Friday, April 29, 2011

She's so small she could fit in an oven

Today we enjoyed the visit of the youngest cake hour cackler to date.  Two months fresh from the womb our little lady stopped by to introduce herself and take in the sights and sounds.  Given how young she is there was little else that she could do. She is the first niece of one of our graduate students who was very proud to show her off as was her mother who also attended...someone had to bring the child after all.

The youngest visitor to cake hour!
Aubrey was quite a hit and seemed to impress everyone with how good she behaved. She didn't fuss or cry or do any of those things that young kids do that drive you crazy when you are stuck with one of them in the cabin of an international flight.  She behaved very well, noticed things - particularly the young men in the room, smiled a lot and prompted a lot of comments about how beautiful she was, how good she was...etc.  One interesting comment that we suppose is a compliment was "it's totally amazing, your baby is so normal."  We think that is a profound statement of the mystery of life.

She's so beautiful! 
This bun is out of the oven for good!
The most unusual comment however was the one that is the title of the post.  She's so small she could fit in an oven. At this point we asked the mother to get away from the microwave and are assured that there
is one person who will not be babysitting any time soon.

Where's the baby?
It being the end of Easter week we were feasting on Easter goodies again albeit now at discount prices. More Peeps showed up and lined up as an audience for the visiting baby.  Several of them then met a common demise becoming the marshmallow topping to a cup of hot chocolate...a fitting and quite tasty end for a Peep.  
Peeps return with the 50% off items!

These include Hershey's version of mini eggs and some more Robin's Eggs.

Peeps take a hot chocolate bath!

We're me-e-e-e-e-l-t-i-i-i-ing!

Tucked away to be enjoyed another day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The first and possibly last Easter Egg Hunt

 One of our colleagues was deprived as a child. She never experienced an Easter Egg Hunt. So another of our colleagues decided that she would conduct one during cake hour and invite all to participate to give the deprived one the joy of the hunt! Since both of them forswore sweets for the Lenten season it had to take place after Easter.

The hunt organizer! 
.......and the hunt is on! 
I'm VERY competitive! Watch it or I'll yank it our of your hands!

Not the biggest haul!
Five was my lucky number!
I only got two!
We coulda been contenders!
Did I get the most?? 
So today 42 plastic eggs were dutifully hidden in a break room that was not particularly large. Hence it was not the most challenging hunt but folks played along and found some booty.  The deprived one seemed to get into it. In fact she really got into it. With the qualification "I'm very competitive" she tried to yank eggs found by others right out of their hands and was rather otherwise pretty zealous in trying to horde as many as possible in pursuit of the big prize. Did someone not mention that this is a fun event and not a bloodthirsty contest of will?  Perhaps the lack of sugar for the 40 days prior had driven her to desperation and withdrawal prompting the need for a significant fix. Nonetheless the big prize - an M&M bunny - was left for all as there was no clear winner!  Whether this gets repeated is a big question.

"Artisan" Fresh Cake 
Can I offer you some bundt?

When the Easter treats don't do it have Lemon Crunch on the side! 
Easter candy was not the only offering today, however.  In addition we had an Artisan Fresh Lemon Crunch Bundt Cake. (Artisan Fresh?) It was a nice gesture to have the cake in addition to the sweets from the hunt. The cake was moist and good and nobody tried to yank a piece our of your hand once you availed yourself of some!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Easter Bunny Returns

Once again the Easter Bunny made an appearance at the Liver Research Center to load us up with all sorts of good old Easter candies.  Chocolate Bunnies - Dove chocolate no less - Dove chocolate eggs, jelly beans, Cadbury Mini Eggs (the best Easter candy ever), Robin Eggs and of course the obligatory Peeps. The Peeps started making their appearance about a month ago but were out in full force in the Easter Basket. 
Our own Easter Basket!

Lots of good stuff

Dove chocolate rabbits surrounding the Peeps

Quite a bounty of candies and Peeps!


Is this the Easter Bunny??

One of the side effect, if you want to call it that, of eating Robin Eggs is the way in which the outside color easily rubs off in your mouth.  If you really work at it you can get your tongue a lovely color as in the blue tongue's seen below.  This year we noticed that the vibrant orange color had disappeared from the Robin Eggs package and a lighter color was substituted. That ruined the fun somewhat and prevented us from having a bright orange complementary counterbalance to the blue. Maybe it will be back next year!

Blah-ha-ha!!
Robin Egg blue gets onto your tongue!


AS little shy but we got it out of her!

All tucked away for the evening and further consumption on Monday!
PEEPS ON PARADE!
What would Easter be without those marshmallowy good and uniquely American Peeps treats. This year we had quite a selection...
We got electric blue....
Fuchsia is always a tough color for food - but they look good!
The traditional yellow Peeps!
A lovely lime green group!
The purple Peeps are rabbits!
Peeps on Parade - they're coming for Vicki!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's a bomb, were you expecting one?

We got bombed today!  Our offering was a seven inch truffle bomb cake. I really think they spelled it wrong and it is supposed to be bombe.  Who knows? They could get into trouble with Homeland Security! I'm sure stranger things have happened.

Is it a cake?

No, it's a bomb!

Well done and only $14.99!!

Nonetheless as is the case with most bombes it was a semi-spherical cake with filling and frosting.  This was a chocolate truffle so the cake was classic chocolate cake. It was layered and in between the layers were what appeared to be dark and milk chocolate mousse.  The frosting was very much like a ganache  It seemed like it would be very rich and heavy but it wasn't. Maybe because of the mousse, it was airier than expected and on the whole it was pretty damn good.  This made for a special chocolatey treat that went great with coffee.

Looking good before the knife!

Layers of mousse and cake made for quite a treat!

When it come to something like this we say bomb's away.  We will also give extra credit to anyone who knows the source of today's title which is a quote from a movie.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The birthday of the Sultan

No, this is not some celebration of a random dead sultan of the former Ottoman Empire or whatever.  Today is the birthday of one of our colleagues whose name happens to be Hungarian and is derived from the word sultan....Zoltan to be exact.  It's kind of like the German word Kaiser and the Russian word Tsar being derived from Caesar.  (Did you know that?)  Today was the 9th anniversary of Zoltan's 25th birthday so we fired up the vocal chords and sang a rousing chorus of that popular birthday song.  Since it is not yet in the public domain we hope we won't be fingered to pay royalties but our song fest is now our second video on cakehour.com.
It's a pear tart from Vienna Bakery!  Yay!

Zoltan got to pick the cake/pastry for his birthday and he settled for a frequent favorite...the Pear and Marzipan tart from the Vienna Bakery in Barrington, RI.  (Marzipan is that almond paste that you find much more frequently in Europe.) We like the this particular item a lot and have had several of them.  It is relatively light, not too sweet and always tastes fresh.  The marzipan and the pear make a nice combination and the only down side is it never seems big enough for the fans to get their fill.  We do have one or two naysayers who stay away from this because..."I don't like Marzipan."  Aw, who cares about them. This is good and those that count like it! 

For anyone who wishes to further indulge in some Marzipan treats two of the best are Schwermer, http://www.schwermer.de/, originally from the city of Königsberg the former capital of East Prussia now the city of Kaliningrad in Russia where they are NOT known for their marzipan. One of Schwermer's treats are marzipan potatoes which are fun and good.

And another is Niederegger, http://www.niederegger.de/en/, from the famous Hanseatic city of Lübeck.  Their chocolate covered marzipan is terrific and usually flavored with something containing alcohol!

video


But enough about the Marzipan...Happy Birthday to Zoltan!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Not your grandma's apple pie - Oh, my gode!

Today we had a treat from yet another Providence Bakery that we have sampled before. Of late we were not seeing anything from them because their ovens were broken. How a bakery stays in business with broken ovens is a mystery but apparently things are repaired and they are baking up a storm.  The Scialo Brothers Bakery is over on Federal Hill the "Little Italy" of Providence where there are a number of bakeries and good Italian Restaurants.  Right now they are featuring their Easter menu which includes a "Lam and Bunny Cake".  We needed to explain to someone that this was a cake in the shape of the referenced animals and not a cake made with the flesh of the two.  Some Easter traditions apparently are not universally known.

The Scialo Boys are bacjk

Lamb cake or cake made with lamb?

 What we got today was a big, fat and fattening version of an apple pie.  Instead of the top crust it was covered with a thick and fancy layer of one of our favorite things...whipped cream!  Now what is not to like about this! The apples were good, fresh not to mushy, and also not too sweet.  The whipped cream was the real thing to say the least and our cholesterol levels went through the roof for sure.  In some respects this was more like fresh fruit and whipped cream in a pie shell. It was a delicious alternative to a standard apple pie and we applaud the bakery for going beyond the standard recipe and providing a new take on an American classic.  An apple pie is always great with whipped cream so why not just make it that way?? It makes sense to us.

This is an apple pie???

Swirls of good stuff!

Who needs that top crust when you can have this?

Fruit and cream the perfect combination.

In our constant effort to expand our minds and our multicultural knowledge we learned today why French movie goers are all atwitter when they hear English speaking actors constantly exclaiming "Oh, my God!" (O, mon dieu! in French, of course.)  Apparently the French homonym for god is gode! The translation is nothing celestial but instead refers to a plastic or rubber replica of the male sexual organ.  Dildo in the vernacular.   So what the français are hearing is "Oh, my dildo!" That was the multicultural exchange for the day