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How to Ramp up your Store-Bought Desserts at Home

April 10, 2020

Confession: baking has never come naturally to me. But I can tell it’s because I love to cook by taste and baking requires near-absolute precision. Ratios, measurements, weights, if you try to cut corners and bake by feel, you’re likely to end up with a cake that doesn’t rise, or bread that’s the texture of a rock. I’ve worked hard the last few years to become a better baker and that starts with forcing myself to follow directions.

All that is to say – if baking isn’t your thing either, then I understand. But just because you aren’t an expert baker doesn’t mean that delicious and fantastic looking desserts are out of reach. How? By using store-bought desserts as the foundation upon which to build your delicious dessert. For example, fresh fruit can make an un-decorated cake an absolute masterpiece. Cupcakes can be elevated by mixing in new flavours to a somewhat blank canvass. The potential is near limitless for what you can do if you let your local grocer provide the starting point. So, whether you are not a baker or a baker without little time to spend, here are a couple of ways to transform some store-bought desserts.

Store-bought Chocolate Cheesecake 

Is there anyone who doesn’t like cheesecake? Try to make one from scratch can not only be time-consuming but also a daunting task with an undetermined outcome. Purchase yourself a plain cheesecake and save yourself the time (and tears if it doesn’t turn out).

Instead of the stress, have fun decorating your cheesecake with fresh berries. Simply cut your berries into various sizes and place them over top of your cheesecake. You can opt to cover the whole cake or just partial – as I did. Add a little chocolate drizzle and/or some edible flowers and you have a crowd-pleasing dessert ready in minutes.

                              Before                                                                   After

  

Added bonus – fresh berries are the perfect complement to a cheesecake by cutting out the richness of the cake. #winwin

Store-bought Vanilla Cupcakes

Transform store-bought cupcakes with a berry frosting and a delicious filling. I converted my plain vanilla cupcakes into blackberry & lemon cupcakes with fresh thyme, but you can opt for any flavouring. A plain vanilla cupcake is the best canvas to create any flavour cupcake your heart desires. Check out below on how to make your own version with just a few ingredients!

                               Before                                                                        After

 

Transform store-bought cupcakes with a berry frosting and a delicious filling. I converted my plain vanilla cupcakes into blackberry & lemon cupcakes with fresh thyme, but you can opt for any flavouring. A plain vanilla cupcake is the best canvas to create any flavour cupcake your heart desires. Check out below on how to make your own version with just a few ingredients!

Ingredients 

  • ¼ cup berry of choice plus some for garnish- I did blackberry but you can opt for strawberry, or raspberry etc.4 tablespoons filling of choice – I did lemon curd, but you can opt for flavoured pudding, jam or jelly.
  • Additional toppings – I did thyme and lemon zest, but you can opt for rosemary, basil, chocolate, candy, citrus or nuts. 

Directions

Remove icing from the tops of the cupcakes and place in a medium mixing bowl.

Take ¼ berries and blend until smooth. Place berries onto a paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out excess moisture. A tablespoon at a time, fold in berry mixture into the icing. Mix until smooth.

Transfer icing into a piping bag and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Using the end of a piping tip or a knife, cut out small holes on top of the cupcakes about ½ inch deep (or more if you wish for more filling in your cupcake). Remove the excess cake. Using a spoon, fill each hole with filling of choice.

Pipe icing over top of cupcake and garnish with toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

 

About Thea

Thea Van Herwaarden is a Vancouver-based food blogger and on-air talent known worldwide. She has appeared on both Canadian and American television, acted as a national campaign spokesperson for major lifestyle chains, and serves currently as a brand ambassador for a wide range of food and home brands. In 2017, her skills in the kitchen landed her in the “Top 2” spot on Master Chef Canada. Following that, her version of a nduja ricotta tortellini made it on the menu of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, Jamie Italian. Thea has since then launched her own brand, Théasty, where she showcases global tastes and travel, national and international restaurants and recipes, as well as lifestyle tips. All of this is shared with her loyal 19K followers on Instagram, and on her blog.

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