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Entries in seattle (182)

Friday
Sep302011

Cake Byte: Trophy Cupcakes Debuts Caramel Apple Cupcakes for October

Image: Trophy Cupcakes

Fall in Washington state can be a depressing prospect: the start of our annual 9 months of rainy winter.

But at least the apples are top-notch. And for the month of October, Trophy Cupcakes and Party is going to be offering up a delicious addition to their menu: Caramel Apple Cupcakes!

Per their most recent email,

More importantly, this new Trophy confection is the perfect dessert for all fall parties, including National Caramel Apple Day on Oct. 21. Imagine the smiles on little ones’ faces when these cupcakes are unveiled at their Halloween or harvest celebrations!

Trophy’s newest cake boasts chopped, organic Granny Smith apples from Washington, warm fall spices, organic cane sugar, and of course, local dairy and eggs. The spiced-apple cake is topped with Trophy’s house-made caramel infused buttercream, and is edged in toasted pecans, and finished with a drizzle of more homemade caramel sauce, a pretzel stem and a green wafer leaf.

“Caramel apples are a childhood favorite of mine and I knew the only way I would be happy with it as a cupcake was if I could really taste both the crisp, tart apples and the buttery caramel,” said Trophy Cupcakes and Party owner, Jennifer Shea. “By hand chopping the apples and making our caramel from scratch, we nailed it! This cupcake is my new favorite and I hope everyone who tries it loves it as much as I do!”

Caramel Apple cupcakes debut tomorrow, Sat., Oct 1, at Trophy Cupcakes and Party retail locations at Wallingford Center, University Village and The Bravern, and will be available for purchase for $4 throughout the month of October. To order Trophy’s Caramel Apple cupcakes, please call 206.632.7020; for locations, visit the Trophy Cupcakes website. 

Thursday
Sep012011

Sweet September: Cupcake Royale Debuts New Flavors for the Month

Say goodbye to summer, but don't say goodbye to delicious: Cupcake Royale has just debuted its September flavors, just in time for Back To School (or, you know, thursday). Here's the 411 on the new flavors:

Huckleberry Cupcakes! This baby starts with local huckleberries (fresh, as in they were picked this past weekend) folded into into their vanilla cupcake and top it with a huckleberry buttercream frosting. This cupcake brings all the bears to the yard. CCR has partnered with local farm Foraged & Found Edibles to provide them with their huckleberry crop this year. In case you don’t know what a huckleberry is, think of it as the little brother to a blueberry but with even more flavor.

Peanut Butter and Jam, sitting in a tree. This classic combo has our vanilla cupcake, filled with fresh local strawberry jam (fresh, as in they made it last week) topped with a super fluffy, salty peanut butter buttercream. Sprinkled with chopped peanuts and a coarse sugar and sea salt.

Now through September 30th at all five of their cafes. For locations and hours, visit cupcakeroyale.com.
Wednesday
Aug312011

Oh Darling: Cake Darling Sweets, Seattle

You know what rules? 

Getting a surprise delivery of free cupcakes. 

And--surprise--these ones, from CakeSpy Shop geographical neighbor Cake Darling Sweets, a special-order bakery (no retail storefront) in Seattle, were also gluten-and-dairy free.

But as devoid of the usual suspects of delicious as these treats might have been, they did not taste like deprivation. In fact, they tasted downright dreamy: we enjoyed the chocolate creme and lemon custard varieties. The chocolate was dense and had a lovely crumb (sometimes chocolate vegan cakes can be crumbly, have you noticed this?); the lemon was substantial, with an unexpected but nice lightly nutty-tasting cake, and yet refreshing, with a healthy dose of sweet frosting.

And the baker, Chelsea Lauren, is adorable and a dreamer, per her site:

I've got a few secret dreams written on tiny pieces of paper kept in my pockets or in various notebooks around the house. I have a stash of super secret recipes that I have spent hours upon hours in the kitchen perfecting.

I hope to, one by one, be able to share every vegan, gluten-free cupcake and donut and cookie dream that I have hiding up my sleeve! Thanks for checking out Cake Darling - I would love to hear from you sometime!

...but these sweet dreams can be yours if you're in Seattle or beyond -- she ships! Check out the website here, and the Etsy page here.

Tuesday
Aug162011

Gelat-O'Clock: Gelato from Procopio Gelateria, Seattle

I don't know if I have told you this in so many words, but I have been having a Gelato Awakening in recent months. I'd consider my visit to Via Dolce Gelato in Leavenworth the kickoff to this awakening; since then, I have been sampling the sweet and cold stuff at as many places as I can. I'm just in love with that tiny spoon, and find it the ideal strolling-while-eating food. 

And most recently, I tried Seattle's Procopio Gelateria.

The establishment, perched in the shadow of the Pike Place Market, is named for Procopio dei Coltelli, who is said to have opened the first gelateria in Paris in the 1600s, who may not have invented the stuff, but is credited with, you know, making it a "thing".

Well, clearly this appealed to my confectionery and sweets-history obsession, and the gelato, made using the same time-tested traditional methods, reflects a love and respect for the sweet treat's storied history.

I made the wise decision of pairing the seasonal Cherry gelato, which was creamy, pleasingly pink, and redolent of rich, deep cherry flavor, with the vanilla, which was flecked with vanilla beans and had a deep, rich vanilla flavor that worked like sweet love with the cherry. The consistency of the vanilla flavor was more to my liking, but when paired together, they worked beautifully.

The flavors couldn't have been more spot-on, and I look forward to trying more seasonal flavors at this sweet spot in downtown Seattle.

Procopio Gelateria, 1501 Western Ave., Ste 300, Seattle; online here.

 

Monday
Aug152011

Seeking Sweetness: Behind the Scenes with This Charming Candy

So, if you've ever seen my store (CakeSpy Shop, conveniently located at 415 East Pine Street in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood), you're probably already familiar with the wares of This Charming Candy, a Seattle-based purveyor of creative and delicious lollipops.

When you come to the shop, you'll see something like this:

But in case you've ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes, I'll give you a sneak peek.

Recently, I went to their culinary studio in North Seattle, and they allowed me to take a few shots of the sweet process. Well. I was too late to see the candy mixture being mixed, but I did get there in time to see it gently cooling and hardening in molds:

...but you should know that as with any art, there are always the leftover bits--like an artist's palette littered with little bits of this and that color, here's a small rainbow of cast-off sugar:

...and once the lollipops are at the right consistency, they're ready to be packaged with sleeves and ties, on deck:

...and then we'll have packaged lollipops!

...and now, if you head on over to CakeSpy Shop at 415 E. Pine Street in Seattle, you can buy a fistful for yourself. Or call us at 206.605.3589 - we do mail order too!

For more about This Charming Candy, visit their website. 

Friday
Aug122011

Sweet News: Ice Cream Social at Seattle's Palace Kitchen

Wow, isn't that some cute ice cream artwork?

Well, it gets even better: I created the art for a very special event: the Ice Cream Social Happy Hour, coming up on August 31st at the Palace Ballroom in Seattle!

Here are the details:

Date: Wednesday, August 31st

Time: 5:30-7:30 pm

Location: The Palace Ballroom, 2100 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Join us at the Palace Ballroom to sample some of the best ice cream that Seattle has to offer!  On hand will be delicious cold treats from ice cream superstars like:

·         Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream

·         Parfait

·         Full Tilt

·         D’Ambrosia Gelateria Arigianale

·         Old School Frozen Custard

·         Fainting Goat Gelato

·         Procopio

As well as a treat from the Tom Douglas pastry kitchen!

The cost of admission gets you a sample from every vendor, entertainment and access to a full bar.  We’ll also have a specialty ice cream cocktail available for purchase for those who want a little bit of booze with their chilly treat (for 21 and over folks only of course)!

Tickets are $15 (tax included); learn more and buy tickets online here.

Monday
Aug082011

CakeSpy Undercover: Gelato from Bottega Italiana, Seattle

This is what happiness looks like on a (rare) sunny day in Seattle. It is two scoops of gelato from Bottega Italiana in the Pike Place Market. It is (for me) generally devoured slowly, with a tiny spoon, while leaning against my car, which is illegally parked in the three-minute load zone just outside of this small establishment.

I have an answer prepared if a traffic cop ever comes up and busts me, by the way. It goes something like "the spoon is tiny, dude, this cannot be rushed." I'm pretty sure he or she would not give me a ticket, because this is very sound logic.

Of course, tiny spoon aside, there is another very valid reason why Bottega Italiana gelato ought not be rushed: the stuff is good.

Now, I say this with the slightest tinge of hesitation, because they also specialize in sorbetto, but in my opinion, we (as a human race of dessert lovers) ought not waste too much on sorbetto when gelato is on hand.

Sorbetto (gelato's fruit-based, generally fat-free cousin) is just fine when paired with gelato--for instance, a scoop of raspberry sorbetto with gianduja gelato, or a scoop of strawberry sorbetto paired with rich French Vanilla gelato--but on its own, it's vaguely virtuous and doesn't hold my personal attention for too long.

In my opinion, the real reason to visit the Bottega is the Panna Cotta ("cooked cream") gelato. It's unbelievably smooth, rich, and creamy, and is made even better with a second scoop of something equally rich and creamy--say, hazelnut or gianduja or--if they have it on the day in question--salted caramel gelato. What will happen is this: you will take a taste, you will let it melt on your tongue, you will close your eyes which are already rolling back inside of your skull a little bit, and then you will re-open your eyes to make sure you are getting a good sized scoop with that mini spoon, and you will repeat until your little flower-shaped cup is empty.

And if nobody is looking, you'll tilt that cup skyward so that you can sip the last melty bits when you're nearing the end.

Yup: that is indeed what happiness looks like, sweeties.

Bottega Italiana, various locations (go to the Market one, it's my favorite); online here.

Bottega Italiana on Urbanspoon

Tuesday
Jul122011

Cake Byte: Cupcake Royale's Gay Cupcakes Raise Money For a Sweet Cause

Yo, sweeties! Remember a while back how I posted about Cupcake Royale's totally gay cupcake for a totally sweet cause? Well, I have an update from the Royale folks:

During the prideful month of June, we wanted to use our super powers for good and we set a goal to raise $5,000 for the It Gets Better Project. Turns out the community went wild for the idea and gobbled up The Gay cupcake so we decided to double our donation.

This Thursday, we'd like to invite you to come celebrate with us as Cupcake Royale founder Jody Hall presents Dan Savage with a check for $10,000 for the It Gets Better Project. Jody, Dan and a Pride Foundation scholar will all say a few words about the personal importance of this project. And if you didn't get a chance to sample The Gay during the month of June, it will be making a limited reappearance for this event.

If you want more information on this effort, please give Amanda a call (206-883-7656) and she can tell you all about it. Jody and company are super proud of the effort and our ability to rally the community around this to make a difference for our young LGBT people.

Here are the details:

Thursday, July 14th at 4:30pm

Cupcake Royale, 1111 E Pike Street

What to expect:

 

  • Welcome and brief remarks
  • Jody Hall speaks
  • Dan Savage speaks
  • Pride Foundation scholar speaks
  • Presentation of check
  • Q & A

 

And after, since it is Art Walk night, stick around to enjoy the art of Benjamin Blackletter.

Monday
Jul112011

Sweet Chill: Gelatiamo, Downtown Seattle

Hello, Gelatiamo.

My name is CakeSpy, and I am going to talk about the experience of eating your delicious gelato for a few minutes.

For those who may not know Gelatiamo, it's in sort of an odd spot--downtown, on a block of 3rd avenue with a hub bus stop, and therefore, a lot of, shall we say, very interesting people watching. It's like a little pastry oasis surrounded by chain restaurants and mall-type stores.

But when you walk inside, you'll be so glad you did. There are rows and rows of pastries (including respectable cream puffs, which I have known and loved in the past), but because I have been suffering a recent gelato obsession, finally I visited at long last to try their signature product.

After looking at the rows and rows of delectably tempting flavors, I settled on a scoop of coconut, and a scoop of chocolate. Pretty normal, but good flavors to see what they were all about, I thought.

The coconut, for me, was the clear winner--coconutty and rich and creamy, with little flecks of coconut inside of the creamy gelato which offered a nice texture. The chocolate was pleasant, but I felt like it was a bit dull next to the coconut. Does this mean that I should have just paired my flavors better? Possibly. 

Overall, this was a highly pleasant if not earth-shattering gelato experience; I will most definitely be returning to try out more flavors to find my perfect match. 

Gelatiamo, 1400 Third Ave., Seattle; online here.

Gelatiamo on Urbanspoon

Thursday
Jul072011

Sweet Chill: D'Ambrosio Gelateria, Seattle

Cue that sultry "At Last..." music...because finally, at last, I have sampled D'Ambrosio Gelateria in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.

Why "at last"? Because it's been suggested by so many trusted people, including very notably my friend Miss Megan Seling, Whose Word on Sweets Must Always Be Trusted.

But it just hadn't happened. As Seattleites know, Capitol Hill to Ballard can be such a hike. Honestly. I've had people come to my store in Capitol Hill from Ballard, and say that they are "on a day trip". For real.

But as soon as I saw their flavor case, I knew I was in for a treat. With a gorgeous array of the classics and some exotics, there was plenty to choose from, including a tempting Tiramisu, Stracciatella (aka fancy chocolate chip) and even something called Bacio di Dama, "a woman's kiss" (I am not sure what the flavor was, but it had nuts. Lots of them.)

After much debate, I settled on a 2-scoop consisting of the caramel-fig, paired with the pistachio. 

Let's now talk about how delicious this pairing was. The caramel-fig was rich, creamy, and mellow, with the fig mixed in with little seedlets exploding in my mouth every now and again (joy). The pistachio was sweet but a little salty, which was a gorgeous pairing for that mellow caramel-fig. The entire package was extremely well executed too: the gelato was unbelievably creamy and infinitely savor-able.

I will confess that as it was a hot day and some of it melted, I looked both ways, tipped my cup back, and drank the last few spoonfuls like a greedy child. And I regret not a moment of it.

D'ambrosio Gelateria, 5339 Ballard Ave, Seattle; online here.

D'Ambrosio Gelato on Urbanspoon

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