Archive for the 'Desert' Category

This cake is not a lie

I love cake. Ok so I dont love eating cake so much as I love looking at cakes. Im obsessed with watching all the different cake competitions on Food Network, Ace of Cakes and wedding cake specials on WE (yes I hate to admit but I occasionally watch WE just for the cakes). I just love watching the amazing artistic creations made out of sugar and flour. Anywho my good friend Jenn tweeted today about the most amazing cake in the history of amazing cakes. Behold…

Its a girl! Its Darth Vader! Its adorable! Im just going to go out on a limb and say this is the best baby shower cake ever. I mean look at the details! Theres ruffles and bows and bottles…and Lord Vader. And lets not overlook the amazing 90s-rific airbrushing with the planet scape in the background. Bravo…bravo. When I decide to squeeze another life form out of my nether regions I will celebrate the occasion with this cake made by

Bioshock Cupcakes

Jocelyn of Snack or Die has done it again and created yet another confectionary gaming masterpiece. This time she tips her baking hat to last years epic FPS, Bioshock with some Big Daddy Cupcakes.

Bioshock Big Daddy Cupcakes

As usual she includes step by step instructions as well as images. I think its incredibly clever to use M&Ms as the lights on the Big Daddy helmet. The only thing I think I would change about this recipe is using licorice bands to create the mask. I know that they are the right choice to create the texture and form, but Im just not a fan of black licorice. I would probably try to make some thin chocolate bands and even though they wouldnt be as sturdy as the licorice, they would be a lot more tasty.

Now I just need to figure out how to make a Gingerbread Little Sister to go along with my Big Daddy Cupcakes…

Ice Cream Maker Tales: Pt. 1

Sorry about the long delay between posts, it was a busy holiday season with lots of traveling to see families. But Im back in the bay now and have tons of toys and recipes to share.

For Christmas my aunt gave Cesar and I a $25 gift certificate to Cost Plus World Market, one of my favorite stores. Last night we were shopping looking for something to purchase for our kitchen…we thought about knives, pestals, grinders and almost settled on a really nice mandolin slicer. Then I happened to glance at a bottom shelf and saw a lone box containing a Cuisinart Classic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker! AN ICE CREAM MAKER!!! Best of all, it was one of the ones that you dont need salt, ice or to crank a handle like the one I had growing up. I began salivating thinking of all the ice cream and frozen yogurt recipes I have that I have been dying to try out (including a Bacon Maple Ice Cream). It was a tough decision, a mandolin slicer is a more practical appliance…but an ice cream maker is more awesome. Ultimately we went with the ice cream maker because it was something we would never go out and buy if we didnt have a gift card…we’ll get a mandolin slicer eventually.


One of the most awesome things about the ice cream maker is that it boasted to make ice cream in about 20-30 minutes! That meant we could make ice cream that night! We ran to the Safeway and picked up some non-fat vanilla yogurt and black berries to make Black Berry Frozen Yogurt!

We arrived at our friend Rob’s house and presented him with our new prize and the plan to make frozen yogurt that night. Unfortunately my failure to ever read directions completely bit me in the ass and we realized that in order to make the ice cream we had to freeze part of the maker…which would take 6 to 22 hours! But of course we were not so easily swayed and decided to see if we could freeze it in less time (it was about 8:30 at night and we didnt want to be making frozen yogurt at 3am). We filled a bowl with ice water and put the ice cream maker in that and filled the middle with ice shoved it in the back of the freezer and prayed.

At around 1 am we checked, still not done so we decided to give it another hour…unfortunately the ice cream maker was not frozen solid but we decided to see if it would work anyways. We were dead set on having frozen yogurt that night and turning back or waiting till the next day was not an option. We set up the machine and poured the mixture in and waited. We even decided to put the machine outside so it would be cooler! At 30 minutes the yogurt had expanded properly but was still very liquidy so we decided to let it sit out for another 20 minutes to see if it would firm up. Around 3 am we turned it off realizing that it wasnt going to firm up any more so we pulled it out…what we had created was actually more liquid than when it started, we had effectively created a yogurt soup of sorts.

We stared dumbfounded and defeated at our blackberry yogurt soup, it was an abomination.
“This is what we get for toying with nature! You cannot beat the Cuisinart Classic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker! No one can!”
Rob slammed his fist down in the counter and said, “No! We cannot be defeated! We cannot let this thing beat us! We’re going to Safeway and getting ice cream and putting this stuff on top of it.”

So we jumped in the car and drove off in search of a 24 hour Safeway and ice cream to exact our revenge on the ice cream maker. We got back to Rob’s place at around 4:00 am and dumped out yogurt soup abomination on the vanilla yogurt and enjoyed our small victory in eating a hodgepodged blackberry frozen yogurt. We still couldnt help but feel defeated so we cleaned off the ice cream maker and decided to regroup the following day.

After poppping the maker into my freezer for about 3 hours it already firmed up (our fridge/freezer is super powered) so we’re ready for round two tonight. We will attempt to make Banana and Dark Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt…I’ll report back on that once we’ve completed it but so far we are right on track!

Moral of the story is, dont mess with the Cuisinart Classic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker…it will always win. If it says to wait until the bin is fully frozen you wait…or you will only be left with heartache and yogurt soup (and not the good kind from Greece).

Cooking on my DS?!

No, Im not talking about Cooking Mama (although I do love that game) Im talking about cookbooks for the DS. When I was in Japan one of the things I envied in the game shops was the sheer number of cookbooks for DS. Walking down the aisles of the many electronic shops in Akihabara here were dozens and dozens of them, sadly my total lack of reading any Japanese prevented me from picking any of them up. However when I was out shopping this weekend I saw Personal Trainer: Cooking available for the DS and quickly snatched it up.

I LOVE THIS PROGRAM! There just wanted to get that out of the way before I go any further. This is seriously such an amazing program and incredible for the $19 sticker price (by the way, I’m saying program because this isn’t a game so much as a computer application). Personal Trainer: Cooking features over 240 recipes from all over the world all with step by step instructions to help you create spectacular meals.

The best part of this program is the attention to little details that they put into it. If you are making Spinach Namul and don’t know how to blanch spinach, in the middle of the recipe it will give you the option to click on a mini guide to perfectly blanching spinach. There are even videos for some preparation tips, like how to clean a trout or perfectly dice garlic. Another nice touch is the kitchen timer that will pop up in the middle of you cooking steps and it will be automatically preset with the time needed for that recipe. You can also adjust the number of servings to be either 1, 2, 4 or 6 and it will automatically adjust the recipe accordingly.

Example of cooking video….look REAL people! Not cartoons!!

However, the greatest feature of all would have to be the voice control option that lets you repeat a step, go back or move on to the next without ever touching your DS (trust me chicken grease and a touch screen don’t mix). My biggest gripe with cook books is having to constantly dry my hands so I can look up the next step. With Personal Trainer: Cooking I can just say the word and it reads off the steps too me along with photos to illustrate the task.

The step menu allows you to pick up where you left off or skip ahead.

Searching on this program is also far better than any cook book because aside from searching by region or ingredient you can get really specific. To decide Monday night’s dinner I looked up by ingredient and calorie count (after eating heavy foods over the holiday I wanted something light). We have a ton of cucumber so I put that in and the result was a Chinese dish called Bang Bang Chicken which features a spicy sesame sauce and cucumber slices. It was delicious! Tonight I decided I want to cook some gorgeous salmon steaks that we have in the fridge, so I found a nice French recipe for Salmon with Green Sauce and a side of ratatouille to accompany it.

When you are looking at a recipe it displays the ingredients and allows you to check off ones that you are missing and it creates a shopping list to take with you to the store! But, lets say you’re at the store and you don’t know what parsley looks like, well it has photos of all the ingredients to help you along. Or what if you get to the store and they are out of an ingredient? Many ingredients have substitution suggestions like using unsweetened peanut butter if you can’t find sesame paste. Another nice feature is you can set the program to exclude certain ingredients. So if you are like my friend Becky and unfortunately unable to eat onions, with a click of a button you can make sure no onion recipes ever grace your DS.


You can use the map to look around the world to find your next meal! All the meals display a picture along with calories, time needed to cook and a short description.

The only thing that Personal Trainer: Cooking doesn’t have that I would like is a meal planner where you could schedule out the recipes you want to cook for certain days. If it had this feature, it would be the most perfect program ever! I am able to somewhat simulate this by adding a note to the recipes I want to use saying “Thursday night dinner” and I can then filter the recipes by notes. Its not the best solution but it works.


Another nice section is the Homemade Ingredients which teaches you how to make basic stuff like pizza dough or Béchamel sauce.

Overall, what I like most about Personal Trainer: Cooking is that they didn’t half-ass the game. They couldve easily shat out a bunch of recipes that you just tap through, but they didn’t go that route. All the little details and perks are what make this one step above your average print cookbook. They really thought about everything that someone would want or need in the kitchen. Hopefully this will inspire more cooking programs for the DS and PSP, I would also love to see celebrity sponsored editions (ahem Alton Brown’s Cooking for DS please!). Apparently a program called Whats Cooking? With Jamie Oliver did come out recently so I am now on the hunt for a copy of that (although I’ve heard that one isn’t quite as good). Honestly I would buy just about any other DS cookbook as long as its even half as good as Personal Trainer: Cooking. If I were to score this program I would undoubtedly give it an A!

“Cooking By The Book” LazyTown Lil John Mashup lollage

My friend Greg just sent this amazing video to me…rather than explain it I’ll just let the video speak for itself.

Sadly LazyTown is none too pleased with it so they removed the video from youtube…im trying to find another embed code from a different site but am not having much luck so you’ll just have to do a little work and CLICK THIS LINK.

So amazing and so wrong….yet so right.

FYI I do not condone cooking by the book! Recipes are all about making them your own and creating your own fusion of flavors. So I think we can all learn from this video that if you do cook by the book, Lil John will bust into your kitchen, scream in your face and spray you with his lil frosting.

EDIT- LazyTown is none to pleased with this mashup so they are removing it from many sites….thankfully its still up on some! watch it before they catch it!

Baking for lushes

Yesterday at my office someone brought in margarita cupcakes for my friend Amorena’s birthday. With much skepticism I tried a lick of the bright green frosting. Was it bad? No. Was it good? Not really. It just tasted like a lime frosting with a hint of tequila which didnt really seem to go well with the whole cupcake thing. However, it got me thinking about what other deliciously alcoholic baked goods you could make. So I hit the internet and searched for recipes utilizing some of my favorite drinks as inspiration. The result? Well….Im lets just say Im planning a ladies baking night already ;)

White Russian Cake
whiterussiancake
Ok so Im actually more fond of Black Russians….but the cream in a White Russian just fits better for baking.

Chocolate Pecan Whiskey Pie
whiskeypie
Whiskey and chocolate….what more could a gal want in life?

Rainbow Daiquiri Sorbet

Ok Ok I know…this isn’t technically a baked desert…but growing up my favorite ice cream flavor was always Baskin-Robbins Daiquiri Ice. What 6 year old likes daiquiri flavored sweets?!? Well, I guess that was a sign of my future lushness.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake

For those unfamiliar, a Harvey Wallbanger is basically a Screw Driver with a twist and bit of herbal vanilla hints.

Whiskey Cookies

Mmmm….now if only I could somehow combine these with the bacon cookies I would be all set.

Irish Stout Cake with Whiskey-Sour Icing

Mmmm Whiskey Sour (are you noticing a Whiskey trend here?) a simple classic drink. Why not combine it with cake and been and call it a night? I think I will ^_^

So there are just a few deliciousy boozey baked goods. I’ll try these out with the ladies and report back on our adventure. One thing I want to try and develop myself is a Whiskey and Gingerbread Cookie. I looked all over and couldnt find a recipe for this! Too me, this one makes perfect sense! I mean who doesn’t love a nice glass of Jameson on the rocks with just a splash of ginger? Why not take that and make a cookie?! Im thinking normal gingerbread cookies with a Jameson icing. Mmmm.

Gears of War 2 Brownies!

So my favorite video game confectioner blog Snack Or Die recently posted up some truly amazing and delicious looking Gears of War 2 Brownies

As usual they have step by step instructions for how to make your very own cog brownies to munch on while lancing some Locust.

Political cupcakes!

Please pardon the crappy camera phone picture, but my coworker Rebeca managed to combine politics and baking into one to create….

Hopecakes!

Regardless of your political affiliation you have to admit this is pretty awesome. Remember everyone, get out and vote today!

Zombie Cake recipes

Yesterday’s Zombie Lawn Ornament sent me on a zombie frenzy looking for more domestic zombies. What I came across surprised and delighted me. The sisters from Theyre Coming to Get You Barbara have posted up the most disgustingly detailed zombie themed cakes…all complete with instructions for making your own.

Zombie Cake

The “field” it is coming up out of is made of homemade French cream candies. The head is a sour cream chocolate chip cake with red dye to create a bloody brain effect. Icing creates the oozing eye socket and the eye itself is a homemade hard candy.

And added bonus is she includes a recipe for Cordial Cherry Eyeballs.

Tasty and gross!

The most gruesome and realistic of all however, is The Thorax Cake.

White cocolate creates the rib cake which encompasses the organs…which are all individual cakes! The heart is an orange cake with raspberry sauce, lungs are an apple spice cake with strawberry sauce,
for the kidneys she made an orange cake with blueberry sauce, stomach is a ginger cake with mango sauce, the liver is a chocolate cake with kiwi sauce and finally for the small intestine a jelly roll with red currant jelly.

These cakes are truly works of zombie art and I plan on trying them all out eventually. For now though I think I’ll start with the Cordial Cherry Eyeballs ;)

Lego Batman The Videogame Cake

My friend Jenn over a Infinite Lives has once aagain turned me on to another geek themed baked good. Witness the utter glory that is…

Lego Batman The Videogame Cake

“It took cake designer Elisa Strauss and a team of people twelve days to make this 300 lb (~136 kg) cake. The LEGO Men (and Ladies) are handmade and edible.”

Elisa Strauss and her team are known for their amazing and detailed cakes, they’ve competed in the Food Network Extreme Cake Challenge where they won first place for their awesome Sock Monkey cake.

[link via Infinite Lives]


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