These monster ice cream sandwiches were the result of my 3-year-old niece’s desire for chocolate. The conversation went like this:
Jubilee: “What would you like me to make for you when you visit”
Niece: (with a devilish grin) “ice cream”
Jubilee: “What flavor ice cream?”
With that settled, I got to work. I didn’t just want to make ice cream, though. Sometimes I get really disappointed at all the ice cream that melts in the bowl and you can’t lick it without a major breech in decorum. It’s just such a waste. Usually that doesn’t stop me but I figured I’d solve that problem by individually packaging the ice cream in huge ice cream sandwiches. They were too big- my mistake- but damn were they good. I dipped them in chocolate because I could. I also thought it would help shield the ice cream from melting too quickly. I’m probably full of crap in this assumption but who cares, MORE CHOCOLATE!
Here’s the cake I made for the 4th of July. It was also giant… ‘Merica
Sometimes friends and family can’t get together for every celebratory occasion so we jumble everything into one giant fit-all party. When such parties occur I have to make a dessert that’s intensity and magnitude is squared or for this particular instance cubed. Doing this can be a challenge. I don’t know why I have to do it this way but I do. For example: a regular party gets a regular cake (even though my ‘regular’ cakes are kinda ginormous) Chocolate cake/chocolate icing. Pretty simple, right? A ‘squared’ event usually gets something a bit fancier like ultra vanilla ice cream and blueberry pie. A ‘cubed’ event requires a lot of oomf- power to the Mad Max- the Lord Humungus of flavor.
Chocolate is, by far, the easiest dessert component to square or cube. I made a dark chocolate cake with whipped dark chocolate ganache icing, and encircled the cake with chocolate cigarette cookies. I also poured chocolate ganache on top of the cake for good measure. Because reasons.
If people were to pay me for this cake with cold hard cash instead of love and kisses I’d be rich.
A Doljanchi or Dol is a Korean celebration of a baby’s first birthday. It’s an old tradition honoring the survival of the child. Since child mortality was so high way back in the day (and still is in some parts of Korea) it’s a big deal. My nieces’ Doljianchis’ were as big as some weddings.
It was my job to make the cake, cupcakes, and cookies. Luckily I was able to make the cake centerpiece a dummy and just hand out cupcakes (THANK THE POWERS THAT BE). My niece was born in the year of the snake. Therefore things were snake/ jungle themed.
I wanted to do ruffles on the bottom. Used toothpicks to hold it all together and for transporting it. It reminded me of Hellraiser: “Oh, no tears please. It’s a waste of good suffering”
I didn’t get any pictures of the back of the cake. It had a cute zebra and flowers etc.
The bakery I work at also teaches classes. For now- just Wilton classes. I’m redoing all of the courses so I can become an instructor… But I’m really more interested in teaching other things: cookies, marshmallows, more cookies, more marshmallows, some cupcakes… maybe a few advanced/ more pastry type things-you get the idea . In the end it’s all about money, supply and demand, and devision of labor. With that in mind here is a silly cake I made for the class. I really didn’t try very hard on this cake, which is sad. I did it super fast so I could finish up an order we had for the next day. My icing was way too dry and old for good roses. Woopse.
It’s the middle of winter here in the Chicago-land area. Grey skies, bitter weather, wind gusts, and EPIC amounts of snow are all staples of an average mid-west winter. Global climate change has had it’s hay day here too but this particular winter will go down in the history books. A few weeks ago, parts of Minnesota were supposedly colder than the surface of Mars. Way cool. Jack London eat your heart out!
Unlike most mid-westerners I love the winter. I’d take a few feet of snow over sweltering heat any day. Plus I get to wear cool sweaters, ear muffs, and fleeces so it’s a win-win by me. However, by the time February rolls around everyone has the blues. We’ve only seen the sun for a handful of days. No blue skies around here, baby. So I thought I’d brighten up a family gathering with a bit of sunshine.
They Might Be Giants made it quite clear that “The sun is far away. Its about 93 million miles away, and thats why it looks so small!” My 7″ tall chocolate cake might not fit a million earths inside but it will sure fill your belly.
It’s getting chilly outside. You think I would use this as an excuse to turn on the oven but I’m a rather contrary person sometimes. Instead I’ve been spending the majority of my days curled up with my Portuguese water dog, Doodlebug.
My flavor palate tends to lean toward rich dense flavors in the winter. I shy away from sweet and develop more of a taste for complex savory flavors. I am one of those people that loves savory flavors incorporated into my final course. One of my favorite parts about this time of year is the availability of nuts: Pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts. It’s like during the miraculous overnight shift from Halloween to Christmas Santa comes early (he’s trying to tell us he wants nuts in those cookies you’ll leave out for him). You go to the grocery store and there are barrels of nuts of every variety ready for you to toil away peeling. TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Nuts are underutilized. I strongly believe that the immense dessert potential for nuts is un-actualized. We must think beyond the pie, people! Processing nuts for desserts can be out of the reach for those that don’t have the right equipment, though. I’m extremely fortunate to have an arsenal of tools that grind, juice, pulverize, and whip with simple on and off buttons
Chestnuts are the hallmark of the holidays. Their texture/taste is not as oily as other nuts so I thought it would work wonders in a mousse. I was right. I wanted something denser than cake so I made a flourless chocolate cake base. (This is one of the best gluten free desserts BTW). All in all this was a pretty labor intensive the dessert: Cook nuts, pulverize them, make a cake, make a mousse, wait to firm/chill etc. Regardless the ratio of calories to minutes is about 80:1, which is worth my time.
I have a lot of cookies to do for orders this week so I’m going to be MIA for a few days. I’ve been teaching at a local cake supply store and the response has been very positive. I wanted to show some of my previous creations!
Chocolate basil cake with gumpaste calla lilies
oreos loaded with vanilla bean and a crisp chocolate wafer
Dark chocolate with a salted dark chocolate buttercream