Attention all sugar junkies, prepare yourselves for Dallas’ biggest bake sale of the year, Cupcake Camp Dallas is back and bigger than ever. This year’s event will see over 25 professional bakeries and 19 amateurs all donating more than 7,500 cupcakes for charity. The event benefits the LEAP foundation, a non-profit organization composed of volunteer physicians and support staff who provide free surgical care to children and adults with deformities.
This year’s event is being held on June 2nd at St. Mark’s School of Texas (10600 Preston Rd, Dallas) from 1-4 PM. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
Many well-known Dallas bakeries, including Society Bakery, Dimples, Trailercakes, and Tart Bakery will be in attendance, but this is also a wonderful opportunity to taste of the talents of many excellent bakers from all around the Dallas area that you may be less familiar with. A full list of bakers can be seen here.
Last year’s event was such a huge success, the camp is expecting to double its attendance this year. We’ll have a full report of the camp for you here at SideDish after the event, but trust me, this is one eat-a-thon you will not want to simply admire through the glowing pixels of your computer monitor.3 Comments »
She wants Doughmonkey but she can’t have it. Hear her plea:
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I wondered if you might be able to assist. The last time I bought a really fancy birthday cake was when Doughmonkey in Snider Plaza still existed. I remember it fondly: a shocking turquoise dome with a Curacao liqueur glaze and orange chocolate filling. It was a great bargain at under $50 too. Now I find myself in need of an impressive cake again, but don’t know where to look. I am not in the market for a trompe l’oeil sculpture smothered in fondant, just a really delicious but fancy and beautiful cake, preferably under $50 or so. Any ideas?
It starts at 6:00 p.m. The bread baker arrives in the kitchen, and the mixing begins. Two hours later, the rest of the baking staff arrives. A metal scooper dives deep into an industrial-sized sack of flour and dusts the surface of the countertops, prepping them for pastries: first the croissants, then the muffins, then the brioche. Nothing goes into the oven until 10:00 p.m.; long after the Main Street Bread Baking Company storefront has closed for the night. On weekdays Pierre, the head baker, pushes through the back doors of the kitchen at 2:00 a.m. to oversee the final stages of production amid the scent of leavening, melting chocolate, pastry cream, and almond.
Alexander Nham wrote “An Ode to Chinese Pastries” in City of Ate last week, and pointed Observer readers to Vivian Bakery located in the New Chinatown in Richardson. Not sure why he called it “new” when Chinatown has been there forever. I mean, I was probably too young to even walk when my mother brought me along with her to shop there. That was twenty-something-odd years ago. The only thing that’s new are those knock-off Terracotta soldiers they added to make the place look less dumpy. Plenty of bakeries have come and gone since then, but Vivian Bakery, to which Nham references, has been there for more than a few years now, attached to the hip of a Chinese grocery store called Tian Tian Super Market.
It’s rare when this happens (because I’m a sucker for every kind of carb), but I walked into Vivian Bakery two weeks ago and walked out empty-handed. It was a Saturday afternoon and the breads didn’t look fresh; they were shriveled up in their plastic wrappings. I was willing to give the place a shot until I caught an offensive glimpse of cheese (like the Kraft singles you buy at Wal-Mart) melted on top of a pastry. After reading Nham’s review of Vivian Bakery, I considered the fact that I might have just… you know… imagined that slice of cheese. Wanting to give Vivian’s another chance, I returned for a second trip last Friday. This time I found a “chocolate” bread covered in brown goop with multicolored sprinkles. Don’t get me wrong, I love sprinkles. They’re wonderful on donuts and cupcakes and cookies. But sprinkles do not belong on Asian bread. Period. Continue reading "A Few Asian Bakeries in Dallas That I Cannot Live Without"
We caught up with the fine folks behind Rockstar Bakeshop this weekend as they celebrated the maiden voyage of their shiny new truck, which they’ve lovingly named “Layla.” The weather may not have been ideal last Friday, but the whoopie-heads were out in full force to support Dallas’ first mobile whoopie shop. Judging by the droves of smiling faces, all in attendance were satisfied with what Rockstar had to offer, which included their usual line-up of whoopies, but also some new creations such as the chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, bourbon glazed bread pudding (which sold out in, like, 10 mins) and a toasted marshmallow s’mores bar. With the support of the wonderful ladies of Easy Slider truck, it’s no wonder that the Dallas food truck scene is blowing up like an atom bomb.
I caught up with Denver Leonard, who along with his wife, Kristen, are the brains and brawn behind this whoopie operation, and asked him some very important questions regarding their the business, future plans, and the legitimacy of their rock star status.
Jump for an insider’s dish into the world of whoopie… Continue reading "Rockstar Bakeshop Goes Mobile With A Little Help From Their Friends"
I’m not at all ashamed to profess my love for donuts. Some may label these decadent morsels of fried dough a “guilty pleasure,” but when I sink my eager teeth into the perfect donut, I feel no guilt at all, simply a euphoric rush of gustatory satisfaction which no other breakfast pastry can provide. Last year, I presented my list of the Best Donuts in Dallas, but since that time, we’ve seen some notable changes on the Dallas donut frontier. The beloved Hypnotic Donuts traded in their inconspicuous habitation of a pizza joint in North Dallas for a vibrant new shop in East Dallas. Other donut shops, such as Pookie’s Donuts on Lemmon Ave, who donut bombed D Magazine a few weeks ago, and Denton Square Donuts who I visited previously, are also getting in on the donut love currently wafting through the air around Dallas.
Jump for a hole lot more…8 Comments »
We could all use a little more whoopie in our lives. This Friday, Dallas will see the launch of its first whoopie pie truck brought to us by the fine people at Rockstar Bakeshop. Of course, Rockstar is not new to Dallas by any means, as they have been camping out behind a whoopie-strewn table now for months in conjunction with some other trucks around town. Rockstar, which specializes in rock-themed whoopie pies, have finally put the finishing touches on their new digs and will be cruising the streets starting this week. And to kick it all off, they are throwing a party this Friday, March 9 from 5-8 PM at Dowdy Studio (located just behind Good 2 Go Taco). Rockstar has decided to christen their sweet new ride “Layla,” after the legendary Clapton tune. (Apparently “Cocaine” was not quite sending the right message.)2 Comments »
This past weekend may have been rainy and overcast, but a beacon of sunshine poured down upon the Bishop Arts District, resting on a quaint little renovated house painted brightly with hues of violet and blue. Within these walls rested Dallas’ first “pop-up” pie shop, brought to us by the wonderful women at Emporium Pies, partners and co-owners, Mary Gauntt and Megan Wilkes. Wanting to test the waters a bit and see what kind of response the Dallas diners would have to a dedicated pie shop, they moved into the space at 314 N. Bishop Ave. over the weekend to provide this city with some of the finest pies it will ever see.
Walking inside, the space is small but cozy, with no more than a few chairs, a sales counter, a couple tiny tables with three stands displaying the day’s pie options. On one rests a French silk chocolate pie with a crunchy pretzel crust, another holds a bourbon pecan pie with shortbread crust, the last displaying a streusel topped banana pie. I ordered a slice of each, which were then all neatly packaged in small wicker baskets with a wooden fork and tied up with string (these are a few of my favorite things). The entire presentation is so insanely cute, it makes fluffy baby bunnies look like swamp trolls. I took a seat on the porch and dug in.
Jump for a whole lotta pie porn…
SideDish photographer Desiree Espada roams the roads with her camera looking for good things to eat and shoot. Check out her photo essay of Bolsa Mercado. Then feast your eyes on what to expect when the Jerry Garcia of donut making, James St. Peter, opens Hypnotic Donuts on Sunday, January 29.
Glory be to the donut. Continue reading "Desiree + Camera: Photo Essay of Hypnotic Donuts in East Dallas"
She’s not from Texas and wants to impress her husband’s family.
Hi! I need some advice on what makes a pecan pie a real Texas pie. I’m from Newark and I married a Dallas boy. This is my first Christmas cooking for his family. They are fifth generation Texans. Feeling the pressure. Also do you say pecaaan with a long a or pecown?
Good lord, woman. You sure ask a lot of questions for a gal from New Jersey. Hit her, I mean it, y’all.9 Comments »
Hey folks, in case you didn’t know, it’s National Cupcake Day! And I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been this excited since National Bacon Day. If you actually need a reason to go out and stuff yourself full of cake and frosting, now you have one. And it’s totally un-American to ignore your national holidays. Buy some cupcakes, you owe it to your country.1 Comment »
Tonight Dallas baker Chad Fitzgerald will get his close-up on Next Great Baker. The show airs on TLC at 8PM. D Magazine intern Arti Sharma interviewed Chad. Get to know him before tonight’s show. He’s a former-teacher-turned-drag-queen-turned-baker. Join him for a debut party at Magnolia Hotel at 7PM.
Chad Fitzgerald claims he and his partner, Edward Navejas, owners of The Cake Guys in Duncanville, are just normal guys. But that is about to change. Since Fitzgerald returned from his appearance on Next Great Baker, the two have opened a second location on Oak Lawn across the street from Pappadeaux. He seems a little anxious when he tells me others have warned him of the potential transformation that could take place once the show airs. He’s nostalgic about the days he baked cakes in his own garage and is excited, and perhaps, a little uneasy about what the future will hold. It is uncertain if he will welcome fame or retreat from it. Continue reading "Season Two of Next Great Baker Airs Tonight: Dallasite and Former Drag Queen Chad Fitzgerald is a Contestant"3 Comments »
Whenever I go grocery shopping in 99 Ranch Market with my mom, I consider buying one of those ridiculous child safety harnesses that some parents use to rein in their little ones. Except mine would be a reverse leash: daughter prevents mother from her crazy tendencies to buy enough pastries from a small Taiwanese bakery inside 99 Ranch Market to feed all the children in Africa.
But who can blame her? Even I can’t help swooning once I’m standing inside Désir Bakery, surrounded by the aroma of sweet and salty breads.
A young pastry chef named Jessica told me that people come again and again because “it reminds them of the bakeries in Taiwan” and they always fall in love with the generous portions for a small amount of change. How much can five dollars buy you at La Madeleine’s bakery? A barely-breakfast of drip coffee and one mini tart. At Désir, those greens can land you a paprika hot dog ($1.19), giant “cup cake” ($1.09 for a cup cake not in the traditional American sense), a Taiwanese pineapple cake ($1.49), and a cup of house coffee ($0.99). That’s what I call a breakfast of champions.
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After a year and a half of gathering customer feedback La Madeleine has updated their style. This morning the La Madeleine at Northpark invited the media to come see the first newly designed restaurant and to sample their holiday dessert menu.14 Comments »
In a perfect world, Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate and I would totally be BFFs. We would hang out, like, everyday…stuffing our faces silly with her wonderful chocolate creations while watching Lord of the Rings, spending hours planted in front of the X-Box, playing hackey-sack, and toilet-papering the neighbors’ houses. Then, the end of the day would go something like this:
“Hey Kath, would you whip me up some of your wonderful hot chocolate, pretty please?”
“It’s called drinking chocolate, you numb-skull, and what do I look like, your mom?”
“Well actually, if my mom had a few more tattoos…”
Buddy Valastro of TLC’s hit show, Cake Boss, takes ten minutes to talk to D Magazine intern, Carol Shih, about his upcoming event on November 13 in Dallas. Sure, Buddy’s usually barking out orders in his New Joisey accent when he’s got to make a toilet bowl cake that actually flushes, but he’s really just a guy who loves his wife and four kids. Tell Buddy what cake you want, and he’ll whip it right up.
Here is a transcript of our recent phone conversation:
CS: Since you’re going to be in Texas on November 13, I have to ask: what’s your favorite thing about Dallas?
BV: Honestly, it’s my first time going to Dallas, so I’m excited to see the sites. There are so many great people who come to the bakery from Texas, I thought it was a place I owed it to the fans to go to and have a good time.
CS: What’s a talent or skill that not even your viewers know about?
Jump for it.1 Comment »
I don’t know if I told you, but I have a thing for donuts. Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement. But it’s rare, in this city, to find a place that is willing to push the limits when it comes to these tasty morsels of fried dough and sugar (obvious exceptions excluded). Therefore, any donut news is good news in my book, and any upstart entrepreneur that is daring enough to risk their livelihood, families, pets, and entire life’s savings on the humble donut is A-OK with me.
When the buzz around Denton Square Donuts began to surface a number of months ago, I was intrigued to say the least. The obviously non-traditional shape of these donuts is enough to rouse one’s attention, but most donuteers will recall similarly shaped offerings at the mighty Doughnut Plant in NYC. The toppings which adorn DSD’s baked goods are also enough to get the salivary juices flowing: Brie with Apricot Jelly, Cream Cheese and Jalapeno Jelly, Apple Pie, and the nearly-ubiquitous Bacon and Maple. Yet still, some may argue that places like Hypnotic, Gourdoughs in Austin, and Voodoo in Portland have been offering up equally ambitious donuts for years.5 Comments »