Jewels Hollandaise Sauce, The Happy Culinarian

jewels

Jewels Hollandaise Sauce here on Foodie Channel Network with my new show, The Happy Culinarian (THC). Today I am interviewing the once rising star in the cake industry, Bae King Powder, who just recently wrote his tell all culinary confesional book, “Batter Up, The Rise and Fall of A Cupcake Empire.” Welcome to the show Mr. Powder. Let me begin with the scandel you recently found yourself in with the purchase of illegal products that authorities gave you such sought after top shelf cupcakes. How did it all go down, what toppled your empire?

BKP… Thanks for having me here Jewels, You’re a sharp interviewer, I see you like to get right to the point. Yes its true, I was busted, Leavening Agents took me from my bakery in handcuffs. Really no knead for that. But they had been watching my bakery for quite a while. Apparently some of my shcmuck competitors tipped them off I was using illegally obtained PH in my batter. The batter accusation hit me hard! They were way off base and it came out of left field. First let me go on the record, I had no idea PH from Thailand was illegal, and yes it’s true I used it. The cost of inflation was rising but my cupcakes weren’t. After the Cupcake Wars ended and it was revealed that no whip pans of mass induction were hidden in rebel bakeries. Aside from the politically aligned bakeries all cupcake makers were left flat, mine included. Mission Accomplished my ass!

JHS. Of course, we all remember the bad intel The Food Channel got from Halliburton Lard Distributors that lead to the Cupcake Wars but lets get back to you. As I remember it you claim you were targeted because of your sudden cupcake rise to fame. Exactly how did your cupcakes rise so much?

BKP. Well yea, my batter was much different than most other bakers. With high quality ingredients and hard work my cupcakes rose to near cult status, some even referring to them as ‘crack cupcakes’ because they were addictive. Most of those other shmucks were using short cuts. That’s the reason we rose, not because of some illegal powders in my recipe. I got a much fluffier and porous product and that made me a target. All my competitors wanted to see my cakes fall so they set me up. Just about everybody jumped on the Baking Soda bandwagon and that made their products all seem like cookie cutter copies of each others product. People couldn’t tell the difference between Crumbies, Mack Nola’s, or that new place, Two Broke Chicks. They all tasted the same, looked the same, nothing special. I tried to keep my secret ingredient under wraps like the sandwich industry, or like Coca Cola or any other product that wants to keep their secrets contained. The brand of PH I used was as much intellectual property as my recipes, I had no idea we had broken ties with the Thai’s on PH trade. I had agents dumpster diving on my property while my bakery was closed but that didn’t work so they snuck a mole into my kitchen. Once they had their mole in place they called the Health Department. Shut me down because of a blind rodent that was planted in the plant! Mission Accopmplished my ass!

JHS. So after the clandestine garbage hunting failed they snuck a mole on your property then called the Health department? That’s a serious allegation Bae.

BKP. Oh its more than an allegation Jewels, its an accusation. The other bakeries wanted me destroyed and they lobbied with the Cupcake Icing Agency as well as the Felonious Bakers Investigation pitting both the CIA and FBI against me. They sent Leavening Agents to me looking to get a rise out of me by offering me bribes. I had it on camera but the government had it erased. Of course now I can’t prove anything but if you really look at my pudding, you’ll find the truth there. That was my mission accomplished.

JHS. Proof in the pudding? Conspiracy by government officilals? I mean really Mr. Powder, you want us to believe that all these people conspired to bring your cupcakes down?

BKP. You can believe what you want but if you read my book I have no doubt you’ll see I speak the truth. No one is outside the reach of our government. My cupcakes got too big, rose too high and they didn’t like that, felt threatened. That’s what my book will tell you, all about the conspiracies that took the wind from my sales. If tearing down The Cupcake Dude was their mission, I suppose it was accomplished. But the Dude won’t go down without a fight, I’ll take my batter and come out swinging, slam them for a grand at least.

JHS. Okay Bae, THC wishes you good luck in your plight. Well you heard that folks, buy Bae King Powders new book, Batter up to find out the truth behind the conspiracies. I have to tell you Bae, I usually have my staph read these books for me but I actually read this book in two days. How you built the empire was riveting, I was fascinated the entire read. Not only by the conspiracy but by the whole story of your rise to cupcake stardom. One last thing before you go, what’s next for the Cupcake Dude?

BKP. First of all Jewels, my cupcakes will rise again, like The Phoenix. No breads, I don’t knead the dough, but I am working on a new line of alcohol based cupcakes and deep fried mini cupcakes. People today are all concerned about all the GMO crap so it’s a perfect time to sneak the fried foods craze on them. Also, suddenly half the world thinks it has gluten allergies so I’m developing a cupcake made exclusevily with edible plastics. My first attempt was a C4 cupcake which blew up in my face, but edible plastic is the next wave of the future. I’ll be launching a line of cupcakes with Polyunsaturated Urethane Styrene as well as a number of other substances people won’t even be able to pronounce. Plastics are the future and edible plastics will take over the entire culinary industry once everyone realizes what a brilliant concept filling people full of plastic pleasure truly is. Thanks for having me Jewels, and remember, Never Underestimate The Power Of A Cupcake….Peace

Cupcake Wrapper’s Delight… by Vanilla Cupcake Dude

c-dude

Yo, Yo,
Everyone from the 123, grab a cupcake and follow me
Look, look.
I’m the cupcake dude and I’m here to say
Eat friggen cupcakes every day
Sweet and airy that’s my style
Eat one now it makes you smile
Pistaciaretto or Spice N Ice
Vanilla Classic is really nice
I dig Utopia and Serenity Now
But Sexy Sadie man make you say wow
WOW
Yea cup cup cupcakes, we got em stacked
Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes are really whack
Come on in you’ll dig the taste
Raz beret or raspberry lace
These cupcakes man their the bomb
Bring a dozen home give em to your mom, ….WORD!
Yea I make cupcakes that’s what I do
A hundred eighty flavors just for you
Cool Runnings, Red Velvet make you sing
Canoli eclipse and Bada Bing
If you got taste buds bring em to me
I’ll make them buds as happy as budds can be
Yea, yea, Jarets, yea Yea yea, Cupckaes Yea.
Eat em up Y’all
Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes
http://www.suffedcupcakes.com
Tell them The Cupcake Dude sent ya!

Cuz I only Have Pies, For You

only pies

Is the dough out tonight?
I don’t know if I rolled it out right
But I ONLY HAVE PIES
Foooooor You

Ah yes, holidays are here and its time to get pie baking. Apple pies, mincemeat pies (which is what my Mom once threatened to make out of me), cream pie, chicken pot pie. Wait, what? Is that a three course meal, chicken…pot…and pie? Or is there a reason they call them pot pies? It begs the question, is it possible to use the same rolling technique I learned as a teen to roll out my pie dough? Perhaps. I remember the first time I learned to roll my own back in the day, so maybe it’s like riding a bike and one never forgets. In fact I believe if I had some rolling papers and something to roll in them this second I would till be able to create the perfect fatty. (Do I mean hypothetically? Perhaps)The real question is this, can I use that same long ago learned skill to make my pies for the holidays? Well The Existential Baker has never been one to give up without giving it the old culinary college try, so lets investigate. Nothing to lose anyway, if it doesn’t work I will just fall back to the old school daze of rolling when I was on the honor roll of joint rolling and set myself up with a good old fashioned doob. (definitely not hypothetic)
First I want to investigate the commonalities of smoking herb and baking. Here we go. Cakes are like the baggies of herb in weed world. A half ounce is like a six inch cake, a lid (very old term for between a half and an ounce) is an eight inch cake, and the five finger ounce is a huge ten inch cake. Quarter pound is a half sheet, and well you get the picture. The higher the quality the higher the cost. You can get a cheap store bought pre made cake for the price of Mexican green weed, a home-style bakery fresh cake for the price of Acapulco gold pot, or a custom made baked to order cake in the shape of just about anything which is like a purchase of killer Thai Stick. All of them taste great and make you feel good but the Thai Stick is by far the most enjoyable and impressive of highs. I specialize in cupcakes, which is more like smoking from a bowl of a multiple hose hookah pipe.
Picture this, a giant mushroom, a tie dye colored humongous caterpillar sitting on top of it smoking from a hookah pipe. He offers you a hit and you smile like a Cheshire cat. Either you’re referencing Alice in Wonderland or your doing hallucinogens not weed. Ease up on your THC levels. But back to the hookah. The multiple hose hookah he offers you is a pipe designed to offer a smooth smoke for multiple users, more than likely a must have in the good old opium dens where Eastern Mystics went to light up and chillax. That’s kinda what happens with the cupcakes, you sit around a table and everyone is empowered to enjoy whatever flavor they chose, unlike the basic chocolate layer cake which needs to be cut and portioned. And everyone get the same buzz. (From chocolate) With cupcakes the user, or eater, just picks whichever one they want and its all ready for them, in a nice neat self contained package. I also make bite size mini’s, which is like a set of one-hitters. Anyway, around the table you sit with the cupcake of your choice and you can use a fork or just stuff the dynamic flavored treat directly into your mouth. By using the best and freshest ingredients we bake our little treats then offer them up for consumption. Cupcakes may also be used for medicinal purposes, having properties which help combat depression and other mood related afflictions. No prescription is needed, just an okay from Web-MD or a simple self-diagnosis will do. But please use in moderation, cupcake withdrawal can be a bitch. That’s how a warped mind like The EB views his cupcake creations, like high grade pleasure inducing treats made individually for each one to indulge as they choose. We create preamo organic mind teasers and palate pleasers for your recreational or medicinal enjoyment. (for private parties I have been known to enhance them with ……. Lets just say more organics). But I’m off on a tangent which happens often when the mind is distracted by weed, I mean cupcakes, so back to rolling.
Back in the day the rolling papers were too small to make a proper fatty. We had to get resourceful sticking two papers together. The same concept applies with pies. Two separate discs of rolled dough for a fatty of a pie. Its important to get the dough to the proper thickness and size for the desired result. Once rolled its time to put the product inside. Lets say its some high quality sliced Washington State G-Mama Smith apples cut with some sugar and spices. Too much filling will rip the paper, so proportion is important but you want that mother stuffed to the max with a nice mountain of sweet surrender. Oh to live on, Sugar Mountain! Now we need to stick the two shells together. I’m not going to lick the pie dough because….well gross, so in place of my saliva I will use some whipped eggs and brush the edges gently just as I would have licked the glue. Using a rolling pin replaces the art of holding your product between index fingers and thumbs to roll it up. You won’t need that to roll out the dough but remember that skill because it will come in handy when you need to pick it up and place it on top of the apple mountain. Roll the dough in a circle a tad bigger than what you need then fold it in half. (use plenty of the white powdery stuff to prevent sticking) Then using thumbs and index fingers pick it up and place it on top of the apples with the crease across the middle. Use the aforementioned pinch method and flip it over the apple creating a pleasuredome. Gently press along the edges to seal, cut off the excess dough and crimp for a perfect fatty of an apple pie. Now its time to bake. Matter of fact, let’s put it in the oven and we’ll all get baked!
This may be a bit of a stretch, but when you get down to it many of the skills I acquired back in the days have come in handy working in kitchens. Cutting and portioning with a spatula or knife instead of a credit card, sifting flour at an angle just like cleaning weed on an album cover, or rolling dough the way we rolled joints. So when you get down to it, my youth was clearly not misspent, and I received a valuable education at school outside of the classrooms……PEACE

Like us on Facebook at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes, or visit our website….http://www.stuffedcupcakes.com/

Where Has All The Flour Gone? (Dealing with post baking blues)

where

Where has all the flour gone ,long time passing?
Where has all the flour gone, long time sifting?
Where have all my bakers gone
Scooped the bins everyone
Oh when will they ever learn
Oven makes the flour burn
(Pedro, Paula, and Marty, by bakers)

Finished the annual turkey an fixins, polished off all the Beaujolais Nouveau, had some leftovers, an checked the highlights from the traditional Thanksgiving sport, Mixed Martial Arts Shopping. Since Tueay morning we have been baking our asses off. Pumpkin breads, a variety of pies and cakes, a few thousand cupcakes and the list went on. A marathon of mixing, rolling, scaling, and baking for near about 38 of the 48 hours and now I’m exhausted. And I have post bakematic stress syndrome because all the flour bins and sugar bins have been depleted along with my spirit. The week before thanksgiving had me amped up with so much extra baking that I was on an adrenaline high. But now…..where has all the flour gone?

There’s a huge void in the cupcakery. True I can take a breath before getting re-stoked for the holiday rush still tom come but this day, this black Friday I a blue Friday for me. Bummed that the bakery looks like a war worn battlefield to organize fore the bake off for the holiday. The Hell with holiday, I’m gonna call it what it is for me, PC be damned. Getting ready for the Festivus rush! I should be happy because the airing of grievances, the feats of strength, and all the other peoples holiday rituals will be asking for more cupcakes an baked goods. But something’s wrong! No pumping, no jamming, no looking forward, the Thanksgiving rush has left not only me empty but the containers previously filled with that white powdery gluten riddled product. Where has all the flour gone?

I know, I know, careful what you wish for, when its slow I wish it was buy and when busy slow, and when its cold out I wish it was hot but when its hot and humid I wish it was….Not cold, Hell no! Maybe I wish it was cooler but nothing to do and cold weather sucks way more then too busy or too hot! So I’m miserable now. Not only a flourless kitchen but on top of all that it’s friggen cold as Hell. South Hell Pole to be accurate, which is so cold it makes a guy gonads hibernate in his intestines promising to return only once the heat gets turned on. South Hell Pole is that part of hell often refered to as “A special place in. There’s a special place in hell for him and that’s South Hell Pole. Oh yea it burns like a mother humper in regular hell, near unbearable heat every second of every day, but in South Hell Pole you shiver constantly until your goosebumps have goosebumps and every breath you inhale gives you brain freeze. That’s a special place! On the brighter side, there is flour there.
Therefore I will end all my bitching about how miserable I am and focus on how happy I’ll bee in the next few weeks when I’m sweating off my old ass while breaking in a new one in the kitchen that’s as hot as regular Hell. No more feeling sorry for myself, get up an fill those bins, get those pans ready, and get back to what I do best, baking. I am looking around my beat up kitchen with promise and hope as I head to the storeroom to grab a bag of …..wait…what? No more bags?
Oh woe is me, where has all the flour gone……PEACE

All Shallows Eve

hallow

It comes as a surprise to many that Halloween is my least favorite holiday. The Existential baker is basically a fun loving dude who seldom misses an opportunity to party but like most things these days I feel the celebrations and revelry have spun way out of control. Back in the day we donned wafer thin material over our bodies with a hard plastic mask that fastened with a cheap rubber band across the head. That was the costume du jour. Spiderman,. Superman, Beetle Bailey (What?? It was 1st grade and I was impressionable) , whatever, those hard plastic face masks caused massive facial sweating while the slit for the tongue allowed us to dribble spit inside it as well. Those days were fun. Today however, the average costume costs near $30 with a ridiculously expensive $850 dollar collector edition Halo Master Chief taking the prize for most extravagant. Its become a who can outdo who for the best kid costume sparing no expense. Toddlers and tiara’s for a day. The adult costumes are even worse, many going to crazy lengths to be the talk of the ghostown. There are stores which dedicate their entire showrooms for that one holiday. I guess that’s why the begin advertising in August but at any rate in order to be in the height of Halloween fashion one needs to completely transcend just dressing like a goth or a slut. My Mom’s trick was to fool me into thinking I was a hobo by making me wear my older brothers ripped up clothes carrying a pillowcase as she marked my face with a mascara beard.

beetlebailey

Don’t get me wrong I loved trick or treating as a kid and went to great lengths to choose the perfect costume. I enjoy the fun size bar as much as anyone although today my standards of fun span much more than a half inch of chocolate bar. And of course part of my misspent youth involved some pranks and mischief but in my adolescence I found limiting it to just one day was just inviting trouble. I never did the burning paper bag of dog crap prank but I had my moments. But Halloween is overdone and has been taken to the edge. I mean, how are they gonna top it with the next generation?

With so many of us taking immature adulthood to new heights and responsible parenting to far below sub basement levels perhaps it will become a day set aside for today’s “whats in it for me” irresponsible adults so arrange for a babysitter. Start with a ghost haunting in the home because it would be full of boo’s. Or I mean booze. Picture this, at everyone’s door a stash of alcohol or other happy hour helpers at the ready. We dress up as authority figures, like maybe a mall cop, or “event security” and go door to door with our shot glasses and red solo cups. Ring the bell, and when the owner answers we all yell “Buzz or Beatdown” The owner then either pours a glass of beer or wine, fills a shot glass with their favorite liquor, or places a doob ash side in their mouth and proceeds to give a shotgun of silly smoke all around. I would go with the doob cuz there’s less of a chance of a beatdown from someone stoned than there is with alcohol laden drunkards. At worst a stoner will kick your shin. The occasional home of a chemist or pharmacist may have some prescription drugs or tripping product and everyone in the neighborhood will be sure to stop there before heading home. That would be a hellacious way to celebrate but there will be more sick outs the next day than the ay after the super-bowl.

But its not up to me as to how anyone chooses to celebrate their holiday and my job a it were is to come up with an offering of cupcakes that are themed out for October 31st. So here’s what I have coming up with at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes for next week. The “Drunkin’ Punkin,” a pumpkins cupcake filled with bourbon pecan custard, “Apple Stumble“, an apple cupcake filled with rum raisin, and for the kids “The Tricking Treat,” a chocolate cupcake with candy corn custard and candied topping.

Have a safe and fun Halloween, enjoy the crazy holiday responsibly and remember, never underestimate the power of a cupcake….Peace

Upper Crust Tailgating

atail

Existential cupcaking to raise money at The far Hill Steeplechase Race was an eye opener for the Existential Baker. We were asked by Neiman Marcus to supply cupcakes for their heavy hitting guests at The Far Hills racetrack who were donating bookoo bucks for a hospital. Always prepared to assist a great cause we agreed and had a nice section on top of a hill overlooking the track to set up. As a bonus I was permitted to enjoy some wonderful sushi and sashimi, shrimp, crab cakes, lamb chops, Veuve Clicqout Champagne, and to wash it all down some Grey Goose. It also afforded me an opportunity to walk around trackside to engage in some hoity toity people watching.

The existential Baker knows little of how to hobnob, never knowing if I’m hobbing or nobbing, but I am always at the ready for something new. Having lived amongst the 99% for my entire life I was unaccustomed to uppercrust customs. Now to start I am admittedly not much of a sport fan, but I have been to numerous football, baseball, and hockey games not so much for the cultural experience but more for the atmosphere. Not being vested in any one team made being an observer much less of a spectacle in a spectator sport. Never one to paint my face in team colors, or dress head to toe as if I should be on the field, or otherwise engage in any of the fanatical aspects of being a fan I watched. I enjoyed people watching even more than the sport itself. During Ranger Islander games I scoured the crowds noticing for all its negative publicity for fighting on the ice there were far more fistfights in the stands. At Yankee games I learned how elitist and condescending a fan can become, but football was the golden jewel of people watching by way of the phenomena of football tailgates.

The parking lot is transformed into cave-like tribal sections complete with all the grunting and food gorging and beverage swilling one would expect of a Neanderthal Reunion. Rival factions wearing their tribal colors begin the tailgate as friends and on an equal respect level until enough hops and malts are consumed to strengthen their bravado muscles. Mostly the ones in and around the vocal chord area. Each tribe has its tables and cooking sources and the food is nothing short of a famed Roman feast with a modern twist. Grills loaded with whole chickens, huge massive beef parts, lamb, more grilled items than an caveman could shake a stick at. A grilling smorgasbord with an array of sides. But the main function of the tailgate is to imbibe a massive amount of beer. The result is feuding tribes of sloppy drunk average guys and girls heading into a stadium to watch professional gladiators play a game. Not at steeplechases!!!

The difference was immediate. Their style of dress was not weekend warriors but reserve fashion chic with a few over the top statements like bright pink striped pants or unusual tophats, but very expensive clothing. Nothing off the rack, everything very chic. Burberry boots, Dolce and Gabbana, all the best. Like LL Bean on very expensive designer steroids. Hair recently coiffed, manscaped and manicured couples all in neatly pressed clothing. Their cave sections were less barbaric as well, instead of grille meats it was a catered affair, complete with waitstaff. Bars set up with premium liquors, chaffing dishes of food everywhere, and red solo cups? Oh Hell no, not at this party, actually glassware. And they openly place their bets on the horse. “Oh for heavens sake I dropped another ace” means Holy shit I lost a hundred bucks on that horse! But it was nothing short of just another tailgate, the result being a more sophisticate brand of drunken idiots. The buzz from Grey Goose isn’t much different from the buzz achieved by Wolfsmith vodka. A number of heated disagreements broke out leading to some major face to face reddened angry speak.

But in the end a lot of money was raised for a great cause and I had a opportunity to see how the beautiful people spend their free time during their preferred sporting events. All in all the guys were lacking in couth but it was accepted as boys will be boys banter, with a bit too much stress put on sexual innuendo. This leads me to believe that the well off young men are quite sexually frustrated, and either the sex talk went over much of the young ladies heads, or they just ignored the boys knowing that I have a headache will work later on. PEACE

avi

Tiers On Their Wedding Day

tierrrrr

Keeping My Day Job
Which came first, the eggsitentialist or the baker? The deeper philosophical question is which pays the bills. Not much thought involved in that mystery, so I baked my ass off to insure that a very happy couple had a nicely presented existentially baked and arranged treat. The cupcake is by far the most existential of all sweet treats and this tower stands proud as a monument to the profound love the couple have for one another. Despite the topper looking more like a groom on the run….PEACE

Writing The Great American Cupcake

Butcher, Baker, Story Maker

I am a chef by profession, a baker by accident, and perusing my original passion by choice. Before its too late. That means writing, using words to formulate artistic expression from the rambling thoughts that burn within this cranium. Or hippocampus or whichever part of the brain deals with the mysterious and unexplainable mental explosions.
I first got into cooking as a way to make money. I was 16 and already a rebel spirit who didn’t fully understand that knowledge was power. It wasn’t easy knowing everything but it was a chore I took on gleefully, making sure everyone knew how clever I was using my biting sarcasm. I had a decent job in a restaurant and knew I could do it all on my own and had no need extended education. Besides, I needed beer money, weed money, money to entertain lady friends, and money to save for a better ride. A beat up VW was cool for smoking pot with the guys but not much of a chick magnet. With only my beetle to cruise for love with I had to rely on my unyielding charm in order to get laid. Fate introduced me to a free-spirited hippie chick and then began its legendary twisting. Hence life snuck up on me and I found myself with a pregnant girlfriend. Ever the idealist I did the honorable thing and got married. We gave it our best go but it meant trading in my dream of writing the worlds hippest novel to a attending cooking school so I could raise a family. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today, that’s just a situation that took me off the course of chasing what I wanted, to become a writer. Missed opportunities but WTF.
I’m still cooking for a living. I did do some butchering, I worked at a number of high end New York City Restaurants, and food became my focus and my passion. The years pealed by and I became better and better at cooking, and more and more knowledgeable about food. It sidelined my passions until now. So this tiny segment of the writing world is where I am, and as small as my audience is they are faithful and encouraging. I was fortunate to have trained under a French chef who was young, passionate about food, and very cutting edge. He taught me technique, dexterity, and how to convert my pent up creative energy into food. He showed me that cooking can be more than just a job, it can be a creative outlet. That’s when I realized that writing is not so different that cooking. They both involve all the senses, as a chef I need you to enjoy the smells, textures, and tastes, and I need to make you see the beauty in my presentations and hear the sounds of what eating good food brings forth. Proper cooking is performance art. A writer needs to make you feel the same things without any props, with only words. We can’t use color, texture, aroma, taste or sound, we have to make the reader sense them, believe that they are right there.
That when I thought about this experiment. To describe the parallels between writing and cooking as it relates to science and art. Since cupcakes are what have become my marked territory these days, I’m writing the great American cupcake.
The first thing I do is conceive the composition of my cupcake. What the main flavor, where will I start it and how will I get to the end. So I don’t know what my finished product will be, but I know where to start. Once begun the cupcake will write itself. So I gather the basic elements of the story and place them all in a mixing bowl. Once in the bowl they blend together and begin to take shape. I have the basic start, the batter. Chapter 1.
Now I know what the cupcake will be about and its time to fill in the events. I need to follow some structure so the batter is symmetrical and forms in a manner consistent with the rest of the finished cupcake. If I baked the ingredients before mixing, the storyline of the cupcake wouldn’t make sense. It needs to have integrity. I choose what size pan and fill the batter in. Now its time to place it in the oven and let things begin baking. But at what temperature? That decision creates the first conflict the cupcake faces as the true story takes shape.
After the conflicts have percolated enough and resolutions have been achieved the cupcake comes out of the oven. I have my base and I set up the standards to follow. The look, smell, and taste of the story will remain consistent from here but I must add some more flavor and juicy situations, and of course some more conflicts. My brain has been working overtime, so now I need to decompress a bit. I let the story cool and I get drunk. Not because I want to, but because my art is so important to me I need to suffer. Hangover, here I come.
A good three bottles of wine and restless sleep has worked wonders for my cupcake bakers block. Idea’s course through my head while I’m in the shower. Why always in the shower?? I get my best ideas when I’m wet, naked, and without paper or pen nearby. My wife merely shakes her head as I run dripping wet from the shower to the desk to try and commit the recipe to paper. She suggests a small tape recorder but my problem is I’m old school, and my creativity runs through my fingers. Besides, I hate the sound of my own voice, it makes me sound so dorky.
At any rate the pounding of hot water on my body shook loose a new cupcake plot twist. A pomegranate and plum custard filling! A cupcake love triangle, which always interests the reader! So be it, the very second I arrive at the bakery I take out my keyboard and begin to prepare the tasty custard, with its silky rich texture. Once it becomes cool enough I inject all that drama into the center of the story. Now the cupcake continues to write itself and takes shape. But this is the tedious part, filling in all the cracks. Maybe I should go back and rewrite part of the cupcake, I sense that something about it just isn’t perfect. I struggle with the cupcake for days and finally decide to keep going to the end when I will edit the whole thing.
Now for the icing on the cake. (that wasn’t an analogy, its time to ice the cupcake) I won’t say the icing is the most important part of the story, but it has to have a powerful statement, and have the consumer understand how the entire cupcake came to this point. It needs to leave a lasting impression. Maybe even set it up for a cupcake sequel.
The finish has to have everything. The look, the feel, the taste, and a sense of continuity leaving the one eating it with a sense of closure. After ingesting the tastes the reader has vested so much personal time in its impotents to reward them with a strong finish, the story should leave a good taste in the readers mouth and hopefully such a good taste they will think about the baker next trip to the bookstore.
I guess what I’m really saying here is directed to the young written (or typed) word expressionists here. Never quit, never give up. If you have to take on a job to live do it, but continue to write in your spare time. All your work is worthy, don’t toss any away. Even when you get pissed at what you wrote and in a fit of self deprecation decree your work unworthy don’t. Put it aside, pour a vodka, light a joint, meditate, so whatever calms you down and chill. Rest the brain waves for a while. I have a few notebooks of written emotion that have been discarded and sent to a senseless death. Keep writing, keep dreaming, keep believing. A cupcake will go stale but a great idea will last forever if you put it into words…..PEACE

Cupcake Tops With Peeps?? Off With Their Heads

Watch Me Pull An Easter Bunny Out Of My Hat

Another holiday another challenge. It doesn’t matter your culture, your religion, or your nationality, if it’s a holiday and your in the food business in any form, you need to know all about it. That’s how an existentialist baker ends up being challenged with tapping into the cultural aspects of holidays like the one facing me now, Easter. Yea, yea, yea, I get it. Palm Sunday Jesus came to town on his ass (I have to admit hearing this as a kid made me chuckle). Him and a dozen compadres ate together for the last time and it was a feast fit for a vampire. All body and blood. One of the twelve dudes dropped a dime on the J man and Roman guards whipped him and then crucified him. A few days later his ghost rose from the dead and they proclaimed it a holiday. Celebrating his death seems counter-intuitive but religious obsevervances have always befuddle me a bit.
No matter, I’m not making a cupcake that rises from the dead nor am I making one out of wafers or wine. I am tapping in to the cultural aspects of Eater. The happy stuff, like the candy part. So what do I have to work with? Chocolate bunnies are too old school and besides, they already have a stronghold just being themselves. Jelly bean are a must, I can do something with those classic favorites. What else? Peeps! Now there a tradition worth raising some insulin levels over. A marshmallowy ball of cooked sugar coated in……more sugar of course. Only colored sugar.
Not just yellow anymore, these stretchy marshmallow treats shaped like little chicks come in array of color these days. Pink, Green, Blue, purple, and the old standby, yellow. And not just little chicks, these Easter basket must haves can be either a chick or a bunny. Gender appropriate candy, amazing how much we have evolved. Evolutionary advances aside, I plan to stick to the original. Well original shape anyway. So I’m set. I will use jelly beans for one and Peeps for the other.
Just making a jellybean cupcake or a marshmallow cupcake is not much of a challenge for The Existential Baker. I need to dig deep own into my creative culinary depths and so something different. So not cupcakes for this holiday, but Cake Sliders. Or maybe I’ll call them stuffed cupcake tops!? Elaine made it work with muffins on Seinfeld so WTH?
The first one will be Stuffed Jellybean Cupcake Tops. Now I am somewhat of a jellybean aficionado. Gourmet, No name, spiced, Jelly Belly, all brands, all types. I’ve tried them all. (with the exception of the jelly bean featured in Harry Potter. However, if they were available to me…..) But The Existential Baker can’t just make what he like best, I need to make what works the best for my cupcakateers. After careful sampling of a number of easily available jellybeans it hit me like a sugar rush. A stomach ache. After a few Zantacs and some Pepto, I went back to my notes and discovered that the winning bean contestant was the “LifeSaver” brand jellybeans. Why them? None of them singularly overpowers the others, the coloring and size is perfect, and the flavors blend effortlessly. Since there are apparently no beans left from the testing I went out and got ssome more.
My first attempt was a bit of a disaster. I placed some vanilla cake batter in the whoopee pans, topped them each in an artistically arranged collage of jellybeans and popped them in the oven. Cooking time is about 12 minutes so I checked them after about six. To my dismay the designs had sunk to the bottom and seemingly disappeared. No worries, I’ll flip them over when they finish and cool. Uh uh..No, no, no! Thee delectable cute innocent jellybeans refused to let go of pan. The cake part had no such attachment and instead of having my base I had to carefully clean the mess and start again.
Once bitten twice shy I settle on the same theme with a new approach. This time I filled the pans with vanilla cake batter and right into the oven. After six minutes I removed the pans, sprinkled them with jellybeans in a totally random pattern and back into the oven. It had to be done quickly and efficiently, and I felt like the Jason Bourne of cupcakery. Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum. The most perfect looking cupcake tops ever. Randomly arranged and barely beginning to show signs of melting they were a masterpiece. Now to cool and fill.
A variety of flavors began dancing in my mind. What best to fill these beauties? I settled on a strawberry custard and chopped up the remaining jellybeans and folded then inside. The result was a pleasing pastel pink custard dotted with an assortment of tiny bright-colored jellybean segments. I placed a scoop of the delish filling on top of half my cupcake tops, reserving the prettiest ones for the toppers. Another success for the EB’s guests at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes this weekend. But I’m not done there, I need to do something with the Peeps.
“Peeps for my Peeps” cake sliders take center stage to the cupcake tops understudies. This time I used a heart shaped pan, because I love my peeps. Not the candy, my peeps. Yea, I have peeps! A few anyway. But I digest, lets move on. This was a bit more of a challenge for a few reasons. First those cute little chickies are hard to cut up, and if you put them in a bowl together they begin to re-knit into a glob of marshmallow madness. The other challenge was the presentation. What I wanted to do was top each heart shape slider with a head of the Peep. Just the head, the whole Peep would look messy. But will the EB look like a murdering marauder who hangs the heads of his prey like a trophy on the wall? A game hunter proudly displaying his kill for all to see atop a cake slider? Will it cause lasting scars on the hearts of my little peeps? Will my peeps children forever view me as the villain that slew packets upon packets of sugary chicks removing their heads? Profound quandary. I mean after all I am a lifelong pacifist. I admit to killing more than one lobster during my days of restaurant life. That lobster scream still ways on my conscience. But these Peeps are not and never have been alive. So I can move forward with eight inch chef knife in hand and remove the heads of my peeps. The candy, not the people.
There it is. Heart shaped chocolate and vanilla sliders waiting patiently to morph into a treat. I had reluctantly beheaded all the colored Peeps and set them aside. What to do with the bodies? Wrap them up in blankets and toss them in the sink? No, no way. I want the short temporary lives of those seasonal marshmallow favorites to mean something. So I cut them into pieces. This created another problem. As I mentioned they have an uncanny ability to reform into larger pieces of themselves in various shapes. My solution was to cut and mix in small batches using some marshmallow fluff to keep them bound . Success! Next I took said mixture of mallows and folded them into some vanilla mousses. The result was a bowl of marshmallow mouse dotted with pastel pieces of Peeps. A scoop on a heart shaped cake, topped with another heart happed cake, then adorned with a small dollop of buttercream. Then the prized peep head went on top. Cute, but I feel like they are all looking at me now. Menacingly!! How I suffer for my art!!
Happy whatever you celebrate. If you don’t celebrate any specific occasion, then Happy Life.. What better to celebrate than that???….Peace

Sins Not Tragedies

What’s In A Name?

When I am at the bakery creating my edible poetry in the form of cupcakes they call me “The Cupcake Dude.” The name is indicative of what I appear to be. I am 6-4 and look like an overbearing biker dude, who actually did frighten many in my younger days. Just by the nature of that look. But that’s just a look, it’s not what I am. I have always worn my hair long (when I had it), I have tattoos, and I am a pretty large dude. But I’m a pussycat, a teddy bear of a dude. I am actually a lifelong pacifist and I’m a lover not a fighter. Basically I am way more harmless than my appearance.
Buddy the Cake Boss was doing a charity for epilepsy and asked me and Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes to join with five other bakeries to help raise money. Of course being a tree hugger and self proclaimed lover not fighter I seldom pass up an opportunity to help out a charity. The color theme for epilepsy is purple, so we made purple people eater cupcakes for the event A vanilla grenadine cupcake topped with plum icing and blueberry custard filling. During the event two teenage girls were nearby our display and I heard, “Look.. There he is. He was just on TV last night.” Of course I assumed they were talking about The Cake Boss but when I looked Buddy wasn’t around. One of the young girls pointed to me and said, “Hey Cupcake Dude, can we take a picture with you?” Humble yet bursting with excitement I told them of course, and their Moms took several photo’s. I had just been on a segment of Unique Eats on the cooking channel and they recognized me by my trademark bandana. I was blown away. I gotta say it felt really good.
A week and a half later one of the moms came into my shop to talk about a party in which she wanted our cupcakes. She thanked me for being so nice to the girls and I let her now it was my pleasure, which was an understatement. The she said, “You know my daughter has put up the picture with them and you in her locker at school and they brag to all their friends that they hung out with the cupcake dude.” I was red with anger….Wait, no! Not anger, I was enbarssed as hell, which I assume is what caued the red. Part of me thought that it was a tad creepy being a high school and all, but that was washed away quickly by the part of me that felt as though I had attained rock tar status, if only for my fifteen minutes. More a pebble star than a rock star, but still, it felt great. A nickname was born and it has stuck.
But here in the world of word lovers I call myself The Existential Baker. It’s here where I put my creative juices to a keyboard instead of a bakers board and use words instead of flour eggs an milk to express myself. Here is where I share my dementia, my memories (if somewhat foggy) and random thoughts. Not knowing me, the name tells you a little about me. First that I am an existentialist. I’m not the “I was existential before it was cool” sort, but a lifelong existentialist. It doesn’t make me intelligent, I don’t hang out drinking happening beverages and talking world politics, and quote philosophers verbatim all day. Its just my philosophic belief. Second it indicates that I either enjoy baking or am a professional baker. So thats what you learn from just the name. The reason for this drawn out ramble is this. Names are important. Names are a coat rack to hang our personalities on. That’s why I take great pains to give my cupcakes a name they deserve.
There are times I spend as much effort naming them as I do cooking and eating them. Some names are pretty obvious like “Strawberry Alarm Clock”, or “A Clockwork Orange”. Some a bit more complicated like the Fandango. it’s a cupcake with a caramel mousse. I made the mousse and abbreviated the name “Cara-mousse”. My wife seeing that thought it said Scaramouch and stating sing the Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the line ends with will you do the Fandango. That’s the name right there. Then we have The Godfather part I and Godfather part II, both obviously very Italian oriented or more like Soprano-ish..So you see, pop culture and rock and roll play a vital role in the naming of our cupcakes.
This leads me to today’s edition, Sins Not Tragedies. I have always loved rock and it’s assisted me in bridging generation gaps because I refuse to tell kids that their music sucks. I may not like it, but its not supposed to resonate with me, it for them. But sometime a tune comes along that could have fit into any generation, and one such tune is by Panic At The Disco. This is one of the rare times my teen daughter and I agree on musical excellence. The song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” is a great tune from way back in 2006. Its essentially about a best man and bride being caught having “benefits”. Haven’t they heard of keeping the god damn door shut??!! ..Anyway, before we became bakers we did full scale catering for weddings and parties. One such party was supposed to have a grooms cake of cheesecake. I never caught it on the function sheet, and the night before the wedding I needed to come up with a cheesecake on the spot. Using what I had around I through together a cheesecake made with Roc N Rye. I didn’t even have a recipe, it was straight from my head.
As luck would have it, the groom thought it was the best cheesecake ever. My wife said you better save that recipe. I gulped hard, an confessed there is no such recipe. She politely told me to write it down now if I ever want to see my scrotum again. I was appalled! The3 indignity, the nerve, the……I wrote it down. To this day its on a scrap of paper titled “The I think this is it cheesecake.” True story. So the cupcake….cheesecake batter and vanilla cake batter mixed, its stuffed with Rock N Rye custard, and topped with chocolate icing. Believe me when I tell you its delicious. I’d be willing to gamble my scrotum on it…….PEACE