Archive for June, 2009

29
Jun
09

chocorooms: candy that looks like a certain part of the male anatomy

Chocorooms are crackers coated in chocolate. If that sounds a lot like Pocky, well, it is basically the same thing in a different form. A tiny phallic form. Since Glico’s Pocky is pretty popular in Asia and Chinatowns across the U.S., maybe Meiji (who manufactures Chocorooms) felt they needed to give it a run for its money.

Here’s where I stumbled upon them:

https://pievcake.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/stumbling-upon-the-necco-factory/

chocorooms

25
Jun
09

wet-bottom shoofly pie: a gratuitous photo

wetbottomsign

Immature people like me are way too amused by this sign. To find out how the wet bottom tasted, click below.

https://pievcake.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/wet-bottom-shoo-fly-pie/

25
Jun
09

dc cupcake wars revisited: hello cupcake’s de lime & de coconut

Note: this is a multi-part series in response to the Washington Post Cupcake Wars last fall, which was clearly a farce.

https://pievcake.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/washington-post-cupcake-wars-i-demand-a-recount/

The breakdown, icing: Cream cheese icing with coconut flakes. More sweet than tart.

The breakdown, cake: Fragrant, lime-infused cake (lime zest is visible throughout the cake. Those are the specks in the cross-section photo below). A wee bit on the dry side.

Random note: This used to be my favorite Hello Cupcake flavor, until I tried Gianduja. This flavor is the cupcake personification of the Coconut Lime Verbena line from Bath and Body Works. In other words, it tastes the way that stuff smells.

Rating: 8.2 out of 10.

http://www.hellocupcakeonline.com/index.html

cocolimecocolimex

25
Jun
09

dc cupcake wars revisited: hello cupcake’s gianduja

Note: this is a multi-part series in response to the Washington Post Cupcake Wars last fall, which was clearly a farce.

https://pievcake.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/washington-post-cupcake-wars-i-demand-a-recount/

The breakdown, icing: Chocolate-hazelnut ganache on a hazelnut-chocolate cupcake topped with toasted hazelnuts plus unidentified crunchy topping (“caramelized hazelnut crunch,” according to the website). It’s Hello Cupcake’s take on Nutella, basically. Italian hazelnut paste is incorporated into the ganache, giving it a dimension to the flavor that you might mistake for a touch of liqueur or extract. Almost pudding-like consistency at room temperature. (Cross-section photo shows cupcake after refrigeration.)

The breakdown, cake: Chocolate cake that complements the ganache icing. Remember how the movie “Wild Things” was basically a vehicle for Denise Richards’ implants? Same deal here: cake as hazelnut-ganache-delivery-vehicle.  Couldn’t taste the hazelnut in the cake. Too distracted by the amazing ganache, which, like Denise’s implants, was generously proportioned.

Rating: 9.2 out of 10.

http://www.hellocupcakeonline.com/index.html

giangianx

25
Jun
09

Why women are obsessed with macaroons

Macaroon selection from Praline Bakery, Bethesda.

Macaroon selection from Praline Bakery, Bethesda.

Not the coconut kind (though some of us are obsessed with those too), but the colorful French ones made of a ground almond/egg white cookie held together by a fruit or cream filling.

I consider these “most likeliest to succeed cupcakes” as far as female food obsessions. They’re cute, colorful and fun to eat. The cookie should eat like meringue: crispy on the outside, chewy inside. These macaroons from Praline bakery in Bethesda met my macaroon standards, but they were pricey (over $1 each).

For true devotees, there’s an entire bakery in Manhattan called Macaroon. That’s all they sell. Bet you didn’t know that that was a viable business model, but apparently it is.

25
Jun
09

Caliyogurt, Adams Morgan. Meh.

People have been swooning over this place on Yelp, so we decided to give it a try. What you secaliyogurte is their peach and green tea yogurt. The peach was a special flavor (they rotate these daily). The green tea had a strong Matcha (powdered green tea) flavor. What I realized from this experience is:

1) Tangysweet is still the best, flavor-wise. Haters, I challenge you to do a side-by-side taste test with their Guava or Green Tea flavors.

2) Don’t trust the reviewers on Yelp. Both Mr. Yogato and Caliyogurt fared better than Tangysweet. WTF?

25
Jun
09

Why Asian bakeries suck

Shilla Bakery in Annandale. Try it for the bubble tea, shaved ice and (if you dare) baked goods.

Shilla Bakery in Annandale. Try it for the bubble tea, shaved ice and (if you dare) baked goods.

 

Ok, they don’t totally suck. I mean, they’re cheap.  For instance, you can get a deal on a wedding cake – expect to pay around $300 to serve 150 people. Plus – and this a big plus – you can get Boba (bubble) tea there.

BUT-

There’s a reason Chinese restaurants serve orange slices with your check. Desserts are more of a Western culinary tradition. Sure, we Asians have our shaved ices, our fried bananas, our mango sticky rice. Then there’s the sweet stuff I prefer not to go near: mochi, bean-filled moon cakes, taro-root anything. But mostly, I grew up eating cut fruit for dessert, cultivating a hankering for the cakes and cookies I couldn’t get my hands on.

When I lived in Taipei, there was a bakery on every block. You could count on them for a cheap lunch. Vienna sausage bun topped with corn kernels, anyone? To this day, that sweet yeasty smell I associate with Asian bakeries (and Subway) can make my stomach turn.  The breads are too sweet; the cakes are pale versions of their Western counterparts. Fresh dairy ingredients are nowhere in sight. But me, I need my artery-clogging buttercreams and ganaches to be truly happy. Now excuse me while I go do some frosting shots.

19
Jun
09

Le Whif: Chocolate you inhale

I learned about this from my cousin Grace, a blogger on Food2.com. It’s supposed to reduce cravings, complement your after-dinner coffee, stuff like that. Even though it was developed by a scientist, you’re still just paying for scented air, right? Nevertheless, a sucker’s born every minute and I wanna try it–despite the fact that the word “whiff” is something I’d lewhifusually associate with farts, the word “le” redeems the product because French people fart Chanel number 5. Or so they’d like us to believe.

 

http://www.food2.com/blog/2009/06/18/fathers-day-gifts#

Buy it here:

http://www.laboshop.fr/lewhif.html

19
Jun
09

four points sheraton discriminates against cake lovers

4pointsI don’t have an issue with a hotel chain being pro-pie. What I do have an issue with is it being explicitly anti-cake. Four Points offers pie in its restaurants and “express pie” through its room service. They even have apple-cinnamon pie scent wafting through their lobbies. They claim that pie embodies their brand by offering “simple, uncomplicated comfort ” to their guests. Fair enough. But then there’s this:

“Pie lovers rejoice! Your own slice of heaven is just a room service button away, whether you choose the award winning Country Apple pie, made exclusively from over a pound of Michigan apples, the French Silk chocolate pie or a favorite seasonal or regional pie.  And forget cake, because coming soon guests at Four Points by Sheraton hotels who are celebrating a birthday will get a slice of pie on us...”

Birthday pie??? That just ain’t right. Until we get a cake-exclusive hotel, I’m blacklisting Four Points.

 

 

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints/about/news/news_release_detail.html?obj_id=0900c7b9805e2f6a

17
Jun
09

Washington Post cupcake wars: I demand a recount

I still can’t believe Georgetown Cupcake took most of the top honors in the Post’s cupcake wars last fall. (Hear me gnash my teeth here https://pievcake.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/cupcake-millionaires/). Since a recount isn’t forthcoming, I’m going to conduct my own not-so-scientific cupcake challenge starting next week. Stay tuned for the reviews. Meanwhile, here’s a recap of the Post’s results.wpost