Did you know that it’s National Peanut Butter Day today? I just found out myself. So it’s the perfect day to introduce our newest flavor: Chocolate Peanut. We start with chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream and add a filling of peanut butter buttercream and roasted peanuts. Everyone we’ve mentioned this to is sold on the flavor until we mention the peanuts. We even were a bit worried about it, but Shana wanted something with peanuts so that’s what we tried. And you know what? It’s soooo delicious. I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter in it’s many forms–Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses, Grandma Bone’s peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, and just plain old dark chocolate with peanut butter. You just can’t go wrong with those flavors.
Making Shana’s baby shower cake, we cut off the tops of the cakes to make the even layers and then made a small sample that we could try with the peanut butter buttercream, roasted peanuts, and chocolate buttercream. It’s rich and delicious and perfect with the peanuts. I love when our clients suggest something soooo good. Thanks Shana!
This Saturday is the Tough Mudder fundraising party at the Cardiff Lounge benefiting the Wounded Warriors Project. I’ve been following my friend Denise’s incredible training for the Tough Mudder event in October. This is no ordinary race and the training she’s doing is just crazy! Here’s how they describe the Tough Mudder event on their website:
Tough Mudder is the TOUGHEST one day event on the planet. This is not your average mud run or boring, spirit-crushing road race. It’s Ironman meets Burning Man: our 7-12 mile obstacle courses are designed by British Special Forces to test all around toughness, strength, stamina, fitness, camaraderie, and mental grit. Forget about your finish time. This is about camaraderie, teamwork, and helping your fellow Mudders. Simply completing the event is a badge of honor. Not everyone will finish, but those who do make it to our post-event party will have truly earned the right to call themselves a Tough Mudder. All Tough Mudder sponsorship proceeds go to our exclusive charity partner, The Wounded Warrior Project.
I take my dog for leisurely walks every day. I would never even pretend to be able to do something like that! But we were just invited to donate a cake to the help “ASD Wolfpack“, Denise’s team, that’s tackling the challenge and hosting a fundraising party at the Cardiff Lounge this Saturday. Baking and decorating is the challenge we’re up for. And you could bid on a $195 gift certificate towards one of our cakes. Some of the other auction items include massages, wine, Sharks tickets, signed NFL memorabilia, and so much more.
The fundraising party sounds like a fun even with music, dancing, the silent auction, and special drinks for the occasion with proceeds going directly to the Wounded Warrior Project. So head to the Cardiff Lounge in Campbell on Saturday, September 11th from 6-8 pm. As the poster says, “Are you tough enough to party?”
So many families were crushed when they heard about the 5-alarm fire that burned a few buildings at our local Merritt Trace Elementary School during the summer. With just a few clicks on Facebook and a mere minute of your time, you can vote to have Kohl’s give $500,000 to the school. You even get 5 votes that you can give this one school. What a powerful way to start your morning, right? I sincerely appreciate your efforts to help our school.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled sugar and fondant work with… a pie! I know, we tell everyone that we only make custom cakes. Well, TLC asked us to shoot our favorite summer dessert.
Shoot? Break out the gun!
Haha… Well, we took the cool TLC Flip video camera (thanks TLC, you rock!) and shot this video for the first TLC Cake Crew challenge. They wanted creative and summery, so we chose Amy’s family’s black raspberry pie that I tried many summers ago when I first met her grandparents. And for Amy it was a welcome home in pie form. It’s soooo good.
Everyone thinks we must always have a sugar high since we’re usually always surrounded by cake, and this video will surely not change that idea. I couldn’t help laughing all thru it with our little marzipan gecko and turtle telling the story. And when it was over, I found a few spots that needed some explanation. Oh, well, it’s our first video. We’ll figure out later how to actually get into the camera shot. The real recipe is below. So take a look and enjoy. It’s OK to laugh!
American Pie Dough (from The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons shortening, chilled
12 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
6-8 tablespoons water
Mix dry ingredients in food processor. Add shortening and process until it’s the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Add butter and pulse about ten 1-second pulses until the butter is in bits about the size of a pea. Pour out to a medium bowl and add 6 tablespoons of water. Fold to mix until the dough comes together. If it will not come together, add another tablespoon of water or two of water. Separate the dough into two balls, flatten the balls into discs, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour or up to 2 days.
While the dough is chilling, mix the filling ingredients in a medium bowl.
Black Raspberry Filling
4 cups black raspberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
After the dough has chilled, dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll it out to fit your standard pie dish and transfer to the pie dish. Add your filling to the unbaked crust. Roll out the second piece of dough, cover the pie and crimp the edges to seal the pie. Using a knife (large or small, haha), cut the top crust to allow steam to vent from the pie during baking.
Using a pastry brush, brush milk on the top of the pie. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for about one hour in a preheated 350 degree oven or until golden brown and delicious. Allow to completely chill. This is the hardest part, but it’s better when it’s cooled and set (not runny).
If you’ve never tried black raspberries, this is a great way to try them. They grow wild in Indiana, but we’ve seen them in some specialty stores here in California. I’m hoping they’ll become the next hot food because they’re just the best raspberry out there, and we adore the standard red.
Please let us know what you think of the video and the pie. TLC is looking for comments and we want to know if this made you laugh as much as we did!
There’s a cool new show premiering on TLC tonight called “Chocolate Wars”. As one of the perks of being part of TLC’s Cake Crew, I’m catching a sneak preview of the show just after a little chocolate adventure.
Strike a pose.
Amy and I had an unexpected day with nothing to do yesterday when my mom was too sick to spend time with the family on Mother’s Day. We decided to visit Coyote Point Museum in San Mateo to see my favorite bird, the Great Blue Heron, up close. Then since we were so close to where Amy took a private tour of the Guittard factory across the street from the See’s factory, we had to drive by there. You know you’re in the right place when all you can smell in the air around you is chocolate.
When you're at the corner of Rollins and Guittard, stop and smell the chocolate.
Of course, smelling that we had to go up to the Ghirardelli Factory for a chocolate fix. We tried a new sundae called the Espresso Escape with espresso chip ice cream, dark chocolate hot fudge sauce, and fresh whipped cream. With a view of flowing chocolate and a delicious sundae, the sweet smell of chocolate in the air, we were getting a serious chocolate fix.
It looks like one is dark and one is milk chocolate, but that's all from the same batch.
Rich, luscious chocolate
Now watching Chocolate Wars, I can imagine just how good that room smells with the large chocolate showpieces going up. I love watching all of the sweet competitions with pastry chefs making giant cakes, sugar sculptures, and chocolate showpieces. It’s just amazing to see this competition where chocolate is molded into realistic animals and delicate flowers in beautiful colors. And there’s a waterfall in one of the showpieces? You’ve gotta check it out tonight on TLC after another cool show, Best Food Ever – Most Bodacious Bakeries episode. Grab your chocolate pastries for both shows since they’re on at dessert time.
Hello again! After a hiatus of many months, the blog is finally back! Yahoo! announced that WordPress would force an update on all of the blogs running on very old versions of the software (like this one). This cake lady knows how to do many things on a computer, but maintaining the blog software is not my expertise. I was relieved that I didn’t need to figure out how to install the update. Whew!
So now that our technical difficulties are behind us, let’s get back to the cakes. Yeah!
We’ve had some technical difficulties with the blog lately. We love to do the cakes and our skill level has shown great improvements since we made our first cake two and a half years ago. But the blog? Well, maybe some of our computer skills are lacking. We can make a cake that looks like a computer with this blog on the screen, but getting past this blog issue has been difficult. Surprise, surprise, right?
I am happy to announce that we started a fan site on Facebook, and that’s been an easy format for sharing what we’re doing with the cakes. Please check it out at www.Facebook.com/AJsMB. Become and fan and you’ll get our updates again. Hopefully we’ll get this blog back up and running again, but until then, see you on Facebook!
I’ve just recently discovered blogging communities and blogs on blogs when I found this! Brittney Gilbert from Eye on Blogs on cbs5.com writes about local blogs and posted a review of the AJ’s Moonlight Bakery blog. We’ve been excited about the reviews we’ve received from our clients, and now this is great to get a local plug for the blog on cbs5.com.
Cute!: Charming San Jose Cake Blog
Posted by brittneygilbert
Reader Mary Pascual alerted me to an incredibly delightful blog out of the Bay Area’s largest city, San Jose. Y’all, it’s a cake blog. Instantly enamored, aren’t you? It was set up by a bakery called AJ’s Moonlight Bakery, and they do incredible work. They document their delectable, edible projects on the blog, and give a little backstory about each.
The Weirdgirl added an AJ’s Moonlight Bakery button to the few shops she supports on her blog.
As a growing small business, we greatly appreciate the support and promotion we receive from our clients and friends. The Weirdgirl actually ordered our first cake, so her repeat orders, feedback, and plugs help us know that we’re on the right track with our cakes.
Her son has received Disney’s Little Einstein’s Rocket Cake and the Pump It Up Cake for his special birthdays, and her good friend received the Baby Blocks with Lamb Cake.