Haagen-Daz has new limited edition flavors and one of them happens to be bananas fosters flavor. I was excited to see this at the store and couldn’t wait to try it. I was a little hesitant at first because sometimes banana ice cream can taste so artificial, but to my surprise it was so tasty. Love love love! Totally tasted like bananas fosters, but in ice cream form. Now. if they would only bring back their sticky toffee pudding ice cream. These two flavors would definitely be stocked in my freezer all the time.
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Now you can create Top Chef-like dishes at home with your very own SousVide machine! As seen on the reality show Top Chef and used by renowned chefs, the SousVide machine is a innovative way to cook your food and lock in its flavor. The SousVide Supreme (available at Sur La Table) is a water oven that cooks vacuum sealed food at low temperatures. Supposedly, you can achieve “perfect flavor everytime”, but don’t expect your meal to come out exactly like a Michelin Star restaurants’. I would definitely be wary of buying such an expensive machine without having the proper knowledge and experience in using it. This would be an awesome Christmas gift for hardcore cooks, but unless it came with some culinary classes or a private lesson with Thomas Keller I would definitely think twice about splurging on this baby.
I haven’t really taken advantage of the free Sprinkle cupcake giveaways until recently, and I figured that it’d be a great way to get me to drive the long 10 min drive to my local Sprinkles store (yes, I am lazy, which in this case is a very good thing or else I’d be at Sprinkles everyday). So, I made sure to coincide my trips during their special featured flavor events which are scattered throughout the months. First trip I made was to try their Raspberry cupcake back in August and then I went one more time the other week to try the Vanilla Hazelnut Chocolate cupcake. Featured Flavor + Free Cupcake = Very good deal indeed.
The Raspberry Cupcake was surprisingly good. Both the cake and frosting were raspberry flavored. I wasn’t sure how they were going to pull off the raspberry flavor without making it taste artificial, but after one bite, I felt like they must have used hundreds of raspberries and packed it into one little cupcake. The frosting was the best part: not too sweet, nice tartness, and a bold raspberry flavor. The cake was not too shabby. It was moist, had less of the raspberry flavoring, but the only thing that threw me off was the coloring. The cake was gray. Weird, but tasty. At this point, I wouldn’t mind if they put some food coloring…maybe a nice bright pink/magenta? I don’t care, just as long as my food is not gray or anything resembling cement.
Now, onto the Vanilla Hazelnut Chocolate Cupcake. This was Sprinkle’s take on a vanilla cupcake with a Nutella flavored frosting. This cupcake was good, but defnitely not the best and I think I would have much rather have a vanilla cupcake with Nutella smothered on top. I don’t think anyone can come close to getting that Nutella flavor unless you actually use the hazelnut spread. The frosting had the hazelnut taste, but I really felt like the flavor was diluted. More Nutella please! Actually, forget the cupcake, I could just eat Nutella by itself with a spoon.
Last Saturday, I went to SusieCakes in the hopes that I’d be one of the lucky few to get a golden ticket in their cupcakes, but I’m sad to report that that didn’t happen. I bought six cupcakes and not one of them had the golden ticket. However, there’s always a plus side to things and even though I was ticket-less, I still had six freshly baked cupcakes to eat which is always a win-win situation for me. In the past, I’ve only tried the red velvet cupcakes at SusieCakes, so this time I decided to branch out and try some of their other flavors. I bought Mocha, Coconut, S’mores, Mint, and two Red Velvets. Here are my reviews for each of them:
Mocha Cupcake – The cake was a bit dry, and the frosting was ok…nothing really wow’d me about this one.
Coconut Cupcake – This one was good! The frosting was coconut flavored with shredded coconut on top and a vanilla cake.
S’mores Cupcake- This was eh…It looked good, but that’s all that was good about it. It had a marshmallow frosting that was toasted with graham crackers sprinkled on top, but it didn’t really taste like S’mores to me.
Mint Cupcake – Complete Fail. The mint frosting tasted funny and the cake was dry.
Red Velvet Cupcake – The only cupcake that they seem to get right at SusieCakes. I love the cream cheese frosting (not too sweet) and the cake is nice and moist.
So, what’s the verdict on SusieCakes vs. Sprinkles? I definitely think Sprinkles is better, even though I really like the Red Velvet at SusieCakes. Sprinkles has been generally consistent with the good quality and taste of their cupcakes. I don’t think I can ever recall a time that I disliked a cupcake at Sprinkles. I may also be a bit biased recently, because Sprinkles has been giving away free cupcakes everyday for the past week to the first 25 people who whisper the word of the day at their store. My friend told me it was very “Speakeasy” of them, which makes it fun. I whispered, “Orchard” the other day and received a free orange cupcake. Now, orange cupcakes do not seem very appealing to me, but I tried it and it was surprisingly good! Just another example of how Sprinkles doesn’t seem to ever disappoint.
Starting from the top clockwise: Coconut, Red Velvet, S’mores, Mocha, Red Velvet, and Mint Cupcake
SusieCakes is celebrating their 3rd anniversary Willy Wonka style. This coming Saturday, July 18th, golden tickets will be baked into 10 random cupcakes. Those golden ticket holders will win prizes and also be eligible for their grand prize which is a Cake-of-the-Month Annual Membership (9″ cake each month for an entire year!). I don’t know about you, but getting a whole cake each month sounds pretty awesome. It’s like celebrating your birthday every month, all year long!
Even more exciting Sprinkles news! Sprinkles just announced their “Sprinkles BFF” contest. The good thing about this is that it’s free to enter…all you have to do is just “become a fan” of Sprinkles on Facebook and once they get 100,000 fans, one lucky fan will become Sprinkles’ BFF. As a BFF you’ll get an all expense paid trip to visit the Beverly Hills Sprinkles store and get a bakery tour with Sprinkles Founder and Pastry Chef, Candace Nelson. Hotel accommodations will be provided at the Beverly Wilshire for two nights and the sweetest part of it is you get free cupcakes everyday, along with a bunch of other prizes and goodies!
I’ve already become a Sprinkles facebook fan and I’m crossing my fingers that I will win! I’ve been daydreaming about waking up in my Beverly Wilshire hotel room and having cupcakes in bed.