LTH Home

My season of cake begins [pics]

My season of cake begins [pics]
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 3
  • Post #31 - August 22nd, 2006, 11:07 pm
    Post #31 - August 22nd, 2006, 11:07 pm Post #31 - August 22nd, 2006, 11:07 pm
    This is such a great thread -- thanks for taking the time.
  • Post #32 - September 20th, 2006, 2:19 pm
    Post #32 - September 20th, 2006, 2:19 pm Post #32 - September 20th, 2006, 2:19 pm
    Mike G wrote:I decided it was time to give House of Fine Chocolates a second shot....On the other hand, I have to say, this is one of the best deals in town, cake-wise. A really high-quality, dense, fine dark chocolate cake, its equivalent in quality and ingredients would be $30 if not pushing $40 elsewhere, and it was going for the cake-full-of-shortcuts price of $17.50.


    I agree.

    Last weekend, petit pois and I threw my mother a birthday party. Mom had a very specific cake request: marble cake, chocolate fudge frosting between the layers and chocolate buttercream icing outside.

    Prefering to patronize one of our many bakeries rather than the large chain groceries, we called around town and found very few places who would fulfill this request: it's either no marble, or no fudge. We finally decided to skip the marble and go for alternating yellow and chocolate cake layers.

    House of Fine Chocolates came through with a perfect cake that blew the doors off the party. The chocolate actually tastes like chocolate, even in the cake itself (which is often not the case). It wasn't dense or overly sweet. Just a darn good cake, expertly constructed with quality ingredients for half the price that Bittersweet quoted us.

    I'll be a return customer for sure.

    Image

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #33 - December 14th, 2006, 8:29 pm
    Post #33 - December 14th, 2006, 8:29 pm Post #33 - December 14th, 2006, 8:29 pm
    Image

    Season of Cake 2006 ends with a chocolate-vanilla cake from Bombon, light tres leches-like cream (I'm sure there's some better term for that) in between the layers, some coconut I think in there somewhere, perfect cake for a frosting-indifferent sort such as myself... looking back through my pictures I see we had a Bombon cake for older son's birthday in October, too, while my wife's was celebrated out of town... I promise next season of cake, we will try someplace new!

    P.S. No, no one drank a Guinness AND a goblet of wine. That was her water glass.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #34 - August 30th, 2007, 4:03 pm
    Post #34 - August 30th, 2007, 4:03 pm Post #34 - August 30th, 2007, 4:03 pm
    And on to the 2007 season...

    For my son's actual birthday, we baked a cake, or rather cakes, having bought this railway cake mold.

    Next we ordered a cake, decorated with his favorite color (green), for his birthday party with school friends, from House of Fine Chocolates. We placed the order (I think their absurdly low prices have finally gone up; still a good deal though), came home-- and ten minutes later the Storm of '07 started and our power went out.

    We canceled the party, had no idea if House of Fine Chocolates even had power to make our cake, and didn't worry about as we headed out of town. Came back, got power (and thus refrigeration back), and called House of Fine Chocolates... who indeed had our cake and were feeling rather sorry for Liam to be stuck with parents who could order a cake for him and forget it.

    We're enjoying birthday cake all week.

    Image
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #35 - August 30th, 2007, 5:42 pm
    Post #35 - August 30th, 2007, 5:42 pm Post #35 - August 30th, 2007, 5:42 pm
    At first I thought the uncaring parents only let Liam light half of his birthday candles, then I realized the other ones were chocolate shavings. What a great looking cake (again).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #36 - September 13th, 2007, 9:37 am
    Post #36 - September 13th, 2007, 9:37 am Post #36 - September 13th, 2007, 9:37 am
    I love this thread.

    That train cake mold is adorable. Wouldn't mind seeing a pic of that too, or did you not get a chance to bake it before the power went out?

    Agree with Steve that the chocolate shavings look delectable.
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #37 - August 15th, 2008, 9:18 pm
    Post #37 - August 15th, 2008, 9:18 pm Post #37 - August 15th, 2008, 9:18 pm
    Try to guess the theme of this year's 7-year-old party.

    Image

    Image
    Chocolate with chocolate mousse and strawberry filling, and rockin' good decoration by Dinkel's. It may not be quite as lush as a House of Fine Chocolates cake, but it beats a grocery store sheet cake by a long ways, and this decoration (picked out by the birthday boy himself) was a knockout. Everyone went home happy.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #38 - August 15th, 2008, 9:58 pm
    Post #38 - August 15th, 2008, 9:58 pm Post #38 - August 15th, 2008, 9:58 pm
    I love Dinkel's! Especially the strawberry filling. What a cute theme, and a cute cake. Happy Birthday Liam! :D
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #39 - October 23rd, 2008, 7:42 pm
    Post #39 - October 23rd, 2008, 7:42 pm Post #39 - October 23rd, 2008, 7:42 pm
    Image

    Take the younger son along to help pick out the older son's cake and you wind up with a few pounds of fondant. We regarded it as sort of a protective shell around the actual cake. The cake inside was chocolate with ganache, both a bit heavy, and excellent housemade raspberry preserves, way more lively and real-tasting than any similar thing you've had in a cake before. It was expensive, but I miss it already.

    Chaos Theory Cakes
    2961 N Lincoln Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60657
    773-281-2353
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #40 - October 26th, 2008, 9:17 am
    Post #40 - October 26th, 2008, 9:17 am Post #40 - October 26th, 2008, 9:17 am
    Hi,

    I was at a bakery in Libertyville called Marked for Dessert. Cakes looking very similar to your fondant beauty were $125 and up.

    He had a show stopper cake in homage to Marie Antoinette, which he stopped counting his production time after 400 hours.

    We saw a wedding cake feeding 450 people priced at merely $6,000.

    I bought a Mexican Wedding cookie for around $1.50, which was pretty good and relatively affordable.

    Marked For Dessert
    http://www.markedfordessert.com
    518 N Milwaukee Ave
    Libertyville, IL 60048
    (847) 367-9898

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #41 - September 1st, 2009, 9:17 pm
    Post #41 - September 1st, 2009, 9:17 pm Post #41 - September 1st, 2009, 9:17 pm
    Well, our first cake of this season was not anything to get too excited about. The bad news is, it was from an Albertson's. The good news was, we had to go to an Albertson's because we were in Wyoming on vacation, which kind of made up for any flaws (though in fact it was perfectly decent).

    Second cake of this season, we were running around and Bleeding Heart Bakery (which has the same owners as the now-defunct Chaos Theory Cakes) is just down the street, so we popped in there to buy whatever was in stock. Trouble was, we didn't really like the choices all that much, mainly because none of them involved chocolate. So I asked, and chocolate was expected to be done later today. I paid in advance and went off.

    Came back around 4 and... here's a chocolate cake from Bleeding Heart:

    Image

    They love them some serious color at Bleeding Heart, no matter what's inside it. Their cakes, being organic, are certainly expensive, but the chocolate cake part has a really rich, clean chocolate flavor. Quality stuff. I only ate a fraction of my frosting with it:

    Image

    They don't do delicate at Bleeding Heart, go elsewhere for that. But for a cake that's as sturdy as a bowling ball, it was very tasty. Plus it had the added bonus that within seconds, it had dyed everybody's lips and teeth blue:

    Image
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #42 - September 1st, 2009, 9:43 pm
    Post #42 - September 1st, 2009, 9:43 pm Post #42 - September 1st, 2009, 9:43 pm
    Let me be the first to say how great it is that this thread has now reached five years of updates. It's been great to grow up with Liam and Myles and their cakes. Happy B-Day, boys.

    I'm also glad that you branched out from your "House of Fine Chocolates"/Dinkel's run. I love their work, but it was time for something new.

    Best,
    M
  • Post #43 - October 16th, 2009, 12:27 pm
    Post #43 - October 16th, 2009, 12:27 pm Post #43 - October 16th, 2009, 12:27 pm
    Boy, I'm stumped as to a new place to get a cake. Plenty of cake places, but they all seem oriented to the wedding cake racket, so prices and noses sound high. Anyone have any suggestions? I have to get one on Monday (or Sunday if they're not open).
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #44 - October 16th, 2009, 12:32 pm
    Post #44 - October 16th, 2009, 12:32 pm Post #44 - October 16th, 2009, 12:32 pm
    Mike G wrote:Boy, I'm stumped as to a new place to get a cake. Plenty of cake places, but they all seem oriented to the wedding cake racket, so prices and noses sound high. Anyone have any suggestions? I have to get one on Monday (or Sunday if they're not open).


    I'd check out Sensational Bites on Southport. I've been favorably impressed with everything we've had from there, from cakes to cookies. We just did a cake for my mom's b-day from there and it wasn't absurdly priced.

    http://www.sensationalbites.com/
  • Post #45 - October 16th, 2009, 12:56 pm
    Post #45 - October 16th, 2009, 12:56 pm Post #45 - October 16th, 2009, 12:56 pm
    Have you tried Hippo Bakery in Mitsuwa? Sparky luuuved his Pokemon cake (though probably the boys are all too old for that now...) The cake itself was delicious (the cookies were just OK.)
  • Post #46 - October 16th, 2009, 2:37 pm
    Post #46 - October 16th, 2009, 2:37 pm Post #46 - October 16th, 2009, 2:37 pm
    Mike G wrote:Boy, I'm stumped as to a new place to get a cake. Plenty of cake places, but they all seem oriented to the wedding cake racket, so prices and noses sound high. Anyone have any suggestions? I have to get one on Monday (or Sunday if they're not open).


    Sensational Bites is much closer to you, but if you're willing to drive, I think Pastel Bakery near Zaragoza is worth a try. I haven't had birthday cake from there, but the cookies and individual flan in quality and value put it way ahead of the majority of North Side bakeries I know.

    Pastel Bakery
    4814 S Pulaski Rd
    Chicago IL 60632
  • Post #47 - October 16th, 2009, 5:46 pm
    Post #47 - October 16th, 2009, 5:46 pm Post #47 - October 16th, 2009, 5:46 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:
    Sensational Bites is much closer to you, but if you're willing to drive, I think Pastel Bakery near Zaragoza is worth a try. I haven't had birthday cake from there, but the cookies and individual flan in quality and value put it way ahead of the majority of North Side bakeries I know.

    Pastel Bakery
    4814 S Pulaski Rd
    Chicago IL 60632


    I'll agree that Pastel's cookies are pretty good, but a tart I had there nowhere near lived up to the quality of the cookies, in fact it may be the first time in my life that I threw a pastry in the trash rather than eat it. I'd carefully sample the cakes before committing to one for a celebration.

    Pastel Display Case
    Image

    Pastel's Inedible Chocolate Caramel Tart
    Image
    Caution, looks can be deceiving
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #48 - October 21st, 2009, 9:59 pm
    Post #48 - October 21st, 2009, 9:59 pm Post #48 - October 21st, 2009, 9:59 pm
    Image

    So I went to Sensational Bites. For one thing, because they had late hours on Sunday, which is so rare here in Chicago. Price was reasonable ($25) and the weight was bowling ball-like, I could tell this was one of those cakes with a half inch carapace of frosting all around, like the polka dot one from last year. Frankly, though the flavor was pretty good, it just seems wasteful to have to dig cake out from enough sugar to give you a headache if you were actually fool enough to consume it all. In this case, because there was an outer chocolate coating as well, we had to dig the orange grout out from the slices in order to eat cake and chocolate coating together. It was fine, but I can't help thinking it's time for cake makers to remember that less is often more.

    Image
    Singing Happy Birthday so Grandma can hear.

    Sensational Bites
    3751 N Southport Ave
    Chicago, IL 60613-3718
    (773) 248-2271
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #49 - October 21st, 2009, 11:25 pm
    Post #49 - October 21st, 2009, 11:25 pm Post #49 - October 21st, 2009, 11:25 pm
    After visiting Zaragoza Restaurant a couple of weeks ago I walked over to Pastel, because of comments posted elsewhere on LTH recommending it - and after walking in, looking at what was in the display case I found myself disinterested and walked-out empty-handed thinking to myself, "Is that all there is?" Maybe Saturday isn't a good day to visit.
  • Post #50 - January 10th, 2010, 5:39 pm
    Post #50 - January 10th, 2010, 5:39 pm Post #50 - January 10th, 2010, 5:39 pm
    Image

    I couldn't think of another cake place to try last month, for my birthday.

    So I had pie. Hoosier Mama apple quince pie, with carefully hoarded vanilla custard from already-closed-by-that-point Scooter's.

    I didn't miss cake.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #51 - January 10th, 2010, 11:05 pm
    Post #51 - January 10th, 2010, 11:05 pm Post #51 - January 10th, 2010, 11:05 pm
    Hi,

    Glad you were happy with your pie.

    My Mom's birthday edges on Halloween. For a few years, her dessert request was chocolate mousse graveyard embedded with tombstone cookies. She could not have been happier with her choice.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #52 - September 16th, 2010, 4:24 pm
    Post #52 - September 16th, 2010, 4:24 pm Post #52 - September 16th, 2010, 4:24 pm
    Mike-

    You might want to consider Taste of Heaven for a cake. Mr. X's brother decided to visit us for an early birthday celebration for himself over Labor Day weekend. I know we called Taste of Heaven late for a whole cake order, possibly on Sunday to order a cake for pick-up Monday morning. We ended up with a chocolate cake with a caramel frosting (might have been called "dulce de leche" - Mr. X did all the legwork.) It was tastefully decorated and pretty good. The crumb was a little dry but I really loved the frosting. As an added bonus for us, they were open on Monday.

    5401 N Clark St.
    Chicago, IL 60640
    (773) 989-0151
    -Mary
  • Post #53 - October 20th, 2010, 11:41 am
    Post #53 - October 20th, 2010, 11:41 am Post #53 - October 20th, 2010, 11:41 am
    I'm amazed at how hard it is to get cake sometimes. I heard about a promising new bakery and went in on Monday. This was the conversation:

    Me: Hi, I want to get a birthday cake for tomorrow.
    Them: We're closed tomorrow!
    Me: I'll buy it today.
    Them: (moving in for the kill) We don't have cakes ready to sell!

    Defeated again, joining the ranks of the cheesecake place in Wyoming last year that plainly wished we would just go away and stop trying to buy something, and Vanille five years ago. It's not that I hold a grudge— I actually did finally return to Vanille this year— but I'm baffled by how resistant many bakeries are to the idea of, you know, actually having things in stock in case customers might walk in and want to buy something. (I'm not saying the name of this new place just because I already gave them grief on Twitter, enough already.)

    So not having been to Bombon in any location other than the one that burned a couple of years ago, they were my fallback, since I knew that they have intuited the hidden secret of retail, that if you make things to sell, people will come in and buy them. Chocolate cake, cream, mocha tres leches, more cream:

    Image

    (The truffle oil and arugula and stuff around it is from the pizzas I was making, not anything to do with cake.)

    What I liked was that not only was it flavorful, it wasn't surrounded by a pound of frosting. Everything on it was light, not too sweet, the kids weren't bouncing off the walls at 11pm. Bombon remains reliable... and welcoming.

    Bombon Cafe
    38 S Ashland Ave, Chicago
    (312) 733-8717
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #54 - March 5th, 2018, 5:48 pm
    Post #54 - March 5th, 2018, 5:48 pm Post #54 - March 5th, 2018, 5:48 pm
    I earnestly didn't want to start a new thread.

    I figured Mike G would be okay if folks just went here. (mods if you disagree, I am fine with it being moved).

    My birthday was a couple of weeks ago. My DH's flight was delayed a day. I had no plans in the interim.

    A quote about this Little Layer cake with a link to the recipe has been my LTH Signature forever. But I never made it.

    I am not a fan of chocolate. So I used a caramel frosting recipe from CI/ATK.

    This cake was delicious. If I were to make it again, I would weigh the batter to make certain there was enough for 12 layers. Alas, I failed and came up with a paltry ten layers. I would also suggest if you do not have enough cake pans that it would be easier if you can borrow some so that you can keep the washing down. Other than that the labor effort to create this "showstopper"/celebratory bake was low.

    It was delicious.

    Recipe is in my signature.

    I also froze a cut slice for a couple of days and it was fine. I have not yet frozen an uncut cake but I know it is done all the time + those frozen Pepperidge Farm/Sarah Lee cakes suggest it is doable at home.

    I also think these layers could be made in advance and frozen for assembly and icing at a future date without any problem. I will probably give that a go sooner as opposed to later.
    28575585_10156098344614378_3470599025621729280_o.jpg
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #55 - March 6th, 2018, 7:34 am
    Post #55 - March 6th, 2018, 7:34 am Post #55 - March 6th, 2018, 7:34 am
    looks incredible
  • Post #56 - March 6th, 2018, 1:13 pm
    Post #56 - March 6th, 2018, 1:13 pm Post #56 - March 6th, 2018, 1:13 pm
    AlekH wrote:looks incredible


    I would definitely make it again.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #57 - March 6th, 2018, 8:21 pm
    Post #57 - March 6th, 2018, 8:21 pm Post #57 - March 6th, 2018, 8:21 pm
    pairs4life wrote:
    AlekH wrote:looks incredible


    I would definitely make it again.

    I'm hardly impressed anymore . . . you've just spoiled me so . . . everything you make is gorgeous! Even so, still waiting for my piece.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #58 - March 6th, 2018, 9:40 pm
    Post #58 - March 6th, 2018, 9:40 pm Post #58 - March 6th, 2018, 9:40 pm
    pairs4life wrote:I would definitely make it again.
    Stunning cake, simply stunning!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #59 - March 7th, 2018, 1:48 pm
    Post #59 - March 7th, 2018, 1:48 pm Post #59 - March 7th, 2018, 1:48 pm
    WOW! just wow! So impressive! Kudos to you! --Joy
  • Post #60 - March 7th, 2018, 4:31 pm
    Post #60 - March 7th, 2018, 4:31 pm Post #60 - March 7th, 2018, 4:31 pm
    HI,

    This cake reminds me of one on the Great British Baking Show. Of course their cake had a cute wrinkle: alternating layers were darker and lighter. Of course, the contestants often messed up on how much batter was needed to make the correct number of layers.

    This is where a gram digital scale comes in very handy to dole out the batter.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more