Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ace of Cakes on Cupcake Wars!

I love me some Ace of Cakes! Tonight's Cupcake Wars challenge is for Duff's 100th episode celebration of Ace of Cakes! Wow, what an honor to be able to do that! I am really excited to tune into this episode!

Just curious, does anyone else find it strange that Duff is having cupcakes served at his celebration, when he talks SOOO much smack about them on his show? Just sayin!

Tune in tonight 9PM on the Food Network!

Friday, June 25, 2010

All Things Cupcake showcases my cupcakes!

I just love this site! And, what's even sweeter is they showcased me again! This time taking notice of my Sea Life Friends cupcakes which helped raise money for the wildlife in the Gulf. All proceeds continue to go directly to the National Wildlife Federation to help all in need due to the disastrous oil spill! So order some up today!!!

Please take a moment to check me out on All Things Cupcake

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A fresh new look!

Many of you may have noticed the new look to The Cupcake Cauldron! For all of you that have contact me through email, thanks for all the compliments!

Recently, a very talented friend of mine illustrated my new banner! Chatting over our usual Thursday night fare, sushi and cupcakes, we talked about the new look for my blog. I had a vision, but needed someone to help me execute it!

So who is the artistic genius? Jon Rivera is a comic book artist from Mahwah, NJ. He is a graduate of SVA in NYC. He is also co-author of the brutally honest and hilariously funny comic book, Heartbreak! (Trust me people, all those stories are real!) He is also my BFF!

Check out his blog!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vegan Cupcakes by Chef Chloe

I had the opportunity to talk cupcakes with Cupcake Wars winner, Chloe Coscarelli! I am pretty excited to see a Vegan cupcake baker kick some butt on the Food Network! I intend on trying her Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake recipe! Looks delicious!

1. Who is your biggest inspiration in the baking world? And why did you choose cupcakes?
Candace Nelson of Sprinkles cupcakes is my biggest inspiration as a pastry entrepreneur. It was thrilling to have her enjoy my cupcakes! I love cupcakes because they are individual bites of goodness.

2. What is your secret to making vegan cupcakes delicious?
I do tons of recipe testing to make sure that I can make my cupcakes taste as good as, if not better, than traditional cupcakes. I use high quality ingredients like Valrhona cocoa, Madagascar Vanilla, and imported Italian Espresso. Oh, and coconut milk is my secret to a moist cupcake.

3. Would you ever compete in something like Cupcake Wars again?
Competitions are lots of fun, so who knows what's in store for the future!

4. What is your favorite cupcake flavor, and why?
Anything chocolate. I'm a chocoholic for sure. My favorite cupcake is probably my Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Recipe, which you can find on my blog at www.chefchloe.com. Let me know how you like it!

Vegan Wins!

Vegan cupcakes can get a bad rap. Honestly, I am a huge fan of vegan cupcakes! There is a vegan cupcakery just a few towns over and I am constantly choosing them over the traditional cupcake. I have also baked vegan cupcakes before and they are so moist and delicious! Check out Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Last night on Cupcake Wars the winner was a Vegan cupcake baker from L.A. Personally, I thought Chloe shined through the entire episode, but even at the end it seemed really close!

Congratulations Chef Chloe!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Match Making Party

Don't forget to tune in tonight at 9PM for Cupcake Wars!

Chocolate Coke Float!

Nothing screams Summer like an ice cream float on a hot day! I was completely inspired to create a cupcake version of a Coke float! I made a moist chocolate cake, and swirled a Coca-Cola buttercream frosting on top! Each was decorated with a vintage red and white stripped straw, sprinkles and a cherry! Now how cute is that?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweets cupcakes at The Hershey Hotel

I had the pleasure of visiting Hershey, PA this past weekend! And to my surprise, it was a lot of fun! We skipped the whole amusement park thing, and spent most of our time exploring the town that Milton Hershey built, checking out the museums and stores, and of course tasting all the delicious treats Hershey, PA had to offer!

I was most excited to visit Sweets cupcakes at the famous Hershey Hotel. It was a very small shop, but adorably decorated. It had plenty of little cupcake themed gifts, cupcake cookbooks, and of course their signature cupcakes baked with Hershey ingredients.

I chose 3 "taste" sized cupcakes: smores, chocolate & peanut butter, and of course the red velvet. My favorite was the peanut butter. The smores had a graham cracker cake, which had a little too much cinnamon for my liking. The red velvet went down pretty easy too. They were super moist and delicious and very cute on presentation (which is super important to me!) I also tried one of their "classic" sized cupcakes. I chose the vanilla with pink vanilla frosting. The cake was yummy and moist and the frosting was very light.

Overall, I was pretty impressed and enjoyed what Sweets had to offer. I highly recommend it if you plan on visiting Hershey park this summer!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes!

Not that this would come as a surprise, but I am completely obsessed with all things Harry Potter! The films, the books, the music, the scarfs, etc!

I am super excited that today was the grand opening of Universal Studio's Harry Potter theme park! So to celebrate, I thought I would post a photograph of cupcakes I made for a party I hosted last year. It was a Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince party!

I made delicious devil's food cupcakes with ribbons of peanut butter frosting! I also made cute little fondant pumpkins for a decoration. Hedwig is standing by to make sure no one sneaks a
cupcakes before the dessert is served!

Expecto Patronum!!!

Is on her way to Chocolate Avenue!

The countdown begins! In 24 hours from now I will be in Hershey, PA! I am super excited. I haven't been there since I was a child. I have no memory of it either, except for the Hershey kiss light posts!

But what I am MOST excited about is, Sweets at the Hershey Hotel! Yes, there is an exclusive cupcakery at The Hershey Hotel! I can hardly contain myself! From what I have read, there are 3 sizes available: Taste, Classic and Signature! And with the list of flavors that they offer, I think I will be selecting multiple cupcakes to "Taste"! Like, Peanut Butter on Chocolate, which is moist chocolate cake with creamy Reese's Peanut Butter cup frosting! Or, what about, Smores?! Honey graham cracker cake coated with Hershey's chocolate glaze with a toasted marshmallow topping? Is your mouth watering yet? No? Ok, there is also Chocolate Cream pie cupcakes! Chocolate cake filled with Hershey's chocolate cream pie filling and topped with whipped cream. Yum, yum, yum! My mouth is salivating!

I intend on returning with a full review of the flavors and my experience!
Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good Things Come in Small Packages

"Her vision to create a unique and tasty line of delectable "dollhouse size" miniature desserts has become her signature approach in this vastly growing market. By transforming traditional sweets into dainty Dollhouse treats, she created a gourmet dessert menu comprised of completely original desserts, inspired by the enchantment and nostalgia of a dollhouse."

I was able to catch up with the winner of Cupcake Wars, Lindsay Morton! Lindsay is the owner of Dollhouse Bake Shoppe in Los Angeles, CA. And after reading her menu of delicious little creations, I need to head out to LA! They are adorable works of art, packed with flavor! And she is super sweet to take some time to answer a few questions! Everything from her favorite cupcake flavor, to her inspirations...and yes, seaweed and cupcakes? Check it out!

1. Who is your biggest inspiration in the baking world?
I have more of an art background than a culinary background, so most of my inspiration actually comes from the art world, rather than the baking world. I love to bake and have been doing it my whole life, but baking is more of a chemistry, so for me, I get excited about the decorating aspect, where I get to use my treats as an artistic outlet to sculpt and design.

2. What made you choose to create adorable dollhouse size desserts?
I have always been petite, learning at an early age that good things come in small packages, so making tiny treats only seemed natural. Here in LA, a bite sized dessert alternative is very appropriate when catering to this type of clientele, who are looking for a little bite of heaven, without the guilt of indulging.

3. What do you plan on doing with your winning check?
I have huge plans of owning the biggest dollhouse in the world, so stay tuned!

4. Would you ever compete in something like Cupcake Wars again?
Absolutely!! I thrive under pressure, the whole excitement of it all is the kind of stuff I live for. It was an incredible experience and I would do it all over in a heart beat! It was really weird to see myself on TV, it is still so surreal, and I am just so thankful to have been chosen to be apart of the whole experience.

5. What is your favorite cupcake flavor, and why?
I have always had a HUGE sweet tooth! I am obsessed with cream cheese frosting, and have to stop myself from eating spoonfuls of it for breakfast. Our buttery brown sugar graham crust beneath a strawberry filled cupcake and a swirl of delish cream cheese icing on top, makes our "Strawberry Cheesecake" cupcake my fav!

She then added about her Cupcake Wars experience.
A lot of people cringe when they hear seaweed in a cupcake (like I did on the show, when I found out the secret ingredients" but I can honestly tell you, my seaweed sesame cupcake with honey cream cheese frosting is soooooo good... ya, really good! You have to try it yourself to believe it, but with the sesame, the seaweed just give a little salty kick, and paired with the sweet honey icing on top it almost tastes like a honey roasted peanut.

Thanks Lindsay! Congratulations again!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cupcake Wars premier!

Cupcake Wars just premiered on the Food Network! I cuddled up with my dog, my husband and a small cupcake from Crumbs to watch this premier. The challenge was to create cupcakes and a display for a Sea World Birthday Bash! If creating 1,000 cupcakes in 2 hours wasn't hard enough...how about adding sea salt and seaweed to your cupcakes?!

So, I am curious, what did you think? Did you like the competition? Was the judgement too harsh? What did you think about the host? I would love to hear your opinions!

Congratulations to Lindsay Morton, owner of Dollhouse Bake Shoppe! I really think you nailed it!

Sweet, Simple and Nostalgic

"I continue to think of cupcakes as sort of sleek and simple and nostalgic, but the reality is, it’s a very competitive marketplace out there, and I think it’s genius for the Food Network to pick up on that, because the show is really a mirror of what’s going out there in the industry." - Candace Nelson

And, just as sweet and simple cupcakes are, so was the opportunity to talk cupcakes with Candace Nelson, judge on Cupcake Wars and owner of Sprinkles! Sweet indeed! We discussed everything from opening your own cupcake bakery, to the most disgusting cupcake she has ever eaten! We even talked about the signature Sprinkles cupcake look! She was warm and inviting to chat with. I seriously want to take her out for a cup of coffee and just talk cupcakes all day everyday!

Ever wonder where the signature Sprinkles dot came from? I sure did!

"At Sprinkles what we did, is we reinvented the cupcake. We modernized it, we made it more sophisticated, more elegant with more beautiful ingredients, and we wanted to do the same thing with the look. So, playing on the traditional with the color of the modern dot; having that element of fun, but then also making it more sophisticated and sleek."

And according to Candace, strange and unusual things are coming for the series premier of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network!

"It’s a Sea World based event, so you can imagine the contestants are working with ingredients from the sea…and I’ll leave it at that. It’s a really unlikely combination obviously, you think of cupcakes and you think vanilla and chocolate, you’re not thinking about the sea or fish or seaweed or any of those things."

I am really excited to see what crazy ingredients the contestants need to incorporate in their cupcakes! Keep checking back, I will have much more of the awesome interview with Candace throughout the week!

And don't forget, check out the series premier of Cupcake Wars tonight at 9 PM/8PM central, only on the Food Network!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cupcake Wars Interview opportunity!

Cupcake Wars is airing on Food Network Tuesday, June 15th! As part of the promotion for this new series, yours truly gets to take part in a conference call interview with none other then Candace Nelson, from Sprinkles!

Candace Nelson is the owner of the sophisticated cupcakery Sprinkles! First opened in Beverly Hills in 2005, since then her cupcakes have become widely recognized and talked about! Martha Stewart, Unwrapped, Throw Down with Bobby Flay, Regis and Kelly, William Sonoma, you name it, she has probably been showcased there! So cool!

I will have more info to come, as well as my reaction to Monday's interview.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Disney Cupcakes, Take 3!

In 2009 I spent 7 very hot days vacationing in Disney World. It was the last week of October, and it was my first time celebrating Halloween in Disney. I was super excited. I think I counted down each day for a year! Little did I know, it would be ridiculously HOT! The temp stayed between 90-98 degrees all week. It made it hard to even go out during the day. Being a Jersey native, I missed my cold Autumn weather!

BUT, I loved the decorations at the Magic Kingdom. (FYI - If you plan on seeing a ton of Halloween decorations, the ONLY place is MK or Downtown Disney.) While walking down Main Street USA, I decided to check out the Bakery, a super famous spot to stop and snack.They had Halloween cupcakes! I picked this spider cupcake because it matched my outfit that day. HAHA.

It tasted like most of the cupcakes at Disney. Nice, moist vanilla cake with a sugary frosting. BUT, that black frosting was horrible to get out of my teeth. I walked around the rest of the day frantic trying to rinse out the color! It was very unattractive smiling and having big black blobs stuck between my teeth! Not the best idea during my trip!

If you do plan on eating this cupcake, bring it back to your room. Then, immediately brush your teeth. Oh, and wear gloves, the black actually dyed my fingers!!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My favorite blog

No day would be complete without checking out the best cupcake blog ever, Cupcakes Take the Cake! And what would be better then seeing your work blogged on their site?? This time, Spidey is showcased! Thanks Cupcakes Take the Cake! It's an honor!

Friendly neighborhood Spiderman

My husband was super jealous when I packed up these cupcakes for an order. This was for a very lucky Birthday boy ordered by one of my co-workers. Vanilla bean cake topped with a buttercream frosting, decorated with a super cool Spiderman topper! This is a perfect example of how my cupcakes can be personalized to your exact liking! Just inquire when placing an order!

I am sure this Birthday boy is gonna have a super party with these cupcakes!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cupcake Wars on The Food Network

Cupcake Wars is a new competition series on The Food Network! Each week four of the country’s top cupcake bakers face off in three elimination challenges until only one decorator remains. The grand prize: $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase their cupcakes at the winning gig! Pretty cool! I am jealous!

Episode One is entitled: Sea World Birthday Bash! I wanna go!!! Look out for it, Tuesday June 15th at 9PM!

Upcoming challenges include Ace of Cakes 100th episode Anniversary Party! Wait, doesn't Duff hate cupcakes???

Tune in with me!

Cupcake spotting!

Has anyone seen Shrek Forever After yet?

This is totally up The Cupcake Cauldron's alley! Not only does Rumpelstiltskin have an army of witches, but they love to dine on cupcakes!!! I believe they were even referred to as "a bunch of cupcake eating freaks!" hahah. I love me some witches and cupcakes!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jessie Steele aprons - For Mommy and Baby!! How cute!

In Sex in the City 2, we find Charlotte juggling between her insecurities, an infant, a toddler, motherhood and a braless Nanny! Ha! My favorite scene in the movie is when Charlotte is baking pink frosted cupcakes! Hello adorable Jessie Steele apron!!! I received that fantastic apron as a Birthday gift this year. So cute! I use it more for entertaining than baking. I just can't bear to get it dirty.

Besides going to Jessie Steele online, you can also order it from one of my other favorite stores, Anthropologie! It comes in Mommy and children sizes! What a perfect gift for Mommys-to-be! I just love it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cupcake Bake Sale - A Great Success!

Supporting the National Wildlife Federation

I am always baking delicious treats and bringing them into my office. In fact, I have grown pretty popular at my job because of all my baked goods, especially my cupcakes! I thought, why not bake for charity and raise some money!? So today, I brought in 2 dozen cupcakes. 1 dozen vanilla bean butter cake cupcakes with vanilla frosting and 1 dozen vanilla bean butter cupcakes with chocolate fudge frosting. Each was decorated with white and blue sprinkles and various cute wildlife illustrations.

I asked for a small donation to raise money for the National Wildlife Federation. All the money is going directly to protecting wildlife impacted by the BP oil spill disaster. And, in exchange, they get a free cupcake baked by yours truly. It's a win, win!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vacation Cupcakes Part 2

In a previous blog entry, I showcased some gorgeous cupcakes that I discovered while vacationing in Walt Disney World.

Next cupcake on the list, The
Butterfinger Cupcake from Starring Rolls Cafe at Hollywood Studios!

My husband and I always participate in the Disney Dining Plan. For 1 quick service meal, you get a beverage, an entree and a dessert! This was my dessert! Chocolate cake, fudge center, a mile high of yummy buttercream frosting, rolled in crushed Butterfingers. I ended up sharing, because it was enormous. To be honest, it would have been sensational with a nice cold cup of milk! Overall, the frosting to cake ratio was insane, but definitely worth it! Calories and all!

Next time you are in Hollywood Studios, check it out! It is also good for 1 snack on the dining plan!


I have concluded...

That cupcake cereal is rather unpleasant.

This morning I poured myself my morning cup of coffee and sat down to a healthy bowl of Cupcake Pebbles. Ha! The smell alone made my teeth hurt. The taste, well, it was a mixture of vanilla and butter flavoring. It was very sweet, and has already given me a small tummy ache at work.

The pebbles were cute, decorated with multi color sprinkles.

I could see children really loving this concept. I suppose, it's not made for adults anyway! I just needed to try it, since I am obsessed with all things cupcakes! I am sure my husband will finish off the box with no problem. I, on the other hand, will go back to eating my multi-grain english muffin in the morning.