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Entries in Bakery (66)

Sunday
Jan052014

Valbella: Old School Italian Elegance in Greenwich

I never go to Italian restaurants in Connecticut because I was lucky and spoiled enough to have eaten in Italy - a lot - and I always feel disappointed in the American version of Italian cuisine. So when a friend begged me to review VALBELLA in Greenwich, I was reluctant to say the least. The pastry chef, she claimed, was world renowned and his food art simply had to be reviewed. I did some research and decided to acquiesce. For more than 20 years, the stately, Victorian Valbella has been the archetype for excellent but old school Italian cuisine in the Greenwich/Riverside area, and has successful sister locations in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and Midtown. And I can understand why. It is in no way funky or hip or cool but is extremely elegant and the food, though I am hesitant to admit it, was outstanding. 

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Saturday
Jan042014

Loaf of the Week at Scratch Baking

 

Beginning on January 31, 2014 for 8 weeks, Scratch Baking in Milford will be kicking-off their second annual "Loaf of the Week" club. Participants, known as "the loafers," receive a surprise bread and spread each week, paired with a recipe. Think of it as a winter CSA for your bread box.

"It really is alot of fun and honestly it is perfect for winter time when you just want to curl up and fire up that crockpot," said Lesli Flick, Scratch owner and baker. 

Last year, Scratch's Loaf of the Week baked fresh loaves of brioche paired with a cinnamon raisin butter, ciabatta with pesto, and rosemary focaccia with a lemon curd. The cost to become a Loafer is $65 for 8 weeks of breads and spreads.

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Friday
Dec272013

"Small, Sweet, and Italian" from Sweet Maria's (Waterbury Bakery)

The arrival of the holiday season gives rise to lots of thoughts. Plans for Christmas, and wish lists for gift-giving and receiving rank high at the moment, and interwoven with those is another shared, defining theme—food, as in feasts, finer and heartier fare than in fairer weather and a seasonal amnesty from sweet-treat restrictions.

That’s where Maria Bruscino Sanchez—aka Sweet Maria—comes in.

The owner and baker for nearly 24 years at Sweet Maria’s in Waterbury, a Connecticut destination bakery for cakes, cookies, biscotti and more, Bruscino Sanchez recently released her latest cookbook, and it’s a perfect one both for this time of year and for how we like to live, and eat, now. 

In Small, Sweet and Italian, with 75 recipes and simple, straightforward instructions, “The mini sweet trend takes an Italian holiday with recipes like Cappuccino Hazelnut Cupcakes, tiny Torta Caprese, mini Italian cream horns, cannoli, Bellini and Limoncello cupcakes.”

The word “mini” is the key here; these are small bites that are far more delicious and satisfying than they are filling—meaning you can sample a variety without guilt.

“Mini everything has taken hold of the entire bakery industry,” Bruscino Sanchez writes at the beginning of the book, which, before digging into the recipes, offers an ingredients/pantry section, notes on the necessary equipment, helpful mini primers on baking techniques and even a section on pairing desserts with dessert wines. 

“I grew up in a family where small portions meant a meal to serve twelve!” she writes in an opening section of the new book entitled La Dolce Vita means “The Sweet Life.” “Many of us love keeping up traditions, yet our lifestyles have changed to eat smaller and lighter. By baking minis, you can have it all: flavor, tradition, and variety.”

Read the full article on ConnecticutMagazine.com. 

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Wednesday
Nov062013

Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, Coming to Greenwich via Serendipity Magazine

A Slice of Cake Boss via Serendipity Magazine

Buddy Valastro, the star of TLC’s Cake Boss and owner of the famous Carlo’s  bakery, is opening shop in Greenwich, CT, this fall. He talks to Serendipity about  the sweet life and what to expect at the new site: delicious pastries, over-the-top cakes, and maybe even tv cameras!

Why did you choose Greenwich for your first Carlo’s Bakery out of New Jersey?
I love it here, it’s a great town. I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve been able to spend here. There’s so much to do on Greenwich Avenue, and so many families in the area. I knew it would be a great fit for the first Carlo’s Bakery outside of New Jersey. I have friends who live in the Westchester area, so I’ve been able to get to know the area better when I visit them.

Everyone wants to know — will you be working at the new bakery?
Of course, I’m going to be there as often as I can. I’m a hands-on person, and it’s very important for me to make sure that our Greenwich location will meet the same standards I’ve built for Carlo’s Bakery. So, I’ll be here to make sure we’re running smoothly.

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Thursday
Jul182013

Sono Baking Co's French Blueberry Tartlets

 

Welcome to Throwback Thursday...We brought this recipe out of the archives right in time for blueberry season. Enjoy!

Sweet! Berries are back in season and we've got the perfect way to celebrate the booming berry harvest: fresh fruit tarts. We asked John Barricelli of Sono Baking Company for his favorite recipe as he knows a few things about tarts. 

Piled high with fresh blueberries, these individual fruit tarts offer a sweet, creamy custard surprise in the center. Try making these with raspberries or strawberries, or an assortment of berries. Each tartlet uses very little pastry cream, so you’ll have some left over, which can be used as a garnish and served alongside the tarts.

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Monday
Jul082013

The Cronuts™ Craze Comes to CT @ Stew Leonards

If you are a foodie, by now, you have likely heard about the legend of the Cronut™. If you're a foodie and have been hiding under a rock and have not yet heard about the pasty hybrid taking the food obsessed world by storm, you should read this. The Cronut is a half croissant, half doughnut created by Chef Dominique Ansel in May of 2013, and since their launch, New Yorkers have been waiting in line for hours (or paying scalpers) to get one of these decadent dessert items, making it the most viral (and hyped) indulgence to date.

Although I did not manage to get one of these during a recent trip to NYC, I'm pleased to announce that the rumors are true...all four locations of Stew Leonard's are selling their own version of the complicated Cronut, named "Cro-Dos!"  The word "cronut" is trademarked by AnselHalf croissant and half donut, these babies are 162 layers of butter and dough deep fried to golden perfection. And you don't have to wait in line for HOURS to buy them! $3.99/2 pack. Available now here at Stew's! I particularly enjoyed their hash tag: ‎#ohyeswedid

Kudos to the bakers at Stew Leonard's.

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Thursday
May302013

Sugar & Olives Gets Serious About Baking w/ Pastry Chef Cindy Bearman

Sugar & Olives in Norwalk has been known for their inventive homemade indulgences, but with pastry chef Cindy Bearman at the helm, Sugar & Olive's bake shop is becoming serious business. Their bakery department not only offers cakes to order as well as favorites such as homemade devil dogs, pop tarts, decadent oreos, and porridge cakes, but they are also offering a range of pastry classes for both novice and serious bakers (even kids). 

Cindy Bearman brings years of experience as the opening chef for ABC Kitchen in NYC, and has worked at Le Cirque, and with Daniel Boulud. Her creativity and knowledge mingled with Sugar & Olive's dedication to sourcing local and organic ingredients from farms such as Arethusa Farm milk (Litchfield CT) and Speckled Rooster Farm eggs (Westport CT), make them a go-to spot for any birthday or sweet craving. They also offer wheat free and nut free desserts for those with food sensitivities. 

Pastry classes at Sugar & Olives are hands on affairs and heavy on technique. From Frosting 101 to Gum Paste Flowers, their is something for everyone this Summer. Check out a few of the classes below, or go to Sugar & Olive's web site for a complete listing of classes.

 

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Tuesday
Apr302013

Forever Sweet Bakery Opens in Norwalk

Forever Sweet Bakery opened last week in the small mini-mall across from the Subaru dealership on New Canaan Avenue in Norwalk and CTbites paid a visit.

We visited after lunch on opening day and the success of the store preceded our arrival since the remaining inventory consisted of a few “Red Velvet” and a single chocolate cupcake. We decided on the Red Velvet and it was quite tasty. The cake was moist and they kept the sugar in the cake to a minimum. The icing was sweet and delicious and added great flavor.

The size of the cupcakes at Forever Sweet is also manageable, not the mega-cupcakes that have become the standard. Priced at $2.75 each, these are the perfect size and price for a kid’s party.

The Cake Pops start with a sphere of cake that are dipped in a hard shell and topped with some sparkles, priced at $2.75 each or $24.00 for a dozen. The Cupcake in a Jar is an 8-ounce mason jar filled with various layers of cake and priced $5.95 each.

With a following from its recent appearances at the Stamford Mall and current sales at local fooderies, Forever Sweets is a place to purchase some very tasty and creative cupcake inspired desserts.

Forever Sweet Bakery - 4 New Canaan Ave, Norwalk, CT - 203.939.9600

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Thursday
Apr182013

Sweet & Simple Bakery Opens @ Fairfield’s Greenfield Hill 

Michelle Jaffee is up and in her new home away from home at 75 Hillside Road long before the sun comes up. There, she’s busily getting ready for the day ahead creating delightful treats for her wholesale clients as well as the for her new SWEET & SIMPLE BAKERY. You may have seen her brand at your local retail grocer, but now Michelle has a storefront of her own, and her selection of cookies, brownies and cakes, which are available on a rotating basis, is growing daily. 

Cookies include, but are not limited to, chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, sugar, almond butter and thumbprints. If you’re looking for a cake for a Birthday or other special occasion, Michelle offers golden yellow, chocolate, coconut, banana, carrot, lemon, Red Velvet and strawberry shortcakes, as well as a wide selection of homemade frostings, ganaches and fillings. 

Sweet & Simple isn’t just your neighborhood cookie and brownie bake shop. They are continually adding items to their menu and now offer dinner rolls, and challah.

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Tuesday
Mar122013

The CakeBox Opens "Swoon" Gluten Free Bakery in Ridgefield

The Cake Box Expands and Relocates, Swoon Takes Over:  Gluten free gourmet treats and cupcakes to live for...

As a mother of a child who has Celiac disease and cannot eat any gluten or wheat, I’ve struggled with finding cakes and desserts that actually taste like the real thing. I’ve found some good options at local markets but need an occasional splurge for a special event or party, or just because. Thankfully, there is good news if you’re in Fairfield County: a new gluten-free, nut-free bakery has opened. Soon after Cake Box of Ridgefield moved to its larger location, the same team opened Swoon.

Cake Box owners Robert Byrnes and Jordan Gregory, whose bakery is known for its variety of gourmet cupcake flavors and custom cakes, decided to open a gluten-free and nut-free bakery when Cake Box outgrew their Copp’s Hill Marketplace location. They explain, “We have been making gluten-free treats for customers that requested them. Now that we have a dedicated gluten-free and nut-free location, and can offer our customers the highest guarantee of no cross-contamination with other ingredients that may be problematic for them.  Which means they can relax and enjoy a cupcake like everyone else!”

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