Have you noticed? Cupcakes are all the rage. So many flavors, so many frostings, so many toppings, and so many sizes! Cupcakes have become a whimsical replacement for traditional desserts. I remember when they were just a simple treat to send to school for kids’ birthdays—now they pop up all over, even at wedding receptions!
For those in the Connecticut area, I have started a cupcake venture, Cupcakes for a Cause. Part of the proceeds are donated to a local animal shelter. Visit my website and see my limited holiday flavors!! www.cupcakecause.com
Showcased in the above photo is one of my offerings – Cup o’ Joe (developed in honor of my A LA CARTE partner, Joe, who makes the best coffee in town!) It is a rich Espresso Cupcake topped with Mocha Buttercream, then sprinkled with chopped candied coffee beans & ground cinnamon.
Oh, what a whirl! Or should I say swirl? Swirls do come to mind when I think of “Sweet Indulgences”, a new dessert shoppe in Dumont, New Jersey. The shoppe’s owners, Gwynn Galvin and Bryan Mueller, are a mother/son team
Peanut Butter Perfection
who have combined their talents to create amazing treats with an innovative twist. Cheesecakes and cheesecake cupcakes in a variety of whimsical flavors—Cup o’ Cappuccino, Brownie Delight, & Apple Cinnamon Sensation—are their specialty. To give you an idea of how wonderful they are, the Brownie Delight features a dark chocolate crust with luscious brownie bits baked into the batter with a topping of brownie chunks, fudge and a white chocolate drizzle. Need I say more?!
Other desserts include cupcakes in fun flavors such as Bubble Gum and Cotton Candy, as well traditional favorites such as Red Velvet (pictured below). The shoppe also offers an Indulgence of the Week, and proceeds from its sales are donated to charity. Now that’s a guilt-free dessert!
Gwynn has an extensive culinary background and is currently test kitchen director for Woman’s World Magazine. Bryan has a marketing and PR background specializing in food accounts. As a food stylist, I have worked with Gwynn for many years and I can say first-hand (or should I say first bite) that this team’s “sweet indulgences” are not to be missed!
If you are in the NY/NJ area, you can visit Gwynn and Bryan’s shoppe at 120B West Shore Ave. in Dumont, New Jersey (201) 384-CAKE. You may also visit them on the web at SweetIndulgencesNJ.com or become a fan of Sweet Indulgences on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook/SweetindulgencesNJ.
To bake or not to bake? That is often the question in our hurried world. We all like to serve up something special, but we do not always have the luxury of time. My cousin ML, who lives in New York City, likes to say “If I can buy it within a six-block radius, I consider it homemade!” Luckily, as my cousin could attest,
there are an increasing number of top-quality desserts available in the freezer section of better grocery stores.
It’s easy to dress up a store-bought confection, especially if you start with a quality product. In this photo, one of my favorites from alacarte, our food stylist Cathy Paukner began with a boxed and frozen single-layer chocolate truffle cake. Using a fine mesh sieve, she dusted it lightly with unsweetened cocoa powder, and added a few luscious fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint. Presented on a pretty pink porcelain plate, the dessert looks as if you had spent hours in the kitchen baking and garnishing, when in fact, all you did was purchase and thaw. Wouldn’t “Purchase & Thaw” be a great name for a new food blog? Maybe my cousin could start it…