Home Home Home Home Home Home Home
CakeSpy

Featured: 

What is Pumpkin Pie Spice?

Unicorn Love: the Eating Disorder Recovery Blog

 

 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!

 

Archives
Gallery

Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com

everyrecipe.co.nz

Craftsy Writer
Tuesday
May112010

Apple of My Pie: A Heavenly Apple Pie by High 5 Pie

I can happily co-exist with people who prefer a double crust on their apple pie.

But that doesn't mean I understand them.

For me, it's all about the crumb topping, and I've found what might be the perfect specimen: the apple pie by High 5 Pie. Proprietress and Pie Lady extraordinaire Dani Cone (also owner of Fuel Coffee...how cool can one person be?) brought me this baby as a sweet treat in honor of my gallery's grand opening the other day, and all I can say is that this is the sort of apple pie that will convert non-believers.

Let's start from the bottom up.

It all starts with a buttery crust which somehow manages to be buttery but not too flaky, sturdy but not too tough.

Moving up, it has a thick layer of apple chunks which would make Cook's Illustrated proud, because there is no shrinkage, and the apples retain a nice crispness around the edges, so that you can actually tell they are apples and not just apple mush.

And finally--the best part for this crumb devotee--is the topping. A generous smattering of fat, crunchy, brown sugary crumbs that might make you want to die with pleasure.

But as if all this wasn't enough, I also received all these samples of Sassy Sauces this week, and so decided to see how the pie might taste when topped with a drizzle of their rum caramel sauce--and I have to say, if this wasn't heaven, then it was definitely a suitable substitute.

What does all of this awesome add up to? My new favorite combination, that's what.

High 5 Pie can be found at Fuel Coffee locations and various other cafes and coffee shops in Seattle, and by special order; for those in other areas of the nation, I officially offer a vaguely sarcastic "sorry" and a suggestion that you book a ticket to Sea-town directly.

Sassy Sauces are readily available for shipment; visit sassysauces.us.

Tuesday
May112010

Sweet and Tart: White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Fudge by Rose City Sweets, Portland OR

As a card carrying member of the White Chocolate Lovers Club, I'd like to introduce you to my newest obsession: 

White Chocolate Fudge with Cranberries and Pistachios.

This sweet manna from heaven is produced by the brand new Portland, OR-based confectionery company Rose City Sweets--in fact, they're so new that they just made their public debut last week at Crafty Wonderland, and their online store doesn't even have stock yet (I know, it is pretty mean of me to tell you about them, considering this). But when their store is stocked, you can expect to find small batch fudge, caramels, toffee, and other confections.

But what's so great about this white chocolate-cran-pistachio business?

For one thing, the fudge is unbelievably smooth and creamy--it is not plagued by the gritty candy-sand texture that is a characteristic of inferior fudges--not to mention extremely rich and flavorful. The sweet white chocolate flavor is perfectly accented by the slight savory saltiness of the pistachios, and nicely punctuated with tart bits of cranberry.

Let's just say that the brick of fudge I obtained at aforementioned Crafty Wonderland did not last long, and I predict a very sweet future for Rose City Sweets.

There's nothing in the shop now, but for future reference and shopping, bookmark the Rose City Sweets Etsy page.

Monday
May102010

Taste the Magic: Magic Cookie Bar Pie for Serious Eats

Magic Cookie Bars are, as their name might imply, no ordinary treat. Starting with layer upon layer of unrelentingly rich layers of buttery graham cracker crumbs, toasted coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips, and nuts, they get even better from a rich smothering in sweetened condensed milk.

With all that awesome, some might argue that a small serving is best. But I disagree, and to prove it, I've created it in a deliciously thick pie form.

Inspired by the construction of the delicious BakedBar from Baked in Brooklyn, I made my pie with a coconut-graham cracker crust which then got filled with the sweetened condensed milk slurry--the resulting confection attained a crust that was crispy, but the inside remains pleasingly gooey, making for a dessert that will likely displease your dentist, but will definitely make your mouth happy.

For more, plus a recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Sunday
May092010

What's That? An Introduction to the It's-It Ice Cream Treat

Photo used via Creative Commons License from Flickr user frozenfoodjournalCC BY-NC 2.0File under "How On Earth Did I Not Know About This": The It's-It. I am sad to say that I had no idea it existed before this week.

Have you heard of it? Well, shame on you for never having bought me one. But if you haven't, let me introduce you to my newest friend:

The glorious It's-It is comprised of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies, and then the whole delicious mass is enrobed in dark chocolate. I know, awesome, right?

Per the It's-It site, it was invented in 1928, when

George Whitney began what is now a San Francisco tradition. He placed a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two large old-fashioned oatmeal cookies and then dipped the sandwich into dark chocolate. On that very day, the It's It Ice Cream Sandwich was born. George Whitney sold the It's It exclusively in San Francisco's Playland-at-the-Beach for over four decades. 

As for the name? Well, as I learned from this great article on SFGate.com by Matt Villano, apparently upon concocting aforementioned masterpiece, inventor George Whitney knew he had a good thing:

"It's-It!" he exclaimed for all to hear, and a legend was born instantly.

Sadly, the Playland was demolished in the 1970s. While the It's-It disappeared for several years at this point, the public's appetite for the treat certainly did not decline, and in 1974 the treat was reborn in a small storefront. Business boomed, and the company grew into a wholesale operation with distribution first throughout California, and then stretching to 15 other states (apparently Washington is one of them, but I've never seen one in my local grocery store).

It's-It also has a roster of other frozen treats, including the "Big Daddy" (ice cream between two chocolate wafers), the "Super Sundae" (a fat chunk of ice cream dipped in chocolate and rolled in peanuts), and the "Super Cone" (basically, a bigger, badder and far awesomer-looking version of a Drumstick)--but the It's-It bar is their flagship and most beloved product.

My current goal? To get my hands on one of these sweeties ASAP, because in spite of what Rice A Roni might claim, I vote that these bars are a far sweeter San Francisco Treat!

It's-It Bars can be found at various locations, mostly on the west coast; however, they will also express ship their treats. 

Saturday
May082010

Cake Byte: CakeSpy Shop Grand Opening Party Tonight!

What can I say other than you're gonna feel really bad if you miss this awesomeness? It's been given shout-outs by the Stranger, Joey Veltkamp, and Capitol Hill Seattle--just to name a few! There will be many new Capitol Hill-themed paintings, and cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes, too!

Please, do drop by from 5-8 p.m.! 

Shop Location: 415 E Pine Street (near Summit), Capitol Hill, Seattle

More details can be found here!

Friday
May072010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Reasons to Love Megan Seling

Megan Seling is kind of a big deal in the Seattle music scene. She's a calendar editor and all-ages music columnist for The Stranger; she also has her own radio show on 107.7 The End. I know, awesome, right?

But what you may not know about this local superstar is that she's also very savvy on the subject of sweets (and bakes a mean cookie, to boot). And so, in an effort to share her awesomeness with the sweet-loving world, here's a baker's dozen of reasons why this sweet writer ought to be loved and appreciated:

She brought Rocky Ledge Bars to my cookie swap last year.

She also brought Striped Icebox cookies to aforementioned cookie gala.

She doesn't just love cupcakes...she educates us on who makes the best ones, too.

She did this great writeup of me and my fantastic life in The Stranger last week.

She made these Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes.

She's super fun to follow on Twitter.

She covers hard-hitting journalistic issues, such as what should be considered the official candy of Washington.

She invited me, CakeSpy, to be a featured contributor on Questionland!

She loves Poppy like I love Poppy.

She is able to admit that she is a sugar addict.

She keeps us all updated on the Capitol Hill, Seattle, bakery scene.

She's an amazingly skilled writer--it's impossible to not be moved by this piece on her "Cookie Winter".

...and finally, did I mention that her equally cute and sweet boyfriend Robby makes a mean chocolate-dipped cream pie?

Thursday
May062010

Sweet Art: Dedicated to the Ones I love

This piece is what they call a "crowd pleaser"--officially dedicated to cupcake lovers, vegans, hipsters, and bacon lovers--also known as everybody I know.

Wednesday
May052010

Baked Bliss: Chocolate Mudslide Cookies from The Newlywed Kitchen

I'm not a newlywed, but I sure do like to eat like one.

That is, ever since I discovered the Chocolate Mudslide Cookie recipe in the newly released book The Newlywed Kitchen: Delicious Meals for Couples Cooking Together by CakeSpy buddy Lorna Yee, Ali Basye, and photographed by Kathryn Barnard.

Now, I hear rumors that the savory recipes are good, and I can attest that the stories which accompany the recipes are sweet and engaging.

But what made me fall in love, so to speak, was the aforementioned Chocolate Mudslide Cookie. Comprised basically of chocolate on chocolate, with a little flour and butter thrown in, these cookies seemed not only easy to make, but sort of like a one-way ticket to pleasuretown.

Happily, the recipe lived up to all expectations, yielding a soft, rich, cookie which is absolutely redolent with chocolate and which is very nearly perfect. But I've found one way to make it even better: save a tiny bit of that warm chocolate mixture from step 2 (or better yet, make a little extra) and sandwich two of the cookies together with that. Now that's what I call sweet wedded bliss.

Chocolate Mudslide Cookies

Lightly adapted from The Newlywed Kitchen

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

 

(Note: Original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped. I have nothing against walnuts but realized that I had none once I'd already started baking, and went without. They tasted fine!)

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chopped chocolate with the sugar and butter. Microwave in 20 second intervals, until about 80 percent of the chocolate is melted. Stir the mixture, and the rest should melt from the heat of the melted chocolate. Let cool to room temperature while you do the following steps.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. Slowly pour the microwaved mixture into the eggs in three additions, stirring between each addition. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate batter until combined, then stir in the walnuts (if you're using them) and chocolate chips.
  5. On two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, drop heaping tablespoons of the cookie dough, leaving room for the cookies to spread (about 8 cookies per sheet). Use only the middle or upper rack for these cookies, as they may burn on the lower rack.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. They will be slightly soft when they come out of the oven, but will become more firm as they cool. If they last that long.

 P.S. Interested in more of Lorna's recipes? Well, here's a little heads up: save the date for June 6, when we'll be having a Red Velvet Cake tasting at CakeSpy Shop! More details to come!

Wednesday
May052010

Cake Byte: Come to the CakeSpy Shop Opening!

Hello Sweeties! Well, in case you hadn't heard, I have purchased and taken over Seattle's Bluebottle Art Gallery and am merging it into CakeSpy Shop!

The gallery will feature plenty of my sweet artwork, but will also feature a lot of great art, craft, and cool merchandise from great indie artists. There are plenty of great gifts and art to buy! 

Though I am open for business already, I'm still making some changes to the space - and am ready to celebrate big time on May 8! Please come and check out several new paintings of sweets in Capitol Hill by yours truly, eat some delicious cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes, hear some sweet music by Mr. Spy's band Exohxo, and have super fun times!
Hope to see you there, friends!

Here are the details:

CakeSpy Shop + Bluebottle Art Gallery Gala Opening Event

Saturday, 5/8 - 5-8 PM

415 E Pine Street (near Summit), Seattle WA 98122

Tuesday
May042010

Take Your Pix: The Pixie from Pix Patisserie, Portland

Say Bonjour to the Pixie.

Quest-ce que c'est, this Pixie?

It's a sweet little treat from Pix Pâtisserie, the Frenchiest little spot in Portland, OR.

Now, settling on the Pixie wasn't easy--after reviewing a small but well curated collection of European-style pastries available, including an Opera Cake, Queen of Sheba Truffle Cake, a particularly fetching triangular Dobos Torte, and macarons a-plenty.

But the unassuming and small-ish Pixie was humming to me, and so it was what I chose. Per the website,

Pistachios, almond paste, and raspberry jam are the main ingredients making up this layered concoction people can’t seem to get enough of. One woman replied after her first taste, “Oh! This makes me wanna dance!” Enough said.

And while I'd like to say for the record that aforementioned customer was not me, it might as well have been. This little pastry may be small but it's mightily magical, buttery pastry layers spread with an incredibly rich pistachio and almond paste mixture which is given a bright dimention from the sweet jam. All of this awesome, of course, is sealed with a kiss of confectioners' sugar on top.

As Mr. Spy commented upon tasting, "It tastes like a Christmas cookie...only better."

You heard it here first--better than Christmas!

Of course, it would be remiss to not mention the pâte de fruit (we tried the blackberry). This gel-y candy is one of those confections, like marshmallows, which is really at its finest when homemade, and Pix's is the real deal, with a texture which is yielding but not too sticky or gelatinous, and full of natural fruit sweetness. A subtle and sweet little bite, and quite the steal at less than a dollar each!

Pix Patisserie has two locations in Portland; visit here for more information. They also ship a variety of their baked goods; visit here to learn more.

© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.