Category Archives: Cupcakes

The Newest in Wine Pairings — Lady Gaga Donuts and Cupcakes

You’ve had cheese with your wine. You’ve had chocolate with your wine.

But you’ve probably never had the likes of a Lady Gaga donut with a Petite Syrah.

This Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 28, you can enjoy that unusual pairing that sounds as out there as one of Gaga’s outfits.

Poetic Cellars of Soquel is hosting this creative food-wine pairing. Psycho Donuts of Campbell is supplying all the donuts that day, including the pop star-inspired iced cake ones topped with fresh blueberries.

The winery is offering up even more donut-wine combos with the likes of “Apricotology fritters” with Chardonnay and Viognier; an Oreo cookie-like cake donut matched with Syrah; and S’Mores cake donuts with Poetic Cellars’ Bourdeaux blend, Ballad.

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Time for Cake, Cheese & Sorbet

The cakes:

As in cupcakes, whoopie cakes and other classic cakes you’ll find at the new SusieCakes bakery, which has opened its first San Francisco location in the Marina district, a short hop from the Hilton at Fisherman’s Wharf.

This marks the second branch of the Los Angeles bakery, which has opened up North. The first one debuted in January in Greenbrae in Marin County.

The new Marina bakery will celebrate its grand opening on June 26, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., with an old-fashioned sock hop, featuring ’50s tunes, kids activities, a costume contest, tasty treats, and prizes, including a raffle for a one-year membership in the SusieCakes “Cake of the Month” club.

The cheese:

Have you spotted these adorable truncated 1966 VW buses done up to resemble baby loaves of Tillamook cheddar?

My hubby actually saw one recently and had to do a double-take. See for yourself as Tillamook’s “Love Tour” continues through June 25 in the Bay Area.

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Scenes From the 23rd Annual Star Chefs & Vintners Gala

For foodies, it was indeed a starry time on Sunday evening at the lavish Star Chefs & Vintners Gala at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

About 1,000 folks turned out to don their finest and to support Meals on Wheels of San Francisco, the city’s oldest and largest provider of home-delivered meals to seniors.

The Bay Area’s top chefs and vintners provided an impressive spread of eats and drinks for this annual event, which raised $1.1 million last year for this worthy organization that serves 16,000 meals to home-bound seniors every week.

Yours truly was invited to be a guest at the gala, which started off with a bang with an expansive walk-around hors d’oeuvre and wine reception, where chefs and vintners manned stations to pass out tastes of their finest.

It was quite crowded in the Festival Pavillion, but well worth the effort to jockey for position for such stellar eats.

I had a chance to sneak back into the kitchen area to see the chefs scurrying about to get the first courses ready for dinner, as an army of servers lined up in formation at the ready to ferry the dishes to the dining room.

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Ad Hoc Cake Mix and Prepared Frosting

Leave it to uber-Chef Thomas Keller to create the world’s most expensive cake mix.

Just how pricey?

We’re talking $14 for either the Ad Hoc Red Velvet, Chocolate or Yellow cake mixes sold exclusively at Williams-Sonoma. Add another $19.95 for a jar of either the ready-to-spread Ad Hoc Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate frostings, also sold at Williams-Sonoma.

That’s $33.95 to make one cake right there. Not to mention the butter, plus 4 whole eggs AND 4 egg yolks that you mix into the yellow cake batter, which is the one I received a sample of recently to try.

Boy howdy, you could buy a quite decent bakery cake for that price and call it a day.

Ahh, but then, you wouldn’t have the Ad Hoc or Keller prestige attached to it.

The mixes and frostings are made from top-notch ingredients: Guittard cocoa and Nielsen Massey vanilla. I could smell the strong fragrance of the vanilla as the yellow cake batter came together in the bowl of my stand mixer. Unlike so many other cake recipes I’ve used, the directions on the back of this box call for using the whisk attachment for the mixer rather than the paddle. The result is a batter that is very fluffy and silky-creamy — almost as if there’s whipped cream folded into it.

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