Monday, March 16, 2015

It's not a coffee's Monkey Bread!!

Today we thought we were having a couple of coffee cakes.  The first one read Apple Caramel which we would love. The second read 'Freshly Baked Monkey Bread". Monkey Bread? We've had a lot of cakes but this was a first at least for the name.  We were a little incredulous but there is a Wikipedia page:  You learn something new every day.
Easy enough!!

Monkey Bread?? Sometimes called Monkey Brains!

Can't figure out the name from this!

Classic coffee cake topping!

I think Indiana Jones would have preferred this version of Monkey Brains!

These two cakes were good but were also quite different.  The Apple Caramel was a little dense almost like a banana bread whereas the Monkey Bred was drier, more like a real bread with a cinnamon swirl throughout. The Apple Caramel had the expected streusel type topping.  The Monkey Bread had a burnt caramel from the baking on top as well as a caramel swirl and regular icing. The Wiki description talks about Monkey Bread as being gooey. I think the top is what they were referring to. Both were perfect companions for coffee and we enjoyed our first taste of Monkey Brains...I mean Bread.
This one is dense!
This somewhat dry!
The topping is the gooey part!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Unbeatable key lime tart

If the box has the Pastich sticker we know it will be something good.  Pastiche, is probably the best bakery int PVD.  Everything is high quality and the menu is sort of Euro-American.  Their key lime part is just great.  You can tell that just from the look of it. Well decorated with whipped cream swirls and fanned lime slices, it is hard to cut into but we did.
The box we always like to see!

Looking good!

Nicely done with the lime slices!

And lots of whipped cream to boot!
The bottom crust is their normal tart crust which is then topped with a like mousse that has just the right balance of sweet and sour with a light texture. The real whipped cream topping makes the cake and is a great counterpoint to the mousse. 

A little slice of key lime heaven!

This thing never lasts very long.  If you are looking for a cake for an occasion you can't go wrong with this!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Frozen Tiramisu anyone?

We've had a love affair with tiramisu ever since one of our colleagues from Italy made it a cake hour signature dish. She is in London now but we still manage to get our fill.  The square cake we have today is usually available at Whole Foods if you are in need of a fix. They make a good product with  a nice balance of ingredients.  You'll have a good cough if you breathe in the cocoa powder, BTW.  These do tend to come out of the freezer but that is actually okay. When the mascarpone is frozen it makes the whole thing taste like ice cream which we are a-okay with.  For that matter does anyone even make tiramisu ice cream.  Something to think about!!

Never a bore though we've seen this before!

Breathing in the powder may lead to a cocoa sneeze!
It looks solid because it is still a little frozen. Tiramisu ice cream, anyone?
Vertical version with the ingredients stacked.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Have you ever heard of a Pie Sampler?

We hadn't heard of a pie sampler. But we did notice that the pie seemed awfully large when it came out of the refrigerator. Then we saw what it was called and read that it was a pie sampler or kind of four pies in one. It was a large pie shell with four different fillings each taking up a quarter of the pie!  The fillings were apple, blueberry, cherry and peach.  It did not say where it was made but there was the statement that it was baked fresh in the club. We take that to mean Sam's Club.
It is actually a pretty big box!
This was something new to us!

Looks like a pie with multicolored filling!

Closer look and things get a little clearer!

We have peach pie...
And that's blueberry!

And some good old cherry pie!

Surprisingly this was better than we expected.  Although the fillings were pretty common and most likely came right out of a can, they were nonetheless pretty good. The blueberries were the small king that you assume came from the wild. At first we thought the peaches were the syrupy kind a la DelMonte brand but they were instead pretty firm and not the mush we prepared ourselves for.  The apples also were not cooked to death and the cherries were a little tart and also more crunchy than soft.  It was sort of like four pies in one and gave everyone a choice to have his favorite!

I'll have blueberry!

Another has the cherry!
Some even had the peach!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Triangles Trayed

Today was journal club day which featured a catered lunch. Once again a small dessert tray came with the lunch and we commandeered it for cake hour! These could be called Luigi's triangles.  We have had them before and they are pretty good for commercially prepared products.  From the name you should be able to deduce that they are triangle shaped goodies. Today's selection was more limited than ones we have had in the past.
Triangle Trayed!

There were triangle brownies with either chocolate morsels of M&Ms on top.  There also some lemon triangles which were like lemon squares cut in half. The brownies were soft and tasty if not somewhat sweet which is par for the course for most American baked items.  The lemon squares were probably also loaded with sugar but the tartness of the lemon buffered that a bit.  All of them were perfectly acceptable and small enough to indulge in as guilty pleasures.
Brownie with M&Ms!
Brownie with morsels!
Lemon square cut across a hypotenuse!

We had yet another snow day in Providence where about 5 inches fell. It was frustrating to watch that amount of snow fall here with Boston needling less than two inches to beat their all time record for snowy winters.  Nothing fell in Boston so we are still just shy of the record which I hope will get broken sooner of later.  One more storm!
Only 1.9 inches to go!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PBSD - Post Bagel Stress Disorder

Today was a light day at cake hour.  One of the last boxes of Girl Scout Cookies turned up.  This time it was the shortbread cookies.   As shortbread goes, I think this has been said, they are perfectly fine but are not going to give Walker's shortbread any competition.  They go well with coffee or tea and, this has also been said, since the GS cookies these days have gotten to be pretty much bit size, you can comfortably have about 5 of these without putting much of a dent in your daily caloric intake.
Evey cookie box has this propaganda!
The antithesis of Mean Girls!!
You get all this from selling GS cookies!
Your basic shortbread - some a little crumbled!
We found out that one of our colleagues has PBSD!!  That is post bagel stress disorder.  Coming from China via Japan, she was in a supermarket and saw a pre-made bagel sandwich that looked delicious. She decided to give it a try but the bagel was apparently hard enough that she had trouble chewing it.  The experience was enough to scare her away from bagels permanently and conclude that all of them were surely as hard and hard to eat as the one she had.  Even when a friend back in Japan mentioned that she missed bagels, our colleague couldn't understand how she could miss something so awful.  She spent many years of bagel avoidance. When we mentioned the mini-bagels that get served with smoked salmon at our holiday party, she told us how she refused to eat them and ate her salmon with crackers instead.
Maybe she should have tried this!
Another type of hard bagel!
We didn't want our friend to go through life marred by a single bagel experience so we explained how they were made, where you can get them that are good, and the things you can have with them.  We also told her how she could toast a bagel to warm it up when it is cold and hard.  She seemed intrigued and may likely give them another try. However, she did not rush off to the bagel gourmet down the street to lad up on everything bagels.  We're hope we saved our colleague years of therapy and hopefully helped speed her recovery from PBSD.
Bagels have feelings and need acceptance too!!