Archive for March, 2009

Dots

March 26th, 2009

Good news! I was finally able to try out a new cupcakery called Dots. A friend of mine highly recommended this place and claimed it was the best cupcake store. I’ll be the judge of that…

Interior: Cute, modern design. Reminds me of sprinkles.

Cupcakes: I picked out 4 different flavors:

Apple Pie
cupcake was good and had bits of apple in it, but it didn’t really taste like apple pie to me, just tasted like a good spiced muffin.

Mint Chocolate was my absolute favorite. The cake was nice and moist, and the frosting had the right amount of mint, but the best part were the chocolate crunchy pearls…they were like tiny thin mint balls covered in chocolate. The texture of the crunchy balls plus the minty frosting and moist cake made this one awesome cupcake.

Strawberry Shortcake was a complete fail. I felt like I was eating a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. Where ‘s the strawberry? Well, I think it was the sad little shriveled up piece of nothing hidden inside my cupcake. Maybe they wanted us to find it like a prize, but all I got was a tiny piece of strawberry like it was there by mistake.

Red Velvet was good, but the frosting lacked the cream cheese flavor. So, Sprinkles you get the win for this one.

Overall, I liked Dots (mostly because of their mint chocolate cupcake), but I definitely see some potential and I’m eager to go back to try their other flavors.


Thumbs up on the packaging!


Starting from top left (clockwise): Apple Pie, Mint Chocolate, Strawberry Shortcake, and Red Velvet

Afternoon Tea

March 22nd, 2009

Yesterday, I had afternoon tea with a few friends at the Scarlet Tea Room. It was my first time having tea at this location and I was surprised to find myself sitting in a very formal dining room, adorned with crystal chandeliers and gold fixtures everywhere. I felt like I was having tea at the Ritz Carlton. The tea service seemed pretty traditional, it was a 5 course meal in which we were given a variety of tea sandwiches (with the crusts cut off of course), freshly made scones, an assortment of petit desserts, and different pots of tea. Oh and how could I forget the palate cleanser! We started off with a raspberry sorbet palate cleanser (very fancy schmancy). Overall, the tea service was great, but I have to say that I do prefer going to cozier tea establishments. This place was way too refined for me. And at $40 a person, this is a once in a blue moon tea party for me.


Raspberry Sorbet Palate Cleanser


Scones – We had 3 different types: Cinnamon, Apricot Ginger, and Vanilla


Tea Sandwiches


Very Berry Tea – Tasted like Tazo tea from Starbucks…not one of my favorites.


I need to find myself a tea pot like this. Very cute.


I liked this tea pot design a lot.


Our dessert assortment


Strawberries Romanoff – 2nd dessert course

Green Treats

March 17th, 2009

Happy St.Patrick’s Day!

One of my earliest memories was making rice krispie treats in preschool (yay Kindercare!). And I distinctly remember that we made green rice krispie treats, probably for St.Patrick’s Day. I’ll never forget how fun it was. I think what I was probably most excited about was the fact that they were green. Anyway, as an tribute to my preschool days at Kindercare, I decided to make green rice krispie treats for St.Patty’s Day. I didn’t even need to wear green today because my fingers were green from all the food coloring haha. Sometimes, I cook like I still am in preschool…


It took me more than just a few drops (17 to be exact) to get the prefect green I wanted.


I made one four leaf clover! I was too lazy to make more…

Designer Aprons

March 12th, 2009

Here’s some designer aprons for your viewing or buying pleasure:


Frosted Cupcake Apron by Flirty Aprons- $29, The perfect apron for cupcake lovers.


Mademoiselle Reversible Pink Apron Gift Set by Kitsch’n Glam – $49, Comes with a matching oven mitt!


Coquette Pink Apron by Haute Hostess Aprons – $125, Definitely couture for your apron. If I wore this, I better make some damn good cupcakes.


Owl Invasion Apron by Kitsch’n Glam – $38, Hootie! Hoo! This owl apron is so cute.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

March 4th, 2009

I never thought I’d be saying this, I made cheesecake. For those of you who don’t know, cheesecake is not my dessert of choice. I had a bad experience once and ever since then I can’t eat it…just brings back those bad memories. But, I found that I can get by with eating cheesecake that’s flavored and helps mask that strong cheesecake taste. Anyway, I decided to make a White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and this was by far one of the most difficult items I’ve baked. There’s so many things that can go wrong with baking cheesecake…cracks, sinking, and it’s hard to tell when its done. Luckily, mine came out perfect. I really had to baby it the entire process. Although it was quite a bit of work and pretty nerve wracking, I really enjoyed making it and as Carla from Top Chef says, “It’s all about the love”.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crushed Oreo Cookies
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 6 Tbsp. seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together crushed Oreos, 1 tablespoon sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a microwavable bowl, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half in the microwave, stirring occasionally until smooth. In another microwavable bowl, microwave 6 tablespoons of raspberry jam for 30 seconds.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over the crust. Spoon 3 tablespoons of raspberry jam over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and spoon the rest of the raspberry jam (3 Tbsp.) over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
  4. Wrap foil around the bottom of the spring form pan to help prevent leakage. Place spring form pan on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet with spring form pan in the oven and fill the cookie sheet with water (this technique will help prevent cracks). Bake for 60 minutes and then turn of oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another hour (this will help prevent the cheesecake from sinking in the middle). Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before removing from pan.
  5. To remove cheesecake from pan, run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Slowly remove the spring form pan. Decorate with fresh raspberries and enjoy!


Cheesecake ready to be placed in the oven. I love the marbling effect!


All done, no cracks and no sinking! I’m so proud of myself :)


Decorated and ready to eat!


An inside look.

So, how did it taste? It was great and I think everyone who loves cheesecake would really enjoy it. However, I thought it could use a little more raspberry jam (personally, I’d rather have a more raspberry and less cheesecake taste), so next time I’ll probably double the amount of jam, just cause I love raspberry.

Let Them Eat Cake

March 1st, 2009

I stumbled cross this bakery’s website and found some awesome cake designs. The bakery is called Let Them Eat Cake by Christopher Garren and I love how creative his cakes are.


Sound of Music Cake – I love how this cake looks like a pop-up book!


Wicked Cake


Mario & Princess Peach Cake – This cake is adorable esp. with Mario and Princess Peach kissing in front of the castle. Love it!


Nightmare Before Christmas Cake – This is my favorite cake! Jack and Sally make great cake toppers sitting under the moon.