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Monday
Jan252010

Sweets for the Sweet: Sugar Bakery and Cafe Debuts Valentine's Day Treats

Whew! Is it getting sweet in here, or is it just the newest roster of sweet treats available at Seattle's Sugar Bakery + Cafe? These sweet treats are the perfect gift for your Valentine, or a perfect Valentine gift for yourself!

Valentine's Cookie and Truffle Gift Basket: Filled with fresh cookies, truffles, and other sweet stuff. $20. (Baked Fresh to order)

Valentine's Cookie Decorating and Truffle Making Class: Learn how to decorate fancy schmancy cookies and make chocolate truffles. You'll leave with two gift boxes full of goodies to bring to your sweeties. Two classes available: Kids Class: Thursday February 11th, 5:30-7:30pm. Kids under 18 only. Everybody Class: Friday February 12th, 5:30-7:30pm. Everybody welcome. $45. (Includes 3 boxes of goodies plus treats for yourself!)

Valentine's Cupcakes: Cupcakes are the perfect little treat, especially in our cute little boxes. We vary our flavors daily, but we'll always have our famous truffle filled red velvet with cream cheese frosting. $3.35/ea or $36/dozen (Baked Fresh Every Morning)

Sweetheart Cakes: Special cakes made just for two, available in red velvet with cream cheese frosting or chocolate with ganache or vanilla buttercream. $15. (Includes customized inscription)

For more information, visit Sugar Bakery & Cafe • 1014 Madison Street • Seattle, WA 98104; online at sugarbakerycafe.com

Monday
Jan252010

Essential Sweetness: Valentine's Day Specials at Essential Baking Company, Seattle

This year, Seattle's Essential Baking Company urges us all to "forgo the overdone heart-shaped box of chocolates and surprise your loved ones this Valentine's Day with artisan breads, pastries and desserts". Marketing ploy (since the company obviously doesn't offer boxes of chocolates)? Perhaps. But good idea? Definitely. Why? Just take a look at their menu of sweet treats which will be around for a limited time only (the Cara Mia cake from now til February 14; the other desserts through Feb. 23):

Cara Mia: "My Beloved" in Italian, this heart-shaped chocolate bread is kissed with chocolate chunks and cherries embraced by a sweet French bread sprinkled with sugary love.

Valentino Cake Cookie: This hand-held delight consists of two moist chocolate cake cookies spread with a luscious raspberry buttercream frosting and pressed together for a sweet and irresistible treat.

and their line of Parisian Star Desserts:

Chocolate Syrah Seduction: This heart-shaped chocolate cake is enrobed in chocolate ganache blended with a reduction of Chateau St. Michelle Syrah  for a deep, rich flavor, all in a dark chocolate cup decorated with beads of white chocolate mousse.

Cherry Jubilee: Cherries soaked in Kirsch are suspended in a light mascarpone filling, all tucked into a velvety dark chocolate mousse atop a chocolate-almond cake.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Heart: A dark chocolate heart-shaped cup filled with a light peanut butter mousse and chocolate brownie chunks, sprinkled with chopped peanuts and topped with a dark chocolate heart.

Porcupine Chocolate Heart: This chocolate chiffon cake is brushed with Grand Marnier and layered with Belgian dark chocolate mousse, then covered in dark chocolate with white and dark chocolate spikes.

Raspberry Linzer Tart: Raspberry jam fills the buttery shortbread crust and lattice topping made with Northwest hazelnuts.

What are you waiting for? Call in advance to ensure availability or to special order; locations and more information can be found at essentialbaking.com.

Monday
Jan252010

Pony Up: Kentucky Derby Bourbon Cupcake-Pies by Cake Gumshoe Melanie

The Kentucky Derby may not be 'til May, but the chocolate-nut flavors associated with the race are delicious all year long. But unless you want to get sued for using the copyrighted "Derby Pie" moniker, you'd better get creative, like CakeSpy reader Melanie , who recently sent on the recipe (and gorgeous photos) for "Kentucky Derby Bourban Cakes", wherein cupcakes are served inside of a pie shell for ultimate carbohydrate bliss and complete deliciousness. Run, don't walk, to the kitchen for this:

Kentucky Derby Bourbon Cakes

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes Jiffy Pie Crust mix (love it in a pinch!)
  • 1 box butter cake mix or yellow cake mix(and ingredients on box)
  • 1/2 cup Kentucky Bourbon
  • 1 3/4 cups walnuts (some to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips Bourbon Fudge Ganache (recipe follows)

 Procedure

  1. Prepare the Jiffy pie crusts as directed on the box. Chill dough until ready to assemble cupcakes for baking. (Note: I would start the Bourbon Fudge Ganache now, as it needs to cool in the fridge for some chill time!)
  2. Prepare the cake mix as instructed and then mix in bourbon.
  3. Roll the pie dough out to 1/4 inch on a floured surface. Cut (approximately) 5 inch circles out of dough using a large cup or bowl as a guide.
  4. Gently fit the circles into 2 cupcake pans prepared with nonstick spray. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides.
  5. Place approximately 1 tsp. each of walnuts and chocolate chips in the bottom of each cupcake/piecrust.
  6. Spoon approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of cake batter into each cupcake (until it looks 2/3 (plus a little) full. You can’t put as much batter as usual cupcakes since the crust/nuts/chips are in the bottom!
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes (’til they don’t jiggle in the middle!). Remove cupcakes and allow them to cool on a wire rack, and then use a butter knife to loosen and remove each cupcake.

 

Bourbon Fudge Ganache

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
  • 4 teaspoons of Kentucky Bourbon ( or more if you like it strong!!!)

Procedure

  1. Place the chocolate in a large bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it just starts to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate.
  3. Cover the bowl, and allow the cream to melt the chocolate. Add the bourbon.
  4. Whisk the chocolate until its dark and shiny. Place the icing in the refrigerator until the cupcakes are cooled.
  5. Check frequently, and give it a quick stir. When it gets to a spreadable consistency, pull it out. Otherwise, it will be too firm(like fudge…yummm!). Either spread the ganache on the top of the cupcakes or pipe it with a bag. Sprinkle each cupcake with some walnuts. Then let the race to your belly begin!!!
Monday
Jan252010

Cake Byte: CakeSpy to Attend a Kelly Ripa and Electrolux Event in NYC

Guess what, NYC? You're about to get a whole lot sweeter.

Yup! Your dear Head Spy Jessie and 15 other Foodbuzz Featured Publishers have been invited to join Kelly Ripa in NYC for a special cake decorating event on February 9th sponsored by Electrolux to generate support for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (oh, and you can stay updated via Twitter: follow @KCbyElectrolux)

More details to follow, of course!

So...how totally sweet is that? Pretty sweet. Any new bakeries I should visit while I'm in town? Other than Village Tart (which is now officially on the must-visit list), of course?

Monday
Jan252010

Say Cheese Product: Velveeta Fudge for Serious Eats

Chances are that if Velveeta even figures into your Super Bowl planning, it's probably intended as a nacho topping or as an ingredient in packaged macaroni and cheese. But it's a grievous error not to include it in your dessert menu too: as it turns out, it's actually a key ingredient in delicious fudge.

I'll admit that I was skeptical about a fudge which employs a "cheese product" that isn't even in the dairy aisle at the grocery store. But the concept is endorsed by Paula Deen, goddess of all things delicious and fatty--and when she says fudge is better with a healthy dose of Velveeta, I believe her.

You can find more--and the full recipe!--over on Serious Eats.

Sunday
Jan242010

Kiss of Deathcake: The New Adventures of the Old Deathcake Royale

It's truly the most wonderful time of year in Seattle.

No, not Christmas, jerk: it's time for the debut of the Deathcake Royale.

If this is death by chocolate, then bring on the gurney: this little brickster of a chocolate cake may have a hefty price tag, (at $6.65 it is almost, but not quite, devilish), but be assured that it's an investment in pure pleasure: gorgeously decadent, comprised of a chocolate trifecta: Royale's chocolate cake, Stumptown Coffee ganache, and Theo Chocolate Decadence. 

Dude. This cake is good. 

Happily, after introducing the deathcake in cupcake form last year, Cupcake Royale was understandably overwhelmed by requests to bring back the original, which was served in a cubelike form designed to be "shared by lovers and loved by haters"; technically, it is meant to be shared, but one couldn't be blamed for downing it solo.

And for its legion of loyal followers, the cake is back with a vengeance this year--with a batch of sweet Deathcake booty to go along with it, ranging from Deathcake Royale tumblers and stickers to some very naughty (but sweet) screenprinted undies (no word on whether or not they're low riders to accomodate muffin tops). 

Ready for some Deathcake Royale? Start your calisthenics now, because this baby's making its debut on January 29, and will be available through February 14 at all Cupcake Royale locations; for directions and hours, visit cupcakeroyale.com. You can also stay on top of their sweet news via their blog and their twitter feed.

Sunday
Jan242010

Not a Fritter: The Glorious Snitter from Nielsen's Pastries

Pop Quiz: What is a snitter?

No, you're not gonna Google your way out of this one. If you consult Wikipedia, you'll discover that it is "Snitter is a village and civil parish in Northumberland, England. It is near the Northumberland National Park. The closest town is Rothbury."

True as this may be, Wikipedia has clearly never been to Nielsen's Pastries, a little Danish bakery in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, where, nestled among the danish and cookies is an unassuming flat little treat with streaks of cinnamon, cream, and sugary glaze on top. The signpost in front declares "Snitter - a flat cinnamon roll". Oddly, while there is another Scandinavian baked good known as Hindbaer Snitter, the Nielsen's version doesn't seem to resemble it very much (that one kind of looks like Danish meets Pop Tart!).

Now, on first impression, the snitter appears to have a face (and name) that only a mother would love. But one bite and you'll see the light. It's got all of the magic of a cinnamon roll, but compressed into one dense little package, bursting with rich, buttery, cinnamon flavor--and the healthy dollop of custard on top certainly doesn't hurt. 

So what is a snitter? One of the most beautiful ugly pastries you'll ever meet.

The Snitter can be found at Nielsen's Pastries (which, incidentally, is also the home of the Potato), 520 2nd Avenue West, Seattle; online at nielsenspastries.com.

 

Friday
Jan222010

Sweet Art: Clumsy for Illustration Friday

In celebration of this week's Illustration Friday theme of clumsy, Cuppie would like to take a moment to remind you not to worry too much about kitchen mishaps--because truly, there's no use crying over spilt sprinkles. There will always be another day, another cupcake to bake (or, even better, eat).

Friday
Jan222010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Crumb Cake Links!

Woot! It's friday. Let's celebrate with a baker's dozen of sweet links centered around a delicious treat that ought to be considered its own scrumptious food group, Crumb Cake.

Colossal. Crumb. Cake. (pictured above) Alas, no recipe to share, but let's all swoon at the pictures and description just one more time.

On Baking Bites, an adaptation of a Martha Stewart Recipe for "Lots of Crumb Cake" that looks pretty delicious.

For traditional New York recipes, I always depend on The Food Maven, Arthur Schwartz (after all he's the one who introduced me to Nessolrode Pie!) - so it would stand to reason that his NY Crumb Cake Recipe is worth a try.

Because cardamom is like a kiss on top of crumb cake: cardamom crumb cake via Food and Wine.

If you want more lore along with some sweet recipes, check out Barry Popik's research on crumb cake.

Entenmann's has nothing on Cook's Illustrated: The baker on this site tried out the Cook's Illustrated recipe for NY Crumb Cake, and had delicious results.

But then again, if you still love Entenmann's, this recipe claims to make a cake that tastes just like it. (hint: just don't look at the nutrition information)

A new classic: Big Crumb Coffee Cake with rhubarb, via Smitten Kitchen.

Chocolate Crumb Cake: Crumb cake is awesome, but My Baking Adventures proves that it can get awesomer.

Pumpkin crumb cake: Sounds like heaven. And it's vegan too!

Crumb cake with a cake mix: You may balk at the idea of a cake mix, but look at that crumb to take ratio. Incredible.

Brown Sugar Plum Crumb Cake: Don't fret about the fruit, it doesn't taste even vaguely healthy.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Crumb Cake: It has the power to make you wish you were going back to school. Happily, if you're all grown up you can call in sick and make (and eat) this cake all day.

Friday
Jan222010

Scouting Sweetness: Trophy Cupcakes Debuts the Samoas Cupcake

Like seriously, if you're not so over that New Year's Resolution thing yet, you will be when you read about the flavor of the moment at Seattle's Trophy Cupcakes: the Samoas Cupcake! Here's the 411:

Inspired by Jennifer’s favorite Girl Scout Cookie, we recently launched our “Samoas” cupcake. Our moist Valrhona chocolate cupcake is filled with caramel cream, topped with coconut buttercream, drizzled with more caramel and then sprinkled with toasted coconut! We are not sure if it’s the rich house made caramel, the Valrhona chocolate or the toasted coconut that makes this cupcake so dreamy, but it has already become a thing of legend…at least on our Facebook page! Samoas will be available every day for the remainder of January, and will be available on a rotating basis starting in February.

Available at all three Trophy Cupcakes locations; for directions and hours, visit their website.

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