August 28, 2009

My cupcake interview with Amys Bread

I did this interview last week. For those that got to nibble on these cupcakes, I encourage you to go to any of their locations and get one for yourself to enjoy them in their freshly baked glory.

And take me with you. :')

Click here to see the post at Cupcakes Take the Cake

August 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

I feel very loved, and am so grateful for the life I lead right now.

Thanks, everyone. <3

(psst, it's actually August 26)

August 17, 2009

Sunday is for good eating

As is every day!

I had one of those mornings where you just drift comfortably out of Dreamland instead of being rudely wakened by(in my case, seven) alarm clocks. Breakfast was one of the sweet corn with honey frosting cupcakes that I baked yesterday before the Yelp beach party. A short stroll later brought me to Third Rail Coffee, where I had coffee with a friend while attempting to keep myself gracefully composed after being out in the glaring heat. Attempted, I say! The hot coffee didn't help, but it was a good roast at least.

That afternoon, Rachel, whom I work under for Cupcakes Take the Cake, came over to my place to bake cupcakes. We decided on a chocolate cupcake with lemon buttercream from one of my cookbooks, I heart Sugar. I used the parchment paper cupcake liner idea that Martha Stewart uses here. They are more cost efficient, but the folds don't stick together well.

She caught a picture of my mini baking cups that I brought back from Houston. Aren't they adorable? I'll have to figure out the right baking temperature for these, as they certainly don't fall under the same category as the regular tins. We learned the hard way. *sage nod*

We had a bit of trouble with the cupcakes falling flat. I need to find the correct baking time and all purpose flour to baking powder ratio for the self-rising flour substitution. This is the first time it's happened to me, so I'll have to recreate this a few times before I get it right. I also think the heat had to do with the buttercream not solidifying well. But we made do! See, they still came out cute:

She was also kind enough to bring me back goodies from her trip upstate. The tart (?) is from Perfect Endings Bakery. A faintly tart jam filling sandwiched between two flaky crusts. Delicious! Dangerously delicious.

Cupcake! Cookie! CUPCAKE COOKIE!! My heart jumps for joy at the marriage of these two wonderful worlds.

At night, I went to a burlesque dance show at Le Poisson Rouge, which was quite entertaining. I was also glad to get some more solids into my body that didn't come in cupcake form, as much as I love them.

Now, what can Monday possibly bring...

Chocolate Butterfly Cakes

Reproduced from I [heart] Sugar by LOVE FOOD.

Makes 12

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 1/4 cups self rising flour (we used all purpose + 1 tsp baking powder)
2 eggs
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 oz/25g semisweet chocolate, melted (we used much more than this)
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the butter, superfine sugar, flour, eggs, and cocoa in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Beat melted chocolate into the batter.
  4. Fill cupcake liners with the mixture until 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until springy to the touch.

Lemon Buttercream

6 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/3 confectioners' sugar, sifted
grated rind of 1/2 lemon (we were missing this)
1 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Beat the softened butter until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add in confectioners' sugar.
  3. Beat in lemon rind and lemon juice. Mix well.
  4. Finally, cut the tops off the cakes with a serrated knife. Cut each top in half. Spread the buttercream over the cake surface and then push the two cut top pieces in to form butterfly wings. Done!

We missed this last step because the parchment paper liners were too high, but they turned out special anyways. See Rachel's post for more photos. Give this recipe a try and tell us what your experience is like!

August 15, 2009

Momofuku Ko

A few things to cross off my list of things to do before I die:

  • Eat Foie Gras
  • Eat Caviar
  • Love a dish so much I forget cucumber is in it

My full review is here.

August 13, 2009

Weekend Re-cap, Take III

I'm too tired to make an entire post to play catch-up, so I will just throw links out.

Told you I like cupcakes, but this is how much.

Friday I had Momofuku's Fried Chicken Dinner at 11:30pm. The photos will do all the talking for me:

Saturday I made Honey Yogurt Pancakes, which I'll post pictures and the recipe for here soon.

Sunday was mostly devoted to the Cupcakes and Delicious Sandwich meetup. It was great meeting everyone, and there were so many yummy cupcakes! Photos are up here on my Flickr.

Monday I moved into my new room. Pretty much only two things tire me out: 15+ hr plane rides, and moving, especially by myself from 5pm-1am. I'm not made for heavy lifting. Baking, yes, physical strength, noooo.

Tonight I saw some interesting world records being broken. Cupcake Kebab, anyone? No? Pickled herring, spelled and then eaten? Flying Tortillas?

That is all for tonight. Will edit later.

August 7, 2009

Triple Food Fail

Tuesdays are my Long Days. You know how everyone has those days that are just a little more jam-packed than others? Mine's Tuesday. I work a half day at one internship, then move onto another one until 8pm. I enjoy both, but I'm a little dead to the world when I get home.

But sometimes, all I want is (surprise, surprise) good food to pick me up.

This particular Tuesday, I had been looking forward to Momofuku Milk Bar. I heard about the new soft serve flavors during my Texas vacation and was dying to try them. I had my heart set on it, so it was all I could do to stop myself from running and skipping to Momofuku.


And I knew something was up.

Here's the deal, Momofuku milk bar is standing room only. Chairs are a bad omen. What does that mean for me? It means private event, which means no Momofuku for Melissa. My crushed look must have attracted the attention of a worker near the door, who kindly placated us dejected folks with some of the day's leftover cookies.

I stood blankly at the corner of 2nd ave and 13th street, watching the people go in and out of Momofuku Ssam. I experienced that moment where I was so set on something that I didn't even bother with a back-up plan. At an utter loss, my friend and I decided to check out a new ramen place near St. Mark's, but then changed directions and headed to Otafuku, the little hole in the wall that sells takoyaki (Japanese street eats: delicious octopus balls).


"We're out"

I think my jaw dropped. I've been a patron here for years and never have they run out before. My friend steered me down the road towards our final destination. Chocolate solves everything.


Seems like the second ave Max Brenner closed down while I was MIA.

However, good ol' Union Square Max Brenner was open, thank goodness. I was about at the end of my rope here. I couldn't believe my luck! However, the night was not over.

My friend got a ice cream sandwich and a chocolate martini, and I happily ordered the Popsicle fondue, eager for my sugar fix.


She gives me an apologetic look and tells me that the Israeli supplier has not given them shipments for 2 weeks.

I couldn't believe what she was saying. Either my brain was still processing what she said, or paralyzed from lack of sugar for more than 3 hours. In any case, she quickly offered up a solution, which was to give me scoops of ice cream and the toppings on the side. Same concept, slightly different execution. It ended up being less messy than the popsicle and a little less expensive too. Check out their entire dessert menu here.

Luck didn't seem to be on my side that day, but all things considering, I ended up with a better ice cream deal a la carte and a free Momofuku cookie. Munching on the cookie now, I think that plans can go awry and still end up memorable, if nothing else.

Lesson learned. Now give me back my luck. ;)

August 3, 2009

Return from Sugar Land

Every once in awhile, we could all use a break from the norm. For me, that was coming to NYC in the first place. I wanted something new and different, and boy did I get that and more. But about once or twice a year, I go home to Houston (Sugar Land), TX for some much needed R&R.

I saw familiar faces. I slept more than I have in weeks, months, who knows how long. And of course, I ate. Oh, how I ate.

Food post time!

Then today was my first full day back in New York. I saw an advance screening of Julie and Julia thanks to a contest at SE:NY. I even picked up a delicious blueberry pistachio turnover at Bouchon Bakery:

Which was followed by a much less amazing pistachio french macaron from Whole Foods.

This calls for some home baking. Where do I get almond flour?