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Ruby chocolate is a brand new innovation in the culinary world made from red cocoa beans, which yields a naturally pink chocolate with mild red berry flavors. In this recipe, dark chocolate cupcakes are covered with a high mound of billowy meringue frosting and then dipped in tangy ruby chocolate coating.

Ruby Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes

It's been nearly a year since I first sampled ruby chocolate, which was invented by Barry Callebaut in 2017. It's been my new obsession ever since, and the subject of quite a few experiments in my kitchen. You may remember this Ruby Chocolate Cheesecake from earlier this year.

In my work, I've found that Ruby Chocolate's flavors shine best when closest to its pure form, such as bar or callet. For this reason it makes a fine chocolate coating for all kinds of candies and confections - and certainly for these cupcakes!
These hot dog look-alikes are sure to bring the smiles at your next summer gathering. Homemade golden sponge cakes are filled with chocolate franks and garnished with yellow buttercream 'mustard'.

Hot Dog Snack Cakes

Summer is in full swing and we're adjusting to new routines. Days are long so we're staying up later to enjoy evenings on the patio. The lightening bugs in our backyard glow with near synchronicity which is a simple but awe-inspiring kind of magic. And then there's our renewed zest for spontaneous cookouts, which happens weekly.

The latter was my inspiration for creating these hot dogs in true trompe l'oeil fashion. I think they're a real hoot! They're tasty too, because they are essentially extra-large Twinkie-style snack cakes. They're not hard to make but require a few steps which are all outlined in the tutorial that follows.

Also, I have a fun giveaway today, so read on for the details!
This classic recipe for zucchini muffins is the perfect way to take advantage of summer's bounty of squash. The cinnamon-streusel topping gives each muffin an extra bite of sweetness and a delicate crunch.
Zucchini Olive Oil Muffins with Cinnamon Crunch Streusel

Happy First Day of Summer!

If ever there was a time to post a zucchini recipe, it is now. I've always known that this vegetable is plentiful in warm months, but I'm finding out just how plentiful first hand. This spring I planted a little 9-foot garden just outside the workshop doors. Almost every day there's a new squash to discover and pluck from the vine - it's as if they magically appear overnight!
This classic Victorian-era dessert of fresh peaches, vanilla ice cream, and raspberry sauce is easy to prepare and makes an elegant last course.

Peach Melba

I think it's fair to say that most desserts prepared in the French style could be described as elaborate, however, this French dessert is delightfully simple. It was created by famed chef Auguste Escoffier around 1892 to honor Australian opera singer Nellie Melba.

Because this recipe relies on few ingredients, use the best of each available. In Escoffier's words, “Pêche Melba is a simple dish made up of tender and very ripe peaches, vanilla ice cream, and a purée of sugared raspberry. Any variation on this recipe ruins the delicate balance of its taste.”
Three simple ingredients make up this puppy-safe birthday cake and humans can enjoy it, too! It's made entirely of fresh fruit so it only takes about 5 minutes to assemble.

A Fresh Fruit Cake for Puppies

This past weekend we celebrated our Churro pug by throwing him a proper birthday party. We rescued him many years ago on Memorial Day, and by our count he's around 15 years old. He spent the day being doted upon and eating his favorite foods, which all happen to be fruit!
Star-shaped petit fours in patriotic colors will make your Memorial Day or July Fourth holiday extra-special! This shortcut recipe is quick and easy using ready-made pound cake from your local bakery or grocery store.

Easy Patriotic Petit Fours

Today we're prepping for our long Memorial Day weekend, which involves lots of grilling, cool treats, and even a puppy birthday party for our Churro pug (more on that later). We'll also be visiting family lakeside, so I wanted to make something cute to bring for dessert.

These little petit fours couldn't be easier to make. You'll need a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, a ready-made pound cake (1 lb.), three tubs of ready-made vanilla frosting and a little food color.
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