Saturday, May 30, 2009

Case Study 21: "The Looking Glass"

Wonderland. A place famously characterized by Lewis Carroll as both curiously enchanting and oddly existential; a place to both lose and find yourself at the same time.

"The Looking Glass" is a raspberry cupcake with a champagne creme filling and a vanilla-lemon buttercream. Perfect for a tea party, sane or mad.

Perhaps the Cheshire Cat was onto something when he told Alice "most everyone's mad here." I always wondered if it was in asking ourselves the questions that we find the answers, or that if we are curious enough we might just stumble upon them along the way.

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Case Study 20: "The Redheaded Sicilian"

When I lived in Italy, I made it a goal to find Sicily at least once, and understand where my family came from, what they saw, who they were. I didn't want to leave. Traveling down the east coast, I noticed a sad eroding beauty. Towns that were a reminder of a place worlds apart from the mainland, a sort of port stop for the various exploring cultures of the Mediterranean.

"The Redheaded Sicilian" is a rich chocolate cupcake with a cannoli cream filling and Kahlua buttercream frosting. It's musky in its roots, creamy in the center, and finished with a good liqueur kick.

My great-grandfather was a redheaded Sicilian, a spitfire descendant of those Norman and Longobard adventurers that settled on the island hundreds of years ago. I think my cousins and I have a bit of him still in us. The fair southern Italian skin, the love of good sweets, and that inevitable reckless wanderlust... to travel the world and see where we land.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Case Study 19: "The Summer Love"

Whether you spent the summers of your youth by the ocean or in the hot city, along the boardwalk or riding bikes along a country road, there is a good chance that you also spent it pining over a fling.

"The Summer Love" is a fluffy angelfood cupcake topped with a tart lemon buttercream and sugared summer fruits.

What was it about that young love that makes us always hold it close in our hearts? Most began when the nights were hot and long and cooled out as the leaves started to change. Perhaps we never forget them because like the cupcake, no matter how light and lovely they appeared in the moment, they were the same in the end: bittersweet.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Case Study 18: "The French Lady"

They say Marie Antoinette was known for having lavish taste and big extravagent hairdos. Sounds like my kind of woman. But whether or not she actually said that famously snarky line, I'm certain that she would approve of these mini packages of fabulosity... along with about half a magnum of bubbly.

"The French Lady" is a double vanilla cupcake topped with a whipped Chambord buttercream...and pearls. Fit for a queen, dahling.

Let them eat cake!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Case Study 17: "The Flighty Grasshopper"

Andes, Mint Aeros, Peppermint Patties, Thin Mints: perfect examples of the coooolest choco-minty marriage of timeless flavors. Did you know that according to the International Dairy Foods Association, mint-chocolate chip is the 10th most popular ice cream flavor? Ok, bit of useless information there...bear with me!

"The Flighty Grasshopper" is a rich chocolate cupcake with a chocolate-mint ganache filling and topped with mint chocolate chip buttercream.

Fresh enough for the humid spring days we've been having lately here in Philadelphia...just sweet enough to get you through to sunny days ahead, wherever you are.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Case Study 16: "The Mimosa"

Sunday mornings. Brunch parties. Romantic drinks.
The mimosa represents a basic good in life by giving a naughty little kick in the pants to the
blasé morning routine. Simply add some bubbles to your juice, and its a celebration... a little whimsical...and a great excuse for libations before 5.

The Mimosa is a vanilla cupcake filled with a luxurious light champagne custard and topped with a fresh orange buttercream frosting. Refreshingly simple, yet decadently ethereal in its nature alone.

A few bubbles go a long way, my friends.