Bakery review: Little Cupcake Bake Shop, SoHo, NYC

From time to time, will feature reviews of bakeries I’ve visited in my travels.  I go out of my way to find offbeat, funky, cozy, or just non-chain bakeries in the cities I visit.  [Read more…]


Can You Use Your Car as an Oven? I Try to Find Out

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One day while wandering the internet at work, I saw an idea at Baking Bites that was so crazy that I simply had to try it.

I work in suburban Virginia, where my car sits in a parking lot all day.  While most days I choose to park in a shady spot, on a recent 100+ degree Friday, I put my car in the sunniest spot I could find to (what else) bake cookies in it. [Read more…]

Product Review: Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Single Serving Brownies

This brownie mix’s single-serving option caught my eye on a recent trip to Trader Joe’s.  Having only one brownie, rather than the temptation of a full pan, would be great!  I was dubious about the process and how the end product would taste, but it is a quick, easy dessert option for one.

You add 1 tablespoon of plain or vanilla fat-free yogurt to 2 tablespoons of the brownie mix.  The box says to stir until the mixture becomes “shiny,” which takes about 30 seconds.  You then microwave the mixture for 45 seconds, and, voila, brownie!

The brownie is definitely best warm.   It is sweet but lacks a deep chocolate flavor.  I have experimented with mixing mini chocolate chips into the mixture, which helps bring out a more chocolate-y goodness.  About 1 tablespoon of mini chips seems to be the right amount, although even if you add more, the brownie miraculously still cooks in 45 seconds. [Read more…]

Exploring the World of French Pastry

If you’re like me, you’ve always considered French pastries too hard to make yourself.  Admire them in the windows of patisseries across Paris or at your local bakery, but don’t attempt the flaky crusts, creamy chocolate, or perfect crème flavor in your own kitchen.

This recipe, Gateau Basque, has changed that for me.  It’s a simple, tasty, do-it-yourself pastry from the  Basque region of France.  [Read more…]

Mix-ing It Up

I am not a fan of cake mixes.  If you are a fairly regular baker, you no doubt have the few dry ingredients needed on hand and can whip up a cake batter just as fast as Betty Crocker.  When I do use a mix and bring the cake somewhere, I never admit use of the mix.  After all, my mother raised me right.

However, every once in a while, a cake/muffin mix comes along that is so good and so simple, I just have to use it.  It becomes a staple on my pantry shelf next to the flour and sugar.

[Read more…]