Dessert Blast from The Past: Confetti Cake

This used to be my favorite cake when I was a kid. Yum! Unfortunately, I won't eat the Pillsbury version because, like most boxed desserts, it's filled with lots and lots of bad stuff. I really wanted to find a recipe for this cake, so I could make it with real live ingredients, but I kept running into recipes that required a boxed mix. At first, I was thinking that I could just make a yellow or white cake and add sprinkles, but I quickly realized that I couldn't use any old cake. It had to be traditional birthday cake, a moist, dense cake with just the right amount of sweetness. After spending way too much time searching the net for recipes, I think I found just the right cake! It's called The Birthday Cake and it's supposedly really yummy! I can't wait to try this one! It's so sweet! How can you not love it?

The Birthday Cake can be found on the menu of Restaurant Eve in Virginia or you can click here for the complete recipe via The Washington Post. Just don't forget to add the sprinkles (1/4 cup)!

Oh, and if you're short on time, Naturally Nora offers a boxed version, with ingredients that are more natural than those in traditional cake mixes (i.e. no trans fats or artificial preservatives).


To Dry For: Tea Towels

I love these fun tea towels from To Dry For! Based in Oxford, England, Sally and Dave created this site as a way to bring designers and tea towels together and to make the buying of such towels easy for the tea towel loving public. Each towel was created by a specific designer and the product description contains a link to that designer's Web site, making it easy to check out more of their work. Personally, I love the "Right On" design by Stuart Kolakovic, but the Mr. T towel is pretty hard to resist! Check out the full collection right here.


Black Pearl Cake (Wasabi & Ginger)

During my recent trip into the wonderful world of Wasabi ice cream, I stumbled upon this recipe for chocolate cake with ginger, wasabi, and black sesame! I'm a sucker for desserts with unusual flavors, so this cake, which was created by Katrina Markoff, CEO of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, is right up my alley. I can't wait to try it! Click here for the recipe, which originally appeared in Bon Appetit.

[top photo: Noel Barnhurst/Bon Appetit; bottom photo: catsun)


High Fashion Dessert - Erin Fetherston

I've been sitting her thinking about how I'm dying to see the new movie (500) Days of Summer, staring the super awesome Zooey Deschanel, so I thought that I'd post this cute picture of Zooey pushing an ice cream cart from Erin Fetherston's Fall/Winter 08/09 collection. Erin's work has always sort of reminded me of cake, what with the tiers and the ruffles and all, so I thought this was a good opportunity to post some of her work! Have a great weekend everybody!


Wasabi Ice Cream and Other Asian Ice Cream Diversions

Recently, at a housewarming party that I attended, a discussion about wacky ice cream flavors arose. I quickly mentioned the Curry ice cream from Vosges, while someone else told the tale of eating wasabi ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Wasabi ice cream? At Cold Stone? I couldn't find any mention of it on Cold Stone's Web site, although I did find evidence of it's existence at one time, but it did start me wondering . . . is Wasabi ice cream available elsewhere?? I thought I'd do some Web surfing to find out!

Apparently, Wasabi ice cream is quite common in Japan, where, according to this Web site, you can also buy ice creams flavored with lots of yummy ingrdients, like chicken wings, eel, and octopus! The "yummy" part was sarcasm, in case you didn't catch that. I also discovered photographic evidence for Japanese snake, garlic, and salt ice cream. (I'd pass on the snake, but the garlic and salt flavors might actually be pretty good!)

Next stop on my Wasabi hunt was the Web site for il Laboratorio del Gelato in New York. They do indeed carry Wasabi gelato, along with LOTS of other new and unexpected flavors like Guinness and cheddar cheese. You can also find curry and wasabi flavors at the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, which is in NY as well.

For those of you who prefer making things yourself, check out Anthony Bombaci's recipe for wasabi ice cream, right here.

I'll stop at this point, but I found lots of other interesting asian ice cream treats during my search! More to come . . . soon!

[wasabi ice cream image: Katherine Moon; wasabi sign: Andrew Martin; salt ice cream: piki hiki biki; snake ice cream: kaige]


Superman Ice Cream Fans Unite!

I'm loving this video by Quinn Strassel (The Mitten) about Superman ice cream. Inspired by the Serious Eats post on this colorful treat, Quinn took to the streets to try to find out more about this mysterious flavor. Apparently, Superman ice cream is only a Michigan thing or, at the most, a Midwest thing. Who knew?? Click here for the full post.

photo by Laura Roberts


The Mixing Bowl: Strawberry and Pear Croustade by Hang Tight Studio

I am so sooo excited to present this guest post from Heather Dutton of Hang Tight Studio. I have been a fan of Heather's work for many years now and I'm thrilled that she agreed to put together this cooking project for Dessert Girl! It's so inspiring to see people make food that they love and Heather's post for strawberry and pear croustade with vanilla bean glaze does not disappoint!

Heather, who runs a freelance textile and surface design business, and has worked with big name companies like Pottery Barn and Tupperware, creates wonderful and incredibly cute designs! I'm particularly fond of her playful animal prints, like the ones below, but she also has a lot of gorgeous floral and geometric patterns as well. I love her work so much that I have been known to use her designs as desktop wallpaper and, whenever I do, I always get tons of compliments from passersby!

I hope you’ll enjoy Heather’s recipe as much as I did. It looks like the perfect summer treat, for the eyes and the belly! (To see the recipe in a readable, large-print format, just click on each image.)

Thanks Heather!

To see more of Heather’s work click here to visit her Web site and, to shop online, visit her brand new Etsy site, right here. While you're there, check out the paint chip etchings, which combine both cuteness and recycling! Yay!

(p.s. This post officially starts my new guest baker series, which I'm calling The Mixing Bowl, for now. Or is that title too cheesy? Stay tuned for more mystery pastry chefs in the future!)


Dessert in the Bath

I'm a big fan of anything you use in the shower, especially soap and bubble bath, so I was excited to see that sweets shop Dylan's Candy Bar has extended their product line to bath products. I especially like the look of their shower gel line, which comes in cute retro-inspired soda bottles. All products are free of parabens and synthetic preservatives, among other things, so woo hoo, no potential cancer risk! Well, until some future date when it's discovered that "safe ingredients" kill you as well. Click here to view the complete, paraben-free, collection.

While visiting Dylan's Web site, I also stumbled upon these great candy building blocks. I'm not sure how they taste, but they look like Legos, so I'd have to give 'em a try!


Momofuku Milk Bar: My Latest Bakery Obsession

It started innocently enough, a coworker of mine recently had dinner at Momofuku Ko in NYC and sent me the link to their site. Of course, one of the first things I did was to click on the site for their bakery and what did I see?? Arnold Palmer cake! Cornflake-marshmallow-chocolate chip cookies!! Crack pie!!! Crack pie??

I want to go there.

I quickly searched Google, desperate for a recipe for Arnold Palmer cake (iced tea jelly, lemon mascarpone cream, almond tea crunch), but came up with nothing. Has no one tried to copy this yet?? Happily, my crack pie search yielded better results, leading me to a demonstration from Martha Stewart's show, along with recipes for Momofuku's cereal milk and blueberry-and-cream cookies!! Woo hoo!

I am now officially obsessed. I wish more bakeries thought this creatively! I haven't made the crack pie yet, but it's on top of my baking list. I also can't wait until the day that I actually get to step foot inside the Milk Bar, although there are so many choices that in the process of making a decision, I may completely freak out. Oh, and don't tell me their desserts suck or I'll punch you in the arm! Okay, if it sucks, I would like to hear your opinion, but I'll still be mentally punching you in the arm. :-)

To watch Martha's visit to the Momofuku Milk Bar, click here. (The link takes you to the beginning of the show, so you'll have to scroll over to the video titled Momofuku Milk Bar.)

Did I mention the Lucky Charms soft serve???

(Arnold Palmer cake photo by Kathy Chan.)
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