Category Archives: Cupcakes

Holiday Sweet Treats, A Special Michael Mina Dinner & More

La Boulange's special holiday macarons. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

La Boulange’s Holiday Offerings

Need a last-minute hostess gift or sweet treat to end the feast for Thanksgiving?

La Boulange, with locations around the Bay Area, comes to the rescue with its double whammy of  holiday pumpkin and rum raisin macarons.

The classic French cookie sandwich is filled with your choice of pumpkin or rum raisin ganache. They’re $1.50 each.

For Christmas, La Boulange offers up the classic buche de Noel. The Christmas log-cake confection is rolled and filled with cream, topped with buttercream, then decorated with marzipan and meringue.

A festive, scrumptious yule log. (Photo courtesy of La Boulange)

The edible yule log comes in two sizes: 6-inch ($23) and 12-inch ($35).

Maximum Mina Dinner For A Good Cause

That’s the appropriate name for the Nov. 27 dinner at RN74 in San Francisco, which will include a host of chefs from the Michael Mina restaurant group cooking up a five-course feast with wine pairings and a cocktail.

The “Maximum Mina” dinner will be created by Mina, wine director Rajat Parr, and Pastry Chef Lincoln Carson, as well as Ron Siegel of Michael Mina restaurant, Jason Berthold of RN74 and Omri Afalo of Bourbon Steak.

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Orange & Black Attack in Honor of the SF Giants and Halloween

Do you think of the SF Giants when you look at this risotto dish? You should! (Photo courtesy of Prospect restaurant)

Prospect’s Ode to the SF Giants

In honor of the San Francisco Giants’ winning streak, Prospect restaurant in San Francisco has created a new dish that sports the team’s trademark colors.

Black risotto with uni and a gently poached egg is a most appropriate dish to celebrate this classy baseball team’s triumphs, don’t you think?

The $16 dish is not on the regular menu. Those in the know just need ask for it.

Chef Pam Mazzola plans to make it available as long as the Giants keep winning or fresh sea urchin is available.

The "Humm Baby'' cupcake from Sift Cupcake + Dessert Bar. (Photo courtesy of Sift)

Sift Cupcake’s Sweet Salute to the Team

Starting today, Sift Cupcake + Dessert Bar in San Francisco, will be baking up the “Humm Baby” in honor of the Giants.

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SusieCakes Opens First Peninsula Location, Porchetta Time & More

Get ready for cupcakes galore at SusieCakes in Menlo Park. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

SusieCakes Comes to Menlo Park

SusieCakes, which started in Southern California but has spread to these northern parts, is opening its newest location at 642 Santa Cruz Ave. in downtown Menlo Park.

The bakery, know in particular for its old-fashioned cakes and cupcakes, already has two other Bay Area locations: San Francisco and Marin County.

Join in the grand opening ceremony at the Menlo Park bakery, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 24. Dust off your favorite poodle skirt for an old-fashioned sock hop with 50’s tunes. Best costume wins a prize. There will be plenty of cupcakes, cookies and bars to sample, too.

Get a gander at this porchetta at Brassica. (Photo by Sean Knight)

Porchetta Sundays at Brassica in the Napa Valley

After a weekend of wine tasting, there’s nothing better than a big hunk of  juicy, slow-cooked pork to go along with it.

Every Sunday night now at Chef Cindy Pawlcyn’s Brassica in St. Helena, they’re serving up porchetta — a whole loin of pork stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel fronds and fennel pollen, then roasted in a Caja China charcoal oven for 3 1/2 hours.

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Cabernet Wine — In Flour

Cupcakes made with flour milled from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes skins.

You can find flour milled from most any grain these days.

Now, you also can find flour with red wine in it. Cabernet Sauvignon, to be exact.

Earlier this year, when I was strolling through the Tyler Florence Shop in Napa, I spied bags of Cabernet Wine Flour and Cabernet Cocoa Powder, both of which I just had to buy. After all, it’s pretty hard to resist their striking reddish-brown hues.

They’re made by Marche Noir Foods of Irvine, CA. The wine flour is made from the pomace (skins) of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes after they are crushed. The skins are dried, then milled into a powder, which apparently is high in iron, fiber and Resveratrol (a natural anti-oxidant). The Cabernet Cocoa Powder is just dark cocoa powder mixed with the Cabernet Wine Flour.

The beautiful color of the wine flour.

A 10-ounce bag of the Cabernet Wine Flour was $14.95 at the store; a 10-ounce bag of the Cabernet Cocoa Powder was $9.95.

I couldn’t wait to try baking with them. The Marche Noir Web site is a good place to start for recipes. I zeroed in on the one for “Cabernet Velvet Cupcakes with Ganache Glaze,” which incorporates both the wine flour and cocoa powder. The recipe also calls for red food coloring, but I left that out.

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Anzu Gets A Fresh Look, New Campbell Eateries, Half-Off Wines & More

Anzu's new glam look. (Photo by Matthew Millman)

Restaurant Anzu Gets Glam

The Hotel Nikko’s Restaurant Anzu in San Francisco has debuted a chic new look with its bold citrine, black and white decor.

Jewel-like chandeliers, beaded pendant lighting, a black wall treatment, heavy, damask curtains and oversized white banquettes add an even more luxurious feeling.

You can still enjoy an array of sushi there, but the restaurant also has added a new emphasis on prime meat with  Kurobota double pork chop ($33), local rack of lamb ($34) and Wagyu beef that’s cooked tableside on a sizzling hot Japanese river stone ($34).

Campbell Welcomes Tasty, New Businesses

Downtown Campbell is hopping lately with new foodie places, including an intriguing Austrian-California restaurant, Naschmarkt (pronounced “nash-marked”), which just opened.

Long-time South Bay foodies may fondly remember the now-shuttered Cafe Marcella in Los Gatos. Those owners, Alain and Martine Staebler, have partnered with their son-in-law, Austrian chef, Matthias Froeschl, to open this restaurant that is named for Vienna’s largest open-air market.

Look for classic wiener schnitzel with lingonberry sauce, Hungarian beef goulash, steamed Scottish salmon with baby artichokes, and apple strude — but of course.

Soda pop buffs will get a kick out of Rocket Fizz, which also just opened downtown. Owners Chris Dunn and Lisa Pelgrim sell more than 500 varieties of soda, including more than 50 root beers. They’re all sold in glass bottles, which can be purchased individually, by the pack or by the case.

Don’t miss the candy selection, either, that boasts more than 2,000 kinds from around the world.

Finally, if that wasn’t enough sugar for you already, wander over to the new downtown Frost Cupcake Factory.

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