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Tuesday
Apr272010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Ideas for Mother's Day

Clockwise from top left: pedestals by Juliska; onesie by Bored, Inc.; baking cups by Bake it Pretty; cake plates by Once Upon a Pedestal. Links below.Moms are totally sweet--so why not treat them in kind? Here's a baker's dozen of sweet (some literally, some figuratively) gift ideas for Mother's Day:

Betty Crocker's Cooky Book: One of my all-time favorite cookbooks--I know my mom would be delighted with this, so I imagine yours would be too. A word of advice: definitely go for the spiral-bound version. Available on Amazon.

CakeSpy Artwork and Accessories: Oh, come on, don't act surprised. I have rent to pay now! Plus, your mom would probably love you forever if you bought her something from my shop. Shop online here.

Cake Plates and Pedestals by Juliska: If you're feeling like a big spender this Mother's Day, these breathtaking cake plates and pedestals would probably go over very well. While you're at it, buy me one too, ok? (thanks to my friend Love and Confections for introducing me to these!). 

Cookies by Mail from Hey, Sugar!: A delightful recent CakeSpy discovery (via DailyCandy), though this Chicago-based custom order baking company provides a full assortment of baked goods locally, they will ship their cookies in assortments or by the dozen in single flavors (like the alluring-sounding Aloha Cookie "When pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts all mix together in a yummy, creamy snickerdoodle; your taste buds will say Aloha!"). Online at heysugarchicago.com.

Cups of all sizes and colors from Bake it Pretty: That's cupcake cups, of course. And you'll find the greatest variety of cute, pretty, sophisticated and kid-friendly ones here. Some for mom, some for you, some for your friends...

Cute as a Cupcake Baby Onesie by Bored Inc.: Naturally, babies are cute--but they can always be cuter. And that's easily done with these adorable "Cute as a Cupcake" onesies by Bored Inc.! Available here. 

Legalize Frostitution Tee from Cupcake Royale: Hipster moms who love baking will adore this tee from Seattle cupcake institution Cupcake Royale. Available here.

Little Red Riding Hood Tea Pot: Tea is totally sweet with treats, and it's sweeter still when served from an incredibly adorable tea pot like this one. Available at Fred Flare.

Retro Aprons by Kitsch'n Glam: These retro-cute halter aprons would make any mom happy, I think. Better yet, get one for yourself too. Available here. 

Three Months of Croissants: Do you really need to be told how much cooler this is than a fruit basket of the month club? Each month, a batch of prepared gourmet croissants will be shipped; simply thaw overnight and bake in the morning. The gift that gives back, especially if you plan visits back home around the shipment dates. Available at Williams-Sonoma.

Unique Cake Plates by Once Upon a Pedestal: One of a kind creations to display your sweet treats, made from salvaged plates put on a pedestal! Read the CakeSpy writeup of the company here. Available at Once Upon a Pedestal.

Vintage Cookie Jars from Jazze Junque: This site (and in Chicago, storefront too!) is a treasure trove of unique vintage and collectible cookie jars; stock constantly rotating. Available here.

What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson: If mom is a cupcake-maker, this book is a must-have--it's the uber-cute followup to the already uber-cute book Hello, Cupcake! which makes me want to coo every time I look at it. Available on Amazon.  

Friday
Apr232010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweetly Named Towns in the US

Take me to Sweetieville!Life would be a dream, sweetheart, if you lived someplace with a dessert-related name. Here's a baker's dozen of real places in the US with baking-related names:

Also worth noting? There is, in fact, a Bacon, Delaware and a Ham Lake, Minnesota.

Got any other foodie-type town names to add? Leave a comment!

Sunday
Apr182010

Beyond a Baker's Dozen: A Roundup of Cake Truffle Companies

Cake bites made by Bakerella for CakeSpy!Whether they're on a stick or just rolled as truffles, one thing is for certain: Cake Balls are taking over the world (for which I credit, and thank, Bakerella!). Here's a collection of companies selling them online and in their stores:

(note: got one to add? leave a comment!)

Audrey Kate Rae cake truffles come in flavors like red velvet coated in Tiffany blue--yes! Read more here. (Thanks Suzette for the tip!)

Butterfly Cake Bites come in pina colada, banana split, and creamsicle-inspired flavors. Oh yes.

Cacao Sweets and Treats in the Chicago area makes sweet cake truffles in a variety of flavors, and will also provide custom packaging options. Oh, and their shop also features white chocolate bacon peanut butter cups, just FYI.

Cake Balls is probably my favorite company name ever. Of course, the fact that they sell a delectable-sounding Birthday Cake truffle makes me even more delighted!

Cake Bug provides custom truffles with build-your-own flavors--I think I could go for the lime-coconut combination!

Cake Pop Company in Springfield, MO features pops of all sorts, but their most exciting new item is the Askinosie Chocolate Cake Pop, which is described by the owner as "are a combination of my own Mother’s recipe for chocolate cake and Single Origin Natural Cocoa Powder-San Jose DeTambo, Ecuador from Askinosie Chocolate, covered in Askinosie 77% Davao, Philippines Dark Chocolate. It is a dense and rich cake."

Cocoa Bakery and Cafe in Jersey City, NJ makes cake truffles--including banana cake truffles.

Confection Concoctions in Spanaway features cake pops and cake truffles; read the CakeSpy interview with owner Laura here!

Crunchy Jewels is a cake truffle company in NYC, and they make something called a Vietnamese Coffee Cake Ball. Yum.

David Burke Cake Pops makes pops both sweet and savory of all types, but their Cheesecake pops have me intrigued.

Dessert.Net offers what they call "addictive cake balls"--in collections of complementary flavors.

Fab Favors offers traditional flavors and specialty flavors such as peanut butter banana and Key Lime.

Frosting Bake Shop in Mill Valley offers extremely delicious cake bites.

Honey and Bee in San Diego works by special order to create cake truffles in flavors like toffee, green tea, and an intriguing Imperial Chocolate Porter.

Just a Bite Cake Pops in Orange County, CA specializes in sweets on a stick, with the usual suspects (vanilla, chocolate, red velvet) and also a line of more gourmet flavors, including toasted coconut, carrot cake, and more.

Krissy's Cake Balls features a German Chocolate cake ball. They're in Kentucky, but they do mail order (whew).

Little Miss Sweet Tooth Dollies in Coral Gables, FL features cake truffles in flavors like the delicious-sounding "Drag Queen", comprised of pistachio cake, buttercream frosting, covered in vanilla coating.

Lollicake Bake Shop makes cute cake pops and truffles, sometimes in the shapes of characters like Elmo. Awww.

Lux Bakery and Cafe in Austin makes cake balls in flavors like chocolate chip and green tea. It's also worth noting that they have something on their menu called the "Nanaimo Cup" which sounds like the best kind of cup there is.

Mad Cravings from Oregon may not have the most user-friendly site, but they do have cake balls in flavors like peach champagne and key lime pie, and they also offer gluten-free versions.

Sarandipity Sweets in Georgia makes cute cake pops shaped like cupcakes, apples, and more.

Skipping Stones makes adorable cupcake-shaped cake truffles, and their online shop boasts a variety of other goodies like pie lollipops, homemade graham crackers, and more!

Stacy's Cakes of Irvine specializes in cake truffles in creative custom flavors.

Sweet E's in Los Angeles makes sweet pops covered in rainbow sprinkles--because everything tastes better with sprinkles.

Sweet Tooth Fairy in Provo, UT features something they call "CakeBites" which are a CakeSpy (and Rachael Ray!) favorite. 

Tart Bakery in Dallas has cake balls for sale in a variety of flavors.

Very Vera truffles are available at Saks Fifth Avenue, and are described as "Sweet two-bite decadences are rolled up into balls, then dipped in chocolate and various toppings including pecans, almonds, walnuts, coconut flakes and graham cracker crumbs; a festive dessert presentation."

With Love Bakery in Plano offers cake balls in a delectable array of flavors like s'mores, candy bar, and coconut cake. This makes me love them.

Friday
Apr162010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Cool Companies Specializing in Sweet Stuff

Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Say It With Cookie Cake, Caroline's Desserts, High 5 Pie, Granville Whoopie PiesWhat does this baker's dozen of cool companies have in common? A sweet vision. Here's a batch of new businesses to discover:

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck serves larger than life cones and frozen treats with personality to match.

Cake Balls, while unfortunately having nothing to do with a "Space Balls" remake with an entirely cake-based cast, does nonetheless sell some decadently delicious little cake bites.

Caroline's Desserts specializes in pinkies-out, fancy versions of the classic Rice Krispie treat.

Cake & Shake: This street cart in NYC basically sells all the best things in the world.

Crème Brûlée Cart is keeping San Franciscans on their toes, twittering their location and flavors daily. I'd totally follow their beckon call to score some chocolate peanut butter cup creme brulee.

Granville Whoopie Pies specializes in...well, you guessed it--but in unique flavors like black forest cherry, lemon poppyseed, and buckeye. Nom.

High 5 Pie is the brainchild of Dani Cone, owner of Fuel Coffee, whom I suspect is a genius, what with products like PieJars, pie pops and mac and cheese hand pies.

Hotlix is a company that specializes in lollipops with bugs inside. Yup, you heard that right.

Las Paletas in Nashville, as you can see from the Yelp reviews, sells "popsicles, and only popsicles" - in flavors like hot chocolate and chili, mexican caramel, peanut butter, raspberry and lime, honeydew, cantaloupe, tamarind, cucumber with chili, elderflower and more.  

Led Zeppole specializes in zeppoles, and has a name that makes me laugh every time I see it.

Say It With Cookie Cake is an Austin-based special order baking company specializing in items like cookie-cakes which say "Bite Me" or "Suck It" and other sweet snarkiness. 

Sweetfields Inc. specializes in flowers...that you can eat!

Sweet Revolution Caramels in San Francisco makes maple honey caramels that might make you want to emancipate yourself from all other candies. 

Friday
Apr092010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Online Resources

The internet is so totally sweet. After all, it's the source of awesomeness like CakeSpy! But if you're in the mood to learn something sweet (or savory), here's a baker's dozen foodie sites which I keep bookmarked as great resources:

Amazon's Al Dente Blog: A great source for learning about food news, new products, and clever writing by Rebekah DennTracy Schneider, and Leslie Kelly, among others!

BakeSpace: Connect with bakers and find some seriously sweet recipes on this social networking-for-bakers site.

Betty Crocker's Baking Recipes, Tips, and Ideas: A great resource for tips on not only baking but also technique, preparation, and storage.

Cake Central: Cake photos, message boards, decorating tips, giveaways, and more--the website's name really kind of say it all!

Epicurious Food Glossary: I could get lost in this glossary--and have, in fact, on occasion.

Foodista: Like Wikipedia for recipes. 

King Arthur Flour Blog: I cannot visit this site without learning something.

Kitchen Monki: A clever cooking (and baking) tool which enables you to export your recipes (and those from other users!) to shopping lists. Sweet!

Modern Baking: This site is dedicated to professional bakers, but I find a lot of the articles and features very interesting!

Rose Levy Beranbaum: Real Baking with Rose features recipes, lore, and great baking info--also some interesting message boards.

Saveur's Baking Techniques: Step by step illustrated guides.

Serious Eats: Yes, I freelance for them. But I'd visit this site like a million times a day even if I didn't--it strikes the perfect mix of funny, newsy bits with serious food info.

What's Cooking America History of Cakes: So much awesome on just one site. I could read about the history of cakes (and all sorts of food) all day on this site, easily.

Friday
Mar262010

Cake Byte: Various Sweet Goings-On for CakeSpy

OK, sweeties, if you're not a fan of shameless self-promotion, maybe you should click over to another awesome site (like this one or this one or this one)--because this week's Baker's Dozen is dedicated to CakeSpy, and all of the exciting things going on. But if you're a lover and not a hater, here are just some of the reasons why it's awesome to be me right now:

A feature in Sunset Magazine! Yes, Sunset Magazine (pictured above)! I take no credit for this--it all goes to Rebekah Denn, who has always "gotten" the whole CakeSpy thing (maybe she can explain it to my grandma, bless her soul, who always asks what it is again I do for a living, and always reminds me that when she was young, she walked uphill five miles each way to school--sometimes in the snow--and that there were none of these cupcake shops, but rather bakeries that charged five cents for an entire crumb cake?)

The amazing honor of being nominated in not one but two categories for the Saveur Best of the Food Blogs awards! (and in good company, with the likes of Herbivoracious!)! 

The amazing honor of being nominated in not one but two categories for the Saveur Best of the Food Blogs awards (and in good company, with the likes of Herbivoracious!)! No, this is not a typo--this was exciting enough to put twice! Like, OMG!

An amazing feature on the Conde Nast Traveler Blog (one step closer to the New Yorker! Are you reading this, Françoise Mouly?);

A feature on NW Source about the new shop - that means it's official!

Features on the CHS and Central District News blogs about the new shop and Saveur Nomination, too -- double, triple official! (thanks, jseattle and seadevi!)

An interview on Alphabet Soup with the wonderful Jama Rattigan;

A feature as a Crafty Superstar on Cut Out + Keep;

A great time muraling and cake eating with the coolest girls in Minneapolis;

Delicious roundups of foods both sweet and savory enjoyed in Paris for Serious Eats;

Being part of a panel discussion on how to be a blog queen;

Numerous (!) features on the amazing Not Martha and Bakerella;

Enjoying a delicious tutorial on macaron-making by the inimitable Tartelette (I know, I owe you more info about this one!);

The honor of being part of a great Foodbuzz, Electrolux, Kelly Ripa, and Cake Boss event to raise money and awareness for Ovarian Cancer Research;

Doing artwork for (and being asked to be a cupcake-tasting judge at!) Seattle's first CupcakeCamp!

And yeah, this is very nerdy, but I got an "@" reply on Twitter  from Dorie Greenspan. Dorie Greenspan! My heart was a-twitter (pun intended) about that one for days, people. But then again, her book Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City's Best Pastry Shops was what I took to Paris as my guidebook, so it makes sense, doesn't it?

 ...oh, and you know what? I'm also taking over a gallery in Seattle. CakeSpy headquarters will soon be located at 415 E. Pine Street, Seattle--I have purchased Bluebottle Art Gallery! And there's an awesome "meet the new owner" party this Saturday, and an awesome opening with Berkley Illustration on April 8.

OK, it's true, that was way more than a Baker's Dozen! But what can I say--life is sweet. Thank you everyone for helping me making it all happen, and for making it so fun to tell people what my job is when they ask.

Wednesday
Mar242010

CakeSpy's 13 Sweetest Discoveries in Minneapolis and Saint Paul

You may not know this, but Minneapolis and St. Paul are totally sweet. And this isn't meant in a "totally awesome, hip and artistic" sort of way, although that is true too--this is to say that the serious sweet tooth will have plenty to keep busy while visiting the Twin Cities. Here is a baker's dozen of some of the sweetest things (mostly, but not all, edible) which I encountered--both eaten and reported by trusted suggestion--on my too-brief visit:

Art: Cake Eater Bakery

The sweetest art in Minneapolis? The pastry-inhabited mural I did for Cake Eater Bakery, duh! Read about it here. 2929 E 25th Street, Minneapolis; cakeeaterbakery.com.


Cake: Cake Eater Bakery

Noticing a trend? Well, granted, it was where I was muraling, but their cakes are also magical. The "banana split cake"--a tantalizing combination of rich, dense banana cake topped with creamy frosting and chocolate drizzle (pictured top), could probably knock banana bread out flat without looking back; even the vanilla is delicious. Oh, and have I mentioned they make Special K Bars, too? 2929 E 25th Street, Minneapolis; cakeeaterbakery.com.

Boozy Bubble Tea: Jasmine 26

Bubble tea has its merits, but it makes you feel even more buoyant when it's got some buzz. Say hello to Jasmine 26, where their bubble tea has an added somethin': ah, alcohol. It's intoxicating. 8 E. 26th Street, Minneapolis; jasmine26.net.

Buns: Isles Bun & Coffee

 It is with extreme sadness that I confess that I didn't actually visit myself, but based on the trusted feedback of other CakeSpy associates, I am certain I can't leave this establishment, known for making cinnamon rolls not only the size of your head but actually far bigger, it off the list. Just look at the two most popular items on their menu:

  • Cinnamon Buns Our famous Cinnamon Buns made fresh from scratch every day, topped with an unlimited amount of delicious cream cheese frosting.
  • Puppy Dog Tails ™ Named by the nursery school children next door, our cinnamon twists are easy to eat and less intimidating- making them a customer favorite.

Nom nom nom! Isles Bun & Coffee, 28th & Hennepin in Uptown, islesbun.com.

Calorie Free Sweets: Mitrebox Framing Studio

Sometimes you want to have--or share--some sweetness that won't make you fat. (it's ok every now and again to say no to real buttercream. I'll forgive you). For those off days, hit up Mitrebox Framing Studio, where they have a stunning array of sweet gifts and a lot of dessert-themed stationery items. 213 Washington Ave. North, Minneapolis; mitreboxframing.com.

Chocolate: B.T. McElrath

At Minneapolis-based chocolatier B.T. McElrath, one of their signature items is called the "Prairie Dog", which consists of milk chocolate with butter toffee pieces, toasted almonds and sea salt. Really, does more have to be said? Available at various locations; I picked mine up at the Seward Co-Op; online at btmcelrath.com.

Cheesecake Heaven

In a world of cupcakes, Muddy Paws creates custom cheesecakes, and in flavors like Snickers, Honey Vanilla, and Key Lime. I salute you, Muddy Paws. Just gaze at the Snickers cheesecake photo from their website (above), would you? Available at various locations; online at muddypawscheesecake.com.

Ice Cream Experience: Izzy's Ice Cream

Undecided? At Izzy's, they've got you covered: They offer something called "The Izzy Scoop" wherein you get one healthy scoop of ice cream topped with a baby-scoop of the second flavor you'd been debating or wanted to try. There is another word for this: it is called genius. It is adorable too! 2034 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul; izzysicecream.com.

Nanaimo Bars: French Meadow Bakery

A western Canadian treat in the Midwest? Yes, it's true: I was surprised (and delighted) to find one of my favorite treats, Nanaimo Bars, at French Meadows, an organic bakery which serves up soups and sandwiches along with their sweets. Their Nanaimo bar has a perhaps slightly less custardy, but no less buttery, middle layer; the top is chocolate, melt-in-your-mouth bliss, and the bottom crust a sturdy coconut-studded chocolate. Various locations; online at frenchmeadow.com.

Old School Pastries: A Baker's Wife

When a bakery has been in the same spot and doing the same thing for over 50 years, either they're doing something right, or they're connected to the mob. Well, based on the deliciousness factor of the several pastries I sampled from here, including a sticky bun, doughnuts and a fancy-ish pear tart, it's definitely the former that has made this institution beyond reproach. 4200 28th Ave S., Minneapolis; more here.

A Baker's Wife's Pastry Shop on Urbanspoon


Pretzel-Shaped Mystery Pastry: Turtle Bread Company

Turtle Bread Company has an absolutely delectable treat which looks like a pretzel, but tastes like an amalgamation of butter cookie, almond croissant, and sweet pie crust. That is to say, best breakfast ever. Various Minneapolis locations; online at turtlebread.com.


Sandwich Cookies: Cocoa & Fig

Upon hearing that Cocoa & Fig was home to some of the finest macarons in Minneapolis, I had to check it out: but what I ended up getting was the Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwich. And oh, what a memorable one it was: cakey cookies sandwiching a sweetly piped dollop of rich cream cheese frosting. Oh, yes. Retail location at Gaviidae Common, Skyway Level, Saks Wing, 651 Nicollet Mall; cocoaandfig.com.

Unexpected Sweetness: Birchwood Cafe 

Right down the street from Cake Eater Bakery was a delicious oasis: Birchwood Cafe. Though most probably know it for their savories (sandwiches and well-made plates of fresh, affordable fare), they boast a pretty mean bakery case too, featuring pies, huge cream puffs, and cookies. 3311 E. 25th St., Minneapolis; online at birchwoodcafe.com.

Honorable mention (not all sweet, but all totally awesome): The regional specialty often called Jucy Lucy which is a cheese-filled burger (I sampled the version at Shamrock's/The Nook in St. Paul), Fried Cheese Curds (sampled at the same); Dunn Bros. Coffee, and of course, the Doubletree Cookie at the Hotel Minneapolis. Hardly a Minneapolis specialty but they get me every time.

Friday
Mar192010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Moments in Fiction, Volume 2

One batch was not enough: here's another baker's dozen of novels which prominently feature sweet treats! Some are guilty pleasures, some are bittersweet tales--but they all have one thing in common: each one features delicious desserts.

Belle in the Big Apple by Brooke Parkhurst: This novel is kind of like candy--an escapist tale of a southern belle in NYC, and does come with some recipes for sweet treats. 

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs: This novel has a distinct roman a clef feel, with an aging food tv show hostess battling low ratings and radical rating-boosting ideas; half the fun is picking out who the people in the novel are meant to represent; the rest is the fun of the story and the recipes at the end of the novel.

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler: A coming-of-age story about a bakery owner's daughter who is struggling with her parents' divorce and the trials of growing up...but with plenty of gratuitous cupcake scenes! (CakeSpy Note: read the CS interview with the author here!)

Entertaining Disasters by Nancy Spiller: A reclusive food writer battles personal demons in more ways than one as she plots the ultimate dinner party. Complete with many recipes, including a great Opera cake recipe!

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond: An adorable children's book detailing the unforeseen consequences of giving a mouse a cookie. Great illustrations too!

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: Honey. Honeycake. You want to read this.

She Flew the Coop by Michael Lee West: This one is described as "a novel concerning life, death, sex, and recipes in Limoges, Louisiana" -- and it includes cakes.

Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen by Dalia Jurgensen: OK, so this one is fact, but reads as if it were fiction: a behind-the-scenes look at a pastry chef's life in some of NYC's fanciest restarants, by the current pastry chef at Dressler.

Sorcery And The Single Girl by Mindy Klasky: No recipes, but this novel about a witch in training with a best friend who owns a bakery has plenty of rich descriptions of sweet desserts.

Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay: A murder mystery...with cupcakes!

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen: Magic and bonbons all rolled into one sweet package in this book.

Sweet Treats: Cupcakes for Two/Blueberry Surprise/Bittersweet Memories & Peppermint Dreams/Cream of the Crop by Various (short story collection): Doesn't the title say it all?

Table Manners by Mia King: In the followup to Good Things, character Deidre McIntosh is on the road to creating her own gourmet cookie line, but with some bumps in the batter--er, along the road. This book has a selection of recipes at the end, too, including some from CakeSpy buddies Peabody and Ivy Chan!

Friday
Mar122010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Chocolate Facts for American Chocolate Week

Guess what? March 14 marks the start of American Chocolate Week. Like you needed a reason to eat chocolate, right? So, inspired by a list sent to me by Ask.com featuring 10 facts about chocolate, I've added to the list so that you've got a baker's dozen of sweet factoids about the dark and dreamy stuff:

Who invented chocolate? While Nestle and Johnny Depp would lobby for Willy Wonka, history awards the honors to the ancient Aztecs and Mayans of Mexico and Central America.

What is the bestselling chocolate bar? Snickers!

How is chocolate made? Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which are roasted and then ground into a powder. The cocoa powder is then mixed with variations of sugar, milk and cream to make different types of chocolate.

What was CakeSpy's first word? If you believe my mom, the first word I ever uttered, aside from "ma" and "pa" was "chocolate".

Why can’t dogs eat chocolate? The long answer above has something to do with methylxanthines. The short answer involves diarrhea and your new shag carpet.

How can I melt chocolate evenly? Size does matter. Chop the chocolate into uniform pieces to ensure that all the pieces melt at the same speed in a glass bowl over boiling water (double boiler).

Why is fair trade chocolate good for the environment? Fair trade practices can vary in their environment benefits, but it does empower farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

How do I make chocolate mousse? Pretty easily actually - all you need is finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, unsalted butter, coffee, heavy cream, eggs and sugar.

Why is dark chocolate good for you? It is packed with flavoniods that keep cholesterol from gathering in blood vessels, reduce the risk of blood clots and slow down the immune responses that lead to clogged arteries. 

Should you eat chocolate after working out? Per Wikipedia, A study from James Madison University, presented at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting, showed that post-exercise consumption of lowfat chocolate milk provides equal or possibly superior muscle recovery compared to a high-carbohydrate recovery beverage with the same amount of calories. 

Which came first, the cookie or the chocolate chip? Chocolate chip cookies were invented before the morsels. The cookies were invented in 1933 when Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts added cut-up chunks of a semi-sweet Nestlé chocolate bar to a cookie recipe. The cookies were a huge success, and Wakefield reached an agreement with Nestlé to add her recipe to the chocolate bar's packaging in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate. Initially, Nestlé included a small chopping tool with the chocolate bars, but in 1939 they started selling the chocolate in chip (or "morsel") form. 

Who doesn't like chocolate? Jesse Breytenbach, who did a graphic novel on the subject. But we'll forgive her, because she's awfully clever.

Chocolate is deadly: In that famous shower scene in Psycho, it's not blood running down the drain--but chocolate syrup. Guess that was easier to get away with when filming in black and white!

Friday
Mar052010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet St. Patrick's Day Recipe Ideas

Photo credits, from top left clockwise: South in Your Mouth, King Arthur Flour, CakeSpy.comSeeing Green: Green Velvet Cupcakes from South in Your Mouth.

You may not be Irish, but pretending to be is fun while eating Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge, via Cookie Madness.

In the most recent issue of Bon Appetit, Andrew McCarthy (yes, the actor!) shares a lightly sweet and delectable Irish Soda Bread recipe.

Speaking of Soda Breadremember when CakeSpy tried to make it awesomer?

How about some Shamrock Chocolate-Mint Brownies, via Wilton?

Even if you don't make it, simply looking at the pictures of this Chocolate Stout Cake via King Arthur Flour is a delight.

This easy Irish Whiskey Cake comes with a warning: "This has significant (uncooked!) alcohol content and is not appropriate for non-drinkers." Translation: good times!

Speaking of beer-based desserts, Peabody, who is a genius, has a recipe for a chocolate stout creme brulee.

What exactly is the difference between Irish and Scottish shortbread? Not sure, but this Irish Shortbread sure does look good.

Little Shamrocks has a sweet collection of Irish dessert recipes, including Irish Cream Pudding Parfaits

It may not be easy being green, but it sure is easy to eat green, when it is in mint ice cream form. Via Blondie and Brownie.

Who could forget this monstrosity of a homemade shamrock shake?

Bakerella's Shamrock Cake Truffles: a St. Patty's classic!

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