Friday, January 28, 2011

C&C does the 2nd Annual Cupcake Throwdown

Somewhere down The Drive exists a magical place. On any other normal day, it's Cafe Deux Soleils; a wonderful little vegetarian joint that does one hell of a good brunch. But, once a year, it transforms into something amazing. Fifteen bakers join forces to create a haven for cake and frosting. Though these young pastry chefs have grand powers that are immeasurable to mankind, they would never use such things for evil. No, on that night, they use them for pure good. United, the bakers would call on the masses to raise funds for an great local charity - the H.A.V.E. Cafe. In return for the crowd's generosity, the bakers gave them a taste of pure happiness.

In cupcake form.

Throwdown (7)

Though we didn't show up in tights and capes (though I totally wanted to), Mr. C and I were very happy to be part of such an great charity event. We got free reign to bake up anything our little hearts desire to share with the public. Plus, we got to taste some absolutely gobstopping treats from a dozen other bakers.

Now pictures to make you jealous:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nutella Crème Brûlée

I love baking for you. Yes, you. Especially if you're okay with me creating off-the-wall cupcakes made out of bacon and broccoli and beer. I just don't want to ever get stuck in a baking rut. If I don't feel inspiration, I don't want to force it. God forbid I just give you recipe after recipe of vanilla, chocolate, or red velvet.

Luckily, there is a lot of inspiration out there on the interwebs. Google is a strange and dangerous place. Flikr is full of colour and imagination. Twitter always buzzes in your ear with new tips and tricks. There is no way your inspiration should end. But, without initiative, inspiration means diddly-squat. That's why I love online baking challenges. We've been involved in Cupcake Hero, Iron Cupcake, and Mystery Box these past couple of years. They have inspired us to get real creative and, dare I say it, downright freaky. The best thing about these contests isn't the prizes, but the sweets they inspire.

Let me give you an example:

nutellacreme (2)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chocolate Puddle Cookies

Bakers! It's time for us to unite against a common enemy - one that sits in our cupboards and pantries. It's a necessary evil, some say. It bonds together our sweets and fats and keeps everything nice and fluffy. But it can also ruin a cake and destroy a clean counter top. If you over-mix your batter, it will rear its ugly head and make you wish you have never heard of the word "Kitchenaid".

It's gluten. And, I promise you, we would be okay without it.

chocolatepuddle (4)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Commercial Drive Cupcake Throwdown!

On January 26th, we'll be packing our equipment, our pizazz, and 8 dozen mini cupcakes for a big ol' Vancouver cupcake throwdown like no other. Cafe Deux Soleils, a lovely little vegetarian place on Commerical Drive, has let 15 bakers come to play. The best part: proceeds will go to HAVE Culinary Training Institute, an amazing charity which supports "employment barriered" people from the downtown eastside, and helps place them in entry level jobs in restaurant kitchens around the city. Ten bucks will get you in the door, where you are seriously free to eat as many cupcakes as you can fit in your maw. You will also get a vote in the overall cupcake competition. We will bake our best little cups to the public to eat, judge, and (hopefully) enjoy. 

This is why we need your help, cupcake peeps. We need to figure out which one of our cupcakes to bring to battle. Do we take a crowd favourite, like our Caramel Savannah or Kaylee's Cupcakes? Do we stick with a classic, like our Funfettis or Rainbow Velvet? Or do we freak some people out with something a bit strange, and change our Stinky Cheese and Beer cake  into cupcakes? What do you think will win over our Vancouver crowd?

(If you're wondering when the next recipe is going to come down the pipe, don't worry. I've got a post that will be up this week. And it's a doozy.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Cinecittà Italiano Cupcake

Popcorn is one of my favourite food groups. When it's not that cheap, butter-smothered, microwave crap, it can be a really healthy (and satisfying) snack. Or dinner, in my case. To be honest, in university, popcorn made up the majority of my meals (sorry Mom). It was quick, healthy, and I could munch on it while finishing my twenty page research paper on pornography during the reign of Marie Antoinette (yes, I totally wrote that paper. Sorry again, Mom).

Plain popcorn can only sustain a hungry student for so long. Soon, I started to experiment with adding different flavours and vittles to my favourite meal. Peanut butter and honey was good, but really really sticky. Different types of packaged dry soups was a fine savoury option. One of my roommates even made me put fake cheese powder from a Kraft Dinner box on my popcorn and, sadly, I was totally okay with this. As I got older (and could afford much better meals), I started to move more towards the adventurous. Curry and sun-dried tomato was good. Soy sauce and wasabi was better. The best, however, was an Italian flavour combo that I have stuck to to this day.

ItalianPopcorn (2)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Tale of Two Chips

We got a dehydrator for Christmas. Sort of out of the blue. Sort of bizarre. But I'm totally into it. Mr. C wasn't so sure about it, until I mentioned we could use it to make jerky. Now he's totally on board.

I realize this blog is a temple for sugar and butter worship. But, as you know, I'm the sort of weirdo baker that usually reaches over the cupcakes and cookies so I can get to the vegetable crisps. When we received the dehydrator, I knew it and me would be great friends. With it by my side, I could make yummy chips made out of any vegetable known to man. Yam. Zucchini. Hell, I'd even try to dehydrate a whole mini pumpkin if Mr. C would let me (he still says no, but I'm sure we can make him change him mind). So, we started to experiment.

The thing about experimentation is, for every victory, you have a failure.

kalecarrotchips (7)

Related Posts with Thumbnails