Thursday, September 27, 2007

...and here it is!!!

Chocolate Malt Matinee Cake 2

Chocolate Malt Matinee Cake 3

We'll let you know how it tastes later, since we weren't able to taste the first one... All the sharks at Steven's work gobbled it up before he had a chance...

Also, Steven has yet to tell you about his Apple Crostata-to-go... yes, he bakes, too!!!

We've reached new heights (literally)

So, we're headed out this evening to visit good friends in South Orange, to watch the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty. We always take something sweet with us - we think bringing an after-dinner-treat is very important...and we often take wine also (Trader Joe's has great wine at very reasonable prices, if you're interested.)

Joe baked (and baked and baked) last night for our second attempt at the Matinee Malted Cake. Well, actually, turns out it's our third attempt, because the first cake he baked last night fell apart. I think we're having problems with our oven, because the temperature just doesn't seem to maintain a level consistency, which adds a lot of guess work to our baking process. (Yes, Tricia - I'm definitely thinking of you and Kitchennyc!) So at about 10:40pm, he took the second cake out of the oven (and believe me - that is late for us - we're usually in bed by 10pm).

This morning I frosted it as soon as I got up at 6:00 and it is in the fridge, just waiting for the finishing touches of rosettes and malt balls. I gotta tell ya - it is the tallest cake we've made so far (and thats before the decorations)...but actually not as tall as I thought, because, in the effort to report truthfully, I just stood up and measured it, and at the moment, its 5 (five) inches tall at three layers and tons of chocolate ganache....but because its only an 8 (eight) inch cake, it LOOKS tall...Oy.

We hope to get a photo of it posted here, because I think it will be much more attractive than the last one.

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Off on a tangent...

...but just for a moment...

Joey, here... I want to tell you about an experience i had recently with a "competitor"... In order to see how other bakers packed their wares for shipping, we decided to order biscotti from companies across the nation... The first one we tried was from Sugarhouse Delights, out of Petersburg, PA... I ordered 1 dozen assorted flavors (Caramel Apple, Creamy Orange, and Lemon Almond) and figured I would receive them in a few days... I had them sent to my work address, which is in a highrise, so I made sure to specify which company I worked for... Needless to say, when I tracked the package, it had supposedly arrived just 2 days later, but was not to be found anywhere in my workplace, meaning someone in the building has a nice package of biscotti to enjoy...

Okay, so I emailed the Brubaker's and informed them what had happened... They were SO prompt in getting back to me, apologizing profusely, and promising to resend my order... This replacement order arrived in a couple of days and it looked like this...

Sugarhouse Delights

Included with the order was a note stating the following...

"Dear Mr. DeBortoli

We want to thank you for your patience in receiving your
package and apologize again for any inconvenience this may
have caused.

"A few weeks ago, you had inquired about the orange-colored
chocolate we use, and I did want to clarify that the Creamy
Orange Biscotti that you ordered is drizzled with two colors
of chocolate: white; and, a mix of white and orange-colored
wafers, which gives it more of a peach color. To give you a
better idea of the orange-colored chocolate we use, we have
included a complimentary Apricot Almond Biscotti, which is
just drizzled with orange-colored chocolate.

We hope you enjoy your biscotti. Have a good day.


And hand-written at the bottom...

P.S. Because the biscotti was just freshly baked and
drizzled and not completely dry, we decided to put them
in our gift box to protect them. We don't usually do this
unless requested.

Now, they went through a lot of trouble to satisfy me, which they didn't have to do, and I didn't expect them to... But to me, it shows that they care a lot about their customers and how their services are perceived...

I would recommend ordering from them if you ever get a craving for biscotti...

Oh, and the biscotti themselves? Yummy!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Torta baciata sole (cake, kissed by the sun)

This weekend presented us with a few challenges..namely, how to keep a four layer cake from slipping sideways while frosting it with true buttercream icing and not getting it all the heck over the place! Joe made a magnificent Orange flavored cake, filled with an orange curd-like substance which could be spooned directly into the mouth (if one had no self control - don'tlookatmelikethat!). Each layer (of the four) is lightly soaked with a wonderful orange liqueur concoction, then frosted with the hint-of-orange buttercream. Then comes the orange curd and another layer of cake - build this up to a height of about 5-and-a-half inches and frost with more buttercream (can there EVER be too much buttercream, I ask you?).

Well, I risk repeating myself, as usual, by telling you that my co-workers swarmed over this one, leaving no crumb uneaten.

This evening, we've been looking at the Small Business Association website, because our long-term goal is to be our own entity - a wonderful little Bakery serving only the finest handmade (read: homemade taste in every bite) goodies that you can imagine - and believe me - we're open to suggestion. What started as an idea to specialize in biscotti, has blossomed into cakes, cookies, tarts, and most likely pies, next.

So keep those suggestions coming. We want to know what turns you on - what flavors, textures, and favorite items you'd like to see on a quaint little local bakery that we can give it to you!

I believe its Joey's turn to post next...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Another Angel in our corner.

Steven speaking! So, last night, we had the supreme pleasure of meeting a truly inspirational lady, Tricia Rago, who is the owner/manager of a lovely commercial kitchen space here in Hell's Kitchen. We've been thinking about how to do our baking in bulk, (there is not a lot you can produce in a converted studio kitchen, in which two people will kill each other before turning out more than one lovely edible delight at a time!).

Ms. Rago has quite a background in chef-wizardry, and her late husband created a really awesome space for her to work her magic in. Now she has turned it into a beautiful place to whip up just about any mouth-watering thing you can think of, and which is rent-able for anywhere from a few hours to an entire month (or more).
We spent almost two hours sharing our love of sweet things with Tricia, and picked her brains for some incredibly helpful information that every young (or in our case, approaching middle-aged) entrepeneur could turn into profits, both spiritual and monetary. We are so appreciative to her for sharing her knowledge of the industry (a view from the inside is the best portal!), and we can't wait to find the time and money to take advantage of the great space and equipment which she has to offer. For information about Ms. Rago's kitchen space - go to

And, by the way, Joey whipped up some fantastic Lemon Poppyseed biscotti on Wednesday evening, which I shared with co-workers on Thursday morning, and received more raves than I can relate in this space! (Thank you, to all those wonderful friends at work, who share their thoughts and constructive criticism of our goodies - you are all so very much appreciated.)

More to come soon....

Recent Successes

Triple Layer Coconut Cake

Triple-Layer Coconut Cake

Chocolate Malted Matinee Cake

Chocolate Malted Matinee Cake

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What candy do YOU eat at the movies?

Last night, Joey surprised me by baking a truly remarkable Chocolate Malted Cake. I can't begin to tell you how wonderfully rich, moist, and delicious that cake was (yes, lasted about an hour at work today!). He made a wonderful Chocolate buttercream frosting (more like a ganache, if you ask me), which I frosted it with last night, and then this morning I mixed some confectioner's sugar into the remaining ganache and piped some rosettes on the outer edge of the cake (marking where each slice would be) and topped each rosette with a malted milk ball.

My co-workers simply salivated over it from the moment I took it out of the box, and the slices flew off the plates and into satisfied tummies. Our survey showed that everyone found it to be an excellent cake, with comments like "Delish!", "Nutmeggy! Yummy.", and "I see a demand...". These results please us to no end. It is such a gratifying feeling to know that, on a very first try at a recipe, we are garnering such praise.

We've decided to call it our Matinee Cake (because of the malted milk balls - don't you remember seeing those behind the the counter at the concession stand at your local movie theatre, your mouth watering for the fun little handfulls of joy?). We love it, and we hope you will, too,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's New?

Joey, here...

wwweeeellllllll, the weekend was a busy one... Saturday saw me attempt my first cheesecake in several years... It was a chocolate toffee cheesecake requiring the melting of two different kinds of chocolate, which I have little experience at... neither flavor melted well, but i then realized my mistake... I wasn't melting chocolate with butter or cream, like I would for brownies... I needed a double-boiler... Also, I wanted to use a pecan shortbread crust, but, a few weeks before, we froze a failed experiment of toffee brownie bites... Steven chopped up a bunch of them and we used those mixed with chopped hazelnuts to make the crust... Needless to say, I was disappointed with the visual result, but it tasted... OH! so good...

Also, on the menu that day was Bits O' Brickle Biscotti, dipped in, uh-oh, melted milk chocolate... However, THIS time, I used the double boiler method, and the chocolate melted beautifully... Then Steven dipped all the biscotti... There was some choclate left over, so i mixed in the leftover chopped hazelnuts and made our own chocolate bar!

On Sunday, Steven wasn't aware, but I made a 3-layer coconut cake that was to be frosted with coconut cream cheese frosting, then topped and "sided" with toasted coconut... When all was said and done, I think this one is my MOST favorite of all... so far... it was SO moist and flavorful, and the cream cheese icing was perfect with the toasted coconut... It's definitely going on the menu!

This afternoon, I am going to make a malt-ball cake... and some kind of biscotti...

More news as events warrant...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh, the possibilities...

Steven again, folks.

So we've been making a list (and checking it God knows how many times!) of the items we've come up with so far (taste tested on co-workers who gave a resounding "Thumbs up"), and, once we open an actual brick and morter bakery, here are a few of the things we'll be offering:


  • Red Velvet w/Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Carrot Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting
  • German Chocolate Bundt Cake
  • Lightly Lemon Cake w/Lemon Curd Filling
  • Sour Cream Chocolate w/Chocolate Frosting
  • Coconut Cake w/Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting topped with Toasted Coconut
  • Malted Matinee Cake
  • Sun Kissed Cake w/Orange Buttercream frosting (and just a hint of orange liquor!)


  • Chocolate Toffee
  • Pumpkin
  • Lemon


  • Apple Crostata
  • Pumpkin w/Pecan Streusel


  • Pumpkin Pecan
  • Chocolate Raspberry
  • Lemon/Lime w/White Chocolate Drizzle
  • Cranberry Orange
  • Cranberry Orange Granola
  • Tuscan Spice and Almond
  • Cinnamon Almond Raisin
  • Anise Almond
  • Bits 'o Brickle (Chocolate dipped)
  • Lemon Poppyseed


  • Joeltz!(tm) (see picture and discription at the upper left of this page)
  • Mint Cream Cheese Swirl
  • Toffee
  • Brownies Mexicanos (lightly spicy)


  • Snickerdoodles (my personal favorite!)
  • Mutts(tm) (chocolate cookie with white chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, semi-sweet chocolate and toffee chips - out of this world good!)


  • Peanut Butter w/Chocolate Frosting
  • Sour Cream Chocolate w/Peanut Butter Frosting

If you have any special requests for things you'd like to see on the menu in the future - feel free to email us at with suggestions. We will give equal consideration to all - hey - its YOU GUYS who will be our customer base, so let us know what turns you on!

Made with love and definitely Joeylicious!(tm)

Just because...

Joey, here... I saw this over on Cupcakes Take the Cake and felt the need to post it here as well... The original can be found on I Can Has Cheezburger ...


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Red Velvet Triumphant!

Ok, Steven here! Yesterday I took Joey's new Red Velvet Cake to work and you should have seen the commotion - people swarmed over that cake like pirahnna (sp?) on a cow. There was not a crumb left on the table. And, everyone (and I do mean everyone who tried it) said that it was most likely the best of the treats we have presented them with so far! I am so excited about this - it is always such a great feeling to know that you are part of something that brings a smile to people's faces.

There were, of course, suggestions for possible improvements (one of my co-workers who hails from the deep south, suggested we add more cocoa to the recipe to make the color a bit was a very bright red cake)..but other than that - everyone loved the texture (quite moist) and went ga-ga over the Cream Cheese frosting. (little did they know that we made it very low fat by using fat-free cream cheese). My biggest issue with the trial was the fact that we didn't have the right sized box for the cake - Joey made it a nine inch round, with three layers, and we only had ten inch cake boxes, so the sides of the iced caked stuck to the box, causing it to come out a bit messy. Easily remedied in one of two ways - bigger boxes (duh!) or smaller, eight inch layers, resulting in a taller cake - which I think would be the best idea - but we'll leave that to the baker!

I wonder what Joey will make next? We've talked about trying his Butter-Brickle biscotti again, or trying something new. And of course, there are his Mutts - dark chocolate cookies with every kind of chip in them that you can imagine - peanut butter, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch...put one of those in your mouth and you will rethink your idea of what a cookie is all about!

Ok Joey - I'm off to work soon - I wonder what sweet treat I'll come home to today?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Seeming success...

Joey here... again...

Since I had to be at work before 7am, as I do every Tuesday and Thursday, I left work at 2:30pm to meet up with Steven so we could go to Bridge Kitchenware on East 45th St... Our main goal was just to look around... I had been to their earlier location on East 51st St a few years ago, but that location closed so that some developer could quickly build some monstrosity of a highrise condominium tower... Luckily, we found them again at this new location... It's not as dark or cramped as before...

Anyway, we ended up leaving with a couple of packs of 10x10x4 cake boxes, 6 shiny, new aluminum cake pans (in 8" and 9" sizes), and a little bottle of red food coloring... all for relatively cheap!!!

As we walked back to the west side and home, we passed Jack's 99 Cent store... Stores like this are always fun... When I lived in Astoria, I used to frequent one I affectionately called Stop The Bargain, if only because on the 34th St side of the building, that was the order of the words... I'd post a photo... If I had one...

Anyway, as I type this, the cake is baked and Steven is busy at work icing it... OOOooo!!! And, he just passed me the trimmings made into a little sandwich with icing, and I have just one word...


Tomorrow, Steven will take this one to work and we'll get our feedback... I hope everyone enjoys it!!!!

More news as events warrant...

Red Velvet Cake Redux...

Joey here...

So, after my first failed attempt at Red Velvet Cake on Sunday ended in a tasteless waste of good ingredients, I am going to try again...

My first guess at the reason for failing was the flour I used... The recipe called for cake flour (not the self-rising kind) but trying to find it in any of the nearby grocery stores here in Hell's Kitchen was impossible... So I figured I would use pastry flour... After all, the label stated it was good for pies AND cakes...

After I got the ingredients all mixed and added the blood-red liquid, I had already felt something was wrong, as the batter tasted kind of grainy... But, first attempt and all that, so I assumed that was how it was supposed to be... It came out of the oven a BEAUTIFUL red color, but odorless...

When Steven came home that evening and went to frost it, I, of course, stood by and waited to taste the levelling tops he removed for a level cake... I put it in my mouth, and I have only one word for that experience...


It went in the trash the next morning...

More news as events warrant...

Monday, September 10, 2007

...And Steven (everything else!)

Steven has been an actor/singer for most of his adult life (heck - why say adult - he started when he was 4!). He has performed all over the country in national tours of some geat Broadway classics, including the title role in "Man of La Mancha", Merlin in "Camelot", and Jules in "Sunday in the Park with George". Recently, Steven discovered a renewed passion for cake decorating, and so, with his artistic knowlege (and sugar cravings) he pushed his way into the kitchen with Joey and started a beautiful collaboration. When he's not piping buttercream icing onto a cake top, you might find him performing his cabaret act in one of Manhattan's intimate clubs. We think you'll agree that when Steven and Joey get together - the oven heats up and the Biscotti (and assorted other goodies) scent the air with full-flavored yumminess.

Meet Joey, the Baker...

An Oakland California native, Joey has been fiddling around with recipes for most of his adult life. A few years ago we began to realize that he has a magic touch in the kitchen, and started taking samples of his wizardry to share with friends and co-workers. Enthralled, they begged for more (and more, and more!)...and so we gave it to 'em! Whenever Joey would come up with a new twist or variation to his Biscotti, we'd use our test subjects as "human guinea pigs" and the results were always a resounding two thumbs up. This signalled to us the idea of creating a fledgling business, which has since grown into Joey Biscotti. But don't imagine that he spends his days in a chef's apron - no, Joey has lots of other passions, the list of which is topped with music (he has been an internet DJ for many years now), and a great love of live theatre. From his personal collection, he recently added 1400 + titles to Rate Your Music, proving that his collection of music is not only as eclectic as our Biscotti flavors, but also, about as delicious.