Cookie Monster cupcakes have been done. Many, many times. But for our son’s first birthday, I decided awesomeness was far more important than originality. And then they turned out to be even more awesome than I expected, so I thought I’d come out of hiding to post my results.
First off, the cupcake beneath the awesomeness needed to be okay for a certain young man who was just turning one. This was complicated by his dairy sensitivity, which unfortunately he has yet to grow out of. I ended up making the applesauce spice cupcakes from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, replacing the butter with a non-partially-hydrogenated margarine we picked up at Whole Foods and the sugar and brown sugar with coconut palm sugar, an alternative sweetener that falls very low on the glycemic index. What that means for a one year old is a sugar high and subsequent crash are much less likely. The cupcakes were pretty good. They tasted great, and they were very moist, though possibly a little too moist. I think if I bake with the coconut palm sugar again, I’ll give it a whirl in the VitaMix first because it seemed too coarse to cream properly with the margarine.
More importantly, the birthday boy signed Delicious after tasting them–ah, the way to a foodie mom’s heart! If you sign with your baby, I highly recommend working on Delicious from the minute they start solid foods. Sure, More and All Done are practical, but your job satisfaction rating will soar the first time you get a rave review like this. Continue reading
Reviews of chocolates and other products presented at the 2009 Seattle Chocolate Salon by Oh! Chocolate, Theo Chocolates, Forte Chocolates, L’Estasi Dolce, Choffy, Eat Chocolates, Carter’s Chocolates, La Châtelaine Chocolat, Chocolopolis, Divine Chocolate, I Love Chocolate Jewelry, Posh Chocolat, Crave Chocolate, Amano Chocolate, Intrigue Chocolates, Suess Chocolates and William Dean Chocolates.
I had the really good fortune to check my email shortly after a message showed up from Foodbuzz offering the first two Featured Publishers to respond a ticket to attend the Seattle Chocolate Salon on their behalf. (This was back in mid-July–did I really start writing this post a over a month ago? Fortunately, chocolate never goes out of style, but I still want to give FoodBuzz a big thank you for being kind and patient with an exhausted and preoccupied pregnant foodie!)
My fortune wasn’t favorable just because I got a free ticket; Chris attended as my trusty photographer and we both felt that the experience was well worth the $20 he spent to get in. No, I also count myself lucky because if it hadn’t been for that email, I never would have known about the event at all. I don’t know if I live under a rock or what, but the only other place I’ve seen a mention of the event was in another food blog after I already had scored myself a ticket. To make matters worse, in the days leading up to the Salon, I felt a bit confused by the layout and wording of the site, and was unsure exactly what kind and quality of event I was going to be attending. So even if I had found out about it another way, if I hadn’t had that ticket already, I’m not sure the website would have convinced me to go.
Which would have been a huge shame, because the event itself was all kinds of awesome. Several different varieties of awesome, in fact, that far exceeded both of our expectations. Continue reading
Tres leches, move over. There’s a new cake in town with three iterations of the same component: tres (or maybe it should be trois?) ganaches chocolate raspberry cupcakes. Sounds decadent, right? Well, they were. Decadent, extravagant, and definitely delicious…if possibly slightly unnecessarily complicated.
Not only that, but I used expensive eating chocolate for all of them. Bars and bars of the $3-$5 for two frickin’ ounces kind of eating chocolate. Valrhona raspberry ganache fills both the raspberry inside the cupcake and the one on top. Around the interior raspberry is a Scharffen Berger ganache. Finally, Michel Cluizel ganache frosting swirled on top crowns it all. The only reason I said that it was possibly unnecessary was that while eating the cupcake it wasn’t necessarily apparent that there were three different chocolates in play. But you definitely could tell that the chocolate involved was really, really good chocolate. Continue reading