Rollware: Edible Dishware

Ever since I saw my first patterned rolling pin in Gesine Bullock-Prado's cookbook Pie it Forward, I’ve been a bit obsessed with the idea of using a decorated rolling pin as a means of imprinting designs onto dough. So, as you can imagine, when I came across these gorgeous laser-cut rolling pins, I gasped, just a little. Unfortunately, these pins are not actually available for purchase, but were instead created by three students in the Masters of Interior Architecture & Retail Design Programme at The Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam (Joanne Choueiri, Giulia Cosenza and Povilas Raskevicius) as part an of exhibition entitled Altered Appliances. The purpose of the exhibit being to “present projects that investigate the retooling of industrial low-tech appliances and gadgets to offer alternative design solutions and experiences for today’s kitchen." The printed pins are part of the Rollware project, which "reintroduces the rolling pin as a multi-functional device for production, while also addressing sustainability in disposable plates, since the baked bread plates can be eaten rather than thrown away." The whole thing is pretty darn cool, if you ask me! Well, done! You can check out the video below, to see the whole process in action. You can also see more work from the exhibition on the Altered Appliance website, right here. {Thanks, Rose!} ~Erin


Tim Walker Photographs

I don’t think Tim Walker has every taken a picture that I didn’t love. I am a huge fan. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to do a post on him before. I suppose I didn’t think of him as being a “dessert” artist. Then one day I realized that sweets do pop up in his photographs, quite often.

Walker, whose work was first published in British Vogue in 1996, is a fashion photographer unlike any other. Combining both whimsy and shadow, he is able to turn an ordinary fashion shoot into a magical fantasyland that is singularly, gloriously, all his own. It is make believe without any feeling of artifice. You believe in his creation and you want to go there.

You can find more info on Tim’s photography in his books Tim Walker Pictures and Tim Walker: Story Teller. You can also view more of his dreamy photos, as well as his short films, via his website. ~Erin


jcoco chocolate

It’s hard to imagine a time when chocolate was a luxury. In modern times, chocolate is so readily available that we take it for granted and don’t really savor it or appreciate it the way our ancestors did. It’s not made to be savored, really. It’s mass produced and filled with so many unpronounceable ingredients that we’ve forgotten what quality chocolate really tastes like. Jcoco is not that sort of candy. It’s not average or run of the mill. Instead, it’s the sort of treat that reminds you that, sometimes, a really special chocolate is worth waiting for!

Let’s start with the packaging, which I absolutely love! It’s not the most important part of the puzzle, but I’m a sucker for a cute wrapper and jcoco certainly knows a thing or two about making their product visually exciting. The exterior box, which resembles a clutch or a wallet, is made out of a really lovely paper that is quite soft to the touch. I pretty much forced everyone I know to run their fingers up and down the cover! It was sooo smooth and silky! Once the box is opened, you will find three separate bars each one featuring a different fashion photograph. So cute!

The candy itself is delicious! I am, honestly, very reluctant about doing reviews because I worry that I won’t like the product, but I truly, truly loved these bars! I didn’t want to share them with anyone! Here’s the breakdown on the three flavored bars.

Edamame Sea Salt: This one was perhaps my favorite. The toasted edaname beans provide a nice crunch and you can never go wrong with a salt/chocolate combo. This bar is made with milk chocolate, and I’m normally a dark chocolate type of gal, but I didn’t miss it at all in this case. Often I associate milk chocolate with cheap candy, but when it’s done right, as it is with this bar, it can be quite good!

Black Fig Pistachio:  This one was a big hit, too. Several people named it as their favorite. This is a dark chocolate bar, so bonus points there. Also, pistachios and figs are two of my all-time favorite foods, making it pretty hard for me to resist.

Veracruz Orange: I didn’t think I would like this one. Normally, I’m not a fan of chocolate and orange, but, I have to say, I loved it!! The combination of orange and white chocolate is really nice. I much prefer it over dark chocolate and citrus. The bar is creamy and sweet and downright delightful.  

In addition, I’m happy to report that jcoco does not use genetically modified ingredients in their bars and prints all of their boxes on recycled boxes. Woo hoo! You can find more info on jcoco, and shop online, on their website. ~Erin


Cookbook Excitement: Modern Art Desserts

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this cookbook! Back in 2009, I wrote a piece about pastry chef Caitlin Williams Freeman and the amazing work she was doing at The Blue Bottle Cafe, which is located at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art. That piece was, and remains, one of my most popular posts. People can't seem to get enough of Caitlin's wonderful art-inspired desserts! And, now, with the release of her cookbook, Modern Art Desserts, you can find out exactly how she goes about converting famous works of art into gorgeous, edible desserts! Along with step-by-step instructions on how to create her most famous cakes, the Mondrian Cake and her trio of Thiebaud cakes, you will find recipes inspired by the works of Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Henri Matisse, Jeff Koons, Francesca Woodman, Roy Lichtenstein, and Richard Avedon, among others. Each recipe includes an image of the dessert, along with a photo of it's artistic inspiration, so that you get a real sense of the whole process.

Caitlin Williams Freeman is one of the true dessert art innovators. You can find out more about her cookbook by watching the video above. To order Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art, click here. ~Erin

{Cookbook photos by Clay McLachlan}


Whipped Bake Shop

As much as I love tile, looking at tile, dreaming about tile, I’ve never actually had the guts or the ambition to attempt a tiling project of my very own. It all seems a little too permanent to me. What if I don’t like it? What if I mess it up? What if? What if? Thankfully, Whipped Bake Shop in Philadelphia has come up with the perfect solution to my tile indecision. Tile cookies! Now you can indulge in a little tile buying frenzy, without any of the permanence, because, you know, the tiles will be going directly in your belly! The details on these cookies really are quite lovely. It is astounding how much they resemble actual tiles! And it doesn’t stop there. Whipped Bake Shop has a slew of unique cookies on their site. I’ve selected a few of my favorites  below. Each cookie is made with vanilla shortbread and hand-decorated by staff at the bakery using almond royal icing. You can find more info and buying information via their Etsy site and their website. (Thanks, Kristin!) ~Erin

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