Wednesday, December 22, 2010

'Cake Boss' bakery in Hoboken gets a 'royal' visitor

Naimah Terry Cherry Blossom Princess Cake Boss.JPGKatie Colaneri/The Jersey JournalCarlo's City Hall Bake Shop staffer Joe McCourt, left, hands over 100 cupcakes to New Jersey's 2009 Cherry Blossom Princess and Jersey City native Naimah Terry this morning in Hoboken.Carlo's City Hall Bakery, home of the "Cake Boss," was paid a "royal" visit today.

New Jersey's own 2009 Cherry Blossom Princes Naimah Terry arrived at the bakery this morning on official business: to pick up 100 chocolate vanilla and vanilla fudge cupcakes for the New Jersey State Society's annual holiday party in Washington, D.C. tonight.

"It's a big New Jersey network of all the movers and shakers in D.C. and their staff," said Terry, 22, a recent Rutgers grad and lifelong Jersey City resident - until recently when she moved to Newark.

Although her duties as Cherry Blossom Princess ended in April, Terry maintains strong ties to the society and was charged with bringing the cupcakes which were donated by the bakery.

Terry is also a sometime fan of the popular TLC reality series shot at the Hoboken bakery.

"I'm a big jersey fan, so you gotta show love (for "Cake Boss")," she said.

'Cake Boss: Next Great Baker

For the second episode of "Cake Boss: Next Great Baker," the editing made one thing very clear from the get-go -- Joe was in trouble. He had trouble impressing Buddy following the first victory, and he then struggled to make carrot cake during the first challenge. Suffice it to say, the boss was out for blood. Corina clashed with the guy on a frequent basis, primarily during the second challenge where teams had to design a tribute cake for Monopoly.

When it comes for the first challenge, the winner was Megan with a devil's food cake that did in fact look delightful. As for the second challenge, it was really pretty obvious that Joe's team would be losing -- cake-wise, it actually seemed that their cake wasn't any worse than the team with Brian, Greggy, and Pamela.

The ultimate decision here for Buddy came down to Joe and Corina, and ultimately Buddy decided to settle their dispute by being rather unfair. The debate here involved whether or not to dismiss someone who wasn't really in their element (Joe) or someone who made a threat with a knife (Corina). Buddy asked Joe if he deserved to go home, and he said "yes" in that he did the worst job.

However, he didn't quit -- but for some reason Buddy bullied him into being a quitter. He was just being honest! The truth is with Joe is that he may have been a better fit for a show like "Top Chef: Just Desserts," where he could focus more on the parts of baking he excels at.

We're going to try and chat with Joe about this elimination Tuesday, so check back then for more news. What do you think about his exit?

More "Next Great Baker" news and exclusives

Bakery Cake Boss Buddy Valastro: Next Great Baker

Buddy Valastro, TLC's Cake Boss, has started a new show called The Next Great Baker, in which the ten competitors fight for $50,000 and the chance to work alongside Buddy himself at Carlo's Bakery.

The contestants are: Joe, who spent 26 years as a plumber and is now a pastry chef; Pamela, an electrical engineer, cake designer, and Diva; Dana, who owns "Desserts by Dana"; Johanna, who has been in the culinary field since high school; Megan, a very perky girl from Texas who said, "Even though I don't have all the experience in the world, I can probably do what you do and do it better"; Corina, a full-time Mom who started her own cake shop; Greggy, who called himself the "Lady GaGa of cakes"; Jay, who owns Maple's Wedding Cakes; Kendra, a sixth grade English teacher who bakes at home; and Brian, who makes crazy cakes and has even blown some up using dynamite.

In the Baker's Challenge, Buddy asked each person to make him their best dessert in two hours. The winner would get an advantage later on. They contestants all had to share the equipment, which included mixers and the ovens. No one seemed to have that easy of a time, but it was Greggy who burst into tears after not allowing his cake enough time to cool and ending up with a big, floppy mess. Talk about a Diva. This guy was shortening words like crazy, almost to the point where they were unrecognizable, like "tots" instead of totally or "jelly" instead of jealous. Then, he has ridiculously long names that include hyphens for pretty much every cake he makes. Frankly, he was pretty annoying. In the end, he and Corina were told they had the worst cakes, while Pamela and Joe had the best two. As the winner, Joe received a free pass for the next round and was told he wouldn't be sent home.

In the Elimination Challenge, they each had three hours that night and six hours the next day to make a celebration cake. The loser of this challenge would go home. Buddy also brought his sister Mary, in addition to Mauro, in to judge this round. At the end of the first three hours, everyone left for the night. Pamela, who says she is an electrical engineer, somehow decided it would be a good idea to leave her cakes in the oven overnight since they hadn't cooked all the way through yet. Not smart. The next morning, everyone returned to a very angry Buddy, who had found Pamela's smoldering, blackened cakes the night before. He scolded her in front of the group, and then everyone got back to work.

Basically, almost everyone's cakes looked pretty rough. Pamela went crazy and spilled gold everywhere, the handle on Jay's Easter basket cake fell right off onto the table, Brian's cake was supposed to have special effects, but just smoked instead, and Joe's cake looked like a tall column of brown and orange smudges with some random green "vines" going up it.

During the Final Elimination, Dana, Brian, Corina, and Jay were all safe. Greggy, Megan, and Johanna were told they had the three best cakes and that Greggy won the challenge. That left the bottom three of Pamela, Joe, and Kendra. They all agreed Joe had the worst cake, even Joe himself, but he refused to give up his free pass and was allowed to stay until the next elimination. Kendra was the one sent home, and they sat her out in the "box truck" that is usd to make deliveries for her exit speech.

Overall, the show wasn't terrible, but it also seems like a rip off of something along the lines of Top Chef. It will be interesting to see if the person who wins actually shows up at Carlo's Bakery or not. Personally, I'm a sucker for cake shows, so even this one is a bit overly dramatic and doesn't always end up with the best looking cake results, I will probably keep watching anyway, just to find out who wins. What did you think? Will you watch, or was one episode enough?

Top Creamy Pralines Ingredients

Sweets are sweet for the soul. It is certainly energizes someone who is tired and bored. Among of these is the creamy Praline. According to a reliable source, Praline is part of the family of confections made from nuts and sugar syrup. It is indeed sweet for it is a food rich in sugar. Just like lollipops, chocolates, gums and pastries. Some deny that candy is not a confection, but it certainly is.

They only thought that confections are those sweets that include fruits or nuts. Just like marzipan, halvah and fruit cake. Whatever it is, a Praline is really a confectionery. Next question is that what compose Praline to be creamy that those European Pralines miss out.

No doubt, you should have sugar. The brown sugar is always being used and you have the will to choose whether the light brown one or the dark brown sugar. This is obviously makes the Praline taste so sweet. The next one is just a pinch of salt. It is very small compare to the amount of sugar. It is being said that salt helps the preservation of food, aiding the texture, binding, developing color and controlling fermentation.

For some to make sure their Praline becomes creamy they put the healthy ingredient milk and buttermilk. In fact, some use evaporated or condensed milk. Though, evaporated milk cannot replace condense milk because it is unsweetened. You can still use it if you decide not to make your Praline so sweet. Condensed milk is fat-free milk with 60% of its water removed and to which a nutritive sweetener has been added. That sweetener acts as preservative. On the other hand, buttermilk is valued as recipe ingredient and digestive aid. It is freshly pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized fat-free or low fat milk with added fat-free dry milk solids.

Next ingredient on our list is the corn syrup. According to a reliable source, it is food syrup, which is made from the starch of maize and composed mainly of glucose. It is used in foods to soften texture, add volume, prevent crystallization of sugar and enhance flavor. This corn syrup is really a versatile ingredient. Vanilla extract is our next ingredient. It is a solution containing the flavor compound vanillin. It is used for the flavoring in place of the real thing.

The most important ingredient is the pecan pieces. The word pecan means a nut requiring a stone to crack. It is a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Similar to walnuts it is also rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Eating pecans a day would make you healthy. Why? It contents a nutrient that lowers the risk of gallstones in women and reduces high cholesterol.

These are the healthy ingredients that make delicious creamy Pralines. Experts always say that you can always make a variation of this but the original will always last long. Of course, it is still good to have the flavors you ever wanted so you are always free to be creative with your Praline recipes. That makes life simple and happy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How to Choose The Right Cake When You Order Cakes Online

Are you busy with your work that you don't have time to go to a bake shop to order a cake for your special someone? For sure you don't want to miss the chance to extend your greetings to a friend who just won in a competition or a child who celebrates his birthday, better order a cakes online. The process is very simple. Just follow the instructions outlined below.

? Prepare the things that you need. Since it is an online bake shop you need an internet access to surf the web. Pick the best online bakeshop that shows the most delicious cake you could ever imagine. Take a good look at the designs and the ingredients of the different cake online varieties. For sure the online bakeshop will tell you about its main ingredients so you sill know if you have allergies to some of its components.

You must also check your credit card if you have not yet attained the credit card limit. Be sure to type the correct card number. It is imperative that you have a credit card because most of the online bakeshops accept payment through this method. Type the correct mailing address. This refers to the address of the recipient of your cake. Be very clear with the location so that the cake you ordered will arrive at the place of destination in a fast speed. Bear in mind that when you order a cake online the bake shop will just rely on the information that you gave with regards to the recipients' location.

? Choose the right cake. How would you know that the cake you ordered is the right one? First you must ask yourself if the receiver will appreciate the flavor. If he or she is allergic to chocolate then you must not choose the most tempting chocolate cake you have ever seen no matter how delicious it looks on the computer screen. Regardless of its delicious taste your friend will not even take a bite, so don't waste your money in buying something he or she will not even appreciate.

? Check the designs of the cakes online. If you are going to give a cake to a teenager you must consider the interests of the receiver. You may check different designs that will surely appeal to him or her like sports, beach and all other fancy cake decorations. If you will give a cake to a matured person, the theme will also be different. Unlike children, adults in general prefer to receive a cake with simple designs.

? Write a message that you want the receiver to read. Say "I love you" or "I care about you" if you are in love with the receiver. Express your birthday greetings or a "happy anniversary" message on the cake if that's appropriate for the occasion. The message should be brief but must contain your thought and feelings.

Order cakes online and never miss the smile of the person you care about. After all, it's easy to do and it's hassle-free.

Cake Bakery Dessert Experts

Nothing's worse than a dry, bad-tasting dessert. Yet, that's just what some people have gotten used to since more and more people are doing things on the go and waiting to the last minute to handle the details. So if you know you have a special party coming up that will call for a good dessert, take the time to contact your nearest cake bakery. Examine a few occasions where a tasty dessert is a must.


At weddings, eating cake is a tradition. This is your special day and you want it to be perfect. That's why it's essential that you allow a reputable cake bakery to make your dessert. You want to enjoy tasting a moist and delicious dessert on one of the most important days of your life. Also, you want your guests to enjoy it too, so it's a good idea to try out a number of places until you find that perfect store that can make your dessert to your specifications. Furthermore, a good cake bakery offers delicious desserts and should also be able to create certain designs for you if you like.

Birthday party

It's not a birthday party if there isn't cake and ice cream. And while each birthday is special, there are some that are milestones. If you have a really special birthday coming up, such as having a daughter turn sweet 16, or another child turning 21, you want to have a special dessert. Furthermore, maybe the occasion is about you and you're turning 30, 40 or fabulous 50. Whatever the case, you want to trust a good cake bakery to handle the job. The highlight of most parties is the wonderful dessert at the end. Many places can follow a certain theme you may have going or also create a special dessert that's one of a kind just for you.


Many important moments are celebrated using dessert. So if you have a wedding anniversary, or another important day you want to remember, be sure to have a cake bakery make you a dessert that is sure to please. That's because there's a big difference between picking up something from a grocery store and going to a place that specializes in making desserts. Many of these places are family owned and that means they know how to do their job like the back of their hand. In addition, when going to a specialty shop for your dessert, you can feel confident knowing that you're getting a dessert made from scratch. So when that important anniversary rolls around, be sure to contact your local pastry chef or other professional so they can make a dessert as memorable as your anniversary.

Baby shower

Finding out you're pregnant is a moment you will never forget. That's why when it's time get have a shower, you must have an absolutely adorable-looking and delicious-tasting dessert. Many times, people go with cakes made with baby themes. But you also have other options such as fabulous cookies, pies and other desserts. A good cake bakery will know just what to create to ensure you have the dessert you've been hoping for.

Tips on How Not to Burn Cookies

Burned your cookies and you're not sure why? Well, there are a few possibilities and any of them can happen to anyone. Let me offer a ray of hope and tell a few ways to prevent your cookies from burning.

For starters, have your oven at the suggested recipe temperature. The recipe gives you the temperature for a reason, so preheat your oven and make sure it is hot enough. It's also good to know your oven's hot spots because most ovens are temperamental. For example, I have a side by side double oven and know for a fact that the oven on the right gets hotter faster and cooks faster; the cookies on the right will be done before the ones on the left every time. So when the recipe says 7 to 10 minutes, I would suggest to start out with 7 minutes and then keep an eye on them from there. I know for a fact, that for my ovens, it usually takes less than the suggested time for the cookies to bake in my ovens. So I usually set the time at the lowest time or in the middle.

The crucial thing to remember is don't forget to turn on your timer and look at the clock when you put your cookies in to know what time to take them out. If you don't start a timer and don't look at the clock, plus you forget about your cookies, then don't be surprised if they don't come out as you would like them:not burned or overly brown.

Another thing I learned, a long time ago and recently noticed, is that if you use parchment paper, your cookies won't stick to the pan and it takes a little bit longer for them get brown and darken too much. The other benefit to using parchment paper is that you can use it more than once if you turn it over. Plus, you are using less as well as reusing and doing your part to help the earth!

Hopefully these suggestions will help and encourage those who are talented cookie burners.

Happy baking!

Fruit Cake Bakery

Whether you love it or hate it, fruit cake is a tradition everywhere. There are several differing versions of the confection, but they are all still similar.

Fruit cake can be traced back as early as ancient Rome where it was made with barley, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and raisins. Through the Middle Ages is when the name fruit cake was coined and this is when the use of fruits that had been preserved started. This was the time when these pastries spread rapidly and many different variations of the recipe started coming about.

This treat is now made in multiple countries from the Bahamas where they soak absolutely everything in rum to Canada where it is almost only a Christmas time treat. In Germany it is also a Christmas time confection. Italy calls theirs Panforte and it has a rather strong flavor to it. In Romania they serve this pastry at every important holiday.

The United States is where the mass production of fruit cake began. While many of the traditional recipes call for a brandy or liqueur to be added to the confection at some point and for it to be coated with powdered sugar, most of the loafs that are mass produced do not contain the alcohol in them. All these were things originally added to help prevent molding, but there are many other ways that we are able to do that now.

The truth of the matter is that most in the U.S. seem to look down upon fruit cake. This can partially be linked back to Johnny Carson who had made some jokes at the expense of this particular desert. There are also other reasons too, one of these being that many of the confections that are made do not seem to have much appeal for the taste buds. There are, however, versions that are absolutely delicious, but the ones that are not quite up to par seem to be the most widely known in the country.

Most of the home made recipes seem to come out tasting rather good as long as the person making them has the ability to bake. It is some of the mass produced deserts that live up to the bad reputation for having to little flavor or some other deficiency that seems to make it less than pleasant.

For those of you who are able to bake delicious treats, try making your own fruit cake. You may be pleasantly surprised at how good it really can come out to be. There are a number of different recipes available so find one that you think sounds good and go from there. Chances are that if it sounds like it would be a great dessert then it probably will. The worst that could happen is that it does not turn out the way you had hoped and you have to find something to do with it other than eating it.

No matter the country, no matter the tradition, fruit cake has a long, rich, and deep history throughout the world. So whether you have yours smothered in alcohol or iced, every time you have one of these treats you are eating a small part of history.

Carrot Cake Bakery

Carrot cakes have never been more popular! Back in the day, these tasty cakes were rare delicacies. Many people would only rarely have the good fortune to eat this delectable dessert. It was also true that these cakes were not that popular - due to its rare and quite weird premise. As a result only a handful of people knew the secret of its delicious taste. As a result only a few bakeries and patisseries opted to make this delectable dessert for their customers. The truth is carrot dessert cake was and is a cake which everyone should enjoy. It is a treat that can be enjoyed anytime.

The key idea behind the creation of this cake was to make use of cake ingredients which had not been used before. Deviating from tradition; after all, carrots were vegetables for stews and casseroles, but never for something like desserts. And now, with this wonderful combination, carrots are finally available as a piece of dessert!

Upon asking those who have come to list the carrot cake as their most favorite dessert you will hear them always describe the charm and appeal of this wonderful treat as its delicate and light flavour. Instead of the usually rich and sticky cakes, a piece of this cake is light, fluffy and very delicate. Every slice is heavenly and of course, healthy at the same time.

Carrot dessert cakes have been hailed as the healthy option for those who are not inclined to take in more sugar than they require. These carrot based desserts do not take as much sugar as other traditional cakes. Thus it is seen as a better option for those who are trying to lose some weight but still want to have a tasty treat as a dessert. This piece of cake is also seen as one of the easiest to make a sugar free counterpart for. Most of the many desserts out there can't make that claim. Having a piece of this less guilty dessert just adds to the enjoyment.

Where else can you find a dessert that is delicious, healthier and also closer to guilt free? It is only through these light carrot cakes that you can find such a combination. With the delicate use of our favorite orange ingredient, it is all about carrots for dessert these days. This is a dessert you must try for yourself. Try some and see for yourself what makes this simple dessert so popular with so many!

Sweet Potato Pie Bakery

Sweet potato pie is often a favorite dish, especially for Thanksgiving. Many folks that live in the South eat this sweet treat along with their turkey and dressing. But one may wonder where did the idea for this sweet vegetable pie come from?

First and foremost, the sweet potato itself is a dicotyledonous plant. It is indeed a root vegetable and is a rather long in shape and sweeter-tasting than the average potato. Often times the leaves of this vegetable are eaten by themselves and considered greens.

The sweet potato is native to South America and was originally domesticated there around 5,000 years ago. It has also been grown in the western parts of Polynesia and is referred to as kumara in those parts of Peru. It is a possibility that the Polynesians brought this sweet treasure back to South America, Hawaii and New Zealand.

From there African Americans created the sweet potato pie that is now a very popular dish especially around Thanksgiving. It can also be considered a comfort food. To make the already sweet potatoes even sweeter, marshmallows are used to top it off. Making one of these pies is very simple.

First you will need to gather the following ingredients: ? cup of softened butter, 1 cup of sugar, ? cup of evaporated milk, 2 eggs separated, 1 ? cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes, ? teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ? teaspoon cinnamon, ? teaspoon ginger and of course an unbaked 9-inch pie crust.

Once you have gathered all of the aforementioned ingredients, you will then need to preheat the over to 350 degrees. Next you are going to want to cream your softened butter and the sugar using an electric mixer. Beat until blended and then add the egg yolks and beat. Now stir in the sweet potatoes, milk, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Take a separate bowl, and beat the egg whites in it. Once they are foamy, slowly add ? cup of sugar and beat until the mixture is stiff. Next, fold into the potato mixture. Once that is complete, place in the pie crust and bake for about 40 minutes or until the pie is firm. You can then serve with whipped cream or with a melted marshmallow topping, whatever your preference.

Monday, December 20, 2010

How To Choose The Best Cream Whipper

Since the moment cream whippers and soda chargers were introduced in the market, a lot of professional chefs and bartenders found this to be a very useful tool in the kitchen. It does save one more time, effort and money after all.

There are several brands in the market today. You may encounter difficulties in deciding on a good product. Here are some tips in choosing the best cream whipper or soda charger.

Choose Quality over Low-Price

Don't go for the cheapest brand. You may be disappointed with the quality of the hardware of some $10 products. Some complained about the screw caps or nozzle triggers malfunctioning as soon as they use it. Even if it is cheap, you will still be wasting money to get yourself a new one. But don't disregard the inexpensive ones immediately. Some companies have made sure that their products are of good quality despite their low prices. Make sure also that the product you are getting is government-approved.

Professional Brands Do Last Longer

Even if you are just using the cream whipper at home, you still want to have the best results. Professional chefs and bartenders would choose the best brand and so should you. Remember that they use this gadget more often in a day than you would in a month. Although these brands would probably cost more, you can be sure to get real carbonated drinks and richly whipped cream every single time.

Versatility is Important

There are some brands which features flavored Nitrous Oxide. This will only work if you plan to make banana or strawberry-flavored desserts all the time. These kinds of cream whippers will limit your creativity in the kitchen. If you get the simpler version, the possibilities will be endless. Besides, you can always add essences of certain flavors that you want like vanilla or caramel anytime you want to.

Check the Gas Chambers

Most products already offer two Nitrous Oxide Chambers when you buy a set. Some may last a few days depending on how often you use them. Ask the salesman about this or better yet, read the reviews. You can always get extra gas cartridges when you need extra. A box of twenty-four may cost $15 or more. Take note that for cream whippers, you need Nitrous Oxide. On the other hand, Carbon dioxide chargers are used for carbonated drinks.

Size Matters

Cream whippers and soda chargers come in different shapes and sizes. Make sure that you get what you think you may need at home. If you have a small family, maybe half a liter would be enough. If you plan to serve drinks in a party, you will need a bigger canister. Maybe you will have to buy two, even.

If you are planning to get one of these amazing must-haves in the kitchen, you need to learn these important things. You can ask a friend for tips or the chef or bartender of a local restaurant for other tips. Reading reviews on the net will also help you decide.

Birthday Cake and Bakery Creativity

Where do best ideas come from when it comes to a birthday cake? Perhaps you have been doing your research for a while to help you in planning parties for your clients, friends or even family members but you seem unable to find the ultimate idea to find one. Here's an article to provide you with simple yet powerful ideas of what to look for in an online cake store.

Do Your Research

Who are your customers? It's an important consideration when you buy a birthday cake because cake preferences also vary with age. A teenager, a family man and a busy Mom have different tastes when it comes to cakes so you must know what their choices are. Surf the web for more information on the latest cake designs and ask your customers.

Creative Designs

If your customer is a six-year-old boy then he might be able to appreciate a birthday cake with a blue glaze that portrays an ocean. He may enjoy the white icing to the peaks of the waves and the small plastic toy there that looks like a surf board. You can also choose the cakes with the designs of his favorite cartoon character. Ask the parent about the child's interest to be sure that the birthday celebrant will appreciate the birthday cake. If you will buy it for a matured person ask friends or loved ones for details.

Answer The Challenge

Regardless of age group, people have eyes for beauty. It is important to use your imagination in choosing decorations for your birthday cake. If you are a new event organizer and you want to attract more customers, choosing the right designs to capture their attention is a big challenge for you. Check the online cake store and pick a beach party theme or a roller coaster ride design for your client. You can buy small toy umbrellas and a small toy beach ball for a cake suitable for a beach lover.

Stick To A Budget

Choose a birthday cake that is wallet friendly. There are many cakes with great tastes and marvelous designs that are offered at very affordable prices. You just need to choose the right theme for your client or your friend or partner for that matter. Choose according to the taste and the style of the cake and not according to the price range. Take note of the delivery fee and make sure that you type the right address so that your client or anyone you purchased it for will receive it.

Whether you are starting a business where birthday cake is a part of the trade or simply buying a cake for someone special, purchase a birthday cake that does not sink to the plate once it is served. Choose playful colors of candles and see the glitters in the eyes of the happy birthday celebrant. Whether he or she is a client or a special someone, giving a birthday cake is a great way to express your greetings.

Banana Fudge Butterscotch Pie Recipe

Are you ready for a change of pace? Are you starving for something totally decadent, delicious, and self-indulgent? Do you love bananas? How about fudge, do you enjoy eating fudge? Do you love the sweet sensations of creamy butterscotch? If you like all three, you are in for a treat. If you have never tried all three of these flavors together, you may wonder where you have been all your life.

This is a delicious and easy to make recipe that combines the sweet flavors of fresh bananas, delicious fudge, and mouthwatering butterscotch. You can make it as a dessert after a family dinner or you may want to prepare it for a special occasion or holiday party treats.

Create Memories with the Dessert Recipes You serve Your Family and Friends

You can create memories with the dessert recipes that you make and serve to your family and friends. Making a delicious dessert does not have to include expensive ingredients to be a hit at the family dinner table, a pot luck dinner or any other special social gathering. In fact, some of the most delicious desserts you can make are simple and only take a few ingredients. For instance, you might like to know how to make this scrumptious and rich banana fudge butterscotch pie recipe.

Whether you are serving a family full of children after a great meal or you want a nice snack this dessert only uses seven simple ingredients. It is so simple that even the kids can make it themselves and there is no baking. You can save time, money, and energy while making this delicious pie.

Recipe for Banana Fudge Butterscotch Pie

What You Need

1 graham cracker pie crust2 cups milk2 medium sliced bananas1 small package chocolate fudge instant pudding1 small package butterscotch instant pudding4 cups thawed whipped topping1 Tablespoon butterscotch ice cream syrup

How to Make It

Using a medium size mixing bowl add the chocolate fudge pudding mix and 1 cup of milk and whisk together until smooth.

Thinly slice the bananas and then arrange them on the bottom of the graham cracker crust evenly. Pour the chocolate fudge pudding over the layer of bananas and spread evenly.

Using a medium size mixing bowl you will add the remaining cup of milk and the butterscotch pudding mix, and then whisk together until smooth. Add 1 cup of whipped topping and fold in. Pour the butterscotch pudding mixture over the layer of chocolate pudding and spread evenly.

Spread the remaining whipped topping over the last layer of the dessert and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drizzle the pie with butterscotch syrup just before serving.

Layer jello recipes are generally quick and easy to make. They are delicious. In fact, you can make even more great dessert recipes when you include using jello as an ingredient. We can show you how, so be sure to visit us on our website to see what treats we have waiting for you. - We Don't Make the Products We Just Make Great Desserts with Them!

Article Source:

Christine Szalay Kudra - EzineArticles Expert Author

Why Do People Love Chocolate Cake?

Do you know the difference between a chocolate cake made from chocolate and the one made from cocoa? If you do it's either you are a good baker or a chocolate cake lover. But what really makes it an all-time favorite by people from all walks of life? Unless you are allergic to chocolate you will definitely desire to have one on your plate right there where you are at this very moment. So read on and give yourself the information that explains your undying love for chocolate cakes.

? Chocolate cake is addictive. It does not men that you need to see a therapist just to cure your desire to eat.This type of addiction is something that you can let go of once you decide to. If you are curious how a chocolate cake can bring you happiness and a light feeling, well here's the explanation. Chocolate has a chemical called "caffeine" that is responsible for this. Once you ingested the chocolate its chemical component will drive your brain to give you a happy sensation. Because of such sensation, your brain will normally prod you to take eat another slice again. You see, at least now you have a reason to consume the whole plate without leftovers.

? Sweetness will make you feel energetic. Sugar is known to energize you. If you are so stressed in your workplace and you think you need sugar to keep you going then have a slice of the delicious chocolate cake. Order one online and in minutes or hours depending on your location, your favorite chocolate cake will be delivered right on your table. Those who are busy in their studies can also benefit from this since sugar will keep your mind alert. If you feel sleepy in the middle of your review, have a slice of this cake and you will surely memorize those lessons that your teacher will ask during the examination.

? Chocolate cake is used to express affection. Have you seen movies that talked about love and courtship? Perhaps you also viewed some parts of the story that shows the man giving cakes to women or the scene where the two of them were eating the cake. You should not wonder about this since chocolate is used to symbolize courtship. Some men even propose marriage to women they adore using the cake as a hiding place for the surprise engagement ring.

? It makes the birthday party complete. Some people don't have much in life but they still manage to give their children a reason to be happy on their birthdays. A simple menu with cake are enough to complete a perfect birthday party. You don't have to spend much in order to see the beautiful smile on your child's face. Just buy a chocolate cake from your favorite online bake shop and you'll surely see that happy face.

So, go on and indulge in eating your favorite chocolate cake and forget all your everyday stress.

Xmas Cakes

Christmas cakes are generally the heaviest cakes served on any holiday during the year. Maybe it has something to do with the perception of the season; cooler weather and more substantial desserts. Or maybe it's just gluttony; the most elaborate desserts for the most decadent holiday. Whatever the reason, it is a fact that the cakes are heavier during the Christmas season in our house.

There are two types of Xmas cakes that immediately comes to mind; fruitcake and butter pecan pound cake. Both these cakes weigh as much as the Christmas turkey but only one is used regularly as a door stop (what other cake do you know that does double-duty year round?) And as for ingredients, I probably don't need to discuss what's in a fruitcake (what's not!), but I can tell you that the Butter Pecan Pound cake is a mound of buttery, melt-in your mouth, nut infused, heavily cakey heaven.

Pies are an accompaniment, but Christmas cakes form the centerpieces on the holiday dessert table in our family. And the pound cake rules. Now that I think about it, at Christmas, we have cake for breakfast as well. Most people call them breads, but pound cake can also be served like banana nut or zucchini bread. Poppy seed and apple, cranberry and blueberry, they all look like cake to me. What is the intrinsic difference between the two? What makes banana nut bread not a cake? And why can't lemon pound cake serve as a bread? Could it be the amount of butter? I think the bread thing is just hype. During the holidays, it's all Xmas cake to me.

When serving English tea, I have been told that fruit bread is sometimes used. I have participated in many afternoon parties, and both pound cake and fruit and nut breads were served. And I believe that most of these breads are generally served during the fall and winter months. Denser desserts served during cooler days and there's no better time than Christmas.

I remember when I was a bit younger, and living in the country near Nashville, Tennessee, we had a cold storage room off the kitchen porch in back where we kept perishables during the winter months. My granny would make pound cakes, wrap them in a brown paper bag and put them away. They never spoiled, possibly because we pounced on the Xmas cake like ravenous wolves, but I think pound cakes never tended to spoil; I think they lasted longer than regular cake. But it didn't matter during the holidays, because Christmas cakes never lasted very long.

Another reason for heavier cakes in cooler climates is our traditional image of body fat. Pack on the pounds and keep warm, was the belief of that day. "Pleasingly plump" always followed my name, as pronounced by my granny, who thought women in general were either "stick-thin" or plump. She herself was exceedingly plump, and quite beautiful, so I didn't mind very much.

Our Christmas cake tradition still stands. I eat far less of it myself, and no longer am inclined to prepare it, but I have found several nice places that will do that job for me quite well. Let us all eat Xmas cakes during the holidays!

How to Make Layer Jello Recipes

Layer jello recipes are one of the more popular desserts you will find, especially during the holidays. These recipes are nice, because they do offer a series of delicious flavor combinations that will have your taste buds popping with the different flavor combinations. Of course, if you have never made them before, you might not be sure how to make them. This process is a bit more complicated than throwing a number of different hot mixtures in the same pan. We will look at some tips that even the more advanced professional might find helpful.

To begin with, you might not be sure how to create the layered effect. This is easily done with the use of the fridge and some extra time. Begin by creating your first flavor that will be going into your layer jello recipes and use half a cup of hot water. Then mix it well, follow it with a half a cup of chilled water. This will help your jello to start becoming solid faster. Place it in the bottom of a slightly greased pan. Then allow it to chill for an hour or until firm.

The grease will help to prevent the jello from forming to imperfections in the pan. It will also help to block the flavor of the metallic pans that people often use. Of course, you will want to choose an unflavored grease if you are going to go this route. Otherwise, you just exchange out some of the different flavors in this case.

When you are ready to place your next layer down, be sure you do not pour it over the cool jello at a temperature above warm. If you do, the lower layer of jello will begin to blend with the mixture that you just placed over it and it might not set the way you would like it to.

While you are creating your layer jello recipes, you might also consider making some fun adjustments. One of the most common is using chilled lemon lime soda in place of the chilled water. This adds a spark to the mix and can give your guests one of the most unique flavor variations that will certainly have them talking for some time to come.

Remember that the overall goal in this recipe is to create a decent number of layers. Many people will go for 7 -9 and create a full rainbow that will dazzle the eyes as well as the palate. Be sure you get creative and do not be afraid to experiment. With this delicious dish, there really is no wrong flavor combination and instead, you might find that your own creation is better than any you have tried before in the past.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vasterbotten Cheese

It is believed that the secret behind the mature taste of the Vasterbotten cheese is unrequited love. According to the story, an attentive suitor distracted a skilled cheese maker quite a lot that she kept forgetting about the cauldron over the fire, in which she was making cheese. Because she was out of focus, the fire beneath the cauldron went out one time after another and poor cheese maker keep re-lighting it. Therefore, the cheese making process was lengthened and the cheese was cooked and stirred longer than usual.

Throwing away resources however useless was never an option in the cheese maker's time. The "failed" cheese was not thrown away but was instead placed on a shelf and left to be forgotten. A few years later, someone braved and decided to taste the cheese. The moment the crust touched the man's tongue, he immediately knew that he have in his hands the best tasting cheese in all of Sweden. It was just a matter of time that the news of a great tasting cheese spread all over town and from then on people acknowledged its superiority - no one had ever tasted a cheese as good as the Vasterbotten!

Strong, sweet smelling and sharp - the Vasterbotten cheese captured the heart of anyone who tried it. There is no certainty to this day whether the love story was true or not, but rumor has it that Eleonora actually knew very well what she was doing when the created the Vasterbotten cheese. Vasterbotten cheese holds a very special place in the history of all Swedish cheeses. It has received a number of recognitions and awards and has been praised by people from all around the world.

The Taste
Vasterbotten cheese is a strong tasting cheese, crispy and has a delicious golden surface. It is made near the Arctic Circle in West Bothnia, Sweden since 1872. The Vasterbotten cheese is known for its superior quality, which is why the Swedish call it "The Emperor of Cheeses". Its amazing taste made it a true delicacy worth of the world's attention.

The Vasterbotten has been a natural ingredient for almost Swedish recipes, especially during the holidays. An essential part of modern Swedish cuisine, the Vasterbotten is perfect for any kind of dish - be it for salads, risottos, dips, pies, pizzas, puffs, breads, pesto, soups, brittles, quesadillas... the list can go on and on!

The Vasterbotten will definitely add a special touch to your cooking. And as the holiday season afloat, a nice wheel of Vasterbotten will really come in handy in pleasing your guests as they indulge in the taste of fine food! Bon app?tit!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ice Cream Cake

This dessert is so easy to make, but you will still be getting raves long after everyone has finished eating it. My neighbor first introduced this to me and I was sure that it was time consuming to make. I also assumed it would probably call for lots of different ingredients. Wow! Did she ever have me fooled! It is so easy to do, and is made using only 5 ingredients. You will also get lots of servings out of each cake. Everyone I have ever served this to, says it certainly gives Dairy Queen a run for their money!. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with a Dairy Queen cake, cause we all know they are delicious! All in all though, they are probably a little more costly than this cake. Another good thing with this cake, is that it can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer covered. No need to be rushing around the day of the event when you have a hundred other things to do, and then having to worry about fixing a mouth watering dessert. The easy part of this cake is the main ingredient is one box of ice cream sandwiches. These usually are chocolate sandwich cookies with vanilla ice cream, but I have run across ones made with strawberry ice cream. It is truly a matter of preference, as either one is quite delicious.

Ingredients Needed:

1 Box of 10 Ice Cream Sandwiches (Rectangular)
1 Jar 11.75 oz. Hot Fudge Topping
1 Jar 11.75 oz. Carmel Topping
2 Small containers 8 ounce of Cool Whip
1 Small Bag of chopped Walnut pieces or Pecans.

Unwrap the sandwich cookies and place 5 of them side by side on an aluminum foil covered cookie tray.

Next warm the hot fudge in the microwave until it is easy to spread. Spoon a layer of hot fudge over the top of the cookies. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes until the hot fudge sets. Next spread a layer of cool whip over the cookies, and also up over the sides, like you were icing a cake Again replace in the freezer for 5 - 10 minutes. Now you will place the other 5 ice cream sandwiches on top of the previous layers. This time heat the Carmel topping in the microwave until it is easy to spread. Spoon this over the sandwiches. Return to freezer for 5-10 minutes until it sets. Next place more Cool Whip on top and spread sides as in icing a cake. Sprinkle the top with nuts and your masterpiece is finished. I have made this cake using the strawberry ice cream sandwiches, and exchanging the Carmel topping for strawberry topping. Don't be afraid to experiment-it is so easy and so delicious!

Decorating for Cake And Cookie

Cake and cookies for the birthday, wedding, baby shower and other personal events, I believe that they should have a personal touch. Most of the bakeries decorate cakes the same way.

I started to search Internet for help and I struggled, because I did not get exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately I bought the cake for my baby's birthday from a store and that left me unhappy. After that I made it my mission to look for websites that will help me decorate my cakes they way I want them to look. I found YummyArts.Com. I did not hesitate to have membership with them. There are many things that really excite me about this website.

1. Before you get frustrated of asking yourself where are you going to buy your supplies, they tell you the stores where you can buy your supplies.
2. They give you introductions on how to make different types of icing.
3. You also get detailed instructional videos that you can watch online
4. While busy baking maybe you get stuck on something, you get full-time staff of professional cake decorators ready to answer questions by email.
5. YUMMY Arts produces and creates step-by step, instructional videos month after month, meaning every month you get to learn something new.

One of the thing that I personally found helpful is that you get to watch the videos and if you do not understand you get support very fast. I really enjoy my membership with them, it is the answer to my frustration. The most exciting thing is I get to decorate cakes the way I want to. I did decorate a cake for my grandmother's 70th birthday. It was very beautiful. I took her photos which she took while growing and enlarged them. I made steps with the photos showing all her journey until she turned 70. It was amazing. People who were there wanted me to decorate for them. I do like to decorate cakes but I cannot do it full time. So imagine someone who has time, they can turn this into a very big business. You decorate your cake or cookies looking at a client's personality, their favourite colour and other details that bakeries ignore.

Unique Christmas and Holiday Gift Ideas

You know the normal Christmas and holiday gifts for your family and instead of exchanging socks and underwear this year, consider giving a gift you know your loved ones will enjoy. Chocolate cheesecake is one of the best holiday gift ideas for family and friends. Whether your loved ones are chocoholics or just indulge in chocolate cravings every now and then, you are sure to see their faces light up on Christmas morning!

Unique Gift Ideas for Christmas and Other Holidays

No matter which end of the year holiday your loved ones celebrate, they will be excited to unwrap a chocolate cheesecake. The Hershey's swirl cheesecake and Ghirardelli cheesecake are perfect for committed chocolate lovers, while the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake is the best choice for someone who enjoys a little variety.

If your loved ones are not partial to cheesecake - though we are not sure these people actually exist - you can still satisfy their chocolate cravings with cookie and brownie gift buckets. These gift buckets can be customized to make sure your chocolate lover is satisfied!

Gift Cards Make the Best Holiday Gift Ideas

When you just cannot decide what to get the chocolate lover in your family, consider sending that person a gift card! This will allow your loved one to pick the perfect chocolaty gift- and enjoy it well after Christmas and the other holidays have ended. The best part of gift cards is an extension of the holiday season, because your loved ones will be able to choose their own gifts and those gifts will arrive weeks after the holidays have ended

Find Holiday Gift Ideas Online

We all understand the stress that surrounds the end of the year. From fighting traffic to on the way to the mall to trekking through the parking lots and battling shoppers for the last of this year's hot gift, shopping can quickly cause your blood pressure to skyrocket!

This year, you can skip all of the stress, make some hot chocolate and find the perfect unique gift ideas for Christmas. Fire up your computer this holiday season and purchase your gifts online. Shopping online not only takes away the stress of battling the crowds and finding time to get to the mall when it is open, it also removes worries about transporting the present to your loved ones. The convenience of shipping gifts to loved ones is one of the biggest benefits to online shopping during the holiday season. You can shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week - no matter the time zone - to find the perfect gifts for your family.

No matter what kind of chocolate gift you choose for your chocolate lover, he or she is sure to be excited by a chocolate cheesecake gift! Order your chocolate cheesecake - or chocolate cookies and brownies - online today and it will arrive at your loved one's home well before the holidays are here.

Baking Christmas Cookies

As the Christmas Holiday gets closer, it is time to start thinking about baking those Christmas cookies that everyone loves. They are nice to have around the house for those visitors that stop by to wish you a happy holiday. They are also nice to take to the office, to share during the coffee break, and they make nice gifts for friends and family alike.

Here are 5 all time favorites to try.

Apricot Coconut Delight
1- cup salted butter, softened
1- 8 oz cut sour cream
2- cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup apricot preserves (not jelly)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nuts of your choice.

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sour cream until light and fluffy. Combine the salt and flour and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Divide the dough into four equal parts. Wrap each part in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for from 3 to 4 hours or until easy to handle.

2. In a small bowl, combine the apricot preserves, coconut flakes and chopped nuts. set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of sough until it is 1/8 inch thick.

3. Cut into 2-1/2 inch squares, spread each square with a rounded teaspoon of the apricot mixture. Very carefully fold one corner over the filling. Moisten the opposite corner with water and fold over the first corner to seal.

4. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 17 - 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

2+1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2+ 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
1- 12 oz. container of chopped nuts. Pecan or peanuts work great.
8- ounces of chow mein noodles.

Melt butterscotch and chocolate chips in the top half of a double boiler over hot water. (Bring the water to a boil, then stop the boil and work with the hot water.) Make sure that the water does not get into the melting chips. Stir in the nuts, then the noodles. Using a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Let cool. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Cookies
1+1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large Egg
1/2 cup super fine sugar
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (you can change up with chunky peanut butter if you like chunky better)
1/2 cup brown sugar.

1. Shift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
2. In another bowl Cream butter with sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter, creaming after each addition until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg to the peanut mixture and mix thoroughly.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. (if using chunky peanut butter, mix allowing for the peanuts.
5. Drop the mixture onto a ungreased baking sheet, one teaspoon full at a time, spaced about 2 inches apart.
6. Flatten with a fork, then turn the fork 180 degrees and flatten again to make a crisscross pattern on the top of the cookie.
7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 9 - 11 minutes. Remove and place on a cookie rack to cool.

Pecan Meltaways
1 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2+1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
4 ounces granulated pecans for coating
4 ounces confectioners' sugar for coating.

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour and salt: gradually add it to the creamed mixture and mix well. Refrigerate until well chilled.
2. Remove from refrigerator, roll into 1 inch balls and place onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
4. While they are baking, mix the 4 ounces of confectioner's sugar and the 4 ounces of granulated pecans together.
5. Roll the warm cookies in this mixture, remove and let cool. Once cool, roll them in the mixture once again. These are sure to become one of your favorite cookies.

Lemon Drop Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Large Egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel. (This is sometimes available at your local spice shop, or you can make your own.)
1 tablespoon half and half
1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1/2 cup) crushed lemon drops
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, lemon peel and half and half.
2.Combine the flour, lemon drops,baking powder and salt, gradually adding it to the cream mixture, and mix well.
3.Drop, by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, about 3 inches apart.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown lightly.
5.Remove from oven, let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before placing on wire racks to complete the cooling process.
6.If you can find them, it is nice to add a small candied lemon slice on top of each cookie. Ask your local bakery, they use them to decorate cakes and might be willing to sell you some. You will need about 4 dozen, as this recipe makes about that many cookies.

The Holiday Season is a great time to gather the family in the Kitchen and bake cookies together. If you have children, here is where those memories are made. Be sure to make enough, because they have a way of disappearing before you know it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rosette Cookies

Rosette cookies are a cookie made from very light batter that are deep fried. A rosette iron is used to make them. They are of Norwegian origin, and are made as a Christmas treat. Rosette irons come in many shapes and sizes. The more expensive ones are made from cast iron while the less expensive ones are made from cast aluminum. Mine is aluminum and works very well. The most important thing with making rosettes is the temperature of the oil. It must be kept between 365-375 degrees. Any cooler and the cookie won't cook quickly and evenly as it should, any hotter and the cookie may burn or stick to the iron. You can use an electric fryer with a thermostat, but I prefer to use a cast iron skillet and a thermometer. You'll probably have to make slight adjustments to keep the temperature within the 365-375 degree range.

Rosette Cookie Batter
2 eggs1 TBSP sugarsmall pinch of salt1 cup flour1 cup milk1 tsp vanillaBeat together eggs, salt and sugar. Add rest of ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour oil into pan or fryer, making sure to fill no more than half way to allow for expansion of hot oil when food is placed into it. Make sure you have the lid for the pan or fryer close by. There is always a risk of oil catching on fire (although it is minimal if you keep it below 375 degrees) and the best way to douse an oil fire is by placing a lid on it. Safety first!

Make sure rosette iron is clean and dry. After oil comes to temperature. put iron in oil for a minute or two so that it heats up. Shake off excess oil, and dip iron into batter, but not all the way to the top. Leave a quarter inch or so from the top of the iron, otherwise the batter will cook over the iron and the cookie will be difficult to remove.

Place batter-coated iron into hot oil and cook for about 30 seconds or until brown. The cookie may slip off the iron when still in the oil. Just remove it with a metal turner. If the cookie doesn't come off the iron in the hot oil, give it a gentle shake and it usually will fall off, or gently remove it by putting a metal turner edge alongside one of the edges of the cookie. Place it on a wire rack with paper towels underneath to drain. Continue this procedure until all the batter is used up.

It may take a few tries to get a perfect cookie, but with practice you'll be cranking them out in good order. Just remember to keep that temperature between 365-375 degrees and you'll be rewarded with some of the lightest, crispiest cookies you've ever eaten! Once the cookies are done, dust them with powdered sugar and enjoy.

Dessert Ideas for Entertaining Guests at Dinner Parties

You may think the most important part of a dinner party is the dinner - but you would be wrong. While having a delicious dinner and great conversation are key to a successful event, the most important element of your dinner party is the dessert! Likely this will be the last thing your guests remember and can really cap off a good meal and good night in the right way.

Dinner Party Dessert Ideas

Do not stress out about choosing the most fancy dessert ideas for your dinner party. You do not need a flaming pudding or cr?me brulee to excite your guests' palates, instead consider serving your family and friends a delicious cheesecake. There are so many cheesecake flavors you can be sure you will find one to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters. Cheesecake is such a versatile dessert it can be dressed up with chocolate or caramel swirls, decorated with sliced fruit or just left to shine all on its own. No matter how you choose to display your cheesecake, your guests will agree that it is one of the best desserts you can choose!

More Dessert Ideas for Parties

If your guests have a variety of different taste preferences, a whole cheesecake may not be the right dinner party dessert idea. Instead of purchasing a big cheesecake that is all one flavor, consider getting a cheesecake assortment. You have a few of options when choosing assorted cheesecakes. You can get a large "gourmet assortment" cake, which comes with three slices of Mocha, three slices of Turtle, three slices of Original and three slices of the Very Strawberry cake. This assortment has something to please everyone. You can even choose a flavor theme - Chocolate Lovers or a Very Berry- if you know your guests have similar tastes but also appreciate variety.

You can also choose an assortment of mini cheesecakes. This option allows each of your guests to enjoy their very own cheesecake! We will send you a seven-pack assortment of our top selling cakes right now, and your dinner party guests will be able to enjoy Strawberry Swirl, Original, Turtle and Key Lime cheesecakes!

Simple Dinner Party Dessert Ideas

Remove one item from your to-do list by ordering a cheesecake online. Do not waste time driving to and from a bakery or store, just walk to your computer, choose your cake and wait for it to be delivered straight to your door.

Dinner parties are the perfect opportunity for you to gather with friends and family, share a good meal and enjoy each other's company. In all of the hustle and bustle of planning a party, do not forget about serving a fantastic dessert! Let a mail order cheesecake impress your guests before the night has ended

Hoboken's 'Cake Boss' to host reality competition

njo-taxi.jpgFile photoAccording to the Port Authority, a New York City yellow cab flipped just outside the Holland Tunnel after being hit by another car.

Hoboken "Cake Boss" star Buddy Velastro will host a spin-off reality competition series called "Cake Boss: Next Great Baker," which will premiere Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. on TLC. The series will have 10 bakers competing for a coveted position at Velastro's bakery and a cash prize of $50,000. One of the contestants is a Jersey City resident, Greggy Soriano, who calls himself the "Lady Gaga of cake."

A New York City yellow cab overturned Wednesday night just outside the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City when it was struck by a car driven by a juvenile, a Port Authority spokeswoman said. No one was injured.

People from all walks of life broke bread together, swapped stories and gave thanks yesterday at free Thanksgiving Day dinner events across Hudson County. Those who received the meals were not the only ones uplifted by the events--volunteers felt great, too. "I think it's great to help out, especially with your family, to raise your children to know that they should give back to the community," said Sultana Zaman, 24, a volunteer at Friendship Baptist Church in Bayonne.

Ice Cream Cake

This dessert is so easy to make, but you will still be getting raves long after everyone has finished eating it. My neighbor first introduced this to me and I was sure that it was time consuming to make. I also assumed it would probably call for lots of different ingredients. Wow! Did she ever have me fooled! It is so easy to do, and is made using only 5 ingredients. You will also get lots of servings out of each cake. Everyone I have ever served this to, says it certainly gives Dairy Queen a run for their money!. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with a Dairy Queen cake, cause we all know they are delicious! All in all though, they are probably a little more costly than this cake. Another good thing with this cake, is that it can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer covered. No need to be rushing around the day of the event when you have a hundred other things to do, and then having to worry about fixing a mouth watering dessert. The easy part of this cake is the main ingredient is one box of ice cream sandwiches. These usually are chocolate sandwich cookies with vanilla ice cream, but I have run across ones made with strawberry ice cream. It is truly a matter of preference, as either one is quite delicious.

Ingredients Needed:

1 Box of 10 Ice Cream Sandwiches (Rectangular)
1 Jar 11.75 oz. Hot Fudge Topping
1 Jar 11.75 oz. Carmel Topping
2 Small containers 8 ounce of Cool Whip
1 Small Bag of chopped Walnut pieces or Pecans.

Unwrap the sandwich cookies and place 5 of them side by side on an aluminum foil covered cookie tray.

Next warm the hot fudge in the microwave until it is easy to spread. Spoon a layer of hot fudge over the top of the cookies. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes until the hot fudge sets. Next spread a layer of cool whip over the cookies, and also up over the sides, like you were icing a cake Again replace in the freezer for 5 - 10 minutes. Now you will place the other 5 ice cream sandwiches on top of the previous layers. This time heat the Carmel topping in the microwave until it is easy to spread. Spoon this over the sandwiches. Return to freezer for 5-10 minutes until it sets. Next place more Cool Whip on top and spread sides as in icing a cake. Sprinkle the top with nuts and your masterpiece is finished. I have made this cake using the strawberry ice cream sandwiches, and exchanging the Carmel topping for strawberry topping. Don't be afraid to experiment-it is so easy and so delicious!

Dessert Pizza Recipes

The humble but delicious pizza pie recipe began as a means of checking an oven long ago to make sure that it was hot enough to cook the foods that were being prepared. Most often, the dough that was cooked this way was a peasants meal and most likely they were thrilled to have something good to eat at that time. They may have eaten it plain or with some type of meager topping. However, as time passed the many different tastes and themes have evolved into the types of delicious dishes we love to eat today.

For centuries, the pizza pie has been popular in many different regions. The ingredients may vary from one area to another as well as from one family to another. They are made of so many different types of ingredients depending on the taste preferences of those eating it as well as the types of ingredients that are available to any specific region or family.

Enjoying a Dessert Pizza Recipe Anytime

Do you realize that people all over the world are eating pizza as they please? Some eat it as a breakfast meal, others like it for lunch and many families share one or two at the dinner table each evening. Some people even enjoy eating different flavors on it as a dessert. These types of recipes are not limited to tangy and savory dishes; you can make them smooth and sweet in taste and appearance as well. They are great holiday treats as well as something the younger crowd will enjoy during parties and sleepovers. The best thing about them is they are so easy to make that even the kids can get in on making their own favorite dessert.

Adapting Dessert Pizzas is Easy

When you find the dough recipe you like for dessert you can begin adapting such a recipe by including the types of fruits and sweets that you might enjoy eating for any special occasion or as an everyday treat.

Recipe for Fruit Dessert Pizza

What You Need

1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough 18 ounce1 small container thawed whipped topping 8 ounce? cup sliced strawberries? cup sliced bananas? cup sliced seedless grapes? cup drained crushed pineapples

How to Make It

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Press the thawed sugar cookie dough evenly on to a 12 inch cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Place in oven and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown in color. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Using a spatula spread the container of whipped topping over the cool pizza crust evenly. Then you will arrange the various fruits in a festive pattern and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.

Pizza is delicious in many different ways, it just depends on where you are and where you are eating. When you learn how to make your own pizzas as well as learning to make a pizza dough recipe the sky is the limit when it comes to the various ingredients you can include. Make your family happy tonight; visit our website to find even more great recipes you can try.

Wedding Cupcakes

The fad is cupcakes and if you haven't given it a thought sit back and enjoy the reasons why you should choose gourmet cupcakes for your wedding instead of the traditional wedding cake. If you are reading this then you're most like about to celebrate a special and an important day in your life's journey. I congratulate you in your impending marriage.

For those of you who are looking for a change of pace for that big wedding, you may want to consider wedding cupcakes. This definitely puts a whole new twist on things and can give a wedding the edge to make it more unique. Wedding cupcakes are the answer! What a fun way to add spice and pizzazz to a wedding. They can be done to fit the needs of the wedding whether it's casual or formal.

There are a few advantages as well to having wedding cupcakes as opposed to a traditional cake. First off, you can have as many or as little as you want based on the guest list. Cupcakes are the new wedding cake alternative and can be easier to deal with in some cases. Decorate them all the same or you can decorate each one with a different design. You can even find fancy wedding cupcake liners as opposed to wild colors they sell in the stores.

Wedding Cupcake Flavors

When it comes to wedding cupcake flavors, there is a wide variety to choose from. Choose from strawberry, chocolate, marble, carrot, banana, coconut and much more. There are even newer flavors including mocha, vanilla milk chocolate, and pumpkin. No matter what your taste buds crave, there is a wedding cupcake recipe that suits you.

Wedding Cupcake Decorations

There is a wide variety of ways to decorate your wedding cupcakes. Think of the theme and determine decoration items and frosting. You can use fondant icing, whipped cream icing, and butter cream icing to just name a few. There are several others to choose from so find the one that you like the best. Another neat idea is to add some coloring and flavoring to the icing.

Use sprinkles and candies in the shapes of roses and other things. Use glitter dust as well or sugar that sparkles. There are hundreds of creative ideas for decorating your wedding cupcakes to be as formal or casual as you want. Always keep the theme of the wedding in mind as well as the colors.

Displaying Your Wedding Cupcakes

As far as decorating your cupcakes, there are many ideas available as well. There are things such as tiers and other cupcake stands to use to display them nicely. Nowadays, there are even stands sold that are electrical and have a variety of colors that shine on them. Can't find anything that works best for you? Get creative and design your own stands.

Cupcake Wedding Cakes

A cupcake wedding cake is also another great idea. You can have a few tiers of cupcakes and add a sense of class to any wedding. This is becoming a more and more popular idea among brides. Not only can you have more options available to you, but you can also make something beautiful and out of the ordinary. No matter what the theme, wedding cupcakes can add that extra bit of uniqueness to your wedding, and with all the potential designs and ideas available, you are sure to find what fits you the best and your wedding.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup finely ground ginger cookies, store bought or homemade
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted


2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1 pound low-fat plain cream cheese, room temperature
3 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup pecan halves for decorating top of cheesecake

1. Preheat oven to 350?F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Grease an 8 inch spring form pan with either non-stick cooking spray or butter.

2. For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, ginger cookie crumbs, finely chopped pecan pieces, granulated sugar, and melted butter or margarine. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator while you make the cheesecake filling.

3. For Cheesecake: Place the cream cheese into the blender and mix until smooth (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the brown sugar and spices, and beat until smooth and creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well (about 30 seconds) for each addition. Use a spatula to scrape any ingredient that didn't get combined off the sides of the blender. Add vanilla and pumpkin puree and mix well.

4. Pour the pumpkin filling over the chilled ginger crust and place spring form pan on top of a baking sheet to catch any drips. Decorate the top of the cheesecake with pecan halves. Place a cake pan filled half full with hot water on the bottom shelf of the oven to add humidity to the air inside the oven and keep the top of the cheesecake from cracking. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes at 350?F, then reduce the oven temperature to 325?F and bake the cheesecake for another 10-20 minutes until the edges are puffed but the center is still slightly jiggly when the pan is shaken.

5. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake from the spring form pan by gently running a knife around the inside of the pan. Set the cake back on the wire rack (free of the sides of the spring form pan), and cover loosely with aluminum foil. The foil will allow the cheesecake to cool slowly. Once the cake is completely cooled, cover and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 8 hours, or overnight, prior to serving.

'Cake Boss' to chat with Jay Leno on 'The Tonight Show'

cake-boss-snooki-jersey-shore 023.jpgMark Maurer/Hoboken Now"Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro and "Jersey Shore"'s Snooki at Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken. Tonight the "Boss" will sit down for a chat with Jay Leno on NBC's "The Tonight Show." Hoboken's own "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro will sit down for a chat with fellow Italiano Jay Leno on NBC's "The Tonight Show."

Valastro will be Leno's second guest tonight at 11:30 p.m. following Christina Aguilera who will be offering a musical performance from her new movie "Burlesque."

The proprietor of Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop and star of the TLC reality series "Cake Boss" has been busy lately promoting his new book and wrapping up filming on his spin-off competition series "The Next Great Baker."

'Cake Boss' to be named New York Times best-selling author

Baking with the BossJersey Journal file photoValastro's Baking with the Boss Tour, promoting his now New York Times best-selling book, took him to 20 cities, including Jersey City, earlier this fall. Here, he holds a tour poster from The Jersey Journal during his stop at the St. Joseph Parish festival.

Hoboken's "Cake Boss,'' baker Buddy Valastro, is about to be a New York Times best-selling author.

Valastro, who runs Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop on Washington Street, just tweeted the news to supporters.

"Just found out I am going to be an NYT Best Selling Author!'' he wrote. "This is one of the biggest accomplishments - thanks to every1 who bought a copy!"

The book, "Cake Boss," named after his reality show on the TLC network, combines stories of Valastro's family, which is featured prominently on the show, and includes recipes.

'Cake Boss' chef to design cake for Taste of the NFL

"The Boss" is coming to the Fort Worth Convention Center.

No, not that Boss, but the Cake Boss.

Buddy Valastro, a pastry chef who specializes in cakes and stars on the "Cake Boss" reality show on the TLC network, is designing the cake to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Taste of the NFL, which will be at the Convention Center on Feb. 5.

Taste of the NFL has been one of the signature events associated with the Super Bowl for two decades, with proceeds going to local food banks in the city or region hosting the Super Bowl, as well as national food banks.

Chefs from all 32 NFL franchise cities create a signature dish, which guests sample and wash down with wines provided by the Gallo Winery. Since its inception, Taste of the NFL has distributed more than $10 million to food banks around the country to fight hunger.

Valastro will be at the Convention Center for this year's Taste, which is the night before Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium.

In a press release, he is described as a fourth-generation baker who inherited the family business when he was only 17 and his father died. Carlo's Bakery is in Hoboken, N.J.

Taste of the NFL is from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 5, with tickets priced at $500.

A VIP ticket is $600 and a corporate table seating 10 is $6,000. VIPs and those who purchase tables are admitted at 6 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Looking for comments?

Sponsored Giveaway: Buddy Valastro, The Learning Channel's Cake Boss, at The Orpheum on November 17, 2010

Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss (Courtesy of TLC)

New Jersey’s Buddy Valastro, whom you may know as The Cake Boss, just became a New York Times best selling author. He’ll also be appearing live at The Orpheum next Wednesday, November 17th, on the Los Angeles stop of his “Bakin’ With The Boss” tour. It’s going to be a family-friendly evening of stories and cake demonstrations inside one of the most beautiful venues LA has to offer.

So how, exactly, do you get to spend an evening with the Boss of The Learning Channel? You can see about tickets here – and/or enter my giveaway for two tickets (value ~$100). Make sure you do BOTH things below to enter. If I pick your name and you haven’t done both to qualify your entry, I’ll have pick another one:

Leave a comment below (make sure you use an email that you check regularly so I can easily contact you) with your favorite cake flavor in the whole wide world and your Twitter account or Facebook URL (see #2).Either Tweet the below:

I just entered to win 2 tickets to The Cake Boss @LAOrpheum on 11/17 by @estarLA

or if you prefer Facebook, “like” my blog page on Facebook.

The contest ends Monday (11/15) afternoon at 4PM, when I’ll pick the winner at random. The winner wins two tickets to Bakin’ With The Boss next Wednesday!!

Good luck!!

Cake Boss a real 'Buddy'

Everyone should have a boss like Buddy.

Buddy Valastro, aka The Cake Boss, sweet faced shining star of the TLC thanks to the hit Number One TV series of the same name.

In his early 30s, he seems pretty young to carry such a huge responsibility of a famous bakery — Carlo's Bakery in New Jersey — and TV show. But on meeting him one know instinctively he's an old soul, humble at that — yet someone who can instill order with just a stern look and a couple of choice words.

Valastro lives and breathes a sweet industry that, in his world, is all about La Familigia — My Family.

And, judging from the popularity of the star, don't we all want to be part of his close-knit clan.

In town recently to meet and greet his thousands of adoring fans (I kid you not) at a book signing in Toronto for his book, Cake Boss - Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia (Simon & Schuster) - Buddy up close and personal is an absolute gem, a straight shooter with the clearest gaze who thinks nothing of stopping and talking and taking pictures with everyone who comes in his path.

Gracious sums up a young man who had young girls giggling, older women slightly swooning and men jumping over each other just to shake his hand. Valastro went one further and offered hugs, including the manly, touch-the-shoulders-first type of hug guys give each other. He was all Buddy.

Not too tall and much slimmer than on TV, Valastro makes himself at home to talk about his life, his loves - family first all the time - and his book.

Cake Boss is just as bold and colourful as the cast of characters Buddy's at the helm of. It's a delightful read — poignant, articulate, with the story of his family and his life cleanly-written in a style that begs one to finish each page quickly in order to get on to the next.

Sort of like diving into a slice of one of his legendary cakes. The book supplies some pretty fine recipes, too.

"This isn't my story, but my family's," says Buddy over a plate of fresh Italian pastries and a cup of cappuccino. "It's about the relationship I had with my late father, who I lost when I was only 17-years-old.

"It's my parents story and my grandparents story, the immigrant experience and how we all became stronger because of it."

It's also the remarkable story of how the baking experience passed down throughout the generations is not so much about creating beautiful cakes as it is about searching for one's true artistic nature — cake as canvas if you will.

"My father was an artist in the truest sense," says Valastro. "He had big shoes to fill."

These are shoes that Valastro has filled quite nicely, his culinary creations clearly demonstrating a gift definitely passed down from his dad. Valastro admits he still gets excited "taking the cake orders and later seeing the look on customers faces when they see the end product — I get emotional along with them."

In fact, Valastro is emotional in that comforting sense of a family member who genuinely cares for the well-being of those around him. He talks about how he was asked to participate in making a dying child's wish come true when she asked to spend time with Buddy.

"I had no idea how ill this little girl was. She came in and we had a ball — even though she was so weak she had trouble mixing the icing in the bowl. After she left I had to lock myself in my office and just bawl. Later I went home and hugged my kids tighter than ever."

This and other incidences in his life — the soldier on duty in Afghanistan who wrote and told him how his show helped him escape the reality of his life if only for an hour every week — has grounded Valastro, and kept him humble.

"I have nothing to complain about in my life — nothing," says Valastro candidly. "My family, my work — there really is nothing more I need."

Valastro's messaging is simple but powerfully inspiring: "I want to tell people, look if I can do this, you can. If you have a dream, keep it front and centre and go for it. Hard work does pay off. You can achieve what you want — stay focused. And believe in yourself."

Buddy stops for a moment, collects his thought, offers a brilliant smile and a good-bye hug.

"Come visit — don't be a stranger," he says.

Fits right in

The Cake Boss in person is akin to rubbing shoulders with rock-star royalty. And to meet the man everyone is going gaga over can only be considered one sweet assignment. That said — we want Buddy to feel as much at home here in Canada as he does back in Hoboken, New Jersey, the place of his birth, and where his famous Carlo's Bake Shop (which has now become one of the biggest tourist attractions to hit New York state) is situated.

Planning takes on a decided clock and dagger element, much like an episode of the Sopranos. We decide to set up a meeting in a ....local bakery. Messina's in Toronto, family-run and manned by people named Francesco and Sal Sr., and home to one of the finest cannoli desserts in town.

The place is also a tad reminiscent of Buddy's home turf.

Still — we worry about Buddy's reaction. Will he think we're nuts? Flee back into the safety of his limo and hightail it back home?

Well, it sounded like a good idea when I started planning it weeks ago. Day of the event — running out into busy traffic sounded like a better plan, especially when the interview ran late because the book signing was such a success — extra books were being driven in via cabs.

I'm darting around Messina's like a maniac, eyeing everyone with suspicion — was the cat let out of the bag? Why are customers dawdling over the fresh baked bread rack? Why the sudden interest in supresata? It's a wonder the owners didn't throw me out when I furiously started barking out orders for fresh coffee — presto!

And then a black limo pulls up and out pops Buddy, casually folding his jacket into the back seat — and starting the conversation with a big hug. "Hiya doin'?" says Buddy, the Hoboken clearing coming through. "Gawd — this is great!" he says when he sees where he's been taken. I go weak in the knees.

Buddy walks in to the bakery and the excitement kicks into high gear.

People start whispering and pointing and....he stops and has a word here, a smile, there, a handshake, a hug, as he actually makes time for everyone. He casually walks throughout the bakery, even popping into the back to chat amiably with the pastry chef. Cameras are whipped out at Superman speed and pens are offered for signing. A plate of fresh pastries are quickly offered and Buddy takes a bite into each one, nodding thoughtfully, smiling with pleasure, even answering some questions in his American-tinged Italian.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Speaking With ... Buddy Valastro The 'Cake Boss'

You may not immediately know the name Buddy Valastro, but mention the ?Cake Boss? and recognition is almost instantaneous. The star of the hit TLC series that bears his famous moniker, Valastro has written his first book, Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia, ($25.99, Free Press). The book is his official homage to his family, and especially his late father, who crafted the family bakery business in New Jersey decades ago and who instilled a work ethic in his son that Valastro says is something he will pass on to his own children. The book contains 38 recipes, but it?s the stories of Valastro?s immigrant Italian-American family that make the book much more than just another celebrity chef how-to.

Valastro is in town this weekend for a book signing at Borders in Chicago today and an interactive stage show at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan tonight.

Question: You could have written a full-out cookbook, but your family?s story is the crux of this book.

Buddy Valastro: I wanted people to read my family?s story and be inspired by that. It?s dedicated to my dad because I came to realize what a great man he was. I owe everything to him. The seeds of the work ethic that he planted in me make me what I am today. He lived the American dream; I?m extending it. I?m a pretty lucky guy.

Q: Do you think the book paints a whole different portrait of the Cake Boss?

BV: I wanted to put out the right message of who I am. I?m a good family man. I preach that if you want things in life and you work hard, you will get them.

Q: How did you start your love affair with making cakes?

BV: At a very young age. I knew I was gifted with cake decorating. I just started seeing visions of bigger and grander cakes. I would concentrate on making things that weren?t supposed to be cakes.

Q: Is there a cake you can?t make?

BV: There?s no ?can?t.? Determination is the key. Last week, I had to make a cake in the shape of a toilet bowl ? that flushed. I had no idea how to make it, but I knew I wasn?t gonna stop until I did it. And we did it. And it flushed.

Q: What?s your all-time favorite cake?

BV: My father?s cream puff cake.

Q: What?s the most expensive cake you?ve made to date?

BV: The price was $40,000, but I can?t tell you who it was for. But look, you can come in and buy a $3 cupcake or a half-sheet cake and it?s made with the same love and dedication. It?s all about making the customer happy.

Q: What?s your signature recipe?

BV: I took my dad?s recipes and changed a lot of them to make them my own. But if I had to pick one of the many that I created from scratch, I?d have to say I?m proud of my vanilla cake recipe.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Frozen Yogurt Maker

When trying to lose weight, people often make the mistake of denying themselves treats. This guilt trip often does not work and a person trying to lose weight is often demotivated. A frozen yogurt maker can allow you to make your own lower calorie treats.

While it is possible to buy frozen yogurt from a store or a restaurant you cannot always be sure what you are getting. It may contain artificial additives, sweeteners or preservatives, a particular concern if you have children. With a yogurt maker, you control what goes into it and are ultimately responsible for what goes inside. Again if you have children it is a great way of getting them to eat more fruit and making it fun.

When using the machine you need to pour in the liquid ingredients first. As these are stirred in by the machine you can then add solid ingredients such as strawberries, blueberries, chocolate chips or nuts. Ultimately it is up to you what you add and there is a large number of possible combinations.

Yogurt makers vary in both size and how long they take to produce frozen yogurt. Some can make a quart in around 20 minutes, while others can take up to 40 minutes. This is worth noting as you may want to do a batch for the week and a shorter amount of time can make all the difference.

A lot of models come with recipe books. This is a great way to start using your machine and getting used to what to add and in how much quantity. As you become more confident you can start experimenting with your own recipes. This can often be a lot of fun as you find out what works best.

If you are still not sure it is worth looking at demonstration videos online. It is worth noting how each model looks and how easy it seems to use. If it seems complicated in a video then it is probably not worth buying. On the other hand if a machine seems easy to use that is the ideal model for you.

Finally check reviews carefully to see what you buy when getting a frozen yogurt maker. You should be able to find out the warranty and the contents of the machine. Ideally you should be able to find one with storage jars or a recipe book. If not you can get recipes and advice on the best storage online.

Chocolate Cake Bakery

There's truly nothing more tempting and so heavenly than being able to enjoy a rich and luscious serving of chocolate cake. When it comes to cake decorations, chocolate is king. There is great value in learning how to properly master the art of using chocolate for cake decorations and it will certainly go a very long way in terms of presentation. But before you start delving into the various methods and recipes available let's start with the basics first. It would be a great injustice to take chocolate very lightly.

First, you need to learn how to melt chocolate. The problem that most beginners have is that they tend to melt the chocolate a bit too quickly. In order to melt it properly, the chocolate must first be broken down methodically. Whether the piece or chunk is sliced or shaved, the heat must be made to work on the entire surface area of the chocolate being melted in order for it to be of uniform smoothness. The best way of doing so is to place the pieces into a small container and putting it inside a pot of warm or hot water. Note that boiling water is not advised at all. The chocolate will begin to melt evenly but do not forget to stir. Keep at it until the chocolate becomes completely melted and without any lumps or chunks. Once the chocolate has been properly melted, you can now begin the process of shaping and forming the chocolate into any desired shape or purpose.

Making curls and cutouts from the chocolate is made possible once the chocolate has reached a certain velvety smoothness. In order to do so, the chocolate should be spread evenly onto a flat surface like a metal baking pan or cookie sheet. It should be left to cool by itself at room temperature.

Chocolate curls are made by scraping the chocolate with a metal spatula. If done properly, the chocolate will start forming curls as it is being scraped. Place the scraped chocolate onto some parchment in order to allow it to cool and harden further.

Chocolate cutouts, on the other hand, are just as easy to make as the chocolate curls. All it takes is to simply use a sharp knife or other tool available to make the desired shape or design. Depending on the situation, even a cookie cutter will work just as well for the job.

Besides melting the chocolate, there's also another important method of using chocolate for making simple yet very stunning effects on any cake. This is with the use of sifted cocoa powder. The process involves topping the cake with a stenciled paper design and slowly sprinkling the cocoa powder onto the cake. Once the design is removed, what results is a very nice design with a powdered accent.

Now that the basics have been covered, more advanced steps or techniques can now be started. Feel free to get the basics right first and then build on that foundation. Everyone loves a delicious chocolate cake so taking the time to properly prepare one will certainly reap a lot of satisfaction in the long run.

Cakes for Every Occasions Bakery

Have you noticed how custom cakes have changed the way that we have enjoyed this ultimate party essential? No party or occasion is ever complete without a slice of our favorite cake. In the past, a round, square or rectangular shaped cake would do. We would either have it in chocolate, mocha or vanilla. Others would even have multi-tiered cake for weddings and other special occasions. Today, it's interesting to see the kind of colors, shapes and designs that makers of custom cakes are able to whip up!

These cakes are popular regardless of the occasion. It could be a birthday party, a wedding, an anniversary celebration or the graduation party of a loved one. Cake decorators have also added toppers, depending on your unique taste. While these custom cakes can vary in size and shape, the toppers can add to the creativity and design of the cake.

You may have also noticed that custom cakes are a lot more creative than before. This is most commonly seen in children's birthday parties. Young celebrants have enjoyed custom cakes that take the shape of toys, cartoon characters or animals. Custom cakes can come in practically any design! Whether it's a cake in the shape of a trendy purse for the fashionista or a caricature of the birthday celebrant, one would surely enjoy seeing these tasty looking custom cakes.

The flavors of them have also been specialized for your unique taste. While we have enjoyed the classic chocolate and vanilla versions, there are several other flavors for you to choose from. From cheesecake to fruit flavors and those with ice cream, these cakes are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. For those who are a bit more health conscious, there are also some sugar free versions that you can take pleasure in.

If you want a different kind of treat, there are also some custom cakes that made up of little cupcakes. You can mix and match flavors, frostings and fillings. The cake toppers can be unique for every single cupcake. Cake making and decorating has definitely evolved from being just a simple recipe to a work of art! You can even choose to personalize your cake and create your own design. These specialty bake shop coordinators would normally sit down with you so you can tell them exactly what you want. They will help you visualize your dream cake and whip up a cake that your guests will surely love!

If you want to order these custom cakes to celebrate a special moment in your life, make sure that you are able to determine the theme of your party first. It is best to place the order a couple of weeks in advance to make sure that you can get it in time for your special event. You can try to find these custom cakes online or from any local bakery within your area. Take the time to choose the right size, design and flavor that will complement your party perfectly.

Bakery and Cake Decorating

Nothing is better than looking down at your beautiful cake creation and knowing that it was your hard work that made it happen, right? But let's get real, this is not a perfect world and if you're like most beginners, the decorating is the most frustrating part. But fret not, there are a few things you can do that will quickly and cheaply get you into the cake decorating game.

Create A Mental Picture- As with any artistic or inspired endeavor, you must bring a non-existent thing into being. I know this might sound a bit lofty, just stick with me. Try to think about the cake you want to make. Get as detailed as you can. Think about why you're making the cake, who you're making it for, and what could be incorporated into the theme. What colors do you want to use? What techniques or tools will you use? Become familiar with what your cake looks like before you ever begin.

Pictures Come Into Focus- Look at pictures online or in baking magazines or books for some last-minute ideas and begin to sketch out your cake. This is just another step in the creative process. It doesn't have to be a great drawing you just want to get your brain used to the idea of creating this cake. It may sound funny, but trust me, this will definitely help.

Ready, Set, Practice- Break out your favorite tips and frosting bags and practice your frosting techniques. Bring together your colors and style in the ways you envisioned on a dinner plate, it's that easy. For a more advanced practice you could even lay down some icing on a shoe box.

Finally, bring your cake to life. At this point you'll be so familiar with your cake, it should come fairly easy. These simple steps will greatly reduce the stress and frustration of cake decorating as the creative process gradually unfolds. It may not always be the most practical method, but give it a try at least once, and keep practicing.