All Things Foodie

Unicorn Bark

I always bring a sweet treat to my girls’ night dinners and try to make it myself. I was inspired to make candy instead of bake…mostly because I have been short on time lately. So I decided to make white chocolate unicorn bark. It was so easy to make and turned out so pretty. I know the bright colors will bring a smile to my friends’ faces.

To make this simple bark, you will need a microwave, a freezer, a toothpick, a rubber spatula, two spoons, glass bowl (or any microwave safe bowl) and two smaller bowls, cookie sheet, parchment paper, white chocolate candy melts (I used Ghiradelli), pastel food coloring (I used Wilton gel food coloring), sprinkles of your choice, and your favorite candies and toppings. I used Lucky Charms cereal, sprinkles, and edible glitter. The total time this treat will take to make is about an hour.

First you will line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour the white chocolate candy melts into the glass bowl (tip: I used two bags of candy melts) and microwave the candy in 30 second increments, taking the bowl out of the microwave to stir until the candy is melted. It took me about 1 minute and 15 seconds…so the last time I just did 15 seconds. Make sure to stir the chocolate together until smooth and glossy. Next you will pour a small amount of the melted chocolate into the two other bowls and color with food coloring. I decided on pink and purple, so I made those colors in the small bowls by dropping a few drops of coloring into each bowl and stirring with a spoon until I got the color I wanted. Now spread the uncolored melted white chocolate on the parchment paper in an even thickness with the spatula. Then take one of the bowls of colored chocolate and use a spoon to drizzle on top of the uncolored white chocolate layer. Repeat this process with the other color of melted white chocolate. You can use as many colors as you want. Take a toothpick and swirl these colors together to make a pretty design.

Now just have fun topping the melted chocolate with the sprinkles, glitter, cereal, candy or whatever you have chosen until you feel you have covered the chocolate enough. Use your hands to lightly press the toppings into the chocolate so they will stay put.  Place the pan in the freezer (make sure it lays evenly) for 30 mins to an hour. Mine was ready and set after 30 mins. Then take out of the freezer and use your clean hands to break apart the hardened bark into whatever size pieces you desire, the more uneven the better it looks. I then packaged mine up in cute little treat bags and tied them with pink ribbons. I am sure my girlfriends will love this whimsical treat and if you have children, the topping possibilities and colors are endless and will provide a fun rainy day edible project that they will love to do and eat!

Advertisements
Standard
All Things Foodie

Unicorn Hot Chocolate

Ever since I was a little girl I have always loved everything pretty, pink, and magical. So it was only natural that after reading about a little cafe in Anaheim that served Unicorn Hot Chocolate, I try it for myself.

I had just celebrated my birthday and I celebrate the entire week, so I decided to end the week of festivities by driving from LA to Anaheim and try the drink that has taken Instagram by storm. I waited 2 hours in line at the Creme & Sugar cafe and purchased the secret menu items, the Unicorn Hot Chocolate, Unicorn Bark, and Unicorn Cake. I was so excited when I finally had them in my hot little hands because the colors were so vibrant and fun. The pink colored white hot chocolate was piled high with whipped cream, sprinkles, and multicolored marshmallows. The beautiful bark was covered with Lucky Charms, rainbows,sprinkles, and marshmallows, and the pretty pastel layered cake looked so fluffy and moist.

Now this is the hard part…..

I was severely disappointed. The flavor of the white hot chocolate was barely there and the cake was flavorless as well. The only redeeming item was the bark as it was super sweet and the cereal added a nice texture with each bite. That being said, I would not drive an hour and wait another two to partake in these secret menu items again for myself. I would however, bring my friends children to indulge in these treats as I think they would absolutely go bonkers over them and truly appreciate the whimsical nature of all three items. I was completely impressed with the presentation and the anticipation of trying the treats conjured up magical feelings and excitement that brought me back to my childhood, so for that I am delighted.

http://www.cremensugar.com

 

 

Standard
All Things Foodie

Cupcake Wars

I love sweets and cupcakes are no exception. I have tried many cupcakes and like certain flavors from different places. I have conducted an informal taste test here in LA and will share my thoughts with you.

Nothing will ever beat the Sprinkles Red Velvet cupcake. The cake is just the right amount of crisp top with moist middle. This is not a fluffy cake, but more of a dense cake. The cream cheese frosting is perfection. It is seriously the best cream cheese frosting ever. It is the exact right amount of sweet to cream cheese ratio. I also like the Strawberry cupcake from Sprinkles, as it is a different flavor and very lightly strawberry.

Crumbs had the best assorted mini cupcakes to bring to parties. They were candy and frosting coated and came in a cute plastic carton, easy to transport. The cakes were fluffy and perfect little bites.

Georgetown Cupcake has the best Vanilla Birthday cupcake. It has a vanilla bean cake base, with delicious buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles. It is a moist cake and their signature swirl of the frosting with the dusting of sprinkles is awesome. I also love the Key Lime cupcake. It is easy to pay here too because you can just pay with a downloaded app on your phone.

Magnolia Bakery has a great Vanilla cupcake. It is simple, but the buttercream frosting is super sweet and pairs great with the vanilla cake base.

These are the big players here in LA that I frequent and turn to for a sweet treat when my friends are in need of a  little pick me up.

Standard
All Things Foodie

Duff’s Cake Mix

I love the Food Network and even torture people at the gym by requesting it to be played on one of the televisions in front of my cardio machine while trying to get down the pounds. I realize it is a bit masochistic to watch these shows that highlight delicious, fatty foods while at the gym, but I still do it.

One of the shows I loved is “Ace of Cakes” with Duff Goldman. Every episode featured outlandish cakes being constructed and delivered to a party. I am a baker and love sweets, so my attention was fully captured. Duff opened up a bakery in Los Angeles on Melrose Ave and I knew I had to check it out. So I figured what better time to round up the girls and decorate cupcakes, than Super Bowl Sunday. Now before you think I am being sexist here, we did it early enough to still catch the game and it was not super busy that day, so we had free reign of the fondant and sprinkles.

Duff’s bakery in LA is named “Duff’s Cake Mix” and you can decorate cakes, cupcakes, grab coffee, and indulge in treats. We opted to decorate cupcakes and bring them to the Super Bowl parties we were attending. Everyone wins.

It was insanely fun letting our creative sides run wild. Seeing everyone’s resulting artistic creations was so amazing and even funny. I loved mixing it up, no pun intended, and doing a different activity than we normally do as a group. It would also be perfect for a children’s birthday party or even a date. You must reserve your spot and there are rules that apply. On the weekdays all size groups are welcome, but on the weekends you must be a party of 6 or more to reserve your spot. They will give you all the materials you need to complete you cake or cupcakes.

I also have to give a special shout out to their “Cake in a Jar.” My favorite flavor is Confetti. These are little jars with a twist off lid that alternate layers of cake, sprinkles, and frosting. Um…yes please! I have gotten them for friends for birthdays or just because and my friends have done the same for me. These are affordable little surprises at $5 each and can really brighten someone’s day. In fact my BFF, Sarah, left one at my house for me today, which inspired this post. For all you LA natives, forget about the calories for 15 beautiful minutes while you savor every last bite.

You can visit the bakery at 8302 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 323-650-5555

http://www.duffscakemix.com

 

 

Standard