Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

Let Me Eat Nutella

Last Friday the world celebrated Nutella – that ooey gooey chocolate hazelnut spread that with one lick has you hooked for life. For World Nutella Day I was honored with a rare firsthand experience in the kitchen of Joan’s on Third. I received a special lesson in the making of one of Joan’s favorite recipes- mouth watering Nutella poundcake. The whole kitchen had a warm vanilla fragrance. Jar after beautiful jar of Nutella in front of me, it was hard not to steal a taste. Joan’s on Third offers Nutella poundcake ($1.95) throughout the week. Come on the right day and you can find it fresh out of the oven and wrapped in individual slices.

It all starts with the butter and sugar.

Then the pure vanilla extract and eggs.

Once the wet ingredients are combined, add the flour.

Take the mix and create alternating layers of Nutella and batter.

The end result is poundcake with a warm honeyed glow throughout. The Nutella glistens through folds of plump cake. The exact recipe remains Joan’s secret, but my time in the kitchen inspired me to make my own Nutella creation.

Since I have a known affinity for cake so I decided to make Nutella cupcakes. I used a vanilla cake base with a hint of almond extract and mixed Nutella throughout the cake batter. The result was a buttery marble cupcake w
ith subtle nutty undertones. I was pleasantly surprised to find a thick dollop of Nutella at the bottom of each cupcake. For added richness I frosted some of the cupcakes with more Nutella. Add toasted hazelnuts for a nice crunch. On its own, frosted, with nuts, anyway you have this cupcake, the flavor is impossible to forget.

I got bit by the Nutella bug and now I’m nutty for Nutella.

Vanilla cake (Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking)

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup white sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

zest of 1 large lemon

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar. Next, mix in eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon zest and milk.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix with electric mixer on low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl periodically to
make sure all ingredients are fully combined. Mix for 3-5 minutes, batter will be slightly lumpy.

Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Alternate layers of cake batter and Nutella. Take a tooth pick and stir up mixed batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Sweets For Your Sweet

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. What are you getting your sweetheart?

SWEETS FOR THE SOUL

Sweets for the Soul is a gem in Atwater Village. Small and sweet, it houses the best brownie creations you will find in Los Angeles. The selection ranges from the basic Brownie Bliss and Blondie squares to Hotter Shots and Truman Capote brownie hearts. What better way to say I love you than with a brownie heart?

The Hotter Shot is Valrhona Venezuelan dark chocolate spiced with cayenne pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. This bite-sized morsel instantly captivates with the rich depth of its dark chocolate. The hidden heat bursts at the end of the bite. It is all together sweet, spicy, subtle and explosive.

The Truman Capote is a Valrhona cocoa base with white chocolate chips. Even this seemingly simply combination is anything but plain. There is a complexity of flavors unmatched by any other brownie I have had. The white chocolate chips undulate through the assertive dark chocolaty essence. Each blissful bite is exuberant.

At $2.50 – $3.75 per brownie, these handcrafted confections my seem pricey, but after one bite the value of the product is apparent. Throw your budget to the wind – this is an indulgence worth splurging on.

Sweets For The Soul 3169 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039 11am-7pm Tues & Wed; 11am-10pm Thurs-Sat 11am-5pm Sunday



Things To Do In Denver Before You Die: Nomelie Cupcakes

I have a contagious passion for cake. On my recent visit to Denver, it was evident that R and his mom had caught my affliction. On our second day in this winter wonderland we discovered the cupcake shop of our dreams.

Tucked away in the sleepy town of Parker, just outside of Denver, is Nomelie Cupcakes. It is your quintessential cupcakery, pink and precious. Warm smells of sugar and sweetness greeted us along with vibrant and welcoming smiles from the staff.

Nomelie Cupcakes is a family owned bakery. They make their cupcakes on site in small batches baked fresh daily. They have a small rotating selection of cupcakes. On our visit they offered Vanilla Love, Chocolate Love, Coconut Dream, and Salty n’ Sweet. We got three of each!

Under a carapace of fluffy frosting, delicately sprinkled with translucent flakes of salt, lies the best cupcake I have ever had. A bold statement I know, but no doubt once you’ve enjoyed a Salty n’ Sweet cupcake from Nomelie Cupcakes you will agree. It might just be the best thing on earth!

The Salty n’ Sweet is a moist chocolate cake with salted caramel baked inside. The burnt sugar of the caramel is visible through tiny glistening caverns in the chocolate cake. The caramel creates a buttery, slightly sticky bite. It is prudently frosted with a caramel frosting that has an almost airy consistency. This cupcake from top to bottom is dessert heaven.

It is just sweet enough, without being tooth-achingly sweet. The salt is a perfect compliment to each bite. I have a penchant for caramel so this was the ideal cupcake for me. If I close my eyes I can still taste the rich filling, fluffy frosting, and chocolaty essence.

Nomelie Cupcakes
19751 E Main Street R5
Parker, CO 80138
** If you are planning a trip to Denver I suggest picking up an Eat/Shop guide, it is an invaluable resource. Or email me theletmeeatcake@gmail.com **

Cupcake Coma

While I have long heard of the fabled cupcake coma – a woozy exhaustion that is provoked by over indulgence in sugary sweet delight – I never believed it to be true. I love cupcakes, and I especially love the sweet sugary rush one gets from each soft bite. How could a cute dainty cake put one into a saccharine induced swoon? After four bakeshops and four large cupcakes lathered with heaping mounds of frosting, the cupcake coma came over me.

I was fortunate enough to be invited by the lovely TaraMetBlog to the Chevy-sponsored Best of Cupcakes Los Angeles Tour. Our small group of eager cupcake enthusiasts was chauffeured by Chevy around LA to the city’s finest cupcakeries. It was a cupcake throwdown.

First stop: Crumbs Bakeshop in Beverly Hills. Of the unbelievably large and imaginative cupcake flavor selection, I chose the Pistachio cupcake. The cake was moist and spongy with the perfect amount of frosting. The frosting was just sweet enough and coated with chopped pistachios. I am not a frosting fan and I generally avoid the stuff but I ate this cupcake in its entirety.


For bakeshop number two we walked down the street to the well-known Sprinkles. Here I tried the classic Red Velvet. I thought the cake was firm yet moist, but the frosting was thick and overly sweet. As far as frosting goes, these are the reasons I avoid it.

Destination three was SusieCakes in Brentwood. SusieCakes is known for its Strawberry cupcake, which Martha Stewart gushes over. I had to try the Strawberry, but I also could not pass up their seasonal Gingerbread cupcake. By now I was starting to understand the causes of the cupcake coma.

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The Strawberry cupcake was amazing. The cake was flavorful, but the strawberry frosting was mind altering. In the most complementary way, it tasted like a cake version of a pink starburst.

The Gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting took the cake! It perfectly captured the season. With spicy and warm flavors slathered with a silky rich frosting, it was my favorite by far of the cupcake tour.

Last stop was Vanilla Bakeshop in Santa Monica. At this point I was quickly fading into sugary heaven and I needed something to captivate me. Vanilla Bakeshop did not meet the challenge. I gave the cupcakes a cursory glance and was quickly taken by the beautiful Key Lime Cupcake. Unfortunately it was cold, dry, and tasted like a refrigerator. It didn’t help that the staff (especially the manager) were rude and unwelcoming. With the exception of our last stop, this was one tasty tour.

By the end of the cupcake tour I was gorged on sweets and ready for a nap.

http://www.carolineoncrack.com/2009/12/15/best-of-la-cupcakes-tour-with-bloggers-and-chevy/

http://www.happygomarni.com/2009/12/scavenging-los-angeles-cupcakeries-in.html

http://www.tarametblog.com/2009/12/best-of-la-cupcakes-tour-with-chevy.html