Archive | 11:01 pm

Root Beer for Big Kids???

28 Aug


I found this scoop on Garden & Gun’s Big Bad Chef blog …  

Recently we caught wind of a new liquor based on the extremely alcoholic and very old recipe (circa 1700) for root tea. The original brew was made with anise, cloves, and birch bark, and the modern version doesn’t stray too far. (For the record, root tea lost its punch during the temperance movement when a seemingly well-intentioned pharmacist took out the alcohol and created the root beer we all know today.)
We expected this so-called original root beer to be syrupy sweet and cloying at best. Instead, the taste combined all kinds of low, deep flavors, like smoked black tea, nutmeg, cardamom, and sugar cane. Then it finished light with subtle notes of citrus and spearmint.
The folks who developed Root suggest pairing it with a good dark beer or simply enjoying it neat. We think it would also be splendid drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Consider yourself warned, though: Each $39 bottle is 80 proof, and a little goes a long way.

Cakes from “We Take the Cake”

28 Aug


Lori Karmel, the owner of We Take the Cake bakery in Ft. Lauderdale, was kind enough to send us some cakes to review for our web site and blog. It seems that Lori walked into the bakery to buy her son a birthday cake and was so impressed that she eventually bought the business. How’s that for a ringing endorsement?

The cakes are very attractively packaged (see above) and arrived in pretty good shape. That is not always the case with fine cakes like this, so they obviously know what they are doing.


Although the cake box wasn’t massive, we were astounded by the sheer height of the Coconut Layer Cake and Red Velvet Cake when they arrived at our home in Fairhope, Alabama.


The Red Velvet Cake was topped with decadent white chocolate shavings.


The combo of cream cheese icing, abundant white chocolate shavings, and the brilliant red cake is simply a delight to the senses. I am something of a Red Velvet afficianado and I must say this cake was very well done.  


The true highlight for me was the Coconut Layer Cake. It was a bit more rich and creamy than most coconut cakes we have sampled in the past. And they certainly don’t skimp on the coconut. That, to me, is always the true test of a fine coconut cake. Now most coconut cakes are good — this one was “Slap Yo Momma … and Grandmomma Good!”


No, the image above is not a Pac Man-themed cake. This is our Coconut Cake (from Lori and our new friends at We Take the Cake) after pulling off two generous slices for last night’s dessert. Oprah loves the cakes from We Take the Cake and that has been a blessing for this small business. We also encourage you to give them a try. The cakes run about $50 including shipping and are well worth it for a birthday, dinner party, corporate gifts, or special occasions of any kind. They also make a killer Key Lime Bundt cake. It is an incredibly moist pound cake drenched with real Key lime juice and then topped with a Key lime icing. It is a WINNER! 

Thanks, Lori — keep making them tall and tasty.