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Entries in dessert event (18)

Wednesday
Aug042010

Sweet Art: Poster Design for CupcakeCamp DC!

What's the sweetest thing going on in DC?

CupcakeCamp DC, naturally! The festival of cupcake awesomeness (which I can attest to, because I attended the Seattle CupcakeCamp!) will be taking place in our Nation's Capitol on September 18th--that's a mere 45 days away, thanks to the counter on their website!

And adding to all that sweetness? They'll be using the above illustration for posters and promotion! Because hip cupcakes riding the metro in DC is totally...well, you know.

For more information, visit the CupcakeCamp DC website!

Wednesday
Jul212010

Fat Mint: Mint Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies, and a Whoopie Pie Bake-Off Roundup

OK, so I don't want to make you feel bad if you weren't able to make it to the Whoopie Pie Bake-Off at Oddfellows Cafe this morning.

But.

Dude, if you weren't there, you totally missed out. For so many reasons...but for the sake of brevity, I'll focus on just a handful of reasons why the event was totally sweet (and suggest that you read the CHS roundup too):

John Roderick loves Whoopie Pie: photo c/o Capitol Hill SeattleThe judges, including all-stars from all arenas: Rocker John Roderick, Chamber of Commerce head Michael Wells, ice cream entrepreneur Molly Moon, the Stranger's Christopher Frizzelle and Chelsea Lin of Seattle CitySearch.

The event was very well-planned: the crew at Oddfellows did a fantastic job of presentation, planning, serving, and sharing the Whoopie Pie love. And the cute posters didn't hurt, either.

The whoopie pies: ranging from classic creations to inventive riffs on the Whoopie Pie, the entries were as varied as the entrants, who ranged from professional bakers (Volunteer Park Cafe, Street Treats, Mini Empire Bakery) to at-home enthusiasts (yours truly included). There was even a gluten-free s'more variety by Jeanne of Four Chickens!

Audrey takes the job of Whoopie Pie tasting very seriously.The prizes: winners made out like bandits, winning awesome prizes donated by both Oddfellows and by yours truly (of course, the humor of fact that young children won this prize isn't lost on me).

The enthusiastic crowd: well, a picture would show this best. Here's before:

...and here's after:

Yup: people were ready to eat some whoopie pies, all right.

Of course, I'm not going to totally leave you hanging. My entry for Mint Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies (inspired by my favorite ice cream flavor) went over rather well, if I do say so myself--and I'm willing to share the recipe. So even if you didn't make it, you can make some Whoopie of your own, in the safety of your own home.

Mint Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies

Adapted from King Arhur Flour's Reverse Whoopie Pies

Makes 12-24 pies, depending on size

For the cookies 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks 8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) milk
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips
  • green food coloring, to taste (optional, but recommended)

For the filling

  • 4 cups (24 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  2. Make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, salt, peppermint extract, baking powder, and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the green food coloring and mix until incorporated. Do this gently; there’s no need to beat the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips at the end.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave 2 to 2 1/2 inches between each cookie, for expansion.
  4. Bake the cookies for 11 minutes, or until they’re barely set on top; if you see them browning on the bottom, they've baked too long. Cool them on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the filling: Place the chocolate chips, corn syrup, butter, and heavy cream into a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is very hot. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Add in the peppermint and stir one more time. Chill in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, till the filling is cool room temperature. Remove from the fridge, and beat at high speed with an electric mixer until it lightens in color and thickens slightly. If the filling doesn’t lighten and thicken after several minutes of beating, chill for another 15 minutes, then beat again. Spread a generous amount of filling on one of the flat sides of the cookies; sandwich another half on top to form your pie. Repeat with the remaining pies. Store in an airtight container--it's better not to freeze these. Because the tops of the whoopie pies can be sticky, I'd suggest individually wrapping in waxed paper rather than plastic wrap.
Tuesday
Jul132010

Battle in Seattle: A Whoopie Pie Bake-Off at Oddfellows Cafe

The first thing that you'll notice about the Whoopie Pie scene in Seattle? There is none. Aside from the occasional sighting at Oddfellows Cafe or at a handful of other spots around town, they're relatively unknown in the Emerald City.

Until now, that is. Whoopie Pies are making their debut as a weighty contender in the Seattle baked goods scene at 11 a.m. on July 21, 2010, when Oddfellows Cafe hosts the great Whoopie Pie Bake-Off!

Interested in entering your prized pies? Here are the instructions:

Instructions for Whoopie Pie Bake Off

 

  • Bakers may have two whoopie pie submissions, a classic whoopie pie and/or a variation on a classic whoopie pie, which must still be identifiable as such. Both pies will be entered for the grand prize, Whoopie Pie Champion!
  • Each baker must submit by July 18th in email (to tallulah@lindashq.com) the following:
1) Your name as you would like to see it on the ballot for the judges (this may be your real name or another name such as a nickname or the bakery you represent)
2)A few details about your whoopie pie: what kind it is (red velvet, rainbow, etc.), if you have a special name for it (Marta’s Magical Pie, etc), anything else you want us to know or include about your pie. We will use this information for a write up to be given to the judges in addition to other TBA purposes.

Submission of Whoopie Pies on day of event.
  • Whoopie pies are to be baked at home and brought to Oddfellows at 10:30AM; that’s 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to start.
  • We request that you bake at least 7 whoopie pies (6 for eating, 1 for display), however you may bake more than 7 (especially if your pies are on the smaller side!)
Judging
  • There will be 5 official judges as well as an open vote among customers for crowd favorite. 
  • The official judges will pick one whoopie pie for each category. The categories being:
1) Best Classic Whoopie Pie
2) Most Interesting Take on a Whoopie Pie
3) Whoopie Pie Champion
  • Whoopie Pie Champion is the grand prize but there will also be prizes (umm, CakeSpy art included!) for winners in the sub-categories of best classic and most interesting.

This awesome event will be open to the public on July 21 at 11 a.m. at Oddfellows Cafe + Bar, 1525 10th Ave., Seattle.

Friday
Jul092010

Crust or Crumb? A Cake Vs Pie Showdown at CakeSpy Shop!

Hey, Seattle. Brace yourselves, because come August 9, it's time to bring it on.

CakeSpy, Edible Seattle and Jenise Silva present: Cake vs Pie.

We're encouraging bakers from both sides of the fence to show off your favorite cake or pie at the CakeSpy Shop on Monday, August 9. The contest is open to amateur and professional bakers alike!

Judged by "Pie & Cake Masters" Brittany Bardeleben, Jill Lightner, Kate McDermott and Jessie Oleson, We'll award prizes based on overall appearance, taste and texture (crust or crumb).

Prize sponsors include Art of the Pie, Cupcake Royale, Edible Seattle, Chef Shop & more! All pies & cakes must be made from scratch and pans/plates marked on the bottom with your name and contact information.

How do you get in on this awesome? To enter, rsvp by Monday, August 2 to jenisesilva@yahoo.com. Please include your name, if you'll bake cake or pie, phone number, and email. Given space and time limits, we can only accommodate the first 20 entries received. Please, one entry per contestant. Registered contestants will bring their wonderful baked creations to the CakeSpy Gallery 415 E. Pine on Monday, August 9 between 6- 6:45 pm. Judging will begin at 7 pm.

Sunday
Jun062010

Sweet Surrender: A Red Velvet Smackdown and Tasting with Lorna Yee and Jackie Baisa at CakeSpy Shop

It began, as so many excellent things do, on Twitter.

Upon rhapsodizing about the most excellent Red Velvet Cake from Seattle's Kingfish Cafe, Lorna Yee responded with what can only be described as fighting words: "My red velvet cake is better". 

Now, as Red Velvet challengers go, Lorna Yee is a formidable one: her recipe comes from her recently published book, The Newlywed Kitchen (which contains this recipe for Chocolate Mudslide cookies, btw), has received rave reviews.

The only way to figure out this battle? A Red Velvet Smackdown, natch! 

With the Kingfish Red Velvet Cake in one corner, and Lorna's Red Velvet in the other, we set up a tasting at CakeSpy Shop, with talented photographer Jackie Baisa to document every sweet minute. Of course, cute husbands Danny (aka Mr. CakeSpy) and Henry were on hand to help out.

Lorna was also kind enough to bring a large batch of cupcakes to share with customers at the shop. She ran out of red food coloring at a certain point, so a lucky few actually got Blue Velvet Cupcakes.

So how did these ladies in red stack up?

Well, on the one hand you've got the Kingfish Cafe Red Velvet, which is something of a Seattle standard. It's dense, it's sweet, it's rich...but depending on what day you buy it, sometimes it can be a little dry. Still, I wouldn't kick it out of bed for leaving delicious little crumbs.

But then you've got Lorna's triple-threat of awesome. Equally dense and rich, this is nonetheless a very different cake, with pronounced contrasting flavors: a very tangy and only lightly sweet, very cream cheese-y frosting and a rich, extremely moist cocoa-infused cake. All of the tasters, who were cut generous slices, zeroed right in on the compelling flavor contrast, and were more than happy to wax poetic about the sweet subtleties in flavor--but perhaps even more telling, everybody cleaned their plate. 

Lorna Yee and very cool kid IrisSimilarly, customers who came in and sampled the cupcakes were thrilled with their sweet treats, and Lorna not only sold through her stock of books but also raided nearby Elliott Bay Books for more.

The final word? You should still order the cake if you go to Kingfish, but for your next special occasion, bake the one from Lorna's book. People will remember and love you for it.Jackie Baisa, Lorna Yee, CakeSpy

Want to see more awesome photos of this event? Visit Baisa Fotograferie (photos coming soon!)

For Lorna's Triple Red Velvet Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, visit her site, The Cookbook Chronicles!

Saturday
May292010

Cake Byte: Sweet Red Velvet Cupcake Tasting and Newlywed Kitchen Book Signing at CakeSpy Shop!

Lorna Yee says her Red Velvet is more delicious than this one. See for yourself!Red Velvet Cake is delicious--this is a fact. But who makes the most delicious variety of this sweet Southern treat?

As a devotee of the big-as-your-head variety served at Seattle's Kingfish Cafe, I was intrigued when pint-sized foodie Lorna Yee made the bold claim that her recipe (featured in her and Ali Basye's new book, The Newlywed Kitchen: Delicious Meals for Couples Cooking Together ) was even better.

Why not see for yourself? Lorna is going to be making a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes which will be served at CakeSpy Shop next Sunday--and she'll be around to sell and sign her great new book . And there will be a professional photographer on site--Jackie Baisa, who will have the title of Official Red Velvet Paparazzi for the day.

As for the book? Yes, it's designed for newlyweds, full of recipes and stories to share with your plus-one. But you know what? Even if you're not a newlywed, you'll probably like the way that they eat--the book includes recipes for the Red Velvet cake you'll be tasting, as well as other delicious savories and sweets such as these Chocolate Mudslide Cookies.

Why not join us and eat some cake?

Here are the details:

Red Velvet Cupcakes and Newlywed Kitchen Cookbook signing, featuring Lorna Yee and Jackie Baisa

  • Date and time: Sunday, June 6, 12 p.m. til the cupcakes are gone and you've spent all your money on cookbooks and other cool CakeSpy stuff
  • Location: CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine Street (near Summit), Capitol Hill, Seattle
  • Open to the public! 
Wednesday
Apr142010

Sweetest Day Ever: 50 Awesome Moments at CupcakeCamp Seattle

So, last week was CupcakeCamp Seattle, sponsored by Bella Cupcake Couture. As you may know, I was lucky enough to be the one who did the artwork for the poster and branding of the festival--but what you may not know is that I was even double-triple-fourteen times luckier, because in addition to participating artistically, I was also a VIP attendee--one of the judges, along with serious celebrities as Kelley Moore, Melody Biringer of Crave, Keren Brown, Jackie of CakeCentral (!!!), and more!

So. To try and narrow it down to 10, a Baker's Dozen, or even 25 awesome moments would be pretty much impossible, so instead I'm opting to share 50 awesome moments (in no particular order) from CupcakeCamp Seattle. It was a packed event and they ran out of cupcakes, so some people unfortunately were turned away--but I'm sure that next year it will be even bigger and better. 

  1. My artwork on the signpost outside. The first thing I saw made me feel like a serious VIP!
  2. Salted caramel cupcakes from Cupcake Royale. This is one of the most famous cupcakes I know, and it Lives. Up. To. The. Hype.
  3. The "Little Miss Tipsy" Cupcake by New York Cupcakes. Limoncello and Raspberry Vodka Cupcakes. Dude, I feel a (sugar) buzz just looking at them.
  4. This beautiful spread from Bella Bella Cupcakes (top picture).
  5. Strawberry Pop Rocks Cupcakes! These were a winner in the Amateur Baker category, for most unique ingredient. They tasted delicious (but I already knew that Pop Rocks are a great ingredient in baked goods!)
  6. Brown butter bliss cupcakes - with homemade marshmallows. Yes!
  7. The cupcake-eating contest. 
  8. The fact that the winner of the cupcake eating contest was wearing a necklace comprised of a doughnut on chain links.
  9. Root beer float cupcakes.
  10. The crowd. Now, I know that people who didn't get in were pissed off, but it seriously made me so happy to see so many people excited about cake.
  11. I got to meet Lyndsey of Kitchen DoughDough! 
  12. Pear Cupcakes. They sparkled, both figuratively and literally. Once again by Bella Bella!  
  13. The "Unhappy Hipster" cupcake by Rocket Queen Cupcakes. This is funny.
  14. This spread by Tacoma's Celebrity Cake Studio.
  15. My fellow judge Melody (oh, you may know her as the famous founder of Crave). Can't you tell how happy she is?
  16. Vegan cupcakes that looked like starbucks mochas! Aww! By the Cake Diva (read more here).
  17. Biting into said vegan cupcakes and finding even more awesome inside.
  18. And on the flipside: So. Many. Bacon. Cupcakes.
  19. Java Cupcake's "Tree Hugger Apple" cupcakes--like snickerdoodle met apple cinnamon, with cinnamon buttercream and caramel. Om nom nom.
  20. Seeing how enthusiastic all of the eaters were (look at those full plates!)
  21. Tiger tails from Trophy Cupcakes! 
  22. A beautiful array from Wink Cupcakes. 
  23. The "Sustainable Granola" cupcake masterpiece by Bella Bella Cupcakes--a Seattle-themed composition featuring fondant sandals with socks!  
  24. The "Velvet Elvis", probably one of the more delicious bacon entries--banana cake, chocolate chips, and peanut butter  frosting with bacon. Yes.
  25. Discovering Immortal Bakery (not to be confused with Immortal Dog Pet Supply and Bakery), who brought several delicious cupcake variations including banana with honey and cinnamon, marionberry, and maple bacon!
  26. These cupcakes, made by a 7 year old. I definitely was not this capable at age 7. I am probably not now either!
  27. Running into Natalie, who has done guest posts on CakeSpy!
  28. The "Baklava Honey Bees" Cupcake --it was all nestled in phyllo dough! Yeah!
  29. Parsnip cake? It's been done before, sure, but I'd never tasted it. It was better than a lot of other vegetable cakes I've tried. By Heidi Phillips.
  30. Several creative entries from Spitfire Grill--of all things, a Belltown sports bar. Their pastry chef, Kimm Moore, deserves kudos for her creativity: the "Kimm-chi" cupcake, made of carrot, zucchini and kimchi with ginger frosting; the "Mocha Me Up" with hazelnut biscotti on top of a mocha ganache centered cupcake, and more!
  31. War of Pigs, a bacon-themed cupcake from Rocket Queen Cupcakes.
  32. Seeing my artwork on the judge name tags.
  33. Being able to wear a judge name tag and act like I was going backstage like in Wayne's World at all times.
  34. The Organic Washington Caramel Apple cupcake by The Radical Cupcake. 
  35. The "Uptight Seattleite" cupcake--a work of art!
  36. A cupcake with ferry on top by Captivating Creations--adorable!
  37. Whoopie Pie Cupcakes by Audrey of Babeland! 
  38. My fellow judge Keren Brown, who not only is probably the coolest mom in the world and the organizer of FoodPortunity, but has a sparkling wit and can eat a cupcake like nobody's business.
  39. This cupcake was made by a 10 year old. 10!
  40. Chocolate stout cupcakes which were amazingly decadent. I wish I remembered who made them!
  41. My fellow judge Jackie of Cake Central, who #1 is like a cake celebrity but #2 didn't bat an eyelash when I asked a question that most would find ridiculous: "So what is exciting in the world of cake decorating these days?"
  42. A "heart happy" carrot cake made with cranberry walnut carrot cake with avocado frosting--it did not taste like deprivation at all. It was awesome!
  43. ...and on the opposite end of the spectrum, the "Heart Attack" cupcake, comprised of chocolate chipotle cupcakes with dark chili ganache and lime cream cheese frosting. Made by Michelle Morris of the Hope Heart Institute.
  44. Cake pops (including this adorable cake slice cake pop!) by Confection Concoctions, my new hero!
  45. My fellow judge Kelley Moore, who is kind of a big deal. And completely awesome and funny and cool!
  46. I don't know if you can see this, but another of the entrants in the cupcake eating contest was wearing a t-shirt with a unicorn which is pooping cupcakes. This made me so happy.
  47. Cupcake shooters!
  48. It being my job to eat these.
  49. Chocolate milk to go along with my cupcakes.
  50. The utterly amazing organizer, Carrie Middlemiss, who is not only the owner of Bella Cupcake Couture, a CakeSpy sponsor, and unbelievable multitasker, but generally an awesome person too. Read all about her thoughts on CupcakeCamp Seattle on her blog! 
Saturday
Jan242009

Pie, Oh My: The Most Amazing National Pie Day Celebration Ever

Best Pie Day Ever!
Did you know that January 23rd was National Pie Day?


Now, some may argue that the day to celebrate pie ought to be March 14th.

 

Unfortunately, these math nerds missed out on the cool-kid party we attended last Friday: a no-holds barred, absolute pie love-in, the likes of which we'd never seen.
Pie Day LocationEAT PIE!
It was held at the Salmon Bay Eagles Hall in Ballard, Seattle; while the sign said FOE, the sandwich board definitely let on that PIE meant FRIEND.
Glowing Pie at Pie Celebration
Tees for Sale at Pie day celebrationPrize Table
Inside, a veritable pie nirvana awaited, including music ("American Pie", anyone?) by our new favorite band the Fillings; EAT PIE t-shirts (designed by Christine Larsen); ginormous glowing pie sculptures; a projector screening various pie imagery, and of course, a delightful table of raffle prizes (including Cakespy artwork!).
With Music by "The Fillings"Me and Mary, the Pie Party organizer
The organizer, Mary, and her team (the À la mode girls) all wore the cutest pie-themed headpieces and dresses. (pictured: Head Spy Jessie with Mary)

Coconut Cream PiePecan PieCranberry Walnut PieThe Lemon Chess Pie was quite popular

Pie Buffet, with ice cream for those who prefer a la modePieSpy!
But of course, truly, the Pièce de résistance was the pie buffet: a series of tables set together in a line, it must have been over 30-ish feet long, with every type of pie you could ever dream of, both sweet and savory. We ogled over and sampled sweet varieties such as coconut cream, lemon chess, blueberry, marionberry, bourbon pecan, and more; even though we don't usually foray into savories, the Veggie Frito pie does deserve at least a mention. In a stroke of what can only be described as sheer brilliance, a large tub of vanilla ice cream (donated by Molly Moon) was positioned at the end of the line, a sweet gesture for those who preferred their pie à la mode; nearby, a station with milk and coffee offered accompaniments, but of course the cool and over 21 crowd could go to the adjoining bar area.

Of course, even sweeter than the pie was the mission: proceeds from raffle ticket sales went toward The Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research

Seriously, words cannot really convey the true awesomeness of this Pie Day event.
Peanut Butter Mini Pies
In honor of the day, here is the offering that Head Spy Jessie made to the Pie Buffet: Cup-pies so dense and delicious, they'll knock your socks off (or rot your teeth out, either/or). Though the white chocolate version is shown, we brought the dark chocolate variety to the party.
White or Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup-pies

Crust (to be blind-baked before filling), recipe adapted from Taste of Home:
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Preheat oven to 450. In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Roll out to desired thickness (maybe slightly thinner than you would for a regular-sized pie) on a floured surface; either cut with a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter (or just eyeball it and cut with a knife, you can shape it later) to about 2.5 inches across; press into cupcake cups and with fingers, shape to fit (I found this works best with silicone cupcake cups, which are sturdier than paper variations). This amount will make anywhere from 8-12 cup-pies, depending on how thick you like the crust. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges.
Filling (not baked), adapted from Diana's Desserts:
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate chocolate, coarsely chopped 
OR
  • 8 ounces white chocolate couverture, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter and Co.'s White Chocolate Wonderful)
Microwave chocolate and whipping cream in medium bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring every minute. Beat with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add the 2 tbsp. of peanut butter; mix well. Spoon into prebaked (already cooled) shells. Refrigerate let cool; refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Note: You may have extra filling, depending on how thick your crusts are. If so, it's...um...delicious by the spoonful.
For more info on all things pie, visit piecouncil.org, or to get in on the argument over holiday's date, visit The Stranger. Though it's not been active for some time, the Mini Pie Revolution has a lot of cute ideas too.

 

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