Einstein photo

Iconic Einstein photo

Recently (Okay, last June), a friend of mine earned her Master’s degree in Technical Writing.  Her thesis had something to do with Einstein and popular science writing (but much dryer than that), so for the party in her honor I decided to make an Einstein Pie.  She loves lemon meringue pie so that part was a no-brainer!

Pie that looks like Einstein

I was really surprised to find no pictures of anything like this out there!  🙂

Pie crust from Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible.  My absolute favorite, although I take a shortcut or two.

Lemon meringue pie recipe also from that same book, although I altered to avoid dairy where needed.

Chocolate drops for the eyes, and a strawberry for the tongue, and we were all set!

Leftover strawberries used in this pie:

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Which is tartification of a strawberry rhubarb pie recipe from I don’t remember where, at this point!  Oops.

Looked nice but very goopy.

My free time these days is pretty much taken up by my three hobbies: kitten fostering/rescue, bagpiping, and quilting.

But now that I’ve figured out how to get back into my WP account (I won’t even say how long it’s been), I might post a thing or two…

Kitten asleep next to a practice chanter

Sorry, she’s been adopted!


I love, love, love me some Bloggess, y’all, so when I found out that she’d added a stop in North Carolina to her book tour, I *had* to go, even if it was over two hours away.

And then I thought – you know, wouldn’t it be fun to bring cake?  And to try my hand at making something fun for the topper?

I’ve never made an edible taxidermied mouse before…

There were at least a hundred people there.  There was spontaneous applause as I brought the cake up and put it on the table up front.  Here’s the inspiration for the cake:

And a closeup of Mr. Hamlet von Schnizzle (sp):

The details:

Cake is Chocolate Buttermilk Cake from Maida Heatter’s Chocolate cookbook.  Filled and frosted with chocolate ganache and some strawberry puree I made the other day. [ Note: never, ever make this cake again.  The taste was wonderful, but the texture was pure crumb!  Cutting it caused it to explode into a pile of crumbs.  Tasty crumbs, but still.  Horrible to try and serve without getting cake everywhere.  Sorry, Books a Million. ] 

Hamlet is made of marzipan rolled in coconut, his hands, feet, teeth and ears are gumpaste.  The eyes are redhots, and the cape (thank you for the great idea, George!) is a fruit rollup enhanced with some sparkle dust.  The metal pole up his butt holding him upright (marzipan mice are rather topheavy) is a flower nail.  🙂  I tried to make the ruff out of marzipan, but it was big and clunky so I left it off.

This was tremendous fun, and I’m so glad I got to meet Jenny and bring a smile to her face!  I had slipped away during part of her Q&A to go pick up a copy of the book so I could have it signed, which is of course when she said something about the cake, so I missed my big moment, but it was fine.  Great crowd!

And I got to listen to the audiobook on the way there and back with my friend Kelley, which was hilarious and there’s enough added content and fun in it that I highly recommend it, even if you already have the book.  Seriously.

With starting the new job and all (Campus Librarian at a local Community College; I’m loving it!) I no longer had time to keep the business going, so I’ve mostly just been doing the odd cake here and there for birthdays, or whatnot.  But when two of my best friends decided to get married, I *had* to do their cakes!

First, the groom’s cake:

Four-layer Red Velvet cake with vanilla buttercream (groom doesn’t like cream cheese frosting on RVC); dimensions ended up 6.5″ x 9″ x 6.5″

See, the groom’s a big game player (they even met at a meetup dedicated to geeks), and these are some of his favorite games.  My husband did the graphic design work to make the images, and then I had them printed on rice paper at the local harris-teeter.  Jeff also made the Catan printouts for the base for me.  He’s so fabulous!

The Wedding Cake

3 tiers

Top tier: Italian Cream Cake (6″)

Second tier: Chocolate Butter Cake with Chocolate ganache (and a touch of Frangelico) (8″)

Third tier: Lemon-Raspberry cake (based on Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake) (10″)

All covered in vanilla buttercream (also from Dorie’s party cake recipe).

Homemade gumpaste hydrangeas. (Best.  Tutorial.  Ever.)

Homemade cake toppers (by the bride’s eldest daughter), non-edible.  But amazing!  And yes, they’re from the movie UP!  Incl. the dog.  And if you look at the purple hydrangeas closely, you’ll find a squirrel 🙂  here’s a closer look:



No interior shots, as the caterer who cut the cake sort of butchered it.  But still, tasty cake!  Everyone loved it.

Many congratulations and well wishes to the fabulous bride and groom!

Action wedding shot of the cake-maker (with glowing tiara, no less!):

(This is the beginning of a series of pictures of me starting to sing along with a song, which I am thankfully sparing you, both visually and auditorially).


Just  got one of these:

Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Makers

Can’t wait to test it out…

Time for another Chocolate and Wine tasting night at the Hope Valley Bottle Shop! (Located in the Woodcroft shopping center, SW Durham)

This Monday, February 8th, 5:30-7:30pm.

Come try the Valentine’s Day lineup!

Read the Printed Word!

Mostly because whenever I try to cook from a recipe that’s on the laptop, I end up with flour in my keyboard.

Chocolate-covered Apple Cider Caramels

Chocolate-covered Apple Cider Caramels

Halloween Candy for Adults!

There will be a complimentary Wine and Chocolate tasting on Tuesday, October 27th, at the Hope Valley Bottle Shop (in the Woodcroft Shopping Center) from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

This month’s chocolate flavors available are:

Mulled Wine – A dark chocolate truffle made with mulled red wine – a sophisticated flavor to warm you on these cold fall nights.

Pyramid with pink accent

Chai – Smooth and creamy milk chocolate infused with Chai spices and covered in dark Belgian couverture.

Hand-Dipped Rounds

Ginger – Each truffle contains a dark chocolate ganache infused with ginger as well as a piece of candied ginger for a spicy/sweet treat.

Triangles with red dot

Apple-Cider Caramels – Cream caramel made with local apple cider, dipped in dark chocolate and accented with pecan pieces.

See you there!

Next Page »