Monday, December 27, 2010

Don't Be Mad! I Was Only Pretending...

Sometimes I like to contradict myself for fun. Really, I do. There's nothing quite like being a hypocrite. 

OH Harry, check yo'self! Did I say HIPPOGRIFF?!?! Naw bro!!

But I have a feeling that you might see things my way and forgive me once I spell it all out for you...

C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E A-N-D P-E-A-N-U-T B-U-T-T-E-R 

You might remember that I wrote I little somethin-somethin about a certain dessert we all like to call Boston Cream Pie. I emphatically blabbed on about how this lovely pie is not, in fact, a pie at all and that those responsible for calling it thus, should be sentenced to lifelong sugar rushes. 

Ok, I'll admit it was not as colorful as that, but since I have, yet again, declared so bold a statement as this, I must follow it with, "There's nothing wrong with turning a pie into a cupcake!!!!!" I trust you will not object.

Soooo, just to be clear, we're cool now, right?...What if I share them with you next time?...Fine then! I won't!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On A Sweet Rainy November Day...

These two hotties got hitched... 

Llanes Wedding Photography

And my oh my, was it a glorious occasion!

Sweet Love got the ball rollin early on this one when I first met with the couple in July. What was decided upon with this little beauty below...

Cupcakes were provided by FIXA Catering... seriously awesome!
Llanes Wedding Photography

This absolutely amazing couple decided on one of the most decadent of simple ideas: Rum Vanilla Bean Cake stuffed with Strawberries and a Gorgeous Ricotta-Cream Cheese Filling topped with the always reliable Italian Vanilla Frosting. Throw on some grey-scale waves and a pair of Surfer Dude/Bikini Babe salt and pepper shakers for the topper, and my dear, you're set for life! ...Or at least however long it takes a human being to finish a two-tier wedding cake. But hey, if it's up to me, not very long. *wink*

Llanes Wedding Photography

Dang, aren't they lovely? There's nothing I enjoy more on a splendid drizzly Saturday than to gather in the cutest shabby-chic Downtown LA warehouse to watch two wonderful kids get married. Here's to you Seth and Ziza!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Results Are In...Carrots, You Are The Father!

Here I sit, at my kitchen island wondering what to start this post with. Well for starters, today I am graced with the presence of my little sister who decided to take a mental health day out from high school. She probably won't in the end, but what I would give to have gotten away with that sort of nonsense. This is what her mental health day entailed:

Cuddling our cranky Pomeranian, Lola, on the couch, watching five (yes, five!) tivo'd episodes of the Maury Show, and beating all her friends at the Facebook version of Snake since she had the advantage of not being in school. She did, however, make me an omelet and help decorate our fake Christmas tree...sort of.

I know, right? Lame. Real Christmas trees got the boot from our house two years ago. Since then we've resorted to pine scented candles. Double lame. Well, seeing as I was not in the Christmas spirit as much as usual, I turned on Pandora Christmas Station, waited until "Mele Kalikimaka" by Bing Crosby rotated around, and threw these in the oven!

The Original, and always tasty, Carrot Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Beautiful and in no need of further explanation, except that I may have added a tiny bit of edible glitter after I took these pictures for that Sweet Love savoir faire.

Anyone ever read Blue Like Jazz By Donald Miller? Remember Sexy Carrot and how Don Rabbit chased her? 

Wished he would chased her into my kitchen...what a floozie!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear December, Please Do Stay Awhile. Maybe a Month? Thanks!

Sooo, I know it's only been a day since our eyes have met, but I just couldn't wait any longer to tell you of my extraordinary discovery. And in Sweet Love style, there is a story to go along with it.

Try and picture the last time you slept was awesome, right? Now, try and picture that last time you slept in when you shouldn't have, because you had an array of things to do like battle holiday Orcs disguised as humans at the post office cuz you wanted to mail Christmas cards to your family abroad.

I decided to steer clear of pictures of the Lord of the Rings Orcs.
They're too nasty for me, not to mention unhygienic.

That may have been what I had to deal with this morning...but alas, I had slept in! Realizing what I'd done, I jumped out of bed like a Ninja! Well, I jumped off the couch. I happened to be re-watching season 3 of The Office when I accidently knocked out last night.

Moving on, it's  about time I get to my point. One of the things I was hoping to do today before my Asian assassin transformation, was invite December in with some chocolatey cheer. And in the Sweet Love spirit of complexity, I filled my kitchen with the smell of these.

Behold! The Raspberry Chèvre Marble Nut-Butter Brownie! Love has morphed itself in to the shape of a 2" x 2" treat. I know this sounds a little over done, but if you've ever been privileged, and brave enough, to try goat cheese and chocolate together, you may have not wanted to ever eat anything else. Ever.

Well, since I started writing to you, I've devoured FIVE brownies, spilt my some of my venti peppermint mocha on my laptop keyboard, and listened to 3 different renditions of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" thanks to my Pandora Christmas station, of which I believe the Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel version to be the best.

However, Mr. Redbone is quite aged. Does anyone else find it a tad creepy that the old guy is singing to a, then, 23-year-old Zooey? Maybe?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet Love's Sweet Dude-friend and His Attempt to End Slavery.

My thanksgiving holiday was certainly one to be thankful for. It started with a coffee sesh with my good friend, Christiana, who is so busy with business school, she had time to only meet me on Thanksgiving. Crazy kid! Followed by lunch and a movie with my mother. We saw Burlesque.

All I wanted to do after that was invest in exotic dance classes.

However, the craziness I endured last week, ironically had naught to do with the holiday. Everyone, meet Carter Kendall...

...Carter, meet everyone!

Carter has invested his heart and efforts in the production of his new project, Chains for Chains:

Half of the profits made from selling necklaces go towards raising support for the marginalized and enslaved people across the globe. Good stuff!

Chains For Chains had their launch party this weekend in Costa Mesa, CA, and Sweet Love was there to support and share!

Again, photo quality is BLEH!

This is the first ever Sweet Love Co. Dessert Display, and can be replicated and tailored to any event one might have. Don't be a stranger if you find yourself ever in need of one!

All in all, the love and care entailed in preparing for this event was as follows and I quote:
200 Cinnamon Marshmallows.
60 Cherry Heart Lollipops
50 Chocolate Peppermint Macarons
50 Sweet Potato Bourbon cupcakes
30 Chocolate Guinness cupcakes
30 Vanilla/Raspberry/Vanilla cupcakes
30 Carrot cupcakes 

3 Trips to Michael's
2 Failed Attempts at Rock Candy
1  Overdraft Fee 
...and a Partridge in a Friggin Pear Tree.

So worth every minute of it!

Quick question. Can any of you sugar monsters inform me as to why it would seem that a lot of partridges hang out in pear trees, especially around the this time of year? Cuz I'm stumped.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Miley vs. Maeby and The Case For The Perfect Marshmallow

Mondays are  always interesting. I had mine all planned out and most of it fell through. But there I was, stuck in Hollywood, for the greater part of the day. So, I went and had a very expensive latte, pulled out my kindle, and settled in nicely with the blend of young bourgeois socialites on Sunset Blvd.

About an hour and a half in, I turned to my right to find Alia Shawkat smoking cigarettes with her pals. I thought to myself, "Oh My Word! It's Maeby!"

I asked her if she would watch my bag while I went to the ladies room. Homegirl can hang.

That night, I found myself back in Hollywood for a rock show (I hope the kids these days are still calling them rock shows). I enjoyed my beer, listened to the pop, and merely tolerated the make-out kids in front of me. It was a normal show. Accept, yes. Miley showed up, in all her southern crazy skanky 17-year-old glory.

Well, back to the moral of my dilemna: Marshmallows...which had nothing to do with my anecdotal introduction. It just went along nicely with the "M" theme and I'm never one to pass up a good alliteration:

In the spirit of giving, I wanted to give to you a quick and easy Marshmallow recipe that is fail proof. (You'll need a stand mixer, a thermometer, and a pastry bag & tip)

3 packets of powdered gelatin
3 3/4 oz. water

Sprinkle powdered gelatin on top of the water in a stand mixer bowl. Set aside.

10 oz sugar
6 oz corn syrup
6 oz water

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan and cook until the mixture reaches 250 degrees. Turn the stand mixer to the highest speed and pour in the sugar mixture.

2 oz corn syrup
Desired flavor

Add the corn syrup and flavoring once the sugar mixture turns white and becomes stringy. Load it up in a pastry bag and pipe out desired shapes onto a bed of corn starch. Coat the whole mallow in corn starch and...Enjoy!

While I have you here, I might as well ask...

Marcel the Shell and her friend Shirley the Mallow.
Resemblance much?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Is it Donuts or Doughnuts?...Anyone?...Bueller?

This holiday season has already been pretty amazing. By the way, any holiday that occurs between October and January is what I consider holiday season. Sorry Valentine's day, but you've let me down way too many times, and therefore must be punished.

At any rate, I started my Halloween morning with my usual cup of tea and some homemade beignets that just happened to be filled with bananas, chocolate, and rum, Oh My!

For all you hooligans out there, a beignet is a fancy doughnut hole. If you come and have tea with me, I will serve you some. And please don't be offended if I proceed to offer you domestication classes.

Anyway, you might die after I tell you what  happened next. I decided to put the beignets inside a cupcake. Ok, I put them inside 36 cupcakes...

We have here a vanilla sponge with a chocolate rum Italian frosting and, indeed, a crap ton of beignet lovin in the middle. Listen, I've tried simple. It just doesn't work for me. But this might be the closest I'll get.

Also, please don't shoot me. I know it's been a while since I've written you. I have no excuses...

Well, apart from kickin it with my girl, Meg...

Sean Feldman as Meg Whitman
(Yes, for Halloween)

Homegirl lost an election! Girl time was a must. We binged on Cinnabons and gabbed about Dancing With The Stars. I think I convinced her to appear next season. She just needed a shoulder to cry on.

I was that shoulder.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cake Won't Cure Cancer, But It Can Certainly Try...

First off guys, I apologize if the title of this entry came off as a reject from the Panic! At The Disco song title list...not my intial intentions.

Anywho, last week was a doozy. A good doozy, and one I would be excited to live out again. One reason being, of course, that it was a week with lots of CAKE! However, it was also the week that a friend of mine went in for his last round of chemotherapy and emerged cancer-free!

Everyone meet Sheldon...

Sheldon, meet everyone!

Back in April, Sheldon was diagnosed with Hodgekin's Lymphoma. Now, thanks to numerous rounds of chemo and a ton of prayer, he is healthy again!

And what better way to celebrate health than with...CAKE! And tacos, cuz we had those too and they were pretty damn delicious!

Here we have the chosen flavors in a cupcake form, for those desiring an element of elegance. And below we have what became of the very same cake had it been inspired by the Lakers and used as an instrument of celebration for the lack of disease in a certain Sheldon.

Here we have a champagne chiffon cake sponge (which did, if you were wondering, require nearly an entire bottle). Between each layer was a smooth white chocolate mousse adorned with strawberries and to mask, we have a jasmine-infused Italian frosting.

Sorry if the picture quality is slightly poor, but even if I had a good photo, you still couldn't taste it through the screen...tough luck. Here's a picture of Taylor Lautner's abs to make you feel better...

Run and tell that, homeboy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Wickedest of Them All...

Oh. My. Word...
People everywhere! Gather and listen, for I have discovered the 8th and 9th deadly sins...They are: Chocolate. And Orange. Yes, they have their very own level of Hell. They share this one level, instead of each having their own, because together, they are spiteful and sickeningly delish.

On a day like today...
(My backyard in all it's rainy glory)

I found it most pertinent to sin my brains out and enter chocolate/orange hell. I always had a feeling that those two were trouble. Little did I know that not only would this disgusting pair lure me into temptation, but that the two had conspired with Sin numbers 10 and 11, Cheesecake and Nutella, to completely render me demonized...Here's what became of it.

Yes friend...that is a chocolate cupcake. It's filled with orange cheesecake. It's iced with French Nutella frosting. It has an orange peel jelly candy which, yes, is homemade. It has now become clear that there is nothing worse I might have done...

A monster sits among us.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Boston Cream, say whaaaaat?!

After mulling over what to write about on my nighttime bike ride I just got back from, I'm bringin it back to last Wednesday when my beautiful friend, Andi, and I whipped up an east coast delight. 
Oh ya, we totally brought Boston back...

Kinda sorta.
First off, I might not be the first to say that Boston cream pie is anything but a pie. People! It's cake. And now, it has manifested itself inside America's favorite personal portion dessert. Ask Andi, she's hard at work making it happen...

There is nothing more simple or wonderful than Boston cream cupcakes. Take a vanilla sponge base, fill it with the smoothest vanilla bean cream imaginable, glide on a sexy layer of chocolate ganache, and jazz it up with some edible goldleaf. By the time your done, you may have the urge to turn polygamist and marry yourself approximately 11 times. But, do resist!

Cuz it's illegal. Happy Baking!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Decorative Pumpkins? Not on my watch.

Think twice, my domesticated brethren! Pumpkins do, in fact, serve a greater good outside of carving parties, store-bought pies *ugh!*, and the fortune Starbucks makes on selling overpriced holiday lattés (which, nevertheless, are still horrifyingly delish).

Things you must know: Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. A time when I put my dreams of one day guest-starring on Glee aside and pop in my favorite suspense-GORE movie saga - SAW...but like every great holiday (and if you are like me, every great day) you're gonna need cake. Seriously. You will.

Chya...this is where it's at! A dense, and never dry, pumpkin cake filled to the top with a bacon-infused meringue, and top-coated with a Grand Marnier cream cheese frosting. Throw on a couple candied pumpkin seeds and dust with know, to keep the tigers away! ;)

So, the greater good of pumpkin-kind? You see what I'm sayin now? I hope so.

Because you're too good for a supermarket pie.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taylor Swift. Strawberries. Cake... You know what Im saying?

As I spent this afternoon on Twitter with my pal, Netflix, a glass of water, and my second helping of chocolate mousse...

(Don't Judge!)

...I found myself immersed in that new Taylor Swift music video. And can I just say, she must know by now how fun it isn't to not be her. I know it's a mouthful, but think about it.

At any rate, the video brought me back about a month ago to a breezy sunny afternoon, where I watched as two of my friends were blissfully wedded in marriage. And, of course, there was cake. A mouth-watering, succulent, so-worth-the-calories 'Sweet Love' Cake.

In this cake, one would find a light strawberry-filled vanilla bean sponge, separated by layers of honey ricotta cream filling and, you guessed, more strawberries. To finish, it was masked with a French honey buttercream frosting and a featured decor of pearls and snowy leafless trees. I know it was a summer wedding, but it is called "icing."

So, congratulations to Austin and Kim Earley. And thank you for choosing this cake as your first ever dessert to be shared as husband and wife. 

How about that, Tswizzle!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chocolate? Sure. Stout? YES PLEASE.

A good stout is hard to find...

If you're not counting a good Guinness Drought, which I think you totally should.

If you do your homework, which I have gladly done for you, you will find that our distinguished friend pictured above is considered an Irish dry stout. The type of beer we know as "stout" originated in the porterhouses of early 18th century good ole Londontown. If you've ever enjoyed brew that's darker than, let's say an Oreo color, chances are you may be a stout-harlot.

So, in radically-defined effort to join together in matrimony, be it holy or not, the combination of stout and chocolate, yours truly did some bakin...

May I present...

The Chocolate Guinness cupcake.

What may have been devil's food in another life, has fervently been snatched from the hands of Satan and transformed in to a cake of stouty-cocoa goodness, with a belly full of mousse and a hat of Italian malt frosting.

Good sirs, to you we tip our hats!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thanksgiving cupcakes...Ya, that's right. it turns out, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and all I can think about are cupcakes. 

Yes, the whole turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce thing is appealing as well, but when I walk into the store and see those beautiful, golden-brown sweet potatoes staring at me right in the face, I just wanna friggin' melt.

Isn't she lovely? Gosh darn it, she's ravishing.

Do you know how else she can be lovely? In a cake, of course.

You know what will make her taste disgustingly delicious?  Salty caramel. Toasty mallows. Sauteed apples.
Maybe some Bourbon? Umm, yaaa...

If you don't think she's a beauty, you're more than likely a grinch. I know, wrong holiday, but still, you are.