Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Review--Blackmarket Bakery

Hello Sweet Readers! I hope your week has started off well. I wanted to share a bit about a little out of the way place in Costa Mesa, CA (in Orange County). It's called Blackmarket Bakery. You can see the unassuming ship above and the not-so-unassuming car below...
The shop in is a business park near the Orange County Airport. It's actually near another fabulous find..in scrapbooking. My favorite scrapbooking store of all time is right around the corner. I found "Scrapbook Oasis" a few years ago while visiting family and that is just the best store. Now that I am also baking, I found this and was so pleased! I grew up in Orange County and this is now smack dab in between my MIL's home and my mom's home. How very convenient, huh? :)
Anyhow, back to the review..my husband and I went one morning on one of our Southern California trips before visiting my mom. They were very friendly and helpful. The shop is very small and they are actually only open for retail business on a limited basis, but you can see the kitchen and all the magic going on in there. We were even offered some samples that were very delicious. They use all natural ingredients and really pride themselves on being unique. Check out their website: http://www.blackmarketbakery.com/cakes.html.

We ordered the blackberry almond brioch and an apricot cranberry scone. There is no place to sit and eat there so we went around the corner and got our fix of Starbucks with which to enjoy our treasures.
They both looked so delicious and they lived up to their good looks. I ended up liking my husband's choice (the brioche) more (as is typically the case when we choose different things), and so he graciously let me eat most of it. What a great hubby, huh? Anyhow, I would definately recommend visiting them if you live in the area or are going to Orange County. Some day, I have to try one of their fun cakes. They just cannot be passed up.

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Boxed Gift Truffles for a Friend

Hello Sweet Readers!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. It has spiked to 104 degrees here in Sacramento! Hot!

Here are some cupcake truffles I made for a friend's birthday awhile back. I posted some pics of them out of the box before, but I wanted to share these all packaged up. This is something I would really like to get as a gift, so I hope she did, too!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just Rosey

Hi Sweet Readers! I hope you had a fabulous week! It's Friday, so that has to be good news!

Here is a mini cuppie rose bouquet that I made for a church picnic a few weeks back. It was neat to have a little edible decoration on the table. :)
Have a great weekend and enjoy some special sweets if you can!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Funky Fun Cake and Happy Birthday Elisabeth and Brady!



Happy Summer, Sweet Readers!

Here is a cake I made for a small church potluck a couple weeks ago. It's a hazelnut cake with nutella whipped cream filling and vanilla buttercream. I made these cool carmelized hazelnuts to top it and make it somewhat funky. I have to say, they were fun to make, but they really made a mess of my kitchen. I got the idea from the new Martha Stewart "Cupcakes" cookbook. I couldn't resist making them after seeing her photo. I will do them again on cupcakes, but I will take better care to protect my kitchen, that's for sure.

The cake and filling recipe is from my "Whimsical Bakehouse" Cookbook. It was delicious and a huge hit. I have to make this again. The flavor was spectacular and it was very moist. The whipped cream was light, but the Nutella really set it off.

On a personal note, today I wish my niece Elisabeth and my good buddy Brady very special birthdays. I love you both very much!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!



Happy Father's Day to all my readers who are fathers out there! You guys have a very important and special part in the family that is absolutely indispensable and wonderful! I am grateful for my dad and for my sweet husband who is just the greatest dad to our kids anyone could hope or pray for. I pray you will all be blessed in a special way today.

These are some cupcake truffles..sort of. OK, well they are not cupcake truffles, but chocolate chip cookie dough truffles that I made after seeing a yummy-looking recipe on the blog "Baked Perfection". They are made without eggs..and baking soda, so they are safe to eat and they are just delicious! Things are a stick are fun to look at and sometimes even more fun to eat, don't you think?

Enjoy and have a great week, sweet readers!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Review - Gigi's Cupcakes in Napa

Hello Sweet Readers! I wanted to share about a cute little cupcakery we went to while visiting Napa a few weeks ago. It's called "Gigi's Cupcakes" and it was a darling little shop nestled in an unassuming little strip mall near the outlet mall in Napa. The bakery is not named after the owner, Laura, but after her cute little dog. Sweet, huh? She even has a cute picture of her along with some children posted in her shop.
This is a photo of me in front of the store. You can see my hubby taking it in the glass! Too funny!
This is the beautiful little cuppie we tried. I love her packaging and logo. Very sweet. The cupcake was a lemon meringue beauty. I thought the lemon curd filling was delicious and the frosting was very light and airy, just right for the cupcake flavor. The cake was a tad bit dry, so I was happy the yummy filling was there! She had many flavors and they were all very tempting looking.
This is her adorable shop. I love her display of wonderful cupcake items and other sweet related goodies. So tempting!!
Here's Laura, the owner. She was very sweet to share with me about her shop and her passion. She loves what she does and sooo made me want to start my own shop! Maybe someday!

Do visit Gigi's if you are in the area. It's very close to the outlets, so you can get a cupcake or two and give yourself some energy for some shopping...or, some food in your body to go wine tasting :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

See My Graduation Cuppies on CCTC and Whimsical Bakehouse!

Hi Sweet Readers~ Just wanted to share some fun with you...
Some of my graduation cupcakes have received a shout-out on the fabulous blogs "Cupcakes Take the Cake" (http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/2009/06/graduation-cupcake-roundup.html) and "The Whimsical Bakehouse"(http://whimsicalbakehouse.blogspot.com/2009/06/lisas-graduation-cupcakes.html) . Fun for me, and fun to know that others are enjoying my baking. I love to do it and it makes my day when my goodies put smiles on people's faces~ Yeah~!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Have a Ball!

Hi Sweet Readers! Just wanted to check in and share a single cuppie I made for a friend's sweet daughter. She is such a sweet girl and was playing in a softball tourney a few weekends back. We were able to see part of the game and were so thrilled for her. My sons made her an encouraging sign and I made her an encouraging cupcake! I think it helped her focus :)


I hope you have a fantastic day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Graduation Cupcakes!


Hey folks! I am doing another quick post to show you these photos of the 6 dozen kinder celebration cuppies I made for my son's school. There were three kinder classes and many parents and guest gathered to celebrate these sweet children. Not one cuppie left :)

I topped them with a mortar board made out of either a Reese's PB cup or a caramel cup and a chocolate covered cookie. I used a mini M&M for the top and some fun sour candy strings cut to size (thanks, Bakerella, for the inspiration)! The cuppies were a huge variety of flavors and frostings. The kiddos loved them! Happy Graduation to all you hard workers out there and have a fabulous week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Truffles in the Grass

Hello Sweet Readers! I hope you have a sweet Sunday...I am recovering from a week of many cupcakes and a big dinner party last night! Just finished a cake to bring to a church meeting in an hour... I hope to post more soon! Have a great rest of your weekend and enjoy this photo of some cupcake truffles with candy flowers on top!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Carrot Cake Birthday Cake

Hi Sweet Readers! I hope this little guy makes you smile!! I am sooo busy this week with school ending, school parties and an upcoming dinner party, but I wanted to check in and share this birthday cake with you. Cute, huh?
A trainer at my gym loves the carrot cake I make and so his wife called to ask me to make him a birthday cake with which to surprise him. Little did she know (until I told her) that he had asked me to make him one a couple weeks earlier. So I basically had to ignore him for two weeks so I wouldn't spill the beans. He was surprised and he liked it, I was told. Yea!

Have a great rest of your week! Hope to catch you back here soon with lots of goodies :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Hello Sweet Readers!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was packed and fabulous! We took a fun trip to Napa (more to share on that later) and visited with friends for an after church picnic, Saturday softball game and pool party after the Sunday picnic! Phew! I am tired.

Still, I am currently working on some vanilla Parisian macaroons that I had to make after trying them at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville (near Napa) yesterday. They were so incredibly amazing! I have the cookbook from the founder of Bouchon and the French Laundry (Thomas Keller) checked out from the library. (I think it weighs about 20 pounds!) We shall see if I can recreate the incredible cookie my hubby and I shared yesterday...they were $3 for each cookie and well worth it, let me tell you!

In the meantime, here are some cupcakes I made for an order for a preschool graduation. I made the caps by hand using the chocolate method. I think they are rustic, but cute. I hope you like them! I will be doing another variation on the graduation cap for my kindergartner's party this Friday, so stay tuned for those.

Have a sweet week!

Woot! These were published on one of my favorite blogs,
"The Whimsical Bakehouse", named after the fabulous cookbook I also love..yeah! http://whimsicalbakehouse.blogspot.com/2009/06/lisas-graduation-cupcakes.html

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

With a Cherry on Top...

Hello Sweet Readers!

Cherries are everywhere around here lately, so here are some cuppies to commemorate it! They are chocolate malt cupcakes with cherry vanilla buttercream. The funny thing is, I tried to pipe the frosting on these babies and guess what? Cherries clog my trusted 1M tip (duh!), so that was a no go. I had to actually free form the frosting :) I later tried the icing on some other cuppies with a huge open star tip and it worked perfectly (see this post http://smileyssweetsandcreations.blogspot.com/2009/05/dog-gone-cupcakes.html).

Live and learn.


Have a fabulous and sweet day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jumbo Pretties

Hello Sweet Readers~ I hope you had a fabulous weekend! I cannot believe it is already June!

Here are a couple jumbo cupcakes I made for an order. They were filled with delightful buttercream and I topped them with more buttercream and some more test roses. I actually like making the roses; however, they are very particular about what kind of frosting they want. They seem to do best with the stiffer frosting that doesn't taste all that great. These were made with a very yummy buttercream, and I have to say, I just like the thought of eating that better than "decorator" frosting. I also did some with Italian meringue buttercream and they came out pretty good. That stuff is the bomb in terms of taste. Well, I'll keep trying (and eating all my failures :)

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