Thursday, February 23, 2012

Frog Prince Cake, Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Almonds

Happy Birthday Winnie! and Yinshu!

Boy oh boy, I'm so behind on updating my blog.  Anyways, my friend, Winnie's birthday was on the 10th of this month.  I had many cake orders that week, but I managed to squeeze some time in and pulled an all-nighter just to finished this birthday cake for her. For those who knew her,  Winnie absolutely LOVES frogs...[well, tree dwarf frogs to be exact]  I chose to just make her a cute little green frog that's, well...more appealing to everyone. : )  I threw a little crown on and a golden ball in to turn it into a fairytale, after all, which girl won't hope that the next guy she kiss will be her Prince Charming?! However, Fate loves to play games and many girls will kiss many frogs before finding her Prince or sadly just end up marrying a Toad!  I found my prince so I do wish my Princess Winnie will also find hers and have a happily ever after.<3

Ok, back to reality; I had tried really hard to obtain this specific shade of Turquoise/Aqua color that she like, maybe not quite but close enough.  Inside the cake is her absolute favorite flavor; Matcha Chiffon Cake w/ Matcha Mascarpone Mousse! favorite too!  I was notified at the last minute that there is another girl, Yinshu, with the same birthday as Winnie who happened to be attending the birthday dinner that night.  I really dont know the girl so I end up making a teddie bear with her initial, so she may feel included.   I havent had anyone remember or celebrate my birthday for almost 10 years, sighs, so I know how bad it feels to be left out and forgotten, wipes tears

Yes, the top comes off so she can keep the sugar topper! Me (LEFT) Winnie (RIGHT)

We went to dinner at the Mercat a la Planax, a wonderful Spanish Restaurant with a nice atmosphere and exceptional food.  It's located on the Magnificent Miles of downtown Chicago.  just beautiful.
We had a party of 8 and practically shared everything so everyone can have a taste of everything.
One dish that gave me the strongest impression is the dish called Paella Negra with Lobster, Scallops, Shrimp, Mussels, Cooked in Squid Ink served with Artichoke & Tomato Salad and Saffron Aioli.   It's also the most expensive dish, $75! and that "lobster" is actually half a lobster tail, barely 2 bites of meat.  This is going to be my next experiment, to try and recreate the dish. >.^
However, there is another dish I enjoyed, it's called
DÁtiles CON ALMENDRAS - Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds.  I actually did try it out at home, although it didn't quite come out exactly like the ones in the restaurant but I'm definitely trying it out again very soon!

Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Almonds
  • 12  (1/4-inch thick) pieces cream cheese or goat cheese ^^
  • 12 pitted dates (preferably Medjool)
  • 12 salted and roasted whole almonds
  • 6 strips of bacon cut in half
  • Special equipment: 18 wooden picks
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Stuff 1 piece of cheese and 1 almond into each date, then wrap one piece of bacon around each date and secure bacon with a toothpick if desired. Arrange dates, bacon seam down and 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.
Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, [make sure its very crisp] 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper towel or parchment. Serve immediately.


I actually made another Prince Frog cake like, wow, 2 years ago.  That was the time when I actually just started making cakes.  Boy, you can see the difference right? hahaha

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