Cadbury Egg Flurries: Thanks Easter Bunny, Baulk, Baulk

I recently spotted this piece about different flurries from around the world on StumbleUpon and it got me super excited! It's always fun to see what people in different countries are eating. Just like in the States, many of these flurries are simply composed of ice cream and candy. But, wait, this isn't your regular run of the mill American candy. This is foreign candy!! Who isn't fascinated with the sugar buying habits of our distant relations?? Who doesn't make a beeline for the candy store the minute they step on foreign soil?? Okay, maybe I'm the only one who does that. Honestly, though, I was most fascinated by two very familiar Easter favorites that have found their way into flurries in the UK and Canada: Cadbury Crème Eggs and Cadbury Mini Eggs.

The mini eggs have always been one of my favorite Easter treats and while I've outgrown my childhood love of the classic cream eggs, I'm still extremely curious as to what fake yolk and vanilla ice cream tastes like! Sounds like a future dessert project to me. Click here to see the complete list of foreign flurries.

p.s. In case anyone was wondering, I don't support McDonald's in any way, but I couldn't let this one go without a post!


Tord Boontje Cake

I am so loving this cake by designer Kate Sullivan. When I first saw it I thought, that's what a Tord Boontje cake would look like if, you know, Tord Boontje quite his day job and opened a bakery! I later discovered that this cake is indeed called the Boontje Nature Cake, so the inspiration is fully acknowledged by Ms. Sullivan. I know some people are getting rather tired of the whole animal trend, and I've been desperately trying to wean myself off it, but I just can't seem to stop! I'm a sucker for animal designs and I don't know if I'll ever get over it! Anyway, Kate Sullivan has a lot of other great, nonanimal-related cakes over at her Web site, many of which are inspired by artists like Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol, and filmmaker Preston Sturges (see below). There's also the Guggenheim Museum cake, complete with miniature people waiting outside.

Kate's cakes are especially impressive once you discover that she didn't train at some fancy wancy culinary skill, but learned her trade by studying books and by engaging in the art of good old-fashioned practice. See, there is still hope for the rest of us! Click here for more great photos on Kate's Web site.


Whoopie Pies: Retro Treat of the Moment

If you're a fan of food Web sites, and you know you are, then you've probably seen lots and lots of pictures of yummy whoopie pies popping up on your computer screen over the past year or so. There is definitely a trend going on and The New York Times had a piece about this very topic in Tuesday's issue. There is something fun and playful about these nostalgic treats that makes them pretty hard to resist. The kitschy factor and their ability to evoke memories of childhood are a big part of their appeal. Let's face it, oftentimes, there's nothing better than a simple and homey dessert!

On the nontraditional front, the Times article mentions that some bakeries are experimenting with the classic whoopie flavors. Places like Cranberry Island Kitchen in Maine are spicing up their vanilla fillings with Cointreau, raspberry, and espresso. What do you think? Are you a whoopie purist or do you like the idea of fiddling with tradition?

Click here to read the complete New York Times article, which includes a section about the history of the name!

Update: After writing this post last week, I couldn't stop thinking about the pumpkin whoopie pies in the Baked cookbook. I've always thought that they looked really good, so I broke down and made them on Sunday. Yum, yum, yum, YUM!! Seriously, one of my all-time favorite desserts from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks!! The guys at Baked admit that they tweaked with the traditional whoopie recipe when creating their version (that's their pic above), so I suggest that you follow their recipe for maximum enjoyment! You can find it here, along with a video, on Martha Stewart's Web site. Yum! (p.s. The picture above is from Baked. My pics weren't quite so pretty!)


High Fashion Candy

I have a confession to make. I actually watch Bravo's Make Me a Supermodel. (Don't judge!) I mainly tune in because I love photography and enjoy watching that whole setup process involved in taking a picture and then getting to see the final image at the end. Really. I like photography! I'm not just making an excuse for why I watch the show! Oh yeah, and there's also the fact that, like a stereotypical chick, I'm into clothes and love looking at pretty dresses, like the one Salome wore in episode two (see pic #2). Gorgeous! Anyway, the photo shoot in last week's episode had little to do with fashion and more to do with . . . candy! All the models were covered with paint and told to "embody" their assigned candy (gumballs, pixie sticks, sprinkles, etc), which was, apparently, quite difficult for many of the models. One of my favorite moments was when one of girls complained that she didn't know what to do with "chocolate" because, well, chocolate doesn't actually do anything. Luckily, not all the models found the task quite so difficult and the winning photo was Jordan's ode to the candy cane, which is seen above.

The photographer that snapped all the sugar-inspired pics in last week's episode, Suza Scalora, is no stranger to working with candy. There are some pics on her Web site that use sweets as props that I actually like better than the photos featured on Model.

If you would like to see more of Suza's work, check out her Web site. To check out the full collection of photographs from the "Pour Some Sugar on Me" episode (yep, that's the title), click here.


Black Hound Bakery Cakes

Black Hound Bakery has the cutest cakes! They look so good and word on the street (okay, word in local newspapers and magazines, like The New York Times) is that they actually taste as wonderful as they look. We all know how often looks can be deceiving and we've all been fooled by a nice-looking cake at one time or another, so it's nice to know that the Black Hound cakes won't break our hearts once we bite into them. I'm especially fond of their samplers, which allow you to try a variety of flavors, without buying the whole cake. Also, if you're an avid reader of ingredients, like me, you'll be happy to know that Black Hound lists their cake components on their Web site and I am happy to report that I could pronounce each and every ingredient listed. No partially this or that in these cakes!

If you're in New York you can stop by their shop to oogle all their baked goods or you can order online by clicking here.


Classic Sugar Cookies from Baked

Well, I'm in the process of making my way through the Baked cookbook and I have yet to be disappointed! So far, I have made two cakes (salted caramel and malted milk) and the Baked Brownies. All of which received rave reviews! Last weekend I made the Classic Sugar Cookies, even though the thought of eating sugar cookies bores me, but I really wanted to make something with cookie cutters and sugar cookies are the obvious choice. (Has anyone used cookie cutters on another type of cookie?) These were really yummy, though, so I was pleasantly surprised. The frosting was a little runny and I couldn't manage to get just the right consistency, but it worked out fine. I probably wouldn't decorate them the next time because it's a bit time consuming and the cookies look and taste really nice, just on their own. That said, I have to say, even though my cookies look as though they were decorated by a 5th grader, it was a super fun activity for a Sunday afternoon!! For more information on Baked, click here.


Foie Gras Eclairs, Anyone?

Here's another article that I saw in The New York Times over the holidays and am just now getting around to posting! Fancy food shop Fauchon, makers of some of the world's most unusual éclairs, introduced a new flavor just in time for Christmas last December. Foie gras. Yep, that's right, goose liver, a goose liver éclair covered with hazelnut frosting! Gross! I'm sorry, but this sounds disgusting. On the other hand, I've never eaten foie gras or liver, so I have no idea how it tastes and will admit that I'm basing this opinion on virtually nothing. An expert pastry chef, in this case Fauchon's Christoph Adam, and an unhealthy dose of sugar can probably make anything taste good, probably. If you prefer a little less meat with your frosting, Fauchon has other savory éclairs to choose from, like those stuffed with peas, mushrooms, or curry. Of course, for the less adventurous, there are the sweeter and more traditional chocolate and fruit-filled varieties. To find a Fauchon store near you, click here, and you can check out the New York Times story right here. Quick, do it before the Times and all other newspaper cease to exist.

*On a side note, I love the Mitchell Feinberg photo (above) that appeared in the Times. It makes up for the nauseous feeling I had after reading the text!

photo courtesy of Claire Meneely
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