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Entries in baltimore (6)

Tuesday
Nov292011

Natty Boh Cupcakes Recipe from Cake Gumshoe Jen

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe Jen, who lives in Annapolis, Md., just down the road from Baltimore, the home of National Bohemian beer -- or Natty Boh. She was inspired by the adorable man with the mustache to bake these Natty Boh cupcakes for her blog, Eat. Swim. Shop. 

If you’re not from the mid-Atlantic, you may not be familiar with National Bohemian beer — or Natty Boh.

Natty Boh has a long history in Baltimore, and while it’s not brewed in the Charm City anymore, many people consider it Baltimore’s beer. And the super cute one-eyed mascot, Mr. Boh, still winks at everyone from the top of Brewers Hill. So when I decided to bake some beer cupcakes in honor of Baltimore Beer Week, I had to use Natty Boh.

I am not a beer person, but Natty Boh tastes a little like Corona to me. So I thought lime zest would work well with the beer in the batter.

I didn’t whip the egg yolks long enough because I’m impatient. But the cupcakes will be even spongier if you do. So you should.

Don’t be scared by the beer in the batter. The cupcakes just have a slight hint of Natty Boh flavor (and scent), but it’s really nice. I put a little bit of beer in the frosting, too, but you don’t have to.

FYI, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have enough powdered sugar to make frosting before you start making the frosting… especially if it’s 11 p.m. and your neighbors are asleep.

Since these are Baltimore cupcakes, I used Duff/Charm City Cakes black fondant to make little Mr. Boh-esque mustaches. I just used a small sharp knife to cut the mustaches out, but you could make a stencil from parchment paper if you’d like. I also tried to do an eye, but it looked weird. Alas.

Of course, don't let the extra beer go to waste...

Here's the recipe.

Beer-lime cupcakes (Recipe adapted from a really old edition of the Joy of Cooking. Makes about 15 cupcakes)

  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (sift if there are a bunch of chunks in it)
  • 3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup beer
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir the sugar and lime zest together in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  2. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thick and lemon-colored — this may take a few minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well combined. Stir in the beer. (And wash the beaters)
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup (you can use the one you used for the sugar), stir together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the yolk mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Using clean, dry beaters (and a clean, dry small bowl), beat the egg whites until they hold peaks, but are still glossy. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter.
  5. Pour or spoon the batter into lined cake pans, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cupcakes start to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

Beer-lime buttercream (makes just enough to frost 15-16 cupcakes, double recipe if you want to use a lot of frosting on each cupcake)

  • 1 stick (1/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2-2 cups powdered/confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon beer
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (optional)

Procedure

Beat butter and 1 cup powdered sugar together until fluffy. Add beer, lime juice and lime zest and beat to combine. Add additional powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency (or until you run out, like me).

Friday
Nov112011

Tour de Sweet: CakeSpy in Baltimore on November 14!

Guess what, Baltimore? You thought you were sweet, but you're about to get SWEETER.

That's right: CakeSpy's Tour de Sweet is coming to town! As I said on the Facebook event page,

OMG. This is your chance--your BIG CHANCE-- to come eat cake, hang out with me, and buy a copy of my lovely and amazing new book, "CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life"! And I will even sign it and draw a unicorn in it, if you'd like.

Forget John Waters, Baltimore's all about the BAKED GOOD! And you'll find some very tasty ones at Dangerously Delicious.

But wait, there's more! GIVEAWAYS And some sweet items to give away, like notecards and maybe even a pair or two of my cupcake-unicorn-robot socks.

Missing this would be a big mistake.

See you there, from 6-8 pm! Location stats: Dangerously Delicious 2839 O'Donnell St Baltimore, Maryland; online here.

Monday
Sep192011

Cake Byte: CupcakeCamp Baltimore is this Weekend!

Seeking sweetness in Baltimore? Well, look no further. Per a great article on the Baltimore Sun website, "There is still some room left in Baltimore's first cupcake camp on Sept. 24 at Blue Hill Tavern."

As the article puts it,

Cupcake Camp is not about learning how to make cupcakes, it's about eating them. A cupcake camp is, then, an "ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment."

And this one is an event to be excited about, as it's being organized by Rachel of Coconut & Lime! As you recall, I hung out with her at Wilton in the Chicago area. But I digress. As the article goes on, 

Here's what you need to know about cupcake camp. 

It's free. It's an over 21 event (sounding better by the minute). While it's encouraged, you don't actually have to bring any cupcakes. But let's face it, it will be more fun if you bring them. There's more on the event page. And you have to have to have to have a ticket.

And, of course, the part of the article that made me love it most:

Check out the Charm City Cupcake Camp Facebook page. The Charm City Cupcake Camp illustration, by the way, is by Jesse Olsen, CakeSpy author and blogger. Look, look, look at her rainbow cake.

If you're in Baltimore, visit the CupcakeCamp Facebook page!

Wednesday
Jul272011

Sweet Art: Baltimore-themed Art by CakeSpy!

So...not long ago at the Wilton Workshop, I got to meet Rachel of Coconut & Lime for the first time. This was a pretty big deal for me as I am a pretty big fan of hers. AND! She asked me if I might be interested in creating some artwork for Baltimore's first CupcakeCamp!

Well, needless to say "YES" was the rapid and assured answer, and here's the result: a sweet Baltimore-themed piece featuring Baltimore architecture and characters (fictional and factual!).

Oh, and speaking of Baltimore, have I mentioned lately that I will be stopping there on my book tour? Yep, November 14 we'll be having an event at Dangerously Delicious Pies. Details TBA!

For more about the upcoming event, stay tuned via coconutandlime.com.

Tuesday
Jan042011

Slice of Life: Bob Andy Pie Recipe from Dangerously Delicious Pies

Recently, when leafing through the amazing book Killer Pies: Delicious Recipes from North America's Favorite Restaurants, a conflict presented itself: which recipe to try first?

Happily, the answer presented itself quickly enough, when I found the entry for Dangerously Delicious Pies in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The pie in question? The "Bob Andy". 

What's a Bob Andy Pie, you ask? Well, according to proprietor (part time baker, part time rock musician) Rodney Henry, this pie is "really awesome...I call it 'White Trash Creme Brulee.'" I didn't need any more backstory beyond that: I was already headed to the kitchen.

Happily, the Bob Andy is what is considered a "staple" pie, meaning it contains the basic ingredients most people have in their pantry at any given time. 

Unhappily, it just so happened that just returning from a trip, my pantry was somewhat empty, and I found myself with roughly half of the milk and butter called for in the original recipe. But it occurred to me: is it possible to half a pie recipe? After all, I had split a pie in three parts before, why not just create a foil barrier and bake it as a half-pie?

So I gave it a try, and amazingly, it worked. I had a little extra filling, which I simply baked up as custards in cupcake-cups. I can't say it would work for every type of pie, but I was happy with the result.

Bob Andy Pie, Halved

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 unbaked round of pie dough (enough for a 9-inch pie), cut into 60/40 portions, of which you'll use the 60 part (use the rest for pie fries!)

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Prepare your pie dough. Roll it out, and place it in your pie plate. Using a piece of foil, form a barrier in half of the tin, and shape your dough up the side of it, so that you have a sort of makeshift pie semicircle in which to pour your filling.
  3. Mix all of the filling ingredients except for the egg whites together to make a custard.
  4. With a hand mixer, beat the whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Fold the whites into the custard and pour into the pie shell. Bake for 1 hour. 
  5. Remove when it's browned on top, and when (owner's words) "everything moves together. It shouldn't be jiggly like milk."

 

Sunday
Jan182009

Cakewalk Special: Baltimore Picks from B More Sweet

Cupcakes from Perfect Cupcakes, c/o Bmoresweet

Cakespy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe B More Sweet, Baltimore's authority on all things sweet!

Oh, Baltimore, that rascal of a city. While some may be deterred by its abnormally high murder rate, please, don't pass Charm City by--because it really does have a certain je ne sais quoi--among other things, it is the home of John Waters, the birthplace of the Berger Cookie, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, and of course, home to so many wonderful bakeries. Recently our buddy and Baltimore sweets afficionado friend, Cake Gumshoe B More Sweet put together of her Baltimore picks for us: 

(unless otherwise noted, all photos c/o B More Sweet)

  strawberry/vanilla & chocolate/chocolate cupcake
(photo of Warren Brown cupcakes--from the DC location, but you get the idea-- c/o How to Eat a Cupcake)
Cake Love: Fabulous, with the stupendous Warren Brown at the helm. What's not to love about a former Justice Dept attorney gone renegade baker who got his own TV show? A cool, hip, retro vibe in this sleek store selling old-fashioned cakes and cupcakes as well as vegan treats. Here they're all about the taste - no overwrought hyperventilating decoration goes on at Cake Love. Online at cakelove.com.

 

Charm City Cakes: Duff Goldman of Food TV Network's Ace of Cakes holdeth forth here. It's not a bakery you can walk into, but makes special-event and cakes for occasions. However, Duff and his crew are SO FANTASTIC that I'm sure with prior arrangements you can get yerselves in there. Duff's cakes are awesome. Online at charmcitycakes.com.

as for a cupcake interlude...


Charm City Cupcakes: This is a girlie girlie pink store (think Lily Pulitzer) selling extremely sweet, frosting-laden cupcakes in a variety of rotating flavors. Online at charmcitycupcakes.com.

Perfect Cupcakes, c/o Bmoresweet
Perfect Cupcakes: Catherine Hamilton brings her adorable mobile bakery truck operation to Baltimore's Inner Harbor, where in warm-enough weather she sells delicious cupcakes with beautiful minimalist designs (see top photo). Online at perfectcupcakes.com .

 

getting Frenchy...

Patisserie Poupon: For a decadent, TOTALLY awesome traditional French bakery, you can't skip the venerable Patisserie Poupon. How traditional are they? NO REAL WEBSITE! Located at 820 E Baltimore Street, in a kind of iffy, fringe-y location. In other words, authentic. For my money, this is the best patisserie in Baltimore. But go early - the best goodies sell out tres vite. Click here for more info.

 

Bonaparte Bread, C/O bmoresweet
Bonaparte Breads: My heart belongs (also, because I am fickle) to Bonaparte Breads, 903 S. Ann Street, in Fell's Point (itself a fun, funky neighborhood full of bars.) This gleaming little spot is a definite go-to for croissants, plain or flavored. You won't find cupcakes here, but instead all manner of butter-laden French pastries and warming, delicious breads. Click here for more info.

 

what about Italian treats? 
Vaccaro's, c/o Bmoresweet
Vaccaro's Pastry: We are blessed with fantastic Italian bakeries. "Even though it's famous, it's still great" should be the motto for Vaccaro's, with several locations around the city. My favorite is in Canton (yet another hip, trendy neighborhood!) This is the spot for cannoli, Italian cookies, and homemade gelato. Online at vaccarospastry.com.

Piedigrotta Bakery, Baltimore, Photo c/o Bmoresweet
Piedigrotta Bakery: Less famous but equally delicious is Piedigrotta, which is conveniently located next to the hippest bowling alley in Baltimore. And my favorite thing about Piedigrotta is that the baker will waste no time in telling you that he is THE originator of tiramisu. Throughout the history of the world, this baker is the originator of tiramisu. Just ask him! Online at piedigrottabakery.com.

 

And for candies, confections and chocolates? 


Louis J Rheb Creams
(photo c/o rhebcandy.com)
Louis J. Rheb: The unparallelled un-toppable Louis J. Rheb Company, where they still make all the chocolates by hand, don't do any foo-fooey crap, and where the Lucy and Ethel candy factory scene was actually shot! They still make everything in the basement at 3352 Wilkens Avenue. You will never eat a chocolate buttercream from anywhere else in the WORLD, including Switzerland, once you've eaten a Rheb's chocolate buttercream. Online at rhebcandy.com.

 

Cacao Lorenzo
Cacao Lorenzo Chocolatier: I can't overlook Cacao Lorenzo Chocolatier, where the brilliant Larry McGlinchey creates the most elegant, lyrical, amazing chocolates anywhere. Cacao Lorenzo is a small boutique, impeccably clean, and the candies are just stunning. It's not inside Baltimore City proper, but it's in the Baltimore suburbs, and for a chocolate candy lover, well worth the short car ride to get there. Online at cacaolorenzo.com.

Saving the best for last...

 

Dangerously Delicious Pie box, c/o BmoresweetPie from Dangerously Delicious, photo c/o Dangerouspies.com
***Dangerously Delicious Pies: If you were to be given an option only to go to one sweet spot in Baltimore, I'd steer you to Dangerously Delicious Pies, where Rodney Henry makes a pie crust to bring you to your knees. The original Dangerously Delicious is located in trendy Federal Hill, and the tatted rockstar former Marine Rodney holds forth behind the counter of this bright red establishment on all things pie, whether sweet or savory. Dangerously Delicious has a second outpost in equally-hip Hampden, where the restaurant is called Dangerously Delicious Savory House and if you're lucky Rodney's rock band might be playing. I will never make pie again, after eating Dangerously Delicious. At our house we are always looking for an excuse to buy a DD pie. Online at dangerouspies.com.

 

 

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