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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Halloween Stinks

Get in the mood early.

Halloween fragrance by Jesus Del Pozo at

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Shower Gel at Bath & Body Works

Halloween Bath Set from Colorful

A message to the Googler from Antioch, California...
Gummy Fetus candy? I like your thinnin' Baba Louie but it doesn't seem to have been invented yet. Why? Cuz it's really sick to want to eat a fetus. Even a candy one.
Other baby-theme candies to try:
Baby Bottle Pop
Sugar Babies
Lollipops in the shape of baby feet
Cry Baby gumballs
Gummy Sea Babies
Licorice Babies
Chocolate Babies (sic)
Baby Stick Climbers
and a product I'm not familiar with: Baby Lucas Candy from Mexico in flavors of Mango, Spicy Orange and Chamoy (Isn't that what I dry my car with after a wash?)

I have answered a question about storing Confectioner's Sugar at Ask a Pastry Chef

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rey Mysterio Jr. Cherry Jalapeno Cup Cake

Rey Mysterio Jr. is a spicy little cupcake doing the famous 619 move. I’ve made a spicy cup cake in his honor.

In order to fulfill my personal tall order of creating a dessert or cupcake to meet the requirements of two very different contests, I had to do some fancy thinkin’. The Bake-off hosted by Bake & Destroy had a very tight deadline. In trying to break my blogger’s block I probably needed the tight deadline to keep myself on track and not procrastinate as I’m prone to do [ahem] once in a while.

So here are the rules I needed to follow:
Slush, the creator of the contest Cupcake Hero says,” While I am still on Cupcake Hero hiatus, we have 2 very cool hosts for the month. Rachel of Tangerine Tart and Teri of the 90/10 rule. I am always super excited to see what other people will chose as the theme. To say that I raised an eyebrow when I read the email with their choice would be completely accurate. I seriously thought, huh?? However, the Hero isnt meant to be easy. I give you the theme ingredient for August…Jalapeno
So here’s the deal–
*You must incorporate jalapeños in your entry.
*You may use jalapeños in any form.
*Sweet cupcakes only, no savory. (sorry, Bacon-Cheddar-Jalapeño-Salsa-Cornbread variations) “
Bake & Destroy’s Sugar Slam! The sweetest wrestling-themed bake-off on the entire Internet. Yeah. In your face, other baking contests! Create a wrestling-themed dessert that entertains me and you win.
Um, that’s all. I don’t really like rules. If it’s sugary and wrestling-themed it’s eligible.

I hope that Rachel and Teri don’t think it’s cheating to use a box cake mix. I’m normally really a stickler for making everything from scratch but I have never tried to convert the list of dry ingredients in my vanilla cake into a box-mix format. Perhaps that can be for another blog. I also hope they don’t realize that what I have made is Dump Cake in a cup. SHHhhhhh

The Recipe

Cherry Jalapeno Cup Cake

2 Pounds Bing cherries, pitted & chopped
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Cup water
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Bring to a boil over medium heat then continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half, about 40 minutes.

Then add
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ Cup Jalapeno jam*

Remove from heat and stir in
¼ Cup Kirsch or other cherry brandy

Divide the cherry mixture among 4 large café cups.

1 stick salted butter, melted
1 box yellow cake mix
Sprinkle over the top of the cherry mixture then sprinkle
¾ Cup slivered almonds, if desired

Place the filled cups in a water bath and bake at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until the topping becomes golden brown.

Ceramic cups are typically not oven safe however, placing the cups in a water bath protects them from heating too quickly which can cause cracking or shattering. Place the filled cups in a baking pan then place the whole works on the oven shelf then fill the baking pan with hot water then carefully slide it to the middle of the oven. I’ve seen this done before but was still quite nervous about it. You can see the cups fared just fine.

Be very careful when taking the pan out of the oven after baking. Not much water evaporates during baking and 350 degree water is really hot, if you didn’t already figure that out.

*I used only ¼ cup of the Jalapeno jam in my filling because I wanted a little heat but if you’re really into hot stuff, add whatever amount suits your taste. I bought the jam at my local Amish Farmer’s market and the ingredients are: Red peppers, sugar, corn syrup, Jalapeno peppers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, pectin, citric acid. Straight out of the jar it is spicy but still a bit sweet.

The cherries and spices of this dish marry surprisingly well with the Jalapeno. When you’re looking for a summer dessert to bring to the neighborhood Mexican-themed block party, double the filling and place it in a 9x13 cake pan. Sprinkle on the cake mix, drizzle with melted butter, almonds and bake for 25 minutes. Arriba!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grommie Returns

Mwahaha... [creepy music]

Rather than bore you with a lot of blather about where I've been and why all two of my adoring fans should continue reading here I'll tantalize you the promise of a new recipe in the next couple of days.
I'm trying to make it under the dead (get it? dead) line for a couple of interesting baking competitions I found.
One from Cupcake Hero (I've entered Slush's contests before).
One from Bake & Destroy.

Check them out and see if you can imagine how I will work those contests into one big tasty concoction. Then come back to see what I actually came up with.