Win Tickets to Let Them Eat Cake!

CITY OF HOPE CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF FONDANT FUN WITH LET THEM EAT CAKE: FANTASY WEDDINGS (AND A GIVEAWAY!)

 

Laura Eaton Photography

Photo Credit: Laura Eaton Photography

It’s no secret that I LOVE CAKE. I’m pretty sure everyone around here knows that. So this is an event I look forward to every year because I love seeing all of the talented bakers come out and compete! The cakes they create are amazing and it’s all for a good cause. So makes sure you enter my ticket giveaway (at the bottom of this post!) or purchase a ticket to support City of Hope!

40+ bakers, pastry chefs and students compete in the Northeast’s largest wedding cake competition

Philadelphia, PA – City of Hope Philadelphia celebrates ten years of fondant fun with Let Them Eat Cake: Fantasy Weddings on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 6:00pm at the DoubleTree Hilton (237 Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA). Brides-to-be, dessert fanatics and fondant foodies will sample creations from 40 professional pastry chefs and student bakers from around the tri-state region.  Guests will enjoy a new Sweetheart Tablescape competition, Korbel champagne, live music from BVT Live, and the opportunity to meet celebrity chefs Marc and Benny (City Cakes NY) and John Moeller (former White House chef). Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at bit.ly/cohcake14 or by calling 215-985-0869. All proceeds benefit City of Hope to help cut out cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses.

“What began ten years ago as an intimate evening organized by three friends has now become the Northeast’s premiere wedding cake competition – and Philadelphia’s sweetest event of the year,” said City of Hope’s Amy Tieman. “Our fantasy wedding theme takes us back to our roots. Brides-to-be can find inspiration as bakers let their imaginations run wild.”Whether you are a bride or groom, or simply have a huge sweet tooth, this is the perfect opportunity to sample 40 scrumptious cakes from the most talented bakers in the tri-state area. Early confirmed participants include Classic Cakes, Granny Schmidt’s, Wonderland Cakes, The Restaurant School of Walnut Hill and The Art Institute of Philadelphia.Each Fantasy Weddings masterpiece will be judged by celebrity judges, wedding experts and local VIPs in two levels (professional and college) in six categories (Most Artistic, Best Tasting, Best Theme, Best of Show, more). Guests can also vote in the “People’s Choice” category.Celebrity judges for 2014 are Chefs Marc and Benny from City Cakes NY and former White House Chef John Moeller. Marc and Benny have been seen on TLC, Food Network, Rachel Ray and E! Network. Moeller has been  chef to three White House administrations, including President  George H.W. Bush, President William Jefferson Clinton and President George W. Bush.

Local judges this year will include:* Head Judge – Natayna DiBona, co-host and co-founder Diner en Blanc Philadelphia
* Kathy Gold, owner of In the Kitchen Cooking School and president of Les Dames D’Escoffier PHL
* Dana Herbert, winner of Next Great Baker
*George Kyrtatas, the Sweet Water Grill and Cut Throat Kitchen
* Others to be announcedIn addition to the main cake competition, City of Hope announces a new Sweetheart Tablescape competition sponsored by UBER and coordinated by Soiree Philadelphia. Local wedding planning and design companies will create Fantasy Wedding Tablescape that will be judged by guests.Tickets are on sale now for $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Tickets are being sold online for the first time ever at bit.ly/cohcake14. Tickets are also available by calling 215-985-0869 or emailing atieman@coh.org. The first 100 attendees in the door on the night of the event will receive a goody bag worth over $100.Let Them Eat Cake: Fantasy Weddings is presented by and benefits City of Hope Philadelphia Office. Special thanks to sponsors including YELP Philadelphia, Nordstrom, Sweat Fitness, Laura Eaton Photography, Soiree, Bella Angel, BVT and Back to Life, WTSO and UBER. All new UBER users will receive a complimentary ride up to $20.00 using promo code Cityofhope2014.

ABOUT CITY OF HOPE

City of Hope is recognized worldwide as a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. City of Hope is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, and is ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” in cancer and urology by U.S. News & World Report.

In 2013, City of Hope celebrated their centennial anniversary by announcing major break-through advances in the following areas: Type 1 Diabetes, Cancer Immunotherapy Platform, developed a pioneering cancer drug, COH29 and T Cell Immunotherapy. The work conducted at City of Hope is shared with medical centers worldwide, touching the lives of millions of people everywhere. For more information about how you can support City of Hope’s lifesaving research and treatment programs, please call 1-800-260-HOPE, or visit the Web site at www.cityofhope.org.  City of Hope, Where the Power of Knowledge Saves Lives™.

City of Hope’s Philadelphia Office hosts events throughout the year to support the life-saving work of City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute. Signature events include Let Them Eat Cake, HopeCuts, Fitness for Hope and Women’s Cancer Walk (formerly called the Walk for Hope). For more information, call 800-344-8169 toll free (or 215-985-0869), follow @CityofHopePhila on Twitter and like City of Hope Philadelphia Office on Facebook.

Check out some of my favorite cakes from last year’s event!

Photo Credit: Philly Loves Fun

Photo Credit: Philly Loves Fun

Laura Eaton Photography

Laura Eaton Photography

I’ve gone to this event in the past, and it’s for a wonderful cause. And you get to eat CAKE!  If you’re going, leave me a note in the comments and I hope to see you there!

TICKET GIVEAWAY!

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The Verdict: The Baker’s Jar

Sooooooo. We finally had the chance to try those desserts from The Baker’s Jar that I posted about earlier this week. If you recall, I got the mini-sized Happy Birthday Cake, the mini-sized Mud Cup, the standard-sized Ruby’s Carrot Cake, and the standard-sized Lemon Pie jars.

Real quick – please excuse the quality of these pictures. They are all pictures taken on my iPhone so they aren’t the best quality.

First up was the Happy Birthday Cake.

Happy Birthday Cake Jar

Disclaimer: I added more Sprinkles! There just weren’t enough. I was disappointed with the Happy Birthday Cake Jar, if I’m being honest. The cake was a bit dry and…crunchy? And I definitely wasn’t a fan of that. There were a few bites that were chewy too, which was a bit strange. So I don’t think I’d buy that one again. And that’s disappointing because I LOVE BIRTHDAY CAKE. [Read more...]

The Baker’s Jar

BakersJarSmallWe all know that I. love. cake. It’s just a known fact. So when I heard that Avery Goldman was opening up a shop called The Baker’s Jar, I knew that I’d have to stop by and try out a few flavors. I love to support local businesses and see them thrive. There are way too many chain stores that are coming into the city and trying to take over.  The shop just opened its doors in early 2014. It’s a nice, bright little shop in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood in Philadelphia.

The Baker’s Jar is located at 625 S16th St. Philadelphia, PA (16th & Bainbridge).

I looked at the web site before going, and I saw a few flavors that I wanted to try.  I LOVE Birthday Cake so I knew that I had to get the Happy Birthday Cake jar. It’s a vanilla cake filled with sprinkles and topped with vanilla frosting.

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However, I was a bit disappointed that they don’t sell the Happy Birthday Cake in the standard-sized jar, even though it’s pictured on the web site in a standard-sized jar.  It’s only available in the mini-sized jar. She said this was because that’s a popular kid’s flavor and she wanted something small for them. If you ask me, I think it should be offered in both the mini-sized and standard-sized jar. Why not make both the kids AND the adults happy?  I know, I know. You’re probably saying out loud “But Jen, it’s really not that big of a deal!” And it’s not. But I’m just sharing my opinion as I usually do here on my blog. Especially when it has to do with CAKE!

Mud CupAs we know, Mr. Curly Fry is a chocolate guy. He loves all chocolate. So while regular white cake and vanilla frosting is one of my favorite cake flavors, his is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I was bummed that there wasn’t a regular chocolate cake with chocolate frosting jar. There’s the Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake, but it also has caramel in it and he’s not really a caramel fan. So that eliminates that flavor. There was a Brownie Jar, but it was Dulce de Leche Brownie, so that eliminates that one for him as well. She has a Chocolate Bread Pudding, but we’re not bread pudding fans. So all that really left for him was the Mud Cup.  I wasn’t too jazzed about this flavor, which is Chocolate Pudding mixed with Chocolate Cake…with a worm or two in there. I’m just hoping that he likes it.

 

 

I love Carrot Cake, so I picked up the Ruby’s Carrot Cake jar. It’s a moist carrot cake spiced just right and topped with cream cheese frosting and a pecan.  Mr. Curly Fry isn’t into Carrot Cake so I get to have this whole standard-sized jar all to myself!

Carrot Cake Jar

Last but not least, I picked up the Lemon Pie Jar. This is the perfect balance of tart and sweet topped with a blueberry compote. I love lemon flavored things so I hope this is good!

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I was hoping to try the Apple Crumb Jar and Mom’s Banana Cake, but they weren’t available.

I think this The Baker’s Jar is a really cool concept, but I just wish that there was more variety. There are so many more flavors that can be offered. The possibilities are endless. I think adding more flavors would do nothing but good things for this shop.

Stay tuned later this week to see what we thought of these little jars of goodness!

Homemade Funfetti Cake

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There aren’t many people that I’ve met that don’t love sprinkles. Of course there are a few that don’t like sprinkles, because ya know, there’s always at least one, lol! I’ll never understand it, because I love them. Growing up in Philadelphia, if we got an ice cream cone with sprinkles we always called them Jimmies. It’s just what you said. I don’t think people from other cities get it, but that’s okay. We’re a little different around here. ;)

Now it’s no secret that I like boxed caked mix better than cake from scratch. I was actually in my kitchen cabinet the other day and I saw a box of Funfetti cake mix and said to myself “I could really go for a piece of Funfetti cake right now!” But I decided to make it from scratch instead of from the box…just because I felt like it. So that’s exactly what I did.

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Now I wanted a double layer cake, so I just doubled the recipe.  The recipe over at Sally’s Baking Addiction is just for a one layer cake. So if you want a double layer you will have to double both the cake and frosting recipes.

Click here for the Homemade Funfetti Cake Recipe!

 

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Now normally I always use Penzeys Double Strength Vanilla, but for this cake I used Vanilla Bean Crush. It’s a blend of intensely flavored Madagascar Bourbon and Tahitian vanilla beans.  I received it as a gift and now I’m a huge fan of this stuff.  I love that it’s flecked with finely crushed vanilla beans and vanilla bean seeds.  So if you closely you can really see the little specks of vanilla bean. The flavor it brings is amazing as well.
I thought this Funfetti Cake was pretty good, but I still love boxed cake more. :) But if I was making another Funfetti Cake from scratch I’d use this recipe again. I thought that it was even better on the second day!

Texas Sheet Cake in a Cup

So yesterday you got to see how absolutely wonderful the Texas Sheet Cake was that I made. It was so full of chocolate that you thought you’d died and gone to heaven.

In the original recipe, the Pioneer Woman used an 13×18 sheet cake pan. I used a 10×15 jelly roll pan. So since her pan was bigger than mine, I reserved some of the cake batter so that it didn’t overflow the pan when it baked.

I spooned enough batter to fill up half of this coffee mug.

Then I sprinkled a few chocolate chips on top.

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Then I put it in the microwave for about 1 minute and 15 seconds.

I spooned a little bit of the frosting on top (while it was hot).

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And then I grabbed a spoon for a taste.

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And that’s all she wrote.

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If that’s not an incentive to use a 10×15 jelly roll pan instead of an 13×18 sheet pan,
than I don’t know what is ;)  Now that’s a cup full of chocolatey goodness!