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Chocolate Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowkski would have been 90 today.

I made this homage to Chinaski for tonight’s 90th Birthday celebration at Skylight Books.   The cake is chocolate, with a white and milk chocolate hand-painted portrait.  Some of you may remember my last literature-related cake for the bookstore, a chocolate replica of Infinite Jest.  I don’t normally make many forays outside of music when looking for inspiration for my cakes, but there are quite a few authors that i’d love to immortalize in chocolate.


Chocolate Dimensions

Handpainted chocolate interpretation of "Dimensions"

For the closing night of the art show I participated in, I created a chocolate version of one of my favorite Box Tops albums, Dimensions.  Both singer Alex Chilton and Andy Hummel, the bassist for Big Star, passed away this year and I thought a tribute was in order.  I normally dye my chocolate with powdered food coloring, which provides a lot of freedom when mixing and blending colors.  Recently though, I picked up some oil-based chocolate coloring and decided to try it for this piece.  The colors came out way more intense than I would have liked for this specific project, but it’s good to know I have options!

Stay tuned for Bukowski Fest at Skylight Books on August 14th.  In addition to readings, screenings and of course, alcohol, I will be serving a Bukowski cake!

Chocolate Cream

Disraeli Gears gets the Straight Outta Chocolate treatment

Last night I took part in a strange and wild art show at diy gallery here in Echo Park.  A group show showcasing artists of all types, from music to photography to… chocolate.  Stone rigged up a plexiglass and wood enclosure for a couple of my chocolate pieces, including Cream’s seminal album, Disraeli Gears. They’ll be on display for the month of July- although this is my first test displaying my work as art and i’m hoping the pieces don’t melt.   One of the reasons I like to work with chocolate is that it is an ephemeral (and delicious) art form, and I love nothing more than to see it disappear, so having it on display at a gallery is a novel experience.

Exile on Cake Street

Image taken from the back cover of Exile

It’s been a Stones kinda year so far…
After meeting Keith Richards at my folks house this January, i’d been mulling over what Stones image to use for a cake.
In the past i’ve thought about doing the cover of Flowers but tomorrow’s re-release of Exile On Main Street was the perfect inspiration.
The top piece is handpainted chocolate and the cake itself is chocolate soaked with whiskey syrup.
Come celebrate with us tomorrow at Footsie’s. We’ll be playing Stones and assorted rarities all night long:

Footsie's Bar: 2640 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles 90065

Red Velvet Underground Cake

Red Velvet Underground Cake

I’ve been thinking about making a Red Velvet Underground cake for a while now.  The rediscovery of my high school LP copy of ‘Loaded‘ spurred me into immediate cake making action with the above result.  The icing is an experiment involving cinnamon and mascarpone and it came out delicious enough for me to want to use again.

The cake and its inspiration...

Fela Kuti Cake

Straight Outta Kalakuta

Just finished this Fela Kuti cake. Image taken from the back of the 1971 album Shakara. The cake was made using Valrhona chocolate topped with a vanilla buttercream.

Best Biscuits Ever

Leftover biscuit, served for breakfast with jam.

I have been attempting to make the perfect biscuit for about a year now.  And failing, miserably, every time.  I knew I just needed to find the right recipe, so I tried dozens of different ones with the same result:  hockey pucks.  I really should have known better, but i’d lost my biscuit mojo and just couldn’t get it back.  Until last week, when I finally mastered the art of biscuit-making.

I finally got around to a long neglected task:  organizing a file full of recipes clipped out of various newspapers and magazines.  In it I found a New York Times recipe for Scott Peacock’s Classic Buttermilk Biscuits.  It sounded promising- lots of butter and salt and a very different recipe than any i’d tried before.  The biscuits turned out better than I could have imagined, tall and puffy and ready to be split.  I was worried about the 500 degree baking temperature, but maybe that was the magic missing link to perfection.  That, or the fact that you mix your own baking powder out of cream of tartar and baking soda.

This recipe also has the added bonus of being really fun (and slightly messy) to make.

Scott Peacock’s Classic Buttermilk Biscuits:


Makes 12-20 biscuits, depending on the size of your biscuit cutter.  I recommend halving the recipe- these biscuits are big!

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

5 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed.

1 Tablespoon plus one teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces

2 cups chilled cultured buttermilk, plus more as needed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.  Sift together the cream of tartar and baking soda to make baking powder.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the butter.  Working quickly, rub it between your fingertips until half is coarsely blended and the remaining pieces are 3/4-inch thick.

Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add all the buttermilk and stir the mixture quickly, just until it has blended and a sticky dough forms.  (If the dough appears dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk.)

Immediately turn the dough onto a generously floured surface.  Using floured hands, briskly knead about 10 times until a ball forms.  Gently flatten the dough and, using a floured rolling pin, roll to 3/4-inch thick.

Using a fork dipped in flour, pierce the dough through at 1/2-inch intervals.  Flour a 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter.  Stamp out rounds and arrange on a heavy, parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake until golden, about 12 minutes.  Remove and brush with melted butter.  Serve hot.