Thursday, February 26, 2009

cocoa powder

A couple of weeks ago I told you about our Black Velvet Cupcakes and explained that we use the mother of all cocoa powders... Valrhona. Actually, we exclusively use Valrhona cocoa powder in all our recipes that call for cocoa powder. I also promised to give you a little more information on the topic. You see, not all cocoa powders are created equal. There are actually two types: natural and Dutch-processed.

Most of the cocoa readily available in the grocery store (Hershey's, Nestle, Ghirardelli) is unsweetened natural cocoa powder.

Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder

The Dutch-processed cocoas (Valrhona, Lindt, Droste) are treated with an alkali to neutralize the acids, making them perfect for baked goods. Valrhona cocoa powder is quite a bit more expensive, but we think it's worth it for the superior quality and flavor. Everything is just a bit more, well, chocolaty!

Valrhona Cocoa Powder

Notice the difference in color. This difference carries over into the baked goods you make. Now, take a look at the cocoas below, side-by-side.

Valrhona, Hershey's and Nestle Brand Cocoas

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Professional Membership

In January, Cocoa & Fig became a professional member of the Twin City Bridal Association. With this membership, we entered into a wonderful group of wedding professionals. I encourage you to use their site when choosing reception sites, florists, photographers and bridal attire. And while you're there, check out our section: Cocoa & Fig on Twin City Bridal. We agree to abide by their code of ethics, which is pretty cool. Check it out below.


Twin City Bridal Association and its members acknowledge the need to preserve and encourage fair and equitable business practices and, as a condition of membership, subscribe to a Code of Professional Ethics. To this end, Twin City Bridal Association and its members subscribe to this Professional Pledge:

I pledge myself to honesty and integrity; to pursue my profession and education so that service to my clients shall be maintained with high standards and practices.

I pledge myself to seek and maintain association with fellow TCBA members and with all others who may become a part of my business and professional life in an honorable and cooperative manner.

I pledge myself to comply with the standards of TCBA and my colleagues as set forth in this Code of Professional Ethics:

ARTICLE 1: I will accurately represent my qualifications and experience in both oral and written communications.

ARTICLE 2: I will act and speak professionally so as not to offend nor bring discredit to the wedding services profession.

ARTICLE 3: I will be committed to understanding my customer’s needs, approaches and goals in promotion of service and proposal.

ARTICLE 4: I will share knowledge and professional experience with others.

ARTICLE 5: I will maintain the trust of clients and respect the affairs of clients and other members who may share confidential information.

ARTICLE 6: I will treat other wedding professionals with professional courtesy and dignity.

ARTICLE 7: I will provide services in those areas in which I am qualified to serve, taking into consideration available opportunities to develop new services or take on new opportunities. When unable or unqualified to fulfill requests for service, I will make every effort to recommend the services of another qualified TCBA member.

ARTICLE 8: I will protect the public against fraud or unfair practices and shall attempt to disengage all practices which bring discredit to the profession.

ARTICLE 9: I will not be party to agreements that unfairly limit or restrain access to the market place by any other wedding professional, client, or to the public, based upon race, creed, color, sex, age, physical disability or country of national origin.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Corporate Luncheon

You know that Cocoa & Fig makes some of the best desserts in the Twin Cities. But did you know that we cater as well? And have some of the best tasting food in the Twin Cities? We have so much fun making our pastries, that sometime I forget to include all of the great food we make in my posts. So today, I'm going to show you some amazing salads from a recent Corporate Luncheon. This was a laid back function with a moderate budget. Oh yeah, we'll work with your budget to create the perfect meal with your wallet in mind!

Roasted New Potato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Layered with Blue Cheese and Scallion

Crunchy Broccoli Cabbage Slaw
Sprinkled with Golden Raisins and Sunflower Seeds

The Cute Buffet Set-up
Complete with Raffia Rolled Flatware
Tiny Potted Signage
Flowering Tulips and Hydrangeas

On the menu but not shown (still need to work on picture taking!):
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Assorted Waters, Sodas and Tea
Chocolate Bouchons & Fresh Fruit Tartlets

Friday, February 20, 2009

2009 Bride's Choice Award from WeddingWire

We love getting emails like this one:

"Congratulations! You have been chosen to receive a 2009 Bride’s Choice Award! This award recognizes the top 3% of vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellent quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value of cost and flexibility.

Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the company, the Bride’s Choice Awards are determined exclusively by recent newlyweds through surveys and reviews. That means your past clients have spoken on your behalf and chosen you for this honor!"

Thank you to our past wedding clients, we really enjoyed being a part of your special days. And to our future brides and grooms: We promise to make your event a truly memorable one! Thank You!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Love to Find a Cure Photos

As promised, here are some photos from the Love to Find a Cure Event benefiting the Lymphoma Cancer Research Foundation. We so enjoyed being a part of this important cause. It was a night filled with food, fun and friends.

Custom Cupcake Tower Decorated in Red and Black

Southern Banana Pudding Dessert Shooters

Black Velvet Baby Cakes with Heart Decor

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! We spent the day baking so that Valentine's parties across the city could enjoy decadent desserts. Here are a few shots of our work:

Southern Banana Pudding & Dark Chocolate Dessert Shooters

Vanilla Bean Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
Shades of Red and Pink Fondant Polka Dots

Favor Boxes with 2 Chocolate Bouchons

Favor Boxes Sealed with "Be Mine" Emblem

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love to Find a Cure

Cocoa & Fig is proud to announce our participation in the "Love to Find a Cure Restaurant Revue" to benefit the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Join us along with 10 other top restaurants and catering companies for an amazing evening of good food and fun to benefit a worthy cause. Pictures to follow the event!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The Depot, Minneapolis

5:45 – 6:45 pm cocktails & silent auction
7:00 – 7:30 pm program
7:30 – 9:30 pm dining experience
individual ticket $150
($110 tax-deductible)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Black Velvet

Our "Black Velvet" cake and cupcake flavor has been getting a lot of attention lately, so I thought I'd share the story with you. I discovered this beauty after a client asked us to make red velvet cupcakes for her wedding. I scoured recipes and set out on a mission to create the most amazing red velvet cake ever. Now, I'd eaten plenty of red velvet cake and I always had one complaint. There was so much food coloring in the mix that my mouth would turn a shade of red. Not wanting to inflict this on anyone, I was determined to create a cake that would not stain your mouth. I also wanted a super chocolaty cake and most recipes called for a measly few tablespoons of cocoa powder.

And not all cocoa powders are created equal (more on that in a later post). We use Valrhona cocoa powder and lots of it! So in short, our Black Velvet cake is based on a traditional red velvet recipe, but contains around 1/2 the amount of coloring and twice the amount of cocoa. It's become our best seller and I think you'll like it too! As you can see, the cake has a nice bordeaux color, but since Bordeaux Velvet didn't sound quite as appealing, we settled on Black Velvet.

Oh yeah, we always using Cream Cheese Icing for this cake. Mmmmm...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

National Carrot Cake Day

February 3rd was National Carrot Cake Day. And I missed it. Why would they plan such a sugar rush day so soon after the first of the year when you started your oh so important New Years Resolutions? Because its CARROT cake and by my standards that means its got to be good for you! Here's a pic of some carrot cake cupcakes we made for a friends' wedding.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tasting Palette

We had a busy weekend of Wedding Cake Tastings. Thank you to all the couples that met with us this weekend to discuss your reception plans and wedding desserts. Here is a peak at our tasting palette presented to all couples:

We sample 4 different cakes: White Butter, Vanilla Bean, Valrhona Chocolate and Almond Butter.
There are 6 icings as well: Vanilla Bean (Joe says it tastes like ice cream), Lemon, Raspberry, Chocolate, Caramel and Coffee.

We also sample various mini desserts. This week it was:
Chocolate Bouchons, Black Velvet Baby Cakes, French Macarons, Lemon Cream Cheese Tartlets & Very Berry Shortcake Shooters
Related Posts with Thumbnails