Blast From the Past: Cakes Men Like

Sometimes it’s the little things that just make my day. I came across the silliest and corniest cover for this little cake booklet from 1953 and instantly became obsessed with it. It's so hilariously awful and so perfectly vintage, I knew that I had to find out more! Turns out these babies were printed in the early fifties for either GM or Western Electric employees. Cakes Men Like is actually part of a series of "how to please your man" cookbooks. Some of the other titles include Pies Men Like, Desserts Men Like, Meat . . . Men Like. Men, men, men! Man, I am sooo glad that I did not have to put up with that crap and am able to laugh about it now.

I don't know how well they researched these cakes, though. Apparently, they think that midcentury men like pink cakes. Would Don Draper request a pink cake from Betty? Does Betty know how to make a cake? Hmmm. Find out in next week's exciting episode! Click here to get a free copy of Cakes Men Like on Scribd. Enjoy!


Sweet Testing: Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie

I have had a craving for a Peanut Butter and Banana Creme Pie for a long time, ever since I first heard about it last year, so I was really happy when my father picked this as his dessert of choice during a recent visit. I was doubly happy when I searched the internet for a recipe and discovered that my favorite bakery, Baked, has their own version of this delicious treat! And let me tell you . . . it was soooo good!! I cheated a little bit and used a Whole Foods brand gluten-free pie crust, which I highly recommend for people with gluten allergies. Usually, I don't really care for store bought pie crust, but this one is a definite winner AND it's gluten free! So, because I wanted to make the pie edible for people with gluten allergies and because I was short on time, I didn't end of making the vanilla wafer crust that goes with this recipe, but I'm sure the pie would be even more amazing with that added element, although it was pretty damn good without it! For that reason, I can't really speak to the ease of the crust preparation, but the filling was super easy to assemble and came together quite quickly. Easy and a total crowd pleaser. What's better than that?

(p.s. For Baked fans, another teaser video for the new cookbook has been released. It features one of my favorite things: baked goods with miniatures. To watch it, click here.)

(p.p.s. Sometimes I feel like every recipe I make is from Baked. Someone seriously needs to hide their cookbooks from me!)

You can find the complete recipe after the jump.


La Pâtisserie des Rêves

First of all, I can't believe that I have written anything about Philippe Conticini's La Pâtisserie des Rêves yet! I've been meaning to do a post on this pastry shop since it opened last year in Paris, but, alas, like many things, it just kept slipping out of my memory. Anyway, I am in love with this shop! Not only are the desserts gorgeous (and I've heard tasty), but it's the way that the food is displayed that really gets me. At La Pâtisserie des Rêves each delicious pastry is treated like a work of art or, perhaps, a science experiment, and displayed beneath a bell jar. Each of the jars is temperature controlled based on the sweet contained inside, while a pulley system attached to the ceiling allows the jars to be raised and lowered. What fun! It's also a much easier way to view the desserts than having all the customers crowd around a display case at the counter. It really is a unique and creative shop, a fact that is not all that surprising when you consider that in 2005 pastry chef and owner Philippe Conticini wrote a cookbook titled Sensations Nutella, which is devoted entirely to, you guessed it, Nutella. For more info on La Pâtisserie des Rêves, click here.


Inspiration Board: Plaid

Okay, I know that it's a little out of season to be talking about plaid, but I love these plaid desserts too much to wait until Fall! Besides, today I feel like breaking the rules! Just think of this as a Fall 2010 preview! I love all of these designs, but I have to say that the pink plaid cakes is my favorite one in the bunch! Very cute! Check out all the plaid dessert below to find your favorite. [Above: Chocolate Plaid Pear Cookies with Gold Leaves by Diane Drake]

Pattern Cookie Rounds: Plaid by Whipped Bakeshop

Plaid cupcakes: Cookies and Cream by Happy Little Cupcakes

Plaid Birthday Cake by dancerina

Isaac Mizrahi 8" Tartan Plaid Cheesecake by Junior's ($44)


Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits

I know that right about now you're probably thinking, Erin, a chipotle biscuit doesn't really qualify as dessert. At first, I was thinking that exact same thing, but then I changed my mind. Here's why.

1) This recipe is from the Baked cookbook and 99% of the recipes in that book could be served as a dessert.

2) Biscuits are pretty much a dessert food. I mean they are a fairly large component of strawberry shortcake, which is undeniably, a dessert.

3) Biscuits are usually eaten with breakfast, most often with a sugary jam on top, and let's face it, unless you're eating bacon and eggs, breakfast is basically dessert.

So, there you have it. Even though we ate these biscuits during a meal and not after it, I think I've made a pretty strong case for including them on the dessert menu. The biscuits themselves were mighty yummy. The chipotle giving them a nice, comforting, smoky flavor. The only thing I would change the next time around would be to maybe use a little less chipotle powder. Baked actually recommends using less spice, if you don't have much heat tolerance. I went with the full dosage, and the chipotle powder that I used was fresh, so the biscuits ended up being a little too spicy for me. That said, they were so yummy that the fact that my mouth was a little burny didn't stop me from eating three of them! I just think it would have been a little more enjoyable with less powder, but it all depends on what you can handle.

You can find the complete recipe after the jump.
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