And now for something clever, yet adorable

It’s a song.  About chocolate. And it’s stop motion animation using cookies, chocolate, cake sprinkles, and all other sorts of deliciousness (…I said CAKE SPRINKLES!).

Seriously cute.

Oh, and all the text below this is from Carlos… I can’t take any credit for it (he’s the director of the deliciousness).

Jesse & Joy- “Chocolate” from Carlos Lopez Estrada on Vimeo.



During the first month of the year 2010, a group of 9 brave soldiers worked for 30 days straight, without seeing the light of day inside a secret dungeon located in Los Angeles, California. Their task was to gather 90 handmade cookies, sugar, milk, flour, chocolate, eggs and dough; and utilize them to create a 4 minute stop motion video for a foreign artist whose lyrics still remain unknown. They disappeared for 6 weeks and just recently emerged out of the darkness with a small floppy disk containing this:
The Official music video for Chocolate!!!

Please watch while enjoying a cold glass of fresh milk.

Dining at our work cafeteria

(The “our” in the title refers to the spousal unit as he and I work for the same company.)

Usually when you mention eating at any company cafeteria, everyone feels sorry for you.  But not here.  Our company was already known around Austin for having pretty good food–but after the revamp of our cafeteria earlier this year–it’s awesome, and it changes daily.

One of Steve’s coworkers actually photographs his meal everyday, so I decided to do the same for a few days so I can show just how lucky I am to my family (these poor people have to eat fast food for lunch…neener, neener, neener).

Salmon-potato cakes and a pumpkin brulee

Salmon-Potato Cakes and a pumpkin crème brûlée, which was very pumpkiny and not too sweet. I split this same dessert with Steve the first day, but got my own the next time they had it. The salmon-potato cakes were very good too.

Chocolate almond cake tower

Chocolate almond cake tower, layered with milk chocolate Armagnac ganache, bittersweet chocolate Framboise ganache, topped with cocoa meringue and almond coffee toffee. This was other one that started off being shared with Steve and then I went and purchased my own the next day. It was so rich that one slice is almost too much for a single person… sooooooo intensely chocolatey. (Too bad the photo sucks, it was before I replaced my iPhone.)

Pecan pie tart with cocoa

Pecan pie tart with cocoa. Oh lord, this was heavenly. The cafeteria ran out fast and they haven’t made it since.

Spicy Pasta with mushrooms

Spicy pasta with mushrooms and spinach. It was perfect.

Passion fruit angel food cake

Passion fruit angel food cake with Italian buttercream, rosebud ganache, and wild honeycomb. There was way too much buttercream and very little cake, and it certainly wasn’t light enough to be angel food cake either – it was more of a chiffon. However, it did taste very good. I would have gotten it again if the cake to buttercream ratio was higher.

Sadly, there are days when the food isn’t as good as it sounds.

Browned butter bittersweet caramel apple tart

This is a “browned butter bittersweet caramel apple tart” (their words) from yesterday, and it was nasty. The apples you see are all that you got. So it’s less of an apple tart and more of a scorched and runny caramel tart with a browned butter quinelle and apple garnish. The pasta of the day was campanelle with pumpkin seed pesto, and it was bitter and non-appetizing. There’s no photo because it was also ugly.

Yesterday’s lunch might be why I ended up at Mighty Fine for burgers today.  But I still have high hopes for tomorrow’s menu at our cafeteria.

Chocolate Zombie Love on a Cheesecake

I made a 3 lb cheesecake for Cat Girl as a birthday gift last week (actually, I made it the week before, but she was out sick all week…luckily cheesecake keeps well). She’s a fellow zombie freak, so I found an adorable zombie image from a t-shirt  at DOoOmcat Studios (so sweet!) and made a slightly 3D-ish copy out of white chocolate.

Chocolate Zombie on a Cheesecake

The photo doesn’t show the depth of the zombie very well. The face is fairly thick with the mouth deeper. The eyes are twice as high and beautifully bulgy. I also tried to make the letters look somewhat intestinal.

CAKE: Professional Division – Part Four (Special Techniques)

The Professional Division is for decorators with a high level of skills, more than six years cake decorating experience, and more than 90 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction.

There were a lot of entries, but the photos below are the ones I found interesting.

Baby Shower Cookies

The baby cookies were nice, but several of the ones in the Intermediate division were, well, more professional looking.

Rabbit Cookies

This a great demonstration of what a good display can do for your cookies.  The rabbits themselves are very nice, but the little lettuce and carrots in the garden are adorable and add to the entire theme.  I’ll have to remember that next year.

Here is another horse.  It’s made of modeling chocolate with a little bit of fondant.  While the legs are still kinda wonky, this is pretty damn good… but it’s not the best horse of the competition yet.

Here is an example of an entry that introduced me to something new.  I passed by this cocoa painting on Saturday without really paying attention to it.  While waiting for the awards ceremony on Sunday, I had more time, and less people to fight to see all the cakes again.  This time I read some of the information that was provided by the decorators to explain what music or item inspired their work.  Here’s a closeup:

What caught my eye?  “heavy metal cello band”  While I’m not into heavy metal, I love cellos–an appreciation that developed after my sister finally got past “Mary had a little lamb” on hers while we were growing up.  I finally did some research this week on the band Apoclyptica and they are actually quite good.  Good enough that I pulled them up on iTunes and purchased some of their songs.  I’ll probably run to Waterloo Records one day and see if they can order a few albums so I can pass them on to my sister and my nephew, who is now learning to play the cello too.

Another special technique not on cake.  I wish they hadn’t used a mirror to display it, it kind of detracts from all the work that went into it.  And this was the last of my photos from the professional division.  Up next will be the Master’s Division.

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CAKE: Adult Intermediate Division (Wedding Cakes, Special Techniques Not on a Cake, and Confections)

The Adult Intermediate Division is for decorators with developing skills, two to four years cake decorating experience, 30 to 60 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction. 

This post covers only some of the wedding cakes, special techniques, and confections entered in this division (these are the ones I either liked or found interesting for other reasons).

The petals on the roses of this cake were paper thin and the color is marvelous.  Too bad the leaves look like thick, cheap rubber. Other than that, this was a nice cake.

While this looks like a lopsided cake (another one calling itself "whimsical", which makes me cringe), it's actually considered a Special Technique not on Cake.  If you look closely, you can see that it's a gingerbread house.  A lopsided gingerbread house that is threatening to whimsically fall over and crush its competition.

Another Special Technique not on Cake, but I won't be making fun of this one.  Not only is it very well done, but the tiny little doves on the bird bath make me smile.  This one got an award.

Another Special Technique that won an award.

Molded chocolate that was hand painted.  It was amazing and one of my favorites.  I don't remember if it won second or third.

Seriously cute.

Is it still a cupcake if it's not in a wrapper?

Yes, these are cookies, and they won first place for Confections in this division.

The mendhi cookies were the other confection that won either second or third place.

And I'm adding this one, because I forgot to include it in the earlier post with the correct category:

Yep, rubber chickens trying to get a suntan at the beach.

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