Inspiration Board: Where the Wild Things Are

To celebrate the release of the film version of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, I thought I'd post a few pics of some fabulous Wild Things-inspired cakes. The cake above, from Coco Cake, has been floating around the web for a while, but with the movie coming out on October 16th, I just had to post it, along with the one below by tallulah blue.

If you're not as artistically gifted as these bakers, you can also buy edible cake decorations that will quickly transform a plain old cake into a page from Sendak's much-loved book! Check out Ebay for more designs or just click here for the one below.


Mixing Bowl: Zucchini Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting by Oh So Good

Today’s Mixing Bowl recipe comes from graphic designer and Etsy seller Sarah Roberto of Oh So Good. Her delicious recipe for whole wheat zucchini cake with coconut cream cheese frosting would be make a tasty weekend treat and would also be a great way start the fall baking season! Personally, I love zucchini bread, even though zucchini is one of my least favorite veggies. I'll eat the green squash, but it's not my first choice, but zucchini bread . . . yum! The fact that it doesn't have an overwhelming zucchini flavor makes it a great, healthier, dessert option for the kiddies, too. Just don't tell them that there's zucchini in it!

Sarah is a Toronto-based graphic designer who creates environmentally-friendly notebooks, greeting cards, and gift tags using salvaged paper. For example, when you buy one of Sarah's notebooks, the inside will be filled with found pages (grid, lined, colored) and the cover print may have been rescued from a discarded book or a scrap of vintage wallpaper. Such a great idea! I don't often buy stationary products because I inevitably feel guilty about the environmental impact. As a result, I have TONS of unbound paper scraps floating around my house with various notes scribbled on them. Sarah's notebooks are a great way to stay organized, without hurting the environment! The faux wood notebooks have my name written all over them, but there are a lot of other great designs to choose from. You can view Sarah's collection online right here.

Thanks so much to Sarah for sharing her recipe with us! Happy Baking!

You can find the full recipe and more photos after the jump.


Alison Nelson's Chocolate Bar

The Web site for Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar is jam packed with designs I love. I really like the look of the Atomic Chocolates and the stylishly-packaged chocolate bars, whose labels are designed by artists like Rolito and Nathan Jurevicius. I'm especially interested in trying the Retro Bars, which come in flavors like malted milk, salty pretzel, and peanut butter caramel. So many choices! You can find stores in New York or Dubai or you can order online by clicking here.

(Pictured above: Stencil Bars. Below: Retro Bars, Graffiti Bars (designed by graffiti artists), Artist Bars, Atomic Chocolates)


Inspiration Board: Silhouettes

I'm a big fan of silhouettes, so I'm loving these shadow puppet chocolates from Food Flower Style. Yes, those are actually shadow puppet designs traced and cut out of parchment paper, and then used as chocolate molds. You can use the same concept for any sort of design, although the shadow puppet idea is really cute. (Unfortunately, this post is no longer on the Food Flower Style site, but I found a copy right here.)

If you're interested in making silhouette cookies, like the ones below that appeared in Martha Stewart Weddings, The Victor Trading Company will create a personalized silhouette cookie cutter for you (see below). Just send them a photo and you'll get a customized cutter ($30) in return. Click here for more details.

For another type of silhouette cookie, check out the these slightly more traditional cookies courtesy of The Good Apple and then click here for tips on making them.


The Mixing Bowl: Pavlova by Hello Naomi

This week’s Mixing Bowl post is from Australian-based baker Naomi Henderson of Hello Naomi. She has prepared a cute pavlova recipe that can be easily be converted into delicious pavlova cupcakes, too! Personally, I love pavlova! It's a sloppy baker's dream! It's supposed to be cracked and uneven, so you don't need to worry about being perfect. Besides, who can resist a dessert named after a ballerina?

I first discovered Naomi's work on Flickr, where she started uploading photos of her creations after taking a cake-decorating class in early 2007. While working on her PhD in computer engineering, Naomi started creating her cute and clever designs, and, apparently, I'm not the only one who took notice! The photos of her creations became so popular, and there was such a demand for her desserts, that she was able to start her own business! If you visit her Flickr site, you'll know why. There's always something fun to check out on her photostream! My favorite Naomi sweet treat has always been the bird cupcakes, but the Pacman cupcakes are pretty hard to resist. They would be perfect for your favorite guy. . . or video game-loving girl. :-)

From Naomi: Pavlova is my favourite dessert in the whole world. My family would always have it at Christmas but I have been making it more and more lately. It is such a quick and easy dessert to make when friends are coming over for dinner. This recipe serves about 6 people but it is very easily scaled. I usually just budget 1 egg white and ¼ cup of sugar per guest. Then just beat it for 5 min, add a squeeze of lemon a dash of vanilla, throw it in a low oven and forget about it! Well maybe don't forget about it, check it after about 45 min . . . but the good thing is that it is really hard to stuff up!

Check out Naomi's Web site here and click here to view her Flickr photostream.

Full recipe and more photos after the jump. Thanks, Naomi!


Ice Cream Crepes

One final, end of summer item from my Japanese dessert adventure: Ice cream crepes. It's ice cream, but it's a crepe, so it requires chewing. Kinda like an ice cream sandwich, I suppose. Not fun for people with teeth sensitivity, but I don't have that problem, so I'd give it a shot! If you're in San Francisco, you can get crepe ice cream at Genki Crepes and Sophie's Crepes. Otherwise, look for them at Japanese restaurants and markets. [Top photo by Brian.]

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