I'm Jess, a grad student and food photographer obsessed with chocolate. I love things made of sugar, lasers strapped to helicopters, and silly hats.
Come visit on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, for stories about food, bakeries in Seattle, and my most definitely being up to no good.
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Category Archives: Baking
Good morning, readers. The sun is out, the birds are silent, and the Sheriff’s Secret Police are off rounding up the last of the “morning people” so the rest of us can get some coffee.
Welcome to Night Vale.
This week, our cakes are from Night Vale’s finest, vanilla cupcakes from the annual PTA bake sale. After they were dropped off, a portal ripped through the station to the great beyond and, well, eldritch monsters appear to have eaten half of them. At least they were polite enough to leave us some of theirs as an apology.
Heads up: For the foreseeable future I’m switching to posting three days a week instead of five. Basically grad school is kicking into full gear, and I’d rather post less content than need to stop entirely. Back to your regularly scheduled dessert.
This cinnamon-flecked, pear-stuffed streusel mug cake is probably one of the ugliest creations I have ever made. It’s now also one of my favorites.
The pathway from nothing to mug cake actually started with apples. I blame my class – we’d been asked to break into groups, and one person was crunching away on a Honeycrisp apple, which I correctly guessed by smell. (I’m not sure whether to be thrilled about that level of skill.) Another classmate chimed in that she really wanted to make a pear-apple crisp. By the time she finished talking I was craving that as well, which was made worse by the knowledge that I had both pears and apples at home. Continue reading
Thanks to the awkward chair layout in my department, the other day I found myself physically trapped between two very different conversations. On one side, a pair of young men, talking about things they were doing with their PhD candidate/postdoc wives and errands they had to run for their kids. On the other, two bright-eyed first year grad students, freaking out about their first “grad school exams” and how real it all suddenly felt.
Between the two groups and me, I guess it was a fairly nice little timeline, showing some form of maturity and progression into adulthood. That being said, I felt more like an alternate path than a stepping stone. While I can’t call myself a new grad student in my third year, I’m also not someone who talks about my spouse’s errands. I instead wanted to go home and write articles in a pillow fort. Because pillow fort.
I’m an adult at this point by age, but I’m also someone who screams Japanese metal music while baking, and loves to doodle physically impossible mammal skulls. Continue reading
Normally I make cakes into cupcake form, because somehow it’s less work in my mind to prep cupcakes. Probably because I rarely get to the frosting part.
I got the Trophy Cupcakes cookbook recently, where everything’s cupcake-shaped, and they all sound awesome. We’re talking blueberry pie filling, s’mores cupcakes, you name it. And I was all set to make some more cupcakes, and then I remembered my cupcake pans were recruited for a project and unavailable. Tiny cakes were out.
I still wanted to bake, so I decided to actually make a cake for once. Continue reading
So two of our awesome friends got us a crock pot for our wedding. When we received it I was all excited to make stews with it and attempt to actually eat well for once. But as we got married right before I started grad school, you can guess how well that plan went.
I’ve used the crock pot since – I make some pretty epic chicken noodle soup. And when I grow up (i.e., graduate) I’ll do mass freezing of meals once a month as a group activity. For now I’m just happy when I get all my notes done and spend a whole week relatively healthy. So the crock pot mainly spends its time collecting dust next to the ice cream maker, and I collect ideas from Pinterest for rainy days.
Still, the idea of chocolate crock pot cake sounded pretty awesome.