Saturday, December 20, 2008

When life gives you lemons (2)

Steven here. So. Last week when I was doing a lot of baking for clients (big surprise), I made an Apple Spice cake which, for some reason, decided to stick to the pan (I have no idea how that happened). Well, not being one to toss a perfectly good, albeit ugly, cake in the garbage, I decided to try something new (also a big surprise. Not.) Hmmmmmmm,,,what could I do with this lovely cake, brimming with granny smith apples, brown sugar and spices? A-Hah! Granny Smith apples happen to be a favorite late-night snack of Joe and I, and we always slather the quarters with peanut butter. Sounds strange, I know, but try it - it's a great combination. This led me to the idea to make Apple Spice and Peanut Butter bread pudding!!! It sounded heavenly to me (of course). So I set about doctoring my Chocolate Toffee bread pudding recipe, and came up with a lovely, mildly peanut-flavored pudding to pour over the pieces of Apple Spice cake in their little aluminum cups (this is how I always make bread puddings - they hold probably 3/4 cup of yumminess and it seems just the right amount for a single serving). I thought to myself that no one would find these as interesting as I do - but was I ever wrong! Joe and I each took a handfull of the delightful cups to work the next day and people RAVED about them. I kid you not. And we got an order for 15 from a co-worker of Joe's for Christmas. So the next time a recipe turns out not quite the way you hoped, try thinking outside of the pie pan, and put your imagination to work. You won't believe what lovely little new-fangled item you might come up with!

In case I don't get a chance to blog again this week, we wish everyone of you a lovely, fun-filled Holiday (whichever one you choose to celebrate), and we send out many good thoughts and much positive energy in hopes that you will all have a fantastic New Year!

Ciao for now...

'Da boys

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just in time for Christmas

Thats the title of a favorite Nancy LaMott song (I highly recommend her Christmas album to anyone looking for a great holiday listen). Nancy, we wish you were still here to share your amazing talent with us all.

Now, back to business! This weekend I'm gonna make my famous Lemon Curd, and this year we've decided to package it and sell it as a great holiday gift. It will come in a 6 oz jar for $10.00, and we're even including a spoon - for those of you who can't wait to get home and open this little jar of citrus heaven. We're taking pre-orders for Christmas week, and will have it available for pick up in Hell's Kitchen.

Of course, we won't discourage you from ordering something ELSE holiday flavored (Eggnog cheesecake, anyone?). Our best-sellers so far this fall have been Pumpkin Cheesecake with Orange/Cranberry biscotti crust, Caramel Apple Cheesecake, Pumpkin pie with Cinnamon pecan struesel topping, and our cookies, of course. Please get those orders to us by friday the 19th, to gaurantee the freshest goods and pick up by the holiday.

We hope to hear from you all, and soon! And in case we don't get the chance to say it in person - Happy Holidays to you all, and thank you for your friendship and patronage this year - it has made a huge difference in our lives!

Ciao for now...

'Da boys

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Sugar Time!!!

Once again, the Daring Bakers have challenged me to do something new... This month it was Caramel Cake... Shuna Fish Lydon's recipe for this month's challenge can be seen here... and this month's hosts were Dolores of Culinary Curiosity Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo: /), and Jenny of Foray into Food. And contributing the alternative recipe was Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go...

I had never made caramel or worked with sugar in this way before so I was a little frightened of possible burns while the sugar cooked, BUT i was fine... The only real issue I had was probably my own lack of experience with sugar, and I don't think that I cooked it long enough, but it didn't seem to affect falvor at all...

Anyway, our post is a few days late, what with the holiday but here are the photos of this most luscious and moist cake... We each had two slices before putting the cake to bed for the night... Then Steven took it in to work where, somehow, it disappeared as he crossed the threshold...

And now, a few photos...

Caramel Cake 1

Caramel Cake 4

Caramel Cake 5

Caramel Cake 6

By the way, I had promised this cake for Steven's birthday today... If two slices is any indication, he enjoyed it!

and now, on to the December Challenge... We'll keep you posted!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Isn't it a lovely day to go out in the rain?

Today, we're semi-relaxing at home after shopping in the rain this AM. After lunch, I made an apple Crostata (sort of a rustic, open-faced apple pie) and I'm waiting for it to thoroughly cool so we can give it a try. It's been a while, and I wanted to polish up my skills, because we already have orders for them for the holidays, and I wanted to tweak the recipe and see if I can make it even better (I know - its not easy, being a perfectionist!).

Yesterday we attended the New York City Chocolate Show at Pier 94. I think I still have a hangover from all the sugar, chocolate and caffeine. There was a lot to taste, a lot to see, and some great inspiration, not to mention lovely people with wonderful ideas. We got to watch the owners of Baked (in Redhook) make their rootbeer bundt cake and give it a try. I even tasted a truffle made of blue cheese and chocolate (not a half bad combination, I must admit). There were chocolate fashions on display from the opening celebrations, which Joe took photos of, and overall a good day was had by all. On the way home from the show, as we enjoyed the not-too-cool weather and some much needed time together, we talked about making available our wonderful Lemon Curd, so that people can give it as holiday gifts this year. We purchased some lovely little glass jars to put it in and now all we have to do is whip up a batch and fill the jars and voila, yet another fun and delicious item to put on our menu. Everyone who has tasted it has raved, and when we're using it to fill cakes and make lemon buttercream, we always find ourselves eating it right off a spoon, not even taking the time to spread it on a cracker or piece of shortbread. I know that anyone who loves fresh citrus will love having a jar of this in the fridge to partake of in so many different, delicious ways. I only wish we'd thought of this earlier!

More to come soon, fellow foodies, and don't forget that we still offer gift certificates for those who have dessertaholics in their families, which means that you can purchase one and give it for a special occasion, or just to brighten someone's day. (or even to use as a stocking suffer on December 24, should you be so inclined.) That way, the receiver will get to decide what delictable dessert they want to dive into, whenever they get a craving!

Ciao for now, folks...

'Da boys

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pazzo for Pizza!!!

Hello, all, and another Daring Bakers' Challenge is completed... Now, I didn't think we'd have ANY problems with this challenge because we make our own pizza dough all. the. time. but a Whole Wheat dough instead and our technique is different than what was required for this challenge...

First of all, we used our trusty KitchenAid to take care of all the kneading, and the instructions said that the dough should clear the sides but stick to the bottom of the bowl so that in the end, the dough should be sticky... And we were all good until the next day when it was time to work with the dough again...

We prepped the dough as instructed, flattening them to a 5 inch-ish circle and letting them rest for 2 hours under cover of plastic wrap... and then came the REAL challenge, and we SO wanted to video this part for our own amusement and yours! We were supposed to toss the dough like a pizzaiolo, BUT! -----

My hands were floured all over but the dough was just too wet and when I placed it on my hands it just stretched and ripped... I re-rooled the dough in a little more flour and tried again, but it just kept ripping, so there are no photos or video of this... We ended up just shaping the dough by hand on the board like we've always done...

Then on to the toppings!!! For the first, we topped it with our favorite jarred marinara from Food Emporium, then turkey pepperoni, a combination of soy cheddar and soy jalapeno cheeses, some cooked chicken, and finally a little more cheese... For the second, I wanted to try a simple margherita with the same sauce as before, and then soy mozzarella and fresh basil...

These baked up SOOOOOOO nicely in such a hot oven and in SUCH a short time, too!!! We finished too late to try them fresh out of the oven, but they were still yummy warmed for lunch today... All in all a great, not-as-simple-as-you'd-expect challenge, but the end result was just as delicious! and NOW, the photos...

PIzza 1

PIzza 2

Pizza 5

Pizza 6 - Margherita

Pizza 7 - Chicken Pepperoni

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Caramel apples, pumpkins, and cranberries...

John Greenleaf Whittier is quoted as saying: "Ah! on Thanksgiving day... What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye? What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?"

We're gearing up for the holiday season, ready to provide the most mouth-watering Pumpkin pie with cinnamon pecan struesel. It's a true delight and we can't wait to get your feedback (and that of your family and friends) when they sink their forks into a slice (warm from the oven? slathered with whipped cream? or ICE CREAM, perhaps???). You'll see smiles of delight and eyes will roll back in their heads. (this is not a horror film - it is, as Martha says, A good thing.)

And I forgot to mention two other great holiday favorites - Pumpkin cheesecake with cranberry orange biscotti crust, and Caramel Apple cheesecake with tuscan spice biscotti crust. These will leave you begging for more, believe me!

Last week on an episode of Eli Stone (one of my favorite new shows of the fall season) A character was reminiscing over a concert he'd attended, where he'd had an almost spiritual experience. I quote (once again): "I could taste magic, speak art, and listen to the turning of the universe". Isn't this what food, family and friendship is all about? And what better time to experience it all than over a slice of pie, a cup of chocolate toffee bread pudding, or a mouthful of Brooklyn blackout cake?. Get your name on the list, folks, these holiday splendors won't last all year, 'cause come spring, we'll be back to the rich flavors of berries, citrus, honey and such. Take time during these chilly months to really savor the flavors of the season: Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, mouthwatering flaky pastry and just about anything you can imagine in chocolate.

Call today to place your orders, (please try to give us at least 48 hours' notice, we want all of you to be satisfied!), and get those forks polished, the napkins folded, and the appetites ready for a trip to Joey Biscotti heaven!

Ciao for now -

'Da boys

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We've only just begun...

It's over. The Open House. Finished. Done. No leftovers, all flour particles cleaned up, (and THAT is a chore, believe me!). Relatively empty refrigerators, more counter-top space, no longer the lingering scent of maple in the air... back to normal (if you can call our lives that). W're sleeping once again. all hours. I come home from work and fall into a chair and go comatose. I don't think I got more than about three to four hours' sleep a night for several weeks before the open house, and to finally get back to six or seven a night, well - its a bit heavenly.

For several months now, we've been planning this event, and having never done anything like it, we were completely unsure of how to approach it and what the outcome would be. But I am here to tell you that it was a complete and resounding success (may I pat myself and Joe on the back for just a moment?)! Of course, we couldn't have done it without the help of two additional pairs of hands..which I will explain in a moment. Let me just say that our lives where a whirlwind in that series of very full days leading up to this chance for us to make new friends and business contacts, feed the multitudes and see the expressions of joy and wonder on the faces of everyone who walked in the door.

The night before was the most stressful event in recent years, what with us pulling an all-nighter and baking non-stop, so that everything would be fresh and tasteful. Let's face it, you can only do so much in advance when approaching a tasting event like this, and we did as much as we could. I spent weeks baking up huge batches of biscotti, one of the only things we make that keeps quite well and actually tastes better after "settin' a spell". In the days before the event, we zested and juiced lemons and limes, made fresh, handmade lemon and lime curd, prepared frostings and measured out ingredients...well, the list is far too long to blog about, but suffice to say we were, as my mother used to say, "busier than a one-armed paper hanger."!!

Then a miracle happened. (suddenly this sounds like a Christmas tale): Joe's sister, Michelle, and one of Joe's CLOSEST friends Gerrie, flew in from California and Nevada, respectively, and surprised us to offer support (and squeeze in a New York City vacation - who wouldn't?) Well, if it hadn't been for them, we would never have been anywhere near ready for the hoardes of hungry people who poured in the door of Tricia Rago's lovely KitchenNYC, which we rent to help us produce our delicacies. They helped us cart our supplies, kept us coffee'd up, and ended up doing a lot of the grunt work, such as rotating pans in the oven, slicing cheesecakes, doling out cookie dough, and heading up to the street to help introduce us to the rest of the world. And we have to give a huge shout out to our dear friends, the Faistl-Weisbachs, who arrived, new-born baby Madelyn in tow, to also carry trays of mini-lemon merengue pies, biscotti and cheesecakes, out on the street to help hawk our wares and invite passing strangers in to become newfound fast friends.

The first person in the door (and who was surprised, I ask you? Not I!) was one of our most enthusiastic supporters, David Bonnano, a former co-worker of mine and one of our best customers. He took the time to run over on his lunch hour, and it was a joy to see his smiling face as he sampled things he's here-to-fore been unfamiliar with, and to give us hugs and encouragement. After that, it was like a dream that I am still trying to figure out how I made it through intact! There was barely a moment when we weren't introducing our goods to someone new or hugging an old friend and passing out refrigerator magnets! I kicked in to full-on performer mode without thinking about it (and I haven't done that in YEARS). And the rest is, as they say, history!

The list of people who turned out to support us is fantastic, and we want to thank each and every one of them (and/or YOU) who either offered words of encouragement and/or actually showed up to cheer us on and try some new and different flavors.
Offerings included mini one-bite versions of our Lemon Flip cake, Brooklyn Blackout cake and Carrot with white chocolat/cream cheese frosting. Mutt cookies (dark chocolate with Peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, toffee chips, butterscotch chips and milk chocolate chips) Dark chocolate/Raspberry, Snickerdoodles, Sunflower butter cookies and our Multi-colored Autunnos. For cheesecake flavors, there were Creme de Menthe, Pumpkin Cranberry, Caramel Apple and Hazelnut Mocha Joe. The available biscotti were Cranberry orange, Tuscan spice (with and without almonds), Double Chocolate, Honey-Roast Peanut (with and without chocolate chunks), Lemon Poppy-seed, and frosted Maple Pecan Praline. Tasting versions of our Pumpkin with Pecan-Cinnamon streusel pie as well as our Lemon Merengue. I'm probably leaving something out - but remember, I'm STILL catching up on sleep! There were other things we had planned but we just. didn't. have. time.

In addition to those we've already mentioned above, others who stopped by were...
--> one of our newer friends, courtesy of the Faistl-Weisbach's, Kelly Egan
--> our friends, Wayne and Jayne
--> Steven's friend, Peter
--> Lori, Bree and Toni from the Container Store
--> David and Holly, who both work for Apple, and Holly's friend Mira.
--> Lisa, Jennifer, Lemarr, Heather and Maria from Crate&Barrel, and Maria's daughters.
--> Tameeka from CB2
--> the Franco family who came all the way down from Poughkeepsie just for this! Joe has known "Mom" Franco since she was a little girl
--> the three women from Arizona who just wanted to know where Macy's was but stayed for a bit and took their picture with us as evidence of nice New Yorkers
--> the young man whose parents were visiting from out-of-town and wanted him to make sure to find out when we would start shipping
--> the woman who found our card at Outcasts
--> the woman who, with her husband, own the little electronics store at 51st and 9th
--> the three people who found our event on Facebook while searching for free events in NYC
--> the woman who was upstairs by the stoop who asked me what the space was in the basement, and who was carrying a can of whipped cream in her purse
--> the couple who asked about low sugar options
--> Ninapilar, the woman who is working on a possible logo for us, and who blogged about us here and Pamela from The Pink Standard whose photographs grace the abovementioned post
--> Faith from Cara Linn Cakes
--> and so many others from the 'hood
--> and then there were all those there in spirit, all our families and good friends who weren't able to share our joy in person.

To each and every one of you, including the universe, we offer a gigantic THANK YOU, for being there with and for us.

We'll soon be revising our menu for the fall season, so be sure and give us as much notice as possible when ordering your Thanksgiving pies and cakes, not to mention Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and all of the other birthdays, promotions and otherwise special events happening in your family.

We look forward to hearing from you all, and providing you a little "lovin' from the oven!"

'Da boys

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Free at last, free at last....

...a chance to taste these biscotti (and other delicious treats) is free, at last!
As some of you already know, Saturday September 20, in Hell's Kitchen, we'll be hosting a free tasting event - an open house (er, kitchen?). where everyone will have a chance to sample several flavors of our best selling items, including biscotti, cheesecakes, cakes, bread puddings and cookies, with a few surprises thrown into the mix.

From 2-7pm that day, we'll be thowing open the doors of the commercial kitchen we bake in, to allow the glorious scents of freshly baked goodies to waft into the air, enticing neighborhoodites to taste Snickerdoodles, Joeltz (our famous espresso brownies), Brooklyn blackout cake, Caramel apple cheesecake and many, many more decadent treats.

Where you may ask? The address is 306 West 51st street (just off Eighth avenue) Suite #1 (basement) just next to the House of Brews. Yes, I said the House of Brews...I've posted a photo of the soon to be famous Joey, wearing our signature color and standing at the gate, so that you will have ease in finding us (as if following your nose wouldn't be enough!)

We'll be so excited to see old friends and meet many new (please feel free to forward this information to anyone you know who has a sweet tooth - we want everyone to experience Joey Biscotti!), and to let you see a bit of the creative process.

I'll post a reminder next week. Get your calendars and taste buds geared up. We know you're gonna love us!

Ciao for now...

'Da boys

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I d'eclair!!!

And the Daring Baker's strike again!!!

This month's challenge was ... guess??? Eclairs!!!

The elements of this challenge were three-fold... eclair shells, a pastry cream filling and a glaze... chocolate was a required ingredient but we had the choice of either a chocolate pastry cream or a chocolate glaze... or both!

The first challenge was making pastry shells, and preventing them from collapsing flat... To accomplish this, halfway through the baking, i had to rotate the two pans and prop the oven door open to allow any steam to escape and help the shells stay puffed up... One tray made it out fine but the other flattened out and remained moist in center, but so. what. ... Once they were out of the oven, I cut them in half, and set the tops on a rack to make it easy to drizzle them with the glaze

The pastry cream and glaze were the easy parts and, since we had a choice, we decided to make a bittersweet chocolate glaze for the tops and Steven was the lucky one to glaze them... See?

01 - Glazed Tops for Eclairs

02 - Another view of Tops

Now, I mentioned we had the choice of flavors for either the glaze or the pastry cream, but one HAD to be chocolate, and since we used chocolate for the glaze, I decided to go a little tropical for the pastry cream... We thought about mango but I had an inspiration and went with kiwi! I had Steven pipe the cream as opposed to spooning and this is what they looked like, post-piping...

04 - Topless Filled Eclairs

The kiwi gave the eclairs a beautifully earthy sweetness, and in the end, they looked like this...

05 - Finished Eclairs with Kiwi Pastry Cream

06 - Finished Eclairs Up Close

Of course, Steven and I took them to our respective jobs where they promptly disappeared... I d-eclair!!!

I'm excited about our upcoming open-house at the commercial kitchen that we rent occassionally... Lot's of stuff available for tasting and some things available to buy and take home to enjoy... More news to come VERY shortly!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A tin of biscotti, a cup of joe, and thou...

We found some cool, coffee-inspired tins on sale and bought them up...just to package biscotti in! Usually, when you purchase our biscotti, they come in a cello sleeve (10 ounces, which is approximately 8-10 pieces, depending on size, as they ARE all handmade, at $10.00 a package). Now, if you are so inclined, you have the choice of purchasing this fun and funky tin, which makes a wonderful gift package, filled with approximately 6-8 pieces (once again, depending on their handmade size) for the same price!
What a great way to say "you jazz me up!" - by giving a gift tin of, oh, say, some chocolate biscotti, or maple pecan praline, or maybe some cranberry-orange (my personal favorite)..or a couple of each? Any of our flavors can be packaged this way, and the receiver (friend, partner, sweetheart, teacher?) will get to enjoy the wonderful, aromatic flavors of Joey Biscotti's best, and keep the tin to use for any number of things...cookies, coffee beans, jelly beans - I am sure you are all creative enough to continue this line of thought!
Order yours today and put a smile on the face of someone you care about - even your own! And don't forget about our Open House (ok, Kitchen) on September 20th in Hell's Kitchen. The sweet smells from the kitchen will be wafting down the block, enticing you to come in and try free samples of many of our best selling fall flavors. (More on this later.)

We can't wait to see you there!

Ciao for now...

'Da boys.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Coffee maker on the fritz?

...not to worry...just dig into a slice of our latest winning creation: Hazelnut Mocha Joe cheesecake. Two amazing layers of thick, rich cream cheese decadence, the first filled with semi-sweet chocolate, the second graced with the flavor of hazelnut espresso, and topped with more semi-sweet chocolate. And did I mention that the crust is actually a layer of hazelnut mocha brownie??? My co-workers' eyes were popping out of their heads as they experienced this one, folks, and many actually pushed their way through the crowd to try for a second slice, though it was basically gone before they had the chance!

We're proud to put this one on the menu, and it will surely be one of the stand-outs at our "Open Kitchen" on September 20th in Hell's Kitchen. Yes, you heard right: anyone still unaware should put this one on his/her calender, because it may be a while before everyone will have the chance to sample so many of our sinfully rich sweet things all in one place - and for FREE. This is a kind of "thank you" to all of you who have supported us over the past year or so, and a chance to try new menu additions, purchase favorites and order your holiday party desserts all in one fell-swoop (what a Midwestern term, eh?)- not to mention introduce us to your friends, family and neighbors (yes, please feel free to pass this info along - we will be eternally grateful for the new friends and the opportunity to sweeten a few more dinner tables!)

When the date is closer, we'll inform you of the hours and exact location, so that you can plan accordingly (meaning: don't eat for several hours, come hungry and stuff your pockets with extra cash, since, after trying them, you'll certainly want to take some home to your families, or just stash them away for future nibbling!)

Feel free to send us suggestions as to which of our items you would like to see there that day - we can't make everything on the menu, but we will certainly take your requests into consideration. Email us at, or simply leave comments here at our blog.

Ciao for now...

'Da boys

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Yes, it's a lot to say, and a lot to do... This month's Daring Baker's Challenge was, well, what I said up there... I don't want to say it again... whew!!! I know we are a day late in posting this, but this month was very busy for us... Onward...

This is a triple layer genoise, imbibed with a Grand Marnier infused syrup, filled with a dual layer of praline buttercream and whipped cream, then glazed with semi-sweet chocolate and decorated with more of the praline buttercream...

Filbert Gateau

First of all, let's talk about filberts (or hazelnuts)... My experience is that they are difficult to skin... I did these in 2 batches, one for the praline paste for the buttercream, the other for the hazelnut meal that would go into the cake itself... I toasted them for the stated time, and then set to rubbing... and rubbing... and rubbing... The recipe stated that a little skin was okay... I gave up trying to skin them, and ended up just not worrying about it...

Baking the cake itself was easy... I was worried about the egg whites deflating as I folded in the hazelnut meal, but no worries there... The cake came out of the oven beautifully high and light... While it cooled, I made the praline buttercream, Swiss-style, heating and whipping the egg whites with sugar until it became Fluff-like and then whipping it off-heat, mixing it to a meringue... That was added to creamed butter until light and fluffy, and THEN, the praline paste went into the mix...

Filbert Gateau II

Now... The cake had to be split into 3 layers before Steven filled and glazed the gateau... The first layer came off beautifully, but the second cut was w-a-a-a-y off, and I had to have Steven fix it while I stamped my feet in frustration... He did his best and he got the layers cut more appropriately... After imbibing and filling the first layer, the second layer went on, and then a huge gasp escaped my pie hole, BECAUSE!!! I forgot to tell Steven to top the buttercream with whipped cream...

Ohwellanyway... so we skipped the whipped cream on the first and remembered on the second... Once the cake was filled completely, it went into the refigerator for 30 minutes while I prepared the semisweet chocolate glaze... It was late in the evening and I was tired and I suggested that we skip the trimming of the sides and just glaze it... Steven agreed and proceeded to pour the glaze over the top... It draped beautifully, and then left overnight to set up...

In the morning, Steven prepared to pipe the remaining buttercream, but we don't own a #114 leaf tip, only the tiny ones which would have been way out of scale for the cake... So you can see in the above photos that he just signed our name, and pearled the edge... IN the end, the cake tasted fantastic!!! For everything that went into it, it looked so much denser than it actually was...

Filbert Gateau Slice

Steven's co-workers were the beneficiaries of all this work and one stated that "if someone grabbed this slice from me, I would stab them to get it back!" Now that's a vote of confidence!!!

In the end, I only have one thing to say... Someone else is gong to have to skin filberts...

Monday, July 28, 2008

We're back and we're bakin'!

Refreshed is the word of the day - relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated by our trip to beautiful Mt. Shasta, California, where we dipped our toes into Trout Creek and languished in the sun with Lemon Drops and Amaretto Sours....and these are all feelings you will relate to when you try our amazing Mandarin Orange Cheesecake (with lemon poppyseed biscotti live for!). Summer is upon us and the temperatures are soaring, the humidity can make ya wilt, and there are days and nights when you just want to crawl into a lounge chair with a tall, cool drink, or the sweet Joey Biscotti equivalent - a slice of the coolest, most refreshing cheesecake you can imagine. We're considering it our special for August, and looking forward to supplying all you cool-cravers with the tangy summer tartness of this delicious concoction. Order yours today!

And get out those calendars and crayons, because X marks the spot - September 20. Why, you may ask? Well we'll tell you: That is the official day of our "Open Kitchen", when locals will be able walk in and taste free samples of many of our most unusual and delightful treats. We'll have slices of cheesecakes in great fall flavors. We'll provide bite-sized teasers of many of our great cake flavors (Malted Matinee, Lemon Flip, Red Velvet, The Night the Lights went out in Brooklyn, our famous Sour Cream Chocolate and many more) and maybe some sweet tarts to top it all off (not to mention our mouth watering Biscotti and bread puddings). We'll have plenty of baked goods to purchase, also, and will happily take orders for your up-coming special occasions, so be thinking about what you want to partake of this fall! (remember, the holidays will be right around the corner - Halloween parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas, to name a few).

More details to follow shortly, as we finish up the plans for our special day of sharing the love (Joey Biscotti Love!) We'll have the address, hours, directions to the Kitchen, and maybe even a surprise or two to "sweeten the pot!"

Keep your eyes open and keep your noses in joint, to sense the scents of our morsels, made in Hell's Kitchen, but Heavenly to the tastebuds!

Ciao for now -

'Da Boys.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gone Fishin'...

...well, camping, actually. We leave this Friday, the 11th of July, for lovely Mt. Shasta California (at least thats what Joey says - and I can't wait to find out for myself.) We'll be gone until the 20th, so no goodies will come forth from our kitchens that week, but rest assured, we'll be thinking (dreaming, planning, wondering, name it) of new and exotic temptations for you to TRY to resist.

Keep at us with those suggestions, challenges and positive thoughts. We take all of them to heart, and can't wait to see what we come up with for you next. Hang on to your hats, the song says: "Could it be? Yes it could. Something's coming, Something GOOD...",

We promise.

'Da Boys

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June Bakers Challenge...Dare I?

Danish Braid 2
Oh yes - I dared to take on the June Daring Baker's Challenge, and though it was a bit of a work out, I'm happy with the results. The challenge is to create a Danish Braid, filled with apples. Yum. It takes a while to make the basic laminated dough, but it is completely worth it. At first I was surprised when the recipe called for yeast mixed with milk in a stand mixer - I followed those instructions and didn't see any type of change in the milk. I was used to bread recipes that require you to feed the yeast, thereby activating it. But I followed the directions and carried on. Cardamom, Orange zest and sugar give the dough, or in this case, Detrempe, a great flavor - along with the soft and tender lining of a vanilla bean.

Next came the "butter block" - half a pound of butter with some flour, beaten until soft enough to spread. I rolled out the detrempe as directed, to 18 x 13, and spread the butter over two thirds of the dough. The carefully folded the dough three times to incorporate the butter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, roll the dough and fold again - followed by two more foldings over the next hour or so. Then let it sit for at least 5 hours (we let it stay in the fridge overnight.) This morning, Another rolling, strips cut in the sides and then the addition of the filling, which we made while the dough was cooling it's heels last night. Delicious fuji apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and butter, cooked down to a lovely soft texture. Back to this morning, when I cut the strips on the sides, filled the center and "braided" the strips over the top of the filling, to form a basket-like length of apple-orchard-smellin goodness. It sat for another two hours to "proof", then Joe baked it, as I had to go to work. Danish Braid

I came home tonight to a truly delicious pastry - the basis of which will lend itself to so many other great flavors, as evidenced by the fact that, as we'd made enough for two braids, Joey had decided to try his hand at some fruit filled croissants. He chose lemon curd filled, and then raspberry filled, topped with slivered almonds. You can bet our apartment smells lovely tonight, and that we will definitely make this one again, when time permits.
Pain au framboise Pain au citron 3
Daring Bakers, my hat is off to you - you pick some excellent recipes to inspire and enhance our creative processes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


...You'll be experiencing some tantalizing fireworks as your tastebuds caress our 4th of July specials - Red, white and blue velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a patriotic sprinkling on top - yummalicious....and if you'd like a larger portion, go for the three layer Red Velvet Cake on its own. With a chocolatey goodness and just a hint of orange, this cake with it's thick and rich cream cheese frosting is one your family will quickly come to call their favorite.

Cupcakes are $30.00 per dozen, and the cake is $40.00. Just be sure to give us 48 hours' notice and keep in mind that we will be out of town the evening of the 3rd through the 6th, so get them before the holiday!

Remember - it doesn't need to be a holiday to enhance your foodie experience, just take a look at our menu, then give us a call or shoot us an email, and we'll have your favorite freshly made, just for you.

Hope to hear from you soon - and look for notice of our upcoming open house (planning still in the works, but don't fret, we'll let you know the details as soon as they are worked out, so you can prepare your tastebuds and grab your pocketbook for a sampling and opportunity to order directly from the fabulous baker boys!)

Ciao for now...

Da Boys

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We want you to try something amazing...

...and we'd love to invite you to an open house "tasting party" sometime over the coming summer weeks. At the left of the page, below the slide show and menu information, you'll find a new poll asking for opinions on what days work best for you. Please take a moment to give us your vote... you only have 6 (six) days before the polls close. (and if you have better suggestions or an answer different from the choices we've given, email us at, or post a comment here.)

We'd really love to be able to share some of our newest recipes with you, and to give you a chance to taste them AND take some home that very day! So the sooner you check off your answers to the poll, the sooner we can get baking and organizing this event. Believe me, your taste buds (and tummy) won't be sorry!

Ciao for now..

'Da Boys

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daring Bakers get some Kultcha...

with the May 2008 challenge, Opera Cake...

Joey Biscotti's Opera Cake

Joey, here...

So, I was concerned with this challenge (from Lis, Fran, Shea and Ivonne of Daring Baker's fame) and more than a little intimidated by the length and construction of the cake, BUT, i took their advice and read through it first before embarking on the challenge... and that made all the difference...

I started the process at the beginning of the month by making the syrup and buttercream well in advance... I was also concerned about the size of the pans suggested, but when the day came to make the cake, I just used the closest-sized pan available to me, which was a 12x17 sheet pan... It made for a thinner cake, but I didn't leave myself any alternative...

I luckily discovered bagged blanched almonds at Food Emporium and proceeded to make my own almond meal, although I don't think I ground them enough, but the sure smelled good...

I didn't have any issues with the layers, either making or cutting them... I got the center layers to the correct size, and everything seemed to come together beautifully, UNTIL.......

I don't like working with white chocolate... I find it difficult to melt completely and often end up with several partially melted chips, and that's what happened in both the mousse and the glaze... I flicked out as many as I could from the mousse before refrigerating the cake again...

When it came time to glaze, I had the same problem that other DBers apparently had... I let the chocolate cool for 10 minutes, but it wasn't enough time, and when I poured it over the cake, the mousse meted slightly and the glaze wouldn't adhere correctly, and actually slid off in some areas...

But as you can see by the above photo, it still came out okay... I would have liked the glaze to be smoother, but I think Steven's addition of our name in our signature blue helps distract the eye from those tasty imperfections...

This Opera Cake is flavored with Grand Marnier in the buttercream, the syrup and the mousse... When all was said and done, it came out quite nicely... I'd definitely make this cake again if asked!

Here are more photos...

Opera Cake 1

Opera Cake Slice

Opera Cake Slice with Fork

That's all for today... Look for our next post when Steven talks about our adventures with fondant!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just a quick reminder, folks...

...I know that keeping up with the two of us can be daunting - just hoping you'll read of our adventures should be enough - but I was thinking today (I stop to do that every once in a while) and wanted to remind you all that we do, indeed, sell our unique "Dessert Dollars" gift certificates (or tickets to paradise, as Joey likes to call them!). Summer sunburn is in the air, and with graduations, Father's day, July 4th, or any picnic or family celebration you have planned, who wouldn't enjoy a fresh, cold Spring Break cheesecake - the taste of Daiquiris on the beach - or some of our deliciously tempting frozen Cheesecake pops (in a selection of the brightest summer colors you can imagine)? All of our cakes and cheesecakes can be purchased with these fun little coupons, and they don't expire, so the receiver of the lovely little cards can hold on to them for future celebrations, or just give in to those sweets cravings and give us a shout (48 hours notice, please!). Tell them to peruse our fine menu, and when they come upon something that makes their mouth water (and who's wouldn't, I ask you?) they can email us here ( or call 212-841-5426 to leave a plea for our sweet treasures!

Call to get yours now - you'll be so happy you did!

More news soon - Joey has been working on the current Daring Bakers Challenge - even I'M anxious to taste it!

Ciao for now, good people...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's all about YOU...

Good morning from the humble abode of the fabulous baker boys! I'm enjoying a day off from my "day job", taking time to update the menu page and to figure out what we should bake next. While I give that some thought, I'd like to take a moment to share something wonderful that happened to us last week. I was sitting at the lunch table at work, enjoying fresh vegetables (hey, man cannot live by chocolate and cheesecake alone, ya know?!), when Ashley approached and handed me a card and a sweet little box wrapped in shining white ribbon. I was prompted to open the card first, and the accompanying letter (scanned and posted here for you to enjoy, just click for a more readable image) caused me to well up with tears right there in front of everyone. (Ok, anyone who knows me well enough, knows that that I cry at the opening of a Hallmark card). After you read it, you will understand how humbled and speechless I was. If I had any qualms or questions as to the worth of our little business venture known as Joey Biscotti!, they are all dissolved and replaced with joy and the desire to keep plunging forward and become the best maker and supplier of sweet treats available to you lovers of fine, handmade, love-filled gooey chocolaty crunchy sugary salty sweet decadence!

Oh, and by the way - the box contained a donation which helped cover the cost of many of the samples we've been taking to work in the hopes of improving our recipes and drumming up some new and very satisfied additions to our customer base.

We love you all, and we love satisfying your cravings.

Ciao for now...

Friday, May 9, 2008

When life gives you lemons...

...make lemon curd! This is my motto this week. Many of you know that I was all set to take a 5 day cake decorating course this week - I'd payed for the class, arranged for all my work shifts to be covered, and prepared emotionally for the fun and hard work I imagined the class to hold in store for me. Well, last week, I received an email informing me that the class was cancelled due to a death in the family of the teacher. God love her, I hope she got through it and plunges ahead with life. That's what I decided to do with this free week I had in front of me. I've been using it to experiment with recipes, design tee shirts for the business, and bake my little heart out. Right now, as I type this, I'm making a variation of my Chocolate/toffee bread puddings, creating a chocolate mint version that I have a feeling will be addictive!

This week I've baked two different types of Biscotti, several tarts, and two dozen cheesecake pops (to be decorated this afternoon). I've made some changes to a menu I'm hoping to print up in the next few days, (for those of you who find a hard copy easier to digest than our on-line version!) It has been a great week, and I've found some new focus and desire to truly make this business work - to bring happiness to the many friends and new patrons of Joey Biscotti.

Can't you just smell the excitement from here?? Believe me, I CAN,,,along with bubbling, gooey, minty, chocolaty goodness in the oven...

Check back frequently, folks - I've got a lot in store for you and your discerning palates in the next few weeks...

Ciao for now...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Birthday Cake

Hello, all... Steven mentioned my birthday a couple of posts back, and he was very nice about letting me make my own birthday cake... I am now getting around to blogging about it... Look at this!!!

Chocolate Walnut Torte 1

It is a Choclate Walnut Torte with Cognac Cream and it is melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Have a closer look!

Chocolate Walnut Torte 2

The cake is a bittersweet chocolate batter with ground walnuts and a little Hennessey cognac. It is then imbibed with a Cognac syrup before being topped with a Cognac flavored cream and THEN sprinkled with a walnut praline powder. One last look before we eat it all up!

Chocolate Walnut Torte 4

Have a birthday to celebrate and need a cake? Check out our menu and order! That's all for now... more news later!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daring Bakers April Challenge - Frozen Cheesecake Pops

Steven here, good friends, and I gotta tell ya - Joey turned over the honors this month to moi, yours truly, because he's such a great guy. I LOVE cheesecake, chocolate and just about anything you can add to it to make it even yummier. This month's challenge is to make "cheesecake pops" - lovely little balls of cheesecake on a stick, glazed with a delicious chocolate coating, and enhanced any way you choose to do so. I had a blast with this one. The basic cheesecake recipe is SO good, that we will surely incorporate it into future desserts. The consistency is dense and rich, just the right amount of sweetness, and holds its shape well - important when you are forming balls.

I started by combining the cheesecake ingredients, mixing them according to the recipe, and baking. The directions called for a 10" cake pan, but in lieu of that (we don't happen to own one that size- YET)...I used a 9" square pan which is a bit deeper than usual - we often use this one for brownies. I baked the cheesecake (longer than called for because of our freakin' oven which has a mind of it's own and never maintains a proper temperature.grrrrrrr.) Then cooled to room temperature and proceeded to chill the lovely golden mixture overnight. Saturday morning I woke up, headed straight to the utensil drawer for our ice-cream scoop, and dug into that pan to start forming 2 ounce balls. I wore rubber gloves because the mixture is sticky, and shaped the balls and placed them on parchment for the next step - freezing. At this point, Joey, with sticks in hand, plunged the lollipop handles into the balls and we shoved them into our already bulging freezer for several hours, during which we ate, shopped, and I rested while Joey made a Tres Leches cake for a co-worker's birthday.

That afternoon, the chocolate came out of hiding and warmed itself by the fire for the enrobing of the balls.

We dipped some of the balls into crushed chocolate grahams, then into three different kinds of melted chocolate - some in white chocolate (tinted green as we had bought it for St. Pats and not had a chance to use it), semi-sweet and bittersweet. While still warm, we immediately rolled them in various toppings: multi-colored jimmies (see photo), mini cherry chips, toffee bits, chopped toffee peanuts, and for a few we just covered one type of chocolate with it's opposite drizzled on top...its such a lovely tray of goods.

Cheesecake Pop Assortment

Cheesecake Pops

Cheesecake Pops 2

I hope you all get to try these - we surely will add them to our menu, and can't wait to see the look in your eyes when they roll back in your head. Several who tasted them at work today said they had little mouth orgasms (if you'll pardon the use of the word).

More comin' atcha soon - stay tuned...but don't stay hungry - order from us NOW!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Very Special Day!!

Ok, what do you do when the guy you love bakes his own birthday cake??? Gosh, I'm Stumped, but the very least I can do is to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOEY! This is such an important day, and because you bring so many sweet endings to other people's days, its only fitting that yours begin with wishes for the most amazing year of your life! Remember - this is YOUR year, and you will reap the rewards of having been so good to so many for so long. Kharma, THATS a "just" dessert!

Today I am baking my sweet/tart - sweet flaky crust shell, a layer of lovely chocolate brownie, topped with Lime curd and baked until just set - so delicious. It's a variation on Ashley's Dilemna - hers has a chocolate crust and the filling is lime and drizzled on top with more dark chocolate...I just wanted to shake things up a little.

Be sure and check back in this coming sunday when we post about our latest Daring Baker's challenge - this one will leave you like a man in the desert - probably so in need of sweets that you'll want to lick your monitor screen - but don't! - order some from our menu instead!

We love all of our good and supportive friends, family and co-workers, and we hope you'll continue to enjoy our posts and, more importantly, our sweets. We bake so much love into them that they will set your hearts on fire - like mine is for Joey!

Ciao for now, good people...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

...Just eat the darned thing and make another one! That seems to be our motto lately - not that we fail often when baking something terrific. Tonight Joey made a "Night the Lights went out in Brooklyn" cake for a co-worker's wife's birthday, and for some odd reason, something didn't go quite right and he's in the middle of making a second one (at my insistance, I'M the perfectionist who cannot let something out of my sight when it's been paid for and is expected to be not only delicious, but to LOOK delicious.) It's one of my flaws and I swear I'm working on it) - but when you're trying to do something professionally, to have it taste AND look like it it came from a bakery, then you go the extra mile - or, as in tonight's case, stay up late making a second cake because you want to give your patrons only the best you possibly can. Poor Joey - he's the best and is being quite a sport. It's tough when you work a full time job and can only bake in your off hours. If something goes wrong, you have to put in the extra hours to make it right - so tomorrow may be a sleepy day for us both.

On the plus side, last week I asked my friend, Ashley, to suggest something for us to try next (we're always looking for input from our friends, family and co-workers.)
She thought about it a moment (I could tell she was battling with herself over what favorate flavors to spring on me!) and her eyes lit up and she said something to the affect of: "You know, I've been craving lime and dark chocolate lately - think you can do something combining those?". Well, that sounded excellent to me - and so I started rummaging through the recesses of my mind for recipes that could work in combination. I decided to make a tart. Mildly sweet chocolate crust, a thick layer of lime curd, and drizzled on top with bittersweet chocolate. I gotta tell ya - it was SO GOOD(if I do say so myself!. It is definitely one we will be adding to our menu.

This weekend is the company bake sale to raise money for the AIDS Walk, and of course, everyone expects wonders from our I'm thinking of doing Cupcakes a la Night the Lights went Out in Brooklyn: rich chocolate cake, filled with delicious pudding, wonderfully milk chocolaty frosting and more cake crumbs mashed into the frosting - its so good it will make you want to slap someone. And if there is time, some mini tarts like the one described above - I'm sure those will sell, and its for a great cause.

More from the kitchens of Joey Biscotti soon, so Ciao for now, dessert fans....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Daring Baker's March 08 Challenge


We had made this cake once before for one of Steven's co-workers, and we considered it a practice run for this month's challenge... we decided to stick to the recipe as written, for the most part, and i made a couple of mistakes...

1- i added too much lemon juice to the frosting and
2- too much raspberry filling between the layers, as opposed to the photos in the book, which show thinner layers...

one different thing we DID do was toast the coconut before covering the cake with it...

anyway... when all was said and done, it actually was quite tasty... When Steven took it to work today, one of his co-workers stated that it lifted her spirits!

Therefore, I consider our work done! And now, the photos...

Daring Bakers March '08 Challenge Daring Bakers March '08 Challenge sliced

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring is here, the grass is riz...

...I wonder where the birdies is? (ok, thanks to my Father - the king of weird poems, I have that little ditty in my head this week.)

Today, Joey is in the kitchen making a lovely Raspberry coulis for this month's Daring Baker's Challenge, and thats all I'm allowed to say, until he blogs about the finished product. On my day off this week, I tried a twist on my famous Chocolate/Toffee bread pudding, and made a lovely pale citrus version. Imagine oven crisped cubes of orange and lemon imbued pound cake, layered with a lemon and lime accented white chocolate your mouth watering yet? I had a blast coming up with this one, and it has given me a renewed sense of adventure in the kitchen. I can't wait for you all to taste these lovely treats!

In May, I am finally biting the bullet and investing in a professional cake decorating course, because I'm tired of doing sub-par presentatations (though a lot of people love the home-made look of our sweets, because they say it lends a rustic air to the presentation.) I, being the sagitarian perfectionist that I am, just wanna make things more professional looking (especially when we open a full fledged bakery business in the future).

Be sure to check out the latest additions to our ever-expanding menu, and drop us a line ( or call us at 212-841-5426 to order some of our handmade yumminess for your next special occasion (and believe me, "special occasion" can mean anything from birthdays, anniversaries and bridal showers, to first dates, bad mood destroyers, chocolate cravings and/or, well -you name it - they are all special to your own unique individual situations.)

Enjoy the lengthening days of spring (more hours to munch Mutt cookies, get jazzed on Joeltz, or just lavish in a slice of Spring Break cheesecake!)

Ciao for now -

'Da boys

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

b'gosh & b'gorra!!!

Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day!!! These are a sour cream chocolate cake, filled with mint cream cheese, topped with a vanilla, chocolate, or mint buttercream, sprinkled with tiny shamrocks or two-tone green shot, and then a hand-made green chocolate shamrock is embedded in the icing... YUMMY!!!
St Patricks Cupcakes St Patricks Cupcakes 2

St Patricks Cupcake St Patricks Cupcake Inside

Monday, March 10, 2008

New cake on the block

joey, here... home from work and not feeling too well, BUT... I wanted to tell you about our newest creation... the Chocolate Raspberry layer cake... We made this for Valentine's Day, and, just to add a bit of the essence of that holiday, we made semi-sweet chocolate hearts to put on top!
Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

This cake is based on our famous Sour Cream Chocolate layer cake since it uses that same recipe, but THEN, it's filled with a raspberry-cream cheese filling (made with our homemade raspberry coulis), and then topped with a bittersweet chocolate butter cream... For the Valentine's Day version, we made the chocolate hearts and placed them on top of the cake, and then dusted with cocoa powder... and this is the result!!!
Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake Cut Chocolate Raspberry Layer Slice

We are working on some things for St. Patrick's Day as well as Easter... more news on that a little later...

Eat. Your. Cake!


Sunday, March 2, 2008

That peach cheesecake...

joey, here, with another attempt at the Peach Cheesecake... A very close friend of mine suggested layering the peaches on a layer of the batter, which seemed to work, but there is still too much moisture in the batter... So, for my final attempt, I am going to try sliced fresh blanched peaches... wow, that's a lot of adjectives... I'll let you know how that one turns out... For now, here is what it looked like...
Peach Cheesecake I

more news as events warrant!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

And now for something entirely different...

Steven here, and may I say - our kitchen always smells so darned's no wonder I've gained 10 lbs since starting this process..oy....

Yesterday, at the request of a co-worker, I came up with a combination of Cheesecake and Carrot cake (both favorites of mine) and this afternoon we are gonna cut it and taste it and take the rest in for sampling at work tomorrow. It has layers of both types of cake, and the scent of it baking was driving me crazy yesterday - but, patience IS a virtue, and it had to chill over night - so today, watch out - I've got my knife and fork at the ready!

On a side note, I want to talk about Art. Yes, Art. It inspires, enrages, thrills, calms, enlightens and fulfills so many of the needs of man. Last night, Joey and I had the supreme pleasure of seeing the current revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical, Sunday in the Park with George at the Roundabout theatre (Studio 54). Having appeared in a touring production of it about 15 years ago, I had convinced myself to go see this version with an open mind - (when you are a performer who has done a show, it is SO easy to get a preconceived notion of how it should look or a performance should feel). Well, I was blown away. I really hadn't thought anyone could improve upon the original production, but this one will last in my memory as one of the most beautiful productions ever to grace a Broadway stage. Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell were fantastic as Georges Seurat and his mistress, Dot. Perfect performances that brought new depth of emotion to the characters they played. But perhaps surpassing even these lovely performances, was the set design. I'm not usually a fan of modern technology (I don't even own a cell phone or an Ipod)..but the use of projected animation in this production is fantastic. You literally see the painting come to life before your eyes. I highly recommend that anyone who appreciates color and light and beautiful music see this show while it is here - it happens to be a limited run engagement, so run (don't walk) to your nearest computer terminal - oops, you're already sitting at one! - and get your tickets. (after reading this blog and ordering some scrumptious goodies, of course!). You will be so glad you did, and the memory of it will last your whole life through (has anyone else noticed how so much of what I say and/or type is lyrically related???)

Go soak in an evening of eye-popping and ear-soothing Art, and then come home and have a slice of cheesecake!...what are you doing still sitting there? Go!

Ciao for now....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So, about that Peach Cheesecake...

Joey, here... this was a creamy peach filling on top of a short crust and then finished with an orange marmalade topping... however, i tried something different from our basic recipe and layered jarred peach slices, that I had drained (the juice went in to the filling), on the blind-baked crust before pouring the filling... I think this caused the crust to become soggy before Steven had a chance to get it to the samplers... But as he pointed out, that seemed to be the only criticism...

Have you ever seen a resin-topped table, in which objects seem to float within the surface? That's pretty much how this cheesecake looked with the orange marmalade topping... the little bits of orange peel seemed to float in a sea of orange-peach clearness...

I am going to make this one again and post a photo of it so you can see what it is I am talking about... I think I'll leave out the sliced peaches, though, or perhaps chop them and mix them in to the filling!!

more news as events warrant...

Friday, February 22, 2008

What the heck IS the next holiday?!

Well, folks, we've been trying to figure out what to make next (I think we'll be in that state for several years to come!)...and since our last post, we've come up with a simply fantastic creamy Peach Cheesecake; our own variation on the famous Brooklyn Blackout cake which, in a nod to Vicki Lawrence, we have affectionately dubbed "The Night the Lights Went Out in Brooklyn".

Then there's the fantastic sister to our Sour Cream Chocolate layer cake in which we've slipped in several layers of seductive Raspberry Cream Cheese filling. When I took this one to work I had to jump out of the way to save my own life, since my co-workers were wielding knives and forks galore in an attempt to devour this devilishly yummy goodness. There are a couple others I can't quite put my finger on at the moment - so I'll let Joey tell you about those when he gets a moment in front of the computer screen again soon. Meanwhile last week, in a moment of dreaming about our future, I happened to be browsing Craigslist to find bakeries for sale in the area (even though we don't plan to open in New York, it's interesting to see what's out there and what they are asking and including in the deal - it's great research.)...well, I stumbled across a lovely character from Brooklyn named SuzyO (her eBay name) who happened to have recently closed a couple of restaurants and wanted to get rid of a large quantity of bakery boxes (whoo hoo!)... We jumped at the chance to buy them from her, so Joey and I grabbed a luggage cart, jumped on the "L" and headed to Greenpoint to make a new friend and add to our collection of packaging materials (now, WHERE do we store them, you may ask - and I'll let you know when I figure it out!)

Suzy is a wealth of information on chef wizardry in general, and had some wonderful ideas that she gladly passed on to us about how to improve upon a couple of our existing recipes, and some great ideas to keep in mind for future creations. Thanks, Suzy - we'll think of you every time we box up a pie!

We're working on coming up with something fantastic for Easter (maybe some wonderful egg-shaped mini cakelettes in fun flavors and dusted with pastel sugars) and of course, we've got to give the people what they want on St. Patrick's Day... perhaps a Mint Chocolate cupcake which will be adorned with a "wearin' o' the green" mound of lovely bright green minty frosting... just a couple ideas we are tossing around...

This weekend is the February Daring Bakers challenge, so I think we'll be up to our necks in flour once again. Wish us luck - and be sure to stop by and order something yummy for your next party, romantic dinner for two - or just to nosh in front of Desperate Housewives...

Ciao for now, fellow sweet-tooth bearers...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Some tasteful feedback, if you will...

So, today, in a HUGE error in judgement, the company I work for (my "day job", I suppose) had a celebration of sorts and ordered several cakes from one of our fellow well known bakeries here in the Big Apple. One of my co-workers, when asked if she intended to have a slice, referred to Joey Biscotti and said: (a direct quote) "Once you've had Caviar, who wants tuna fish?"

Now I ask you - is that not a fantastic vote of confidence for our "little engine that could" (and WILL)?

I'm thrilled! And Joey is musing over the possibility of baking a peach cheesecake this week to put on our ever expanding menu....we'll keep you posted, fellow sweets seekers. Now, back to the kitchen!

Ciao for now....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Daring Bakers Strike Again!!!

And this time it was a Lemon Meringue Pie... Now, you'd think this was an easy pie to make... It's not difficult, but it's not easy either... Steven has always made the pie crust, usually Whole Wheat for his Apple Crostinis... But this was MY first attempt... I took a clue from the Daring Bakers blog and tried grating the chilled butter, but we didn't have a grater, so i used a Microplane...

I am buying a grater... or a food processor...

Anyway, when all was said and done, the crust came together just fine by hand... Steven prepared the crust for the pre-baking and when we removed the pie weights about 2/3 of the ay through, I was concerned because the bottom of the crust looked soggy with butter... But in the end, it came out really flaky!!!
I'm pretty well-versed in working with Lemon Curd at this point (mainly for our AMAZING Lemon Flip Cake) so the filling wasn't too difficult to make, but cooking the cornstarch base was kinda gross...
IMG_2444 IMG_2445
Once the filling went in, all that was left was to make the meringue topping...
IMG_2446 IMG_2447
This was another job for Steven... And he did magnificently, piling it up and spiking it so that it would color up nicely in the oven... We thought about maybe piping the meringue, but thought a free-form would look much better just mounded and mounded on top...
IMG_2448 IMG_2449
IMG_2450 IMG_2451
So, our second challenge is complete... And of course, we HAD to have a slice and let me just say, and I know Steven will agree, when it comes to Lemon Meringue pie, from scratch tastes infinitely better than from a box...
IMG_2452 IMG_2453 IMG_2457
Steven took the rest to work on Sunday, and the consensus was that the pie was "magical", and "heaven on a plate" ...

I'm putting this on our menu...