Category Archives: Cupcakes

Aritisanal LA 2010, Downtown LA (Sweets Edition)

Organic. Grass-fed. Sustainable. Hand-made. Local. Healthy. Gourmet. These are just a few words to describe the assembly of the finest artisans in LA at the recent Artisanal LA Fall 2010 at the Cooper Building Downtown last October 24 and 25. With over 100 participants, including chef demos, workshops, and speakers, it was not hard to muster up the strength to come and visit. I didn’t need any encouragement by MultiCultural Cooking Network to cover this event. In fact, my foot was already out the door as soon as I got my tickets a week before.

You can actually divide the room into two obvious sides: the Sweet and the Savory. Here are my finds perfect for those with a serious sweet tooth:

Max Lesser and his Morning Glory confections. Featured on the Cooking Channel’s Foodcrafters, Max presented his handmade and of the finest ingredients brittle in different enticing flavors such as the most popular: Fleur de Sel and peanut.  But what really caught my attention was his New Mexico and Pumpkin seed creation. It had a sweet beginning with a mean, twisted, spicy kick towards the finish. Can you say YUMMY with me?


Cake Suzette, LLC and her unique creations had one my favorite sweet bites for the day (and maybe for the whole year): the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mallomore. It was a chocolate marshmallow with a peanut butter ganache, a milk chocolate crust on the outside and homemade graham crackers, regrets came after the first bite as I only had one square in my possession. She is also famous for her bite size Cake O’s with beckoning combination and coated in different flavor: coconut with a milk chocolate outside, red velvet covered in white chocolate, and cappuccino chocolate with a dense chocolate cake on the inside.

Sweet Dreamery Desserts had more than just your usual cravings. Other than their delicious cupcakes, they also have seasonal and all-occasion bakery baskets filled with different goodies. They can customize your sweets with different toppings such as Tiffany blue cookies, musical notes, pumpkin frosting while filling the basket with table cloths, aprons, decors, and more befitting any special event you may have.

Need a snack fix? Try out P.O.P. Candy and their handmade creations such as the Chai TeaGranola Pecan Bar. They also have a herbed line: Rosemary and Almond, and Thyme, Walnut, and Cherries which were surprisingly well-balanced. I had to keep coming back for more of their Rosemary and Almond brittle which came in small addicting bites. It was so convenient to pop in your mouth that you tend to forget how much you’ve actually consumed, hence the name: POP. They can also custom wrap, label, and serve your choices for any special occasion.


Coupled with such a great story, Welsh Bakers featured one that I haven’t had in a very long time: Welsh Cakes. “Not quite a cookie, not quite a scone”, this bite was long missed. Thank you Denise Carbone, her husband Joe for bringing this ancient Celticrecipe into our century. And thank you to your mother, who still lives in Wales and approved every single flavor prior to production. The Lemon Poppy seed was a great early morning upper with my coffee, which also ironically reminded me that my sweet Artisinal journey just passed.

Don’t get me wrong, there were more Artisans that featured their best desserts forward. All were with unique ideas, combination, and style. In fact I started to have immunity problems. At the end of the day, the sweets started to taste almost the same. So I had to alternate between the sweet and the savory. Well, after all, I would like to give everyone equal opportunity to extract from me the sighs, the OOHH’s, the AAHH’s and the OH MY’s. But, I was never disappointed, I had plenty of other explicit expressions long after I left the building.

Please take your time and read the savory edition, and support our local Artisans.

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Filed under Artisan, Cakes, Cupcakes, Dessert, Event, Occasion

Viva Las Vegas Day One- Las Vegas Hilton Buffet

Coming to Vegas,  food is always last on the priority list. But not for me. I know the calories will pile up and exercise will be a necessity after but you cannot blame a foodie for trying to enjoy the pleasures in life wherever I may be.

But first we couldn’t leave LA without a stop at Auntie Em’s Kitchen in Eagle Rock for their delicious cupcakes. Not that we weren’t full yet from the brunch I made. But this is Auntie Em’s people! The red velvet is and will always be delicious. The coconut was a little too sweet for my taste, but the shavings on top were good added sprinkles. The carrot and chocolate I had no more room for, but according to reliable sources they were both delicious. But the star of the show was the peanut butter and jelly, a new flavor. The peanut butter must have been incorporated in the batter as the taste is very assertive in a very good way.

Of course when you go to Vegas you think of the buffets. A linear presentation of gluttony at its peak. So it is but natural for us to go to the first buffet we saw after the many hours of traveling the long and winding road. We happened to have complimentary tickets to the Las Vegas Hilton buffet (also where we stayed) so we just dropped off our luggage and skipped merrily down to the buffet line.

I started with soup. I needed something hot going down my throat. The clam chowder was runny, I missed the thick soup and the generous add-ons. I had no clams and barely some potatoes, but it was not lacking of celery which I do not know if an upside or downside.


Any measure of a good buffet is a test of across the board dishes popular at any location. Meat is always a good starting point. So I went and picked my weapons of choice. The ribs were a little dry. The turkey sausage was actually not as bad as I expected, the casing had a good snap but I doubt that this was made from scratch. The bbq chicken was fine, it wasn’t too sweet nor bland. But nothing exciting to brag about. The New York steak was cooked to medium well, a little too much for my liking but very well-seasoned. The dumplings/potstickers were very oily. But star of the plate was my grilled lamb. Seasoned simply with salt and pepper, and cooked to perfection. It was very tender and needed not much effort to devour inside my mouth.

The savory showed little promise of satisfaction. So I got off my seat and moved towards the dessert section. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The cherry crepe was too sour. I barely made it to my second bite. I went ahead and tried some more. The wafer roll was hard to bite, if you say wafer hard is the last thing to associate it with. The frosted cookie was killing my palate with sweetness. But the bread pudding was my favorite so far. It was so good that I had to get a separate plate just for my much needed happy place.

Now this is how I make my bread pudding. Top it with chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, a little bit of nuts, and drizzle with hot chocolate fudge. And it was finished to the last morsel without me even batting an eyelash. Now this was a good ending.

Maybe it was a little too much to expect in a buffet. But there is more to come and this food lover will have more chances to love Vegas once again. I’ve been to their finest restaurants with award-winning chefs at the helm of the kitchen, now its about time to really go back and explore Vegas once more. Maybe dimsum tomorrow (or is it today already)? Sounds like a plan, we shall see.

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Filed under BBQ, Beef, Buffet, Clams, Cupcakes, Dessert, Lamb, Related Article, Soup