Recycled Red Velvet Cake…Delicious!

Red Velvet Truffle Bomb

At Baked Dessert Cafe, we bake all natural, buy locally when possible, compost our kitchen waste and of course recycle all of our boxes, plastic, glass and cans, but what about recycling cake?  This idea is not so far fetched, people recycle left over food all of the time!  One night you might have a roast with vegetables, two days later it becomes vegetable beef soup, stale bread can be morphed into croutons or bread pudding.  You see where I’m going with this?

For those of you who bake, you know first hand that there are great baking days and days where something just doesn’t go quite right.  Sometimes this can be explained, other times it’s a great mystery. We recently had one of those days when we were baking our all natural Red Velvet Cupcakes.  The oven was loaded and everything seemed right with the world until the end of the baking cycle.  For some reason the cupcakes didn’t rise to our expectations.  They tasted delicious as usual, they just didn’t look pretty.  We’re not talking about a few cupcakes here, we’re talking about several dozen cupcakes.    What a waste it would be to just discard them just because they weren’t perfect. What to do, what to do?

Why not recycle the cupcakes into another dessert I thought?  My creative wheels began turning and then spinning wildly out of control.  I landed on the idea of the cupcake pop.  I have made cupcake pops before, but didn’t have any lollipop stick for this project and then it hit me.  I would create the “Red Velvet Truffle Bomb”.  I started by pulverizing the cake in the food processor and adding enough cream cheese buttercream frosting to form a dough, similar to the consistency of a cookie dough.  I then scooped generous portions and rolled them into balls, placing them in pretty  cupcake cups.  When making cupcake pops you generally dip them into melted chocolate, but these were pretty big, so I decided instead to smother them with chocolate ganache and top them with a dollop of cream cheese buttercream and our all natural red sugar sprinkles.

Of course these needed to be taste tested.  Shelly and I thought they were fabulous, but our customer’s opinion is most important.   Several lucky patrons were given the concoction and their honest opinions solicited.  Once we had their “lip smacking” seal of approval, the “Red Velvet Truffle Bomb” became our weekly dessert special and I’m proud to add a “sell out”.  What was thought initially to be a disaster turned out to be a great success!

So, the next time you have an “off ” baking day, don’t pitch the end product if it isn’t perfect.  Think about how you can recycle it into a new and delicious creation!  Get creative and remember to get “BAKED” at the beach!

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Is it better for a cupcake to look great or taste great?

Is it better for a cupcake to look great or taste great.  I personally think both, but there’s nothing worse than something looking tasty and tasting terrible.   I mean really, once it reaches your mouth who cares what it looks like?

As a “food lover” and owner of a small bakery, I am acutely aware of the fact that eating is a multi-sensory experience.  Long before we taste something, whether it be savory or sweet, the visual and  olfactory cues can either peak or diminish our desire.   Obviously, our goal at Baked Dessert Cafe is to offer food that looks great and tastes even better.

With the popularity of shows like Ace of Cakes and the availability of sugar clay decorations, along with the ability to photo copy on edible papers, it seems that most are adding these decorative designs to cakes, cupcakes and cookies.  We are no exception.  Fondant is not “natural” neither is the color copied edible image, but if you want something with a custom design, there is no “equal” substitute.  We inform our customers of this “up front”.

Like most, I personally don’t care for the taste of either one.  Most people admit that they peel the fondant decorations off and don’t even eat them. No surprise, they contain loads of artificial flavors and colors.  Enough reason to reduce the use, right?  In addition, adding these decorative details is expensive and adds significantly to the cost of the product.

Shelly and I intend to redirect our focus on creating visually appealing desserts that are decorated “au naturale”.   We have always used fruit/vegetable based coloring, sprinkles, nonparells, along with chocolate shavings, ganache, caramels and curds to decorate our desserts.  We also have added fondant flowers, shells and such to increase the visual appeal.  On special request, we will continue to do so because “what the customer wants is what the customer gets”, but we’re going to get back to our  “old school” style of doing things and we intend to bring our customers along with us.