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Take-n-Bake Molten Chocolate Cake in a Mason Jar

molten chocolate cake in a mason jar

hot cakes in a mason jar

I am surprised that it took me so long to discover this fabulous ready to bake cake by chocolatier Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes. She started making them in 2008. Since then, the dessert served in a Mason jar has exploded. If a molten chocolate cake is not a novelty, why do I write about it? In a word: convenience!

molten chocolate cake in a mason jar

What I like most about her product is that you buy it ready to bake. Others will appreciate that it is organic. Personally, I simply imagine the smell in my house before serving dessert to my guests. Many people prefer to buy desserts when they have friends for dinner. I do! The reason that I buy the dessert is to have more time to cook the rest of the meal. Once in a while, I will make my own dessert.

Until now,  Hot Cakes did not have a brick and mortar shop.  They sold at farmers’ markets, at their online store and through indie shops in the state of Washington. Last weekend, they opened their first brick and mortar shop called Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery with a partial funding round on Kickstarter.

Since I doubt that Hot Cakes are shipping to Montreal, I will have to experience with my own molten chocolate recipe. Did you ever bake your own molten chocolate cake in a Mason jar? Do you have any advice for beginner bakers?

Dark Decadence Take-n-Bake Molten Chocolate Cake in a Mason Jar $8 USD at Hot Cakes



Cake Vintage’s Paper Placemats

place setting placemat backdrop for a rich chocolate cake

place setting placemat backdrop for a rich chocolate cake

When I first laid my eyes on the 6-layer rich chocolate cake by Sweetapolita, I immediately recognized the style of the kitchen paper placemats by Cake Vintage. I received the Italian Scroll Placemat Pad at Christmas. The styled photos of Sweetapolita show this product in all its splendor.

What is cool with paper placemats is that you can enhance the design to fit the occasion by writing on the paper. You could write down the menu or use them to assign the place of your guests at your dinner table.

Italian scroll placemat pad by cake vintage

If you are having a bug party is an affordable solution to dress your buffet or dining table. Each 50-sheet placemat pad costs about $20. They are made with soy based inks and 30% recycled content. They make coordinating menu notepad. You can buy the Perfect Setting Placemat pad used for the cake shoots on Cake Vintage or at Anthropologie (they are called Fine Dining placemats on Anthropologie’s Web site).

fine dining paper placemats

Oh, and do not miss to check the recipe of the rich chocolate cake on Sweetapolita.

+ Kitchen  Papers Collection by Cake Vintage – $20 USD for a placemat pad, $10 for a menu notepad
+ Fine Dining Placemats $24 USD at Anthropologie
+ Campfire Delight: 6-Layer Rich Chocolate Malted & Toasted Marshmallow Cake from Sweetapolita


Modern Twist on the Traditional Fruit Cake

modern twist on the traditional holiday fruit cake

modern twist on the traditional holiday fruit cake

Like many people, I do not enjoy the taste of the traditional Holiday fruit cake. I ate too many fruit cakes that contained too many dried fruits or too much liquor in it. I think that people put more liquor or fruits in hope to add moistness to an otherwise dried cake. But it does not work.

So, we gave up on this traditional fruit cake. But after reading pastry chef Steve Song suggestions on how to improve the taste of the fruit cake, I might give it a try. First, look at his presentation. He addressed one complaint of many people by making a two-bite sized fruit cake. You simply bake them in mini muffin pans. He topped the light coat of icing with sparkles to bring a festive touch.

The second trick that you must know from pastry chef Steve Song is to slightly under bake your cake to keep it moist. Read the rest of tips on Food Network Canada.

+ Is There Such a Thing as Good Fruit Cake? at Food Network Canada
+ Dark Fruitcake $48 USD at Dean & Deluca


Bettina’s Schmandkuchen recipe

Schmandkuchen recipe :: german cake with a schmand filling topped with glazed fruits

Many of you asked for the recipe of the delicious Schmandkuchen that my German-born friend Bettina Forget baked at Easter. I am delighted that she is sharing her recipe with us.

This a great cake to bake in advance; furthermore, it will feed many hungry guests. Before you start, notice that you serve the cake directly from the baking pan. Make sure that you get a large, deep baking pan.

List of ingredients

For the cake batter:

  • 200 g butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250 g plain white flour

For the Schmand filling :

For Canadian and US bakers, Bettina substituted the original ingredients with what’s available at your local supermarket. You will need:

  • 750 ml milk
  • 7 tablespoons vanilla custard*
  • 100 g sugar (or to taste)
  • 300 g crème fraîche*
  • 300 g Quark (fresh cheese)*
  • 2 egg yolks

If you want to bake the “German” version, you use 2 packets of Dr. Oetker vanilla pudding instead of the custard, and a mix of 400 g Schmand and 200 g sour cream instead of the crème fraîche/Quark combination.

For the topping:

  • 2 large packets of strawberries
  • 2 packets of raspberries
  • 2 packets of blackberries
  • 500 ml berry fruit juice
  • 2 packets of fruit glaze

Step by step instructions

1. Baking the cake batter

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and start preparing the base:
Mix the soft butter with the sugar until you get a creamy consistency, then add the eggs one by one and stir vigorously until the mixture looks silky. Fold the baking powder into the flour and sift the flour into the mixture. Grease a large, deep baking pan and spread the batter evenly until the entire bottom is covered (about the thickness of a thumb). Pre-bake the base for 15 minutes.

2. Preparing the Schmand

Prepare the vanilla custard, doubling the amount of custard powder so you’ll get a pudding consistency rather than a sauce (if you’re using the Dr. Oetker pudding powder, just follow the instructions on the back of the packet). Let the pudding cool a bit. Mix the crème fraîche and the Quark (or Schmand/sour cream) and add the prepared vanilla pudding and the two egg yolks. Add sugar to taste.

3. Take the base out of the oven and let cool in the baking pan.

Leave the base in the baking pan and spread the Schmand evenly on the base.

4. Preparing the topping

Wash the fruit, you may have to cut the strawberries in half lengthwise if they are big. Cover the Schmand with the berries. Put the baking tray back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

5. Finishing

Once the cake has completely cooled, prepare the fruit glaze. Standard red fruit glaze recipes call for a mix of sugar and water, but I prefer to substitute with red berry fruit juice instead for flavour, and it’s also less sweet. Pour the fruit glaze evenly across the cake.

Once the fruit glaze is firm the cake is ready to eat. But I suggest that you put it in the fridge overnight, it tastes better chilled. Enjoy!


The Modern Cakes of Eat Cake Be Merry

eat cake be merry pink flower cakes

Liz Shim is the cake maker and decorator behind these awesome cakes. Looking at her pink flower cake creations, it is clear that she has a modern style.

stylish fifth birthday cake by at cake

She created a stylish cake for a fifth birthday party. I like it when parents opt for something playful yet refined. If you replace the topper and the banner, you get a cute design for a baby shower. It could also be the basis of a circus theme.

garden theme cakes with birds and butterflies by eat cake be merry

You can see her attention to details in the way she crafted the butterflies. If you are interested by her cake, know that Liz served the New York metropolitan area. She founded Eat Cake Be Merry with the goal to combine modern, simple, and clean design with delicious cakes.

+ photos: Eat Cake Be Merry
+ via Something Old, Something New


Word Cake

alphabet letter cake

I am looking for big single letter cake pans to write my husband’s name. I am looking for letters that would be more than 3-inch tall. I think the adjustable Alphabet/Number Cake Pan lacks refinement. I want my e and my o to have curves like this CAKE I spot on I love Dust. If you know a source, please share.

+ photo by I love Dust


A Scone, a Cake and a Tart | Quick Links 2009.08.30

3 desserts by 3 bloggers :: blueberry scone :: chocolate cake :: nectarine galette

It seems that this weekend all my favorite food bloggers concentrated on desserts. Or maybe I noticed them more because I love desserts. Three particular recipes caught my eyes:

+ Jaden of Steamy Kitchen talked about the best Blueberry Scones with Lemon Curd she ever had. She renamed the curd Lemon Glaze. This recipe will create a scone that seems different from the scones we are used to. It is moist, rich, delicate. It sounds like an improvement of the dry scones that coffee shops too often served.

+ Lili of Pickelet and Pie proposes an Chocolate orange cake with orange blossom cream. She was looking to make a dessert for 30 persons. She adapted David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Idiot cake recipe to make her chocolate and orange cake that she topped with an orange blossom cream. As a chocolate lover, I would have a hard time resisting if you present me this plate.

+ We ate tonight for dessert a warm piece of green apple and blueberry pie. I feel less guilty when I eat a fruit pie. I would feel even less guilty with this open, single crust Nectarine Galette that I spotted on Smitten Kitchen. To save time, make two bathes of the dough and freeze half in a plastic bag. You can leave unbaked dough in the freezer for a few weeks before baking.


How to Make at Home the Best Ever After Eight Chocolate

escriba wedding cake : after eight details

When I saw this on TV this morning, I was in awe! This is the simplest idea to impress your guests at your next dinner party

How to make fancy After Eight Chocolate in 7 steps

Christian Escribà demonstrated for a TV5 show called Mixeur. The recipe is an idea from the cooking genius, Chef Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. I took pictures from my TV, which explained the lower image quality.

how to make after eight chocolate

  1. You start with fresh mint leaves.
  2. Deposit the leaves on a waxed paper sheet in a cookie tray.
  3. Pour hot chocolate on each leave – my choice would be dark chocolate
  4. With a spatula, spread the melted chocolate to create a layer
  5. Deposit in the fridge for cooling down
  6. Carefully turn and remove the paper
  7. Use a dessert tongs to place them in a serving plate

With a recipe so simple there are no reason why not to serve homemade mignardises after your meal.

After Eight Wedding Cake

If you like the idea, you can order from Pasteleria Escribà the After Eight wedding cake where white chocolate suits better the occasion.

escriba after eight wedding cake

If you understand French, you can watch online the episode 5 of Mixeur with La famille Escriba, Philippe Starck and more.

+ Recipe images from MIXEUR, les goûts et les idées
+ Pasteleria Escribà

CAKES + desserts FOOD + DRINK

At Home with Kim Vallee on Kotaku!


I feel wonderful that the Associate Editor, UK of Kotaku Stuart Houghton wrote about my Classic Games Cupcake Tower With Companion Cube Centerpiece.

I feel honored since they slow down on featuring game cakes. In their own words, they say that my birthday treat to Jerome was special enough to attract their attention.

For your information, Kotaku is the ultimate reference blog in video games. They get on average 1,500,000 visits a day. They rank 19 on Technorati.

Being featured on Kotaku meant that I broke for the first time the 5,000-visit barrier. I got 5,253 visits a day and I did it on a Friday. Another reason to celebrate. Thanks Stuart and all Kotaku team. Jerome loves you!

+ On AHWKV: My Husband’s Classic Video Games Cupcake Tower
+ Via Kotaku


Honey-Glazed Beehive Cake and Pretty Bundt Cakes

honey glazed beehive cake :: bundt cake recipes, pans and cake keeper

Casting moulds help you bake pretty impressive cakes. Store a few models for when you entertain.

Cakes baked inside a silicone mould are easier to remove but it seems the more detailed patterns are still made in metal. With proper preparation and careful handling, you will be able to create a crisp surface.

Honey-Glazed Beehive Birthday Cake

My friend Nat baked and decorated the honey-glazed beehive cake for her mother’s birthday. She also crafted the bees with almond paste. Look how gorgeous it is! Nat is very talented; she always surprised me with all her know-how.

Nat baked the Honey-Glazed Beehive Cake recipe that was on the cover of June 2008 Martha Stewart Living magazine. You will need the Beehive Cake Pan available at Williams-Sonoma. Canadians can order the pan by calling any of the 6 Canadians Williams-Sonoma stores.

Bundt Cake Design Ideas

The Beehive Cake Pan is produced by Nordic Ware, a brand renowned for the Bundt cakes. They made pretty cool patterned pans. A Bundt cake is my exception to the rule. I prefer a non stick pan because it is so important to get accurate lines defining the pattern.

Margo Murdock Murphy of Stockton, California for her Chocolate Cabernet Flavors di ‘vine’ Wine Cake at the 2006 Bundts Across America contest. Her cake looks so tasty. You can bake her non cake mix base recipe created especially for the Martha Stewart Show.

Carry around your cake in style with the Bundt Cake Keeper. Its cover twists and locks to a base plate. The clear dome means you can admire it without affecting its freshness.

I may have seen these bundt cake pans at Les Touilleurs last winter. Looking at the finished products, I feel I need to do some shopping.

If you are looking for more recipes, check out Bundt Cake Bliss, a bundt cake book that people seem to appreciate.

+ Beehive Cake Pan at Williams-Sonoma – price: $36 USD
+ Bundt Cake Keeper at Williams-Sonoma – price; $22 USD
+ Nordic Ware Nonstick Cathedral Bundt Pan at – price: $31.99 USD
+ Chocolate Wine Cake Recipe by Margot Murdock Murphy
+ Nordic Ware Fleur-de-Lis Bundt Pan at – price; $39.99 USD
+ Bundt Cake Bliss: Delicious Desserts from Midwest Kitchens – price: $11.53 USD