Save the Cake!!

I’m beginning to get a bit of a reputation among my baking friends and colleagues as a kind of “cake environmentalist,” in regards to my love of saving and reusing leftover cake scraps. In school, they nicknamed me “the leftover queen” because I couldn’t bear to throw anything away, and always wound up taking bags of dough, cake scraps, fillings, mousse, whatever – home with me. And truth be told, it rarely went to waste. Often times I was able to use it in another dessert concoction. Other times, I just ate it. At least it didn’t wind up in the trash.

Anyway, last week, a baking friend of mine (who, let me just say is the best cake sculptor I know – just check out her photos at Sweet Simplicity Cakes) was working on a wedding cake, and wound up with some leftover cake scraps. She texted me immediately and asked if I wanted them, to which I replied “Abso-freaking-lutely!” So she bagged the scraps and brought them to me. Granted, she did tell me there were a lot, but I was still not prepared for what I was presented with – the motherload of cake scraps. O joyous day!

bags of cake!

I carried the bag of bags home (it was not light, I tell ya), and I started thinking about what to do with them. A week went by, and I found that all I’d done was eat half of one of the bags, grabbing a scrap or two every time I opened the fridge. This was NOT going well. Something had to be done, ASAP. So tonight, I mixed one of the bags with some leftover cream cheese icing I had, and made cake balls.

balls of cake!

I dipped them in chocolate (milk and white) and sprinkled them with a little Halloween flair to keep things seasonal.

chocolate covered balls of cake! with sprinkles!

And then I ate two of them. So much for that 10 mile run today…

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Embrace Your Inner Pixie.

When I was a wee lass, my nickname was “Tinks” which was short for “Tinkerbell.” I was christened with this delightful moniker by my dad, who I guess thought I looked like Tinkerbell, or reminded him of Tinkerbell in some way. I wonder if it was because I regularly attempted to fly by jumping off the porch. I was so sure one day, it would work.

a real life pixie.

Flash forward to today. I’m no longer a wee lass, however, I have never forgotten my pixie alter ego. I’ve even gone so far as incorporating it into my daily adult life (no, I’m not still jumping off the porch): through the beauty of Pixie Cakes.

I’ve definitely mentioned Pixie Cakes before, multiple times, but just in case you missed it, a Pixie Cake is a cake ball, mixed with icing, covered in chocolate and sprinkled with chocolate and “Pixie” dust. They have also recently become my best seller.

the most recent Pixie Cakes!

And so we have come full circle: from a childhood pixie jumping off the porch attempting to fly; to an adult pixie cake baker, who has been flying all along, but just didn’t know it.

Embrace your inner pixie: take that jump off the edge that you’ve always dreamed of; and have a Pixie Cake while you’re at it. 🙂

The Power of Pixies.

So the other night, I participated in WHYY’s Best of Chefs Event, as I mentioned in my last post. The event was a blast! It was organized, fun, well-attended and also provided me with a serendiptious opportunity to do some market research. Allow me to explain: I made an assortment of Pixie Cakes, in the following flavors:

Chocolate Pixies

Chocolate cake mixed with buttercream icing, dipped in dark chocolate, with chocolate sprinkles.

Vanilla Pixies

Vanilla cake mixed with buttercream icing, dipped in white chocolate, sprinkled with sugar.

Red Velvet Pixies

Red Velvet cake mixed with buttercream icing, dipped in white chocolate, sprinkled with red sugar.

Cookies and Cream Pixies

Chocolate cake mixed with cookies and buttercream icing, rolled in cookie crumbs.

and Coconut Pixies.

Vanilla cake mixed with coconut buttercream, dipped in white chocolate, and sprinkled with coconut.

I placed them all on a tray, as so:

Pixies on a plate.

Now here’s where it got interesting: the doors opened and the crowd shuffled in. As they approached my table, one after another after another went straight for the Red Velvet. And if it wasn’t the Red Velvet, it was the good old fashioned Chocolate. Now by mere coincidence, I made more of the Red Velvets than any of the others; but it didn’t matter – I ran out of them first, and people were coming back and asking me if there were anymore! When I told them I ran out, they were only dejected for a second, and then just sampled another flavor instead (and liked it!).

The moral of the story: cake is great, but Red Velvet rules.

The people have spoken.

Best of the Chefs!

It’s a busy week ahead for Small Indulgences!

I’ve begun planning and preparing for WHYY’s Best of the Chefs event, this coming Thursday, June 21st! Here’s a sneak peek of some of the sweets I’ll be contributing for your noshing pleasure:

pixie cakes!!

The event features local Philadelphia area chefs, serving up their delicious tasty bites, all for a chance to be crowned Best of the Chefs! And to top it off, all the proceeds benefit WHYY, which, personally I’ve loved since I was a child. If not for WHYY (affectionately known as “channel 12”), I would not have known Sesame Street. And that would have been a sad life.

This event is selling out fast, but tickets are still available! Again, it’s this Thursday, June 21st, from 7pm – 9pm. Below is the event flyer, with all the details! Hope to see all you Philly peeps there, supporting local chefs, and the awesome and educational WHYY!

Punk Rock Flea Market!

Tomorrow (Sunday, May 13th), I’ll be at the Punk Rock Flea Market, selling my book and even some baked goods. If you happen to be in the Philadelphia area, and maybe need a last minute gift for mom, the flea market is THE place to be. Besides my lovely cookbook and delightful assortment of baked goods (including White Chocolate Pixie Cakes, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes), you’ll find tons of options for even the hardest to please hard-core punk-mom. Here are the specifics:

The Punk Rock Flea Market.

when: Saturday, May 13th, 10am to 5pm

where: The Punk Rock Flea Market Dome  (461 N 9th Street – Right Across From The Starlight Ballroom),

misc: $3 Admission Donation.

website: http://www.r5productions.com/event/101883/?utm_source=fb1&utm_medium=shr

enticing photos:

a cookie classic.

many many mini red velvets.

pretty in pink pixies.

So what are you waiting for? Come out and get your treat on – like a real punk.

Best Vanilla Cake Balls Ever?

Last week, i made the Best Vanilla Cake Ever, and proceeded to ice it with a delicious buttercream. Then, i covered it in an air-tight container, and put it in the fridge, hoping that the perfect use for it would arise sometime during the week. Well, it did, even though it was not quite what i had initially envisioned. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. The best vanilla cake ever has become:

The Best Vanilla Cake Balls Ever!

simply the best.

My next step will be to cover them with chocolate, and turn them into Pixie Cakes! I was totally going to do that today, but I ran the Broad Street Run this morning, and afterwards I was so beat, I passed out on the couch.

it was definitely worth it.

Anyway, I promise in my next post there will be Pixie Cakes, complete with decorative adornments. Until then, may the wind be at your back, and the oven be ever full.

Introducing: Pixie Cakes!

You may recall that my baked good gifts of choice this year for Christmas were chocolate covered cake balls (see: Deck the Halls with Chocolate Covered Cake Balls).  Well, I don’t think I knew quite what I was getting into with these petite bites of heavenly sweetness. Everyone who had them not only said they liked them, but  also either professed love for them, deemed them the “best thing I’ve ever made” (for realz!), or expressed interest in purchasing more. So, with the feedback all being so overwhelmingly positive, I’ve decided to offer them up for sale, as my “signature item.”

I'm a driver, I'm a winner.

 There was, however, one small issue with these tiny treats: the name. “Cake Balls” is, well, frankly, boring. Not to mention generic, and lacking in pizzazz. Being a huge fan of pizzazz, I couldn’t unleash my signature small indulgence to the masses, with a sub-par moniker. I started tossing around names in my head. I came up with a short list, but something was still lacking. I decided to take it to the streets. The next morning, I hand-picked a select group of individuals who met the following criteria: enjoyed my baked goods in the past, knew me and my personal style, were savvy consumers, and just all around smart folks, not to mention really really ridiculously good-looking.  

The level of feedback was unanticipated and absolutely invaluable. Thanks one and all for your thought-provoking and fun (and some even funny: i.e., “tinkerballs”) suggestions. Through a series of fortunate events and emails, the perfect name had come to light:

Pixie Cakes, aka “Pixies” for short, each topped with a signature sprinkling of “pixie dust.” And by pixie dust, I mean…pixie dust. Me and Tinkerbell are pretty tight.. .

a star is born.

 It truly was a team effort, which makes me like the name even more. 🙂 

A list of available options and pricing will be up shortly. In the meantime, if you must have your Pixies now, and I can totally understand if you do, email me at smallindulgencesbakery@gmail.com. As always, suggestions for a Pixie you’d like to see are always welcome.

xoxo