Monday, April 18, 2011

Coney Cake

Most folks who know me, know that I'm a pretty passionate person.  This applies to little things like finding a penny on heads or ice cream cone shaped earrings but, it especially applies to big things like my business, baking and basically all things food.

If there's one thing that's not food related that I'm super passionate about, without a doubt, it's Coney Island.

Coney Island has been a reoccurring theme in my life (and in this blog).
I always feel happier when I make a visit.  I'm excited to introduce it to friends who have never been and revel in taking folks on the Cyclone for the first time!
It's a place so rich with history and personality and I'm always looking to learn more about how it all started.

Coney Island is not actually an island...but it once was. There was a small creek between Coney Island and the mainland of Brooklyn that is now filled by landfill, making Coney "Island" a peninsula. This was fairly obvious to me but, as my Brooklynite curiosity grew, I wanted to learn more about the first half of the name.

What the heck is a Coney?!?

Some of you who aren't from NY may know a "coney" to be a hot dog.  That's just weird to me but, I guess I get it's reference to Nathan's - where the hot dog really became famous.
Most of us who are from NY, already know that most spots with weird names are either named after the explorer who found the spot or the name is pulled from some derivative of a Native American name for the the land.  Coney Island is neither.

Once called "Rabbit Island" by the Dutch settlers, the island was known for it's abundance of rabbits and eventually was a place of sport where hunting for the animals was greatly popular.

There are disputes that the island we now call Coney Island received it's name for a number of other reasons but, I like this one.  I like the thought that the place I am driven to as "The People's Playground" was once a place where little bunnies played and roamed freely.

Because of this and our need to place homage on all things Brooklyn, I decided it would be really cool to toast Coney Island's history by naming our Carrot Cake after this very special little "island".

If you haven't already noticed, our Carrot Cake has been on our menu since day one as our "Coney Cake".  Cute, huh?
Get it?  Carrots?  Rabbits?  Get it??
[this image is our carrot loaf - the cake is traditionally covered with frosting as noted below]

Our Coney Cake is a moist cake, dense with carrots (raisins and walnuts are optional).  We fill the cake with our White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and top it with hand sculpted sugar carrots. (It's also available in cupcakes!!)

Honestly, it's super adorable and friggin' tasty!  So good, even the Easter Bunny can't resist! ;)

We think our Coney Cake is the PERFECT addition to your Easter dessert table so, get it touch and place your Easter order ASAP!!

Coney Island opened their rides for the 2011 season this past weekend!!  Make sure you get there to experience the magic first hand!

To learn more about Coney Island, check out the following links:

**We sincerely apologize to all of our Jewish friends who obey the laws of Passover.  We hope to have a fancy passover treat to offer you next year!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dusting off the blogger button....

It's been a very long time since I dusted off this blog thing - way too long!
The last few months have been more insane than usual but, well worth it!  I have a lot to share but, for the sake of not overwhelming you with all the juicy details (and giving a bit of a teaser) I'll spread all of the awesome updates across a few entries.

So, where've I been??
Well, when I dropped off the face of the earth in August, I had started a new day job.
I spent a few months working very closely with Jacques Torres -Mr. Chocolate himself - at his flagship location in Hudson Square and on the Upper East Side on Amsterdam Ave.  It was a fantastic opportunity that I just couldn't pass up.
Not only is Chef Torres one of the world's top pastry chefs but, he started his chocolate empire as a small Mom-n-Pop business in DUMBO, Brooklyn.  I learned so much from him about owning and operating a small NYC confectionery business in both front and back of house and am grateful for every single second I was able to pick his brain.

I stopped working with Jacques in December to get ready for the holiday season at BTS.  I also wanted to take some time to apply all the lessons I learned to my business - wrangling in the focus of Brooklyn Treat Shoppe, our menu and all of our upcoming products.

I then turned my focus toward local sourcing.
As a small business starting with very little to no start up funds, we didn't have the opportunity to get our ingredients from all of the places we really wanted to.
My ultimate intention is for us to eventually graduate to a place where we are hyper informed of where our ingredients come from.  Every day, we get closer and closer to this attaining goal.
Currently, I'm very proud to say we are now making a good amount of our base ingredients from scratch and have sourced all of our produce from local farmers. (...more to come on this soon!)
To drive that point home, we think you should know, we are currently using 100% NY dairy and have replaced the commercial peanut butter we were using with our small batch in-house peanut butter!

We're growing more and more each day and have some really great surprises in store for you in the coming months.  I can't wait to tell you all about it!

But, right now, we need to focus on the holiday at hand....Easter.
Keep your eyes peeled for a more steady stream of blogs and remember to check out our cake photos on Facebook.
Talk soon,