' all that belong to ye,
An long life t' yer honor-
That's the end of my song t' ye!