Blog Archive: 2012


Tradition

All of us at Sweetly Wild hope you had a happy holiday season celebrating with your loved ones. Every family is unique and has their own special holiday traditions. Most families with small kids leave milk and cookies for Santa, and some even leave food for his reindeer. Other people have large gatherings that include many family members, while others like a quiet evening with their favorite christmas movie.

The Sweetly Wild household is full of it's own holiday traditions. In fact, Sweetly Wild was built on these traditions. The biggest one involves candy. While growing up, Angela would spend many days before Christmas Eve helping her mom make hundreds of pounds of candy. Her house smelled so yummy the month of December! Then, on Christmas Eve, she and her brothers would dress in their coats and deliver all that candy to the neighbors, friends and family members who lived nearby. As you can guess, she and her brothers were always well received!

Mark's family holiday tradition growing up was different than Angela's. On Christmas Eve, his mom would make home-made pizza for dinner, then everyone  attended Midnight Mass. They would return home, hang their stockings, leave treats for Santa and the reindeer, and then go to bed to dream of Christmas morning fun. 

When we got married and started our own family, Mark and I decided to blend our family traditions. We spend all of December making treats to share. Two other families join us for our Christmas Eve dinner of home-made pizza and beer. We go to church, and then return to our house where we feast on trays of buckeyes, date balls, coconutties, holly wreaths and fudge. Then it's time to hit the hay and dream of Santa's arrival.

This year we started a new Christmas day tradition. With the left-over leftover pizza dough from Christmas Eve, we made Pizza Fritte, or fried dough, for an after present opening snack. You can get these at any respectable Italian festival. The kids loved them. Use the directions below and try them yourselves.

We hope you had a traditionally great holiday season and have an even better new year!

Cooking Class: Pizza Fritte
Ingredients:
Homemade pizza dough or store bought bread dough
Vegetable oil
Sugar for topping

Heat oil over medium heat enough to cover half of the dough when frying. Take dough and make three inch rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Prick the dough with a fork. Place the dough in oil. Don't put to many in skillet at the same time. Flip the dough when the bottoms become light brown. When the other side is light brown, remove from skillet and place on paper towel. Dredge in sugar and enjoy.


October 2012
Fictional Characters and the Cupcakes They Love.
Episode I

After watching an Star Wars themed episode of Cupcake Wars, the question of what kind of cupcake Darth Vader would eat was proposed. There were some very creative responses. There was a Death Star by Chocolate, a red cake flavored with cinnamon, and even an exploding cupcake to represent the Death Star. I will have to keep that in mind for April 1st. The winner (in my opinion) was a chocolate cake filled with a white cream to represent his inner goodness.

To expand on this exercise, we came up with a handful of fictional characters and the cupcakes they might like.

Fletcher Christian - Island Delight
After the mutinous Fletcher Christian took control of the HMS Bounty from Captain Bleigh, he sailed to Tahiti. While on the island he fell in love with the tastes of the island including pineapple, coconut and rum. This cupcake is much better than the bread fruit plants they were originally going to bring back.

Jim Hawkins - Spiced Apple
As a cabin boy on the Hispaniola, young Jim finds a world of adventure. What he heard in the apple barrel changed his perception of his friend Long John Silver. A long way from the old apples in the apple barrel, this cupcake combines apples, cinnamon and salted carmel in a way that any sea faring adventurer would love.

Long John Silver - Rum Raisin
What self respecting pirate does not love rum? Being the cook for the Hispaniola he could have whipped these up himself. Of course, he would have more likely have drunk the rum than cook with it.

Don Vito Corleone - Tiramisu
Nazorine Pitelli made a giant cake for Connie Corleone's wedding. Not Tiramisu, but I am sure it was good nevertheless. If Don Corleone was a cupcake eating mafia boss he would kill for this cupcake made from espresso infused ladyfingers topped with mascarpone custard and whipped cream. His friend Clemenza liked cannoli better, never wanting to leave them at a crime scene.

Scarlet O'Hara - Red Velvet
Velvet cakes date back to the Reconstruction, but it was not until the Great Depression when they got their traditional red color. Know as a southern treat, this red dessert has its fabled origins located North East of the Mason Dixon line to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore - Lemon Drop Cupcake
Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, founder of the Order of The Phoenix, Supreme Mugwump of the InternationalConference of Wizards, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and lover of lemon drops. When we first see Professor Dumbledore, he is dropping Harry off on the  Dursley's door step and offering a sherbert lemon to Professor McGonagall. He would love this lemon cupcake topped with a lemon cream cheese frosting and crushed lemon drops.

Harry Potter - Treacle Tart Cupcake
The Treacle Tart is a traditional English desert found at many Hogworths feasts. Harry loved this treat so much it is one of the scents he senses when smelling the Amortentia potion. Other characters who would love this cupcake are the children in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, who are lured out of their hiding place by the Child Catcher with promises of Treacle Tarts.

To Be Continued...


August 2012
Dog Days

The dog days are upon Sweetly Wild. I am not talking in terms of the baseball dog days where playoff contenders, like our beloved Cincinnati Reds, not only have to deal with the other teams in their division, but the excessive heat that comes with July and August. I am not talking about the fictional novel "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" which I have no idea what it's about. I am not even talking about the days the Romans referred to as diēs caniculārēs, where they associated the hot weather with the star Sirius in the Canis Major constellation.

I am talking about our recent activities. We were selling cupcakes during an event at Wagspark in Newtown Ohio. It was the Grateful Dog event where dog owners could bring their dogs down and enjoy an evening of music and fun to help support Recycled Doggies. The Grateful Dead tribute band The Spookfloaters played and we sold our cupcakes including our latest flavor Island Delight. We fit in well with one of the other vendors there, Habanero's, and their burritos which looked a lot like one of our cakes.

We also did a cake with the Dog Days theme, a dog cake. No, not a cake in the shape of a dog, although that would be pretty cool if anyone wants one. It was a cake FOR a dog. Little Elvis is a tea cup poodle who was celebrating his 6th birthday. That's 42 years for you and me. The cake was made with peanut butter, carrots and honey among other things. The frosting was fat free cream cheese, honey and peanut butter. Sounds pretty good.

Cooking Class: Baking for Dogs
Before we start on what to feed a dog we should know what not to feed a dog. The one most people know about is chocolate. Chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and possible death. If onions are consumed in large amounts it can damage red blood cells which could lead to anemia. Large amounts of cooked liver can cause vitamin A toxicity. You should also avoid macadamia nuts, walnuts, raisins and grapes which are poisonous to dogs. Salt, sugar and sweeteners should also be avoided. Dogs have less taste buds than humans, so adding these to enhance the flavor is not needed. Salt in large amounts can lead to kidney issues and too much sugar can lead to hypoglycemia, obesity and tooth decay.

I did a bit research to find out what was safe for dogs to eat. After all, I did NOT want to poison Elvis. So, what can you bake with? Surprisingly, a lot - whole wheat flour, all purpose white flour, wheat, rice or barley flour, honey, carrots, peanut butter, liver and bacon (in small amounts), peas, and potato flesh. Apparently dogs really like sweet potatoes. Hmmm, sounds like a diet I was once on.....

I must be going, the kids are playing with some mangy black dog they are calling Snuffles. This can't be good.


June 2012
Cupcake Parties

Do you dread the idea of hosting a birthday party at your house? With the set up, the baking, the games and the clean up, parties can leave you drained at the end of the big day.

The newest Sweetly Wild offering can relieve some of the stress. It is the Cupcake Party! Sweetly Wild's party planner extraordinaire, Angela Pascale, will deliver a party to your location. Pick from one of our party themes or come up with your own. Sweetly Wild will provide plates, utensils and party games. We will even clean up afterwards! You supply the location and we supply the party. The birthday boy or girl will get a special cupcake with a unique topper. A pirate themed party will have an edible pirate ship for the birthday boy and his friends will get edible silver coins to top their cupcakes.

Cupcake parties start at $100 for a party of eight kids and $10 for each additional child. Call Angela at 513-248-0637 to discuss the details. Not planning to have a party? Do you know someone who is? Do them a favor and spread the word about these great parties. They will love you for it, or at least think very highly of you.

Angela Pascale


April 2012
Getting to Know Me.

Hi fellow Wild ones! I am Angela Pascale, the owner of Sweetly Wild Cakes, Cupcakes and Confections. I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I am 45, I love to dance and to read – fantasy, steampunk, mystery and Harry Potter are just a few of my favorite genres. I love bright colors and crazy patterns. I am willing to try anything at least once, be it a death defying water slide or purple highlights in my hair. My dad always told me I could do anything I wanted to, as long as I set my mind to it. I don't take no for an answer and look upon the phrase "but we've never done it that way before," as a personal challenge.

I am the mother of an awesomely creative, artistic family. We are a little bit wild and a whole lot disorganized, but there is a lot of love and crazy fun going on at our house. We all love to cook and bake and eat! This is much the way I was raised.

I grew up in a small town in Virginia with a mom who cooked everything from scratch – well, almost everything, but that is blog for another day! Some of my clearest memories of childhood center around sitting at the kitchen counter watching my mom create a cake or a batch of fudge or cookies. I still hear the sound of the mixer and smell the aroma of baking cake or brownies. Being the consummate tomboy and therefore allergic to anything remotely domestic, I never thought I would inherit the desire, or the talent to bake and create cakes and candies like she did. Lo and behold, I did and I now love baking and creating for family and friends as much as my mother did. I love to experiment and come up with unique flavor combinations.

Being fun, crazy and yummy is what Sweetly Wild is all about. All of our cakes and cupcakes are made from scratch and our candies are based on recipes I grew up with. I tell everyone, I am not necessarily Angela's Elegant Cakes. I CAN do those, but I also make crazy, wild, over-the top works of edible art! My cakes reflect my personality. If you want purple zebra stripes, goth Barbie on the beach, or zombie repelling edible plants, I'm your cake artist!

Take the challenge! Walk on the Sweetly Wild side with me!

Angela Pascale


April 2012
Cupcake Etiquette

How do you eat your cupcakes? That might seem like a silly question. I have been eating my cupcakes the same way since I was a child. I pick it up with my hands, peel the paper off, and dive in. I thought this was the only way to eat a cupcake. My whole cupcake eating paradigm was thrown on its ear (if a paradigm could have an ear) after watching Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. I would see the judges digging into the small cakes with a fork. Seeing this made me question everything I thought I knew, and put me on a path towards enlightenment.

For the first step on this path, we need to ask ourselves, "What is a cupcake?". Webster's New World dictionary defines it as "a small, round cake often iced". Cupcakes go back to the 1790s when 1-2-3-4 cakes (1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups of flour, 4 eggs, 1 cup milk) were made in muffin tins. This was an early form of baking using volume measurements as opposed to measuring by weight. This is why they are called cup cakes and not pound cakes.

Kids love cupcakes because they are fun to eat. Anytime a kid can pick up food with their hands they are happy. That is why hot dogs and pizza rank up there as all time favorite kids foods. They can pick up a cupcake and take a bite out of it like an apple. Icing gets all over their face and parents complain a little less because its a party. That's great for them, but what about me?

I think I can speak for most adults and say that the process of eating a cupcake is a bit messy. I have to admit, there have been times I have turned down a cupcake because I did not want sticky fingers or purple buttercream icing up my nose. Would I have eaten that small round cake if it was presented to me sans wrapper and with a fork next to it? I might. I don't normally turn down birthday cake when presented in this fashion. Since we learned that a cupcake is just a cake in another form, this makes sense to eat it with a fork.

It's time to start a movement. The next time you serve cupcakes at a party you will hand an adult a cupcake without the wrapper and with a fork. They might look at you oddly, they might not know what to do. After they pick up that fork and dig into the cake, they will see the light. They will tell all their friends about the party where they served a cupcake with a fork and how they loved it.

Like I said before, it's time to start the cupcake and fork movement and it's going to start with you.

Mark Pascale


February 2012
Chocolate

Welcome to February and the National Celebration of Chocolate Month. Here at Sweetly Wild, we do love our chocolate. Whether it's in our confections like our chocolate fudge or it's in our cakes and cupcakes, we go through a lot of the stuff. For our second blog we shall delve deeper into the food of the month.

What is chocolate? Chocolate comes from the seeds of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. These seeds have a bitter taste and need to be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, then cleaned, and then roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to form the pure chocolate.

Chocolate is native to Central and South America where the Maya and Aztecs used it in their religious events. Priests presented cacao seeds to the gods durning these events. The Aztecs were so fond of the cacao plant, the believed their god Quetzalcoatl descended from heaven with a cacao tree stolen from paradise. The Maya and Aztecs would drink an unsweetened drink called xocolatl. This drink was seasoned with vanilla, chile pepper or achiote. The Aztec leader Montezuma is reported to drink 50 cups of this drink a day. When the Spanish conquered the Aztecs they brought chocolate to Europe where they added sugar to cut down the bitter taste transforming it to the candies we can enjoy on Valentines day and Easter.

Cooking Class: Tempering
What is tempering? Tempering is the process of melting and cooling chocolate so it will be smooth and glossy when it sets up. It is best to start with small chocolate chips of the same size. This ensure that the chocolate melts evenly. You can also start with a good quality bar chocolate and cut it into small even pieces.

There are a couple of ways to heat the chocolate. The microwave and the stovetop. Both will do the job, but it is easier to stir the chocolate when it is being melted in a double broiler on the stove top. Whichever method you prefer, heat the chocolate to 110 degrees F. Do not go over or you will scorch you chocolate. Pull it off the heat.

Next, you need to cool the chocolate down to 88 degrees for milk chocolate and 90 degrees for dark chocolate. There are a couple of ways to cool your chocolate. One way is to add unmelted chocolate to the melted chocolate and stir. Another way is to pour two-thirds of the chocolate onto a marble slab. This is called "tabling". Once this chocolate had cooled, it is put back into the warm chocolate.

Properly tempered chocolate will be smooth and glossy. Improperly tempered chocolate with "blooming". This is a dull, white film that will form form on the surface. While it is not to appealing to look at, it is alright to eat.


January 2012
Welcome

I am Angela Pascale, owner and creator of Sweetly Wild Cakes, Cupcakes and Confections. At Sweetly Wild, imagination rules. Our cakes and confections are fun, unusual and highly creative. Unique flavor combinations are our speciality. From chocolate Jalapeno cupcakes with lime cream cheese frosting to margarita truffles, we want to create sweet treats that are delicious as well as fun. Including our cakes. We like pushing our creativity by making toy box cakes for baby showers or a giant burrito cake.