Tag Archives: Chocolate

Sweet Element Holiday Pop-Up Shop in SoHo!

We’re switching gears from cakes to chocolates & cookies for our pop-up shop in SoHo this Saturday, December 10th at Ruia NYC (65 Mercer St.) from 12pm-6pm!

As with all of our Sweet Element cakes, we believe that you should be able to try before you buy, so we’ll have free samples of chocolate bark, rocky road and a variety of cookies out for you to taste!

We will also be joined by these fabulous vendors selling excellent gifts for the holidays including: unique children’s clothing & accessories, hand-sculpted porcelain, natural & organic skin care, healthy chocolates & handmade jewelry.

I hope to see you there in support of small & *local* businesses!

M.B. Jewelry

Chocolate Box Cake

Here’s a few shots of Sweet Element’s latest cake that was raffled off at a charity event last weekend.  Since our focus is on both cake & chocolate, I thought it would be a nice idea to combine the two mediums in a “chocolate box” cake.  And while I appreciate the simple chocolate sheen of well tempered bon-bons, I thought painting the chocolates as jewels with a little bit of luster dust would add a bit of elegance to this cake.  As a final touch, three gumpaste roses were added as adornment.

This cake was red velvet filled & frosted with vanilla moussaline buttercream and covered in fondant.  The dark chocolate bon bons were a combination of peanut butter & peanut butter caramels.

Congrats to the winner!


dogs“Pre-Packaged Dogs”

bagged_dog“Dog in a Bag”

It feels like I was making these chocolate dogs with my partner – in – pastry – crime AGES ago, but in fact it was just a week ago that I was being a total spaz about a packaging disaster that left me running around NJ & NYC looking for replacement packaging for 145 dogs.I knew things were going just a little too well. I wouldn’t have been able to make these little boys so easily without Lisa – so THANK YOU!!! Twas a long one night project to individually hand make EACH dog one at a time. Yes, I know I repeated myself in that last sentence, but believe you me … it was laborious. Even with the control freak that I am having the almond ears pre-matched out for each dog, and my amazingly cold hands being able to roll out the little ganache bodies without much if any meltage, there were some difficulties in the process that got worked out … by the time we were on the last of four trays of these puppies. All in all though, production went amazingly well. The next day we did finishing touches with the piping of the white stripes and the eyes and nose and breezed through that so quickly I was all looking forward to a few drinks out.

Cue scary music … *Dum Dum DUM!!!!* As I started packaging the finished dogs, Lisa opened the remaining three boxes of containers … to find them … EMPTY. So here we are:

*It’s Sunday night and I am calmly, quietly FREAKING OUT
*The favors needed to be delivered on Tuesday morning
*I had idiotically given the bride a sample container and she loved it
*The containers were specially ordered from a company in CA
*When I looked up the containers they were BACKORDERED UNTIL JANUARY 2007
*The dogs had to be packaged so they would be protected and stand upright
*Every store is closed as it is 9 PM
*I have ONE DAY to find enough packaging for 145 chocolate dogs

So, unable to do squat, we ended up going out drinking anyways to our old landlords’ new bar in Hoboken, Carpe Diem with Jay & Jeff. A few vodka and sodas in and I started feeling the packaging panic.

In short – Monday went a little like this:

*I decided NOT to deal with the packaging f*ucknut until I was calmer
*Our internet & landline connections were all screwy in the morning because we were having a new line run and I was trying to communicate with the bride-to-be and SO didn’t need that
*Ate some fortifying oatmeal (so needed it too)
*Had NOT ENOUGH coffee
*Went to the following stores to try to find packaging:
NJ Contenders for Packaging
-A.C. Moore (bought tiny bags that didn’t work)
-Party America (nada)
-Party City (more nada)
-Hallmark (still nada)
-Staples (got tape to seal the bags that was crap and didn’t stick)
-The Container Store (had gusseted bags that I thought would work – but     they were SOOOO expensive so I opted not to buy them)
-Michael’s (back to nothing)
-Chef Central (did buy two cool coffee cups – but NO packaging options)

NYC Contenders for Packaging
-Hallmark #1 in Port Authority (zippo)
-Hallmark #2 in Port Authority (ditto zippo)
-Sweet Factory (nothing, nothing, nothing)
-National Wholesale Liquidators (amazingly nothing)
-Pearl River Mart (had cool clear chinese plastic takeout containers – but     not 150)
-Pearl Paint (main location) (hard for me to not get distracted here)
-Pearl Paint Craft Store (see above comment)
-Pearl Plastics (dirty and nothing)
-Pearl Rubbers (wasn’t even open)
-Broadway Panhandler (smaller store now in it’s new location which I           really don’t like – had nothing)
Evil NY Cake – the store reeked of pee, and I was the very last customer     there before they closed, but they had the bags, and I bought two sizes         just to cover my ass since they had the bags displayed where I couldn’t         see the bottoms very well as that was what was taped to a board.

Upon arrival home, I tried out the bags from NY Cake and I was freaking and disappointed because they weren’t my cool plastic cylinders that I wanted to use, so I went BACK to A.C. Moore to buy some more bags and hard plastic sheets that I was going to use as a base and after all that ended up using the bags from NY Cake. In the end, they all got bagged and not sealed (the bride to be had ribbons and tags for them she wanted to attach) and they were delivered safely into my office, I got paid, the bride to be was thrilled, and I felt like a GIANT weight had been lifted off my shoulders once it was over.

I think a more giant thank you is deserved for dealing with me as I was totally freaking on Monday with the packaging madness, so huge thank yous go out to Lisa, Jay, Lisa’s mom, Lisa’s alleged brother, & Kenny for thinking of and looking up places where I might find packaging and calming me down.

dogrow“Pretty Dogs All in a Row” – safely packaged on no-skid and with a buffer of tissue between each row so their faces would be protected.

gnome_dogs“The Travelling Gnome Blessing the Dogs for Safe Travel”

Book Cake


I’ve spent the entire morning making this template for a chocolate plate for the cake my boss ordered for his wife’s book release party tomorrow. I am soooo not a day person though, so being artistic while the sun is shining hasn’t been easy. Granted, it’s been a lot of tracing, but I feel like even that was a stretch for me. I took a quick break to go buy some chocolate and some fresh air – and was very tempted to just stay out, but I am now back in the house and thinking a glass of iced coffee and a magazine are calling my name. PROCRASTINATION!

I was good last night and baked three layers of cake, and also made hazelnut buttercream and chocolate ganache. So all cake parts are made, but not assembled. At least something productive got done.

I’ve come to the digusting realization that I charged FAR too little for this cake. I know it will probably be a great portfolio piece, and I’ll like it when it’s done, but right now, after spending an entire day prepping to actually make this intensively detailed chocolate plate, I want to punch myself in the head.

Usually I make one of these cakes for a Thursday or Friday delivery, so I have the weekend in sight to recover from a sleepless, stress-filled night of decorating. Wednesday delivery means I still have half the week to go at work. Bah.

I’m hoping I feel better once Jay gets home and makes something yummy for dinner. I can’t even turn on a heating element at the moment – because I just KNOW that I will want to start cooking savory food, which is exactly what I should NOT be doing when I have an cake order for tomorrow that needs to get finished.

I wonder if cake artists would be good tattoo artists. Doing all that tracing made me feel kind of like the tattoo artists I see on TV when they are prepping stencils for clients.

Ok … off to grab some melted chocolate and some brushes and hope it all works out well. Wish me luck!