Friday, May 12, 2017

Quick Cream Pie made with real cream to boot!

While driving back to a supposed cakeless cake hour a Stop and Shop was seen so I decided to stop and shop for something.  A quick visit to the bakery section for a quick pick and came up with a chocolate cream pie - made with real cream!!! They have to make that disclaimer, I suppose, because a lot commercial bakeries use vegetable based cream whipped toppings of which we are not fans.  So the disclaimer helped seal the deal with this pie.

Grab and Go Bakery from Stop and Shop or Market Basket or...
The disclaimer is what we like to see!
It was a classic chocolate cream, pie with a good basic pie crust, a good thick layer of dark chocolate filling - pudding based - not mousse - and a decent amount of real cream on the top.  It hit the spot and was very much enjoyed.  The dark chocolate was a plus.

Real cream in ample mounds on the top!
Nicely drizzled with chocolate sauce!
 We've had this many times and even though it is supposedly made in store this type seems to be in several stores - we found one in Market Basket also. Whatever, it is a good version of a classic American dessert so get it at either place and enjoy!

Two relatively thick layers of good stuff!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The pineapple cakes are back!

Pineapple cakes are a tradition in Taiwan.  It is a relatively simple cake or small tart consisting of flour, butter, egg, sugar and pineapple jam or compote.   It is believed to have originated with Taiwanese wedding tradition where the wedding cake is supposed to have six flavors to accompany the six rites that are part of the ceremony.  One of the flavors was pineapple and is it supposed to symbolize that the marriage will be fruitful - lots of kids, that is.
Lovely souvenir box!!

Nicely individually wrapped and two kinds!
One of our colleagues returned from Taiwan and brought several boxes back with him for souvenirs - a very thoughtful gesture for sure.  These ones came from the award winning Shu Shi bakery which was endorsed by the former president of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou. We know it is award winning because there is a card in the box that told us so!!  In addition the signature of the former president is on the package!
The pink ones are the ones that have the "cranberries"!
A little promo for their award winning cakes!
 The cakes are actually small individually wrapped tart-like cakes. The outside crust is very much like an American pie and the inside filling is more of a jam-like than fresh fruit filled. Most of the sweetness is in the jam not the crust. There were two variations in the box, the standard pineapple cake but also one that contained "cranberries" though the package called them "vine raspberries". They were both good and they went great with coffee as they do with tea which is how they are normally consumed in Taiwan!
Basic but pretty good!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A nice lemon tart for the day

We are glad that people keep cake hour in mind when they visit Trader Joe's. It is a place that everyone seems to like.  One of our group paid a visit and picked up a Viennese Lemon Tart.  You must admit it sounds better to say a Viennese Lemon Tart as opposed to just a Lemon Tart.  Who knows if the people in Vienna even make this kind of thing.
Someone went to Joe's and we got a lemon tart!

Simple yet nice!!
It is essentially a relatively unadorned flan type cake with a regular pie crust bottom, a layer of not too sweet lemon curd or custard, and a dusting of confectioner's sugar on the top.  It looked very good and certainly tasted so.  The tartness of the lemon was refreshing and as already mentioned it had an appropriate level of sweetness.  If you are at Trader Joe's and want to give it a try, we certainly recommend it.
Good and round!
Just a little dusting helps to offset the tang of the lemon!

Just because it looks unassuming doesn't mean it it isn't good!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Pumpkin Pie and a landscape drenched with snow

Today is the first cake hour of April - yeah!  But it was more reminiscent of something from the winter.  First, someone brought a pumpkin pie today!!  The pie is normally associated with autumn and the holidays but it is clearly still available is some places like BJs which is where this one was from.
Somebody went to BJs!
And brought a pumpkin pie.
Very round and very smooth!
 This was a very good size pie, probably about 10 inches with a solid pumpkin color and a very smooth top. It tasted like these pies typically do with a nice taste of the spices without being overbearing.  A little whipped cream would have added a nice touch but no matter. It was a nice offering for cake hour.
Looks pretty classic!
A little whipped cream would have added the final touch!
The winter theme went will with the weather from the weekend which included and April 1 snowstorm. Although Providence want no particularly affected, for the one of us who was driving north through New Hampshire and Vermont the weather made for a travel disaster especially given the fact that the rental car was a Dodge Charger with rear wheel drive.  Who knew they still made rear wheel drive? 
Nice car but keep it out of the snow!!
 With steady snow, white out visibility almost, and little to no plowing the Charger was no match. During the course of the over 6 hour drive, (normally just over 2.5 hours) the car fishtailed up every hill, drove sideways at one point. and did a complete 180 ending up facing the wrong direction on an Interstate highway with a truck stopping about 10 feet away.  This was followed by getting stuck first in the snow. It had to be left on the road meaning the last mile to the destination was on foot at 1:30 in the morning.  The next day it got stuck in the mud.  The only upside to the whole thing was the landscape the next morning that was literally drenched with snow.
The small tree on the left - drenched with snow.
The red thing in the middle is a barn that is normally very visible.
Try getting your car up this road!
The Charger wasn't going to do it!
On the return trip, with normal dry road conditions, the Charger was great to drive with awesome acceleration and pickup!  Just don't take it into a snowstorm.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Our Princess returns

We were down for some more leftovers today and we're going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. When what to our wondering eyes should appear but a colleague from the past carrying a tray of.....fruit.  Even though it is cake hour we do occasionally branch out and eat other things.  If nothing else it was a good cake hour from the health perspective.
Look who's here...our favorite Princess!!
And she brought a tray of fruit!
The tray of fruit is pretty self explanatory from its appearance.  The pineapple was good and sweet as was the watermelon.  The other melons were a little bland but they usually are so nothing different here. The cream cheese dip was sweetened and soft. It went well with the fruit but most opted for the fruit alone.
The cream cheese dip was a nice idea but the fruit alone sufficed for most!
Nice unexpected treat and a nice unexpected visit from our friend who has gone on to bigger and better things.  She is a physician now and about to start her residency at a medical center on Long Island.  We are very proud of what she has accomplished and look forward for more to come.
Selfies are more fun!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chocolate Explosion!!

Fun and catchy name....Chocolate Explosion!
The title is not the name of something that happened.  It is the description/name of the cake that we had today. It came from Boston Coffee Cakes like many others. Although we've gone with the traditional and marble cakes this was the first chocolate explosion we had experienced. It is a fun name, isn't it?

Nice looking cake with drooling frosting!

Classic bundt style from above!
As is usually the case with Boston Coffee Cakes, the cake was fresh, moist and quite good.  In fact it was rather light eating. In addition to the chocolate sugar frosting on the top, there little chunks embedded throughout the cake. 

It looks heavy but it wasn't!
 Maybe the drooling type frosting and the bits are meant to be a result of "the explosion"?  Sounds good, anyway and all in all a nice chocolatey cake hour treat.  And we have leftovers!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

One of the better coffee cakes you will find.

We've had this before and were happy to see it again. It comes from the Scialo Brothers Bakery on Federal Hill in Providence.  It is a classic, Old World style bakery where they still tie the boxes with string and have a line of bundt cakes. This is one of them - the Walnut Streusel.

We've had it before from Scialo Brothers!
Quite a tempting top!
It is a basic yellow coffee cake topped with about a 1.5 inch thick layer of walnuts in a streusel form bound together with butter and caramelized sugar. The best thing is that they don't skimp on the walnuts. There are a lot of them and it makes all the difference.
Generous with the walnuts to say the least!
The texture of the cake is soft and moist and you have this great crunchy top that beats any kind of cream frosting that could be on such a cake. This is a great cake so if you find yourself near the bakery grab one or you can order it online..of course.  It is a good size so you can feed a crowd if yo have to.
Soft moist cake with the walnut streusel top makes for good eating!