Take Your Gluten-Free and Vegan Friends For A Delicious Dessert At Papa Ganache in Matawan, NJ

About a month ago, my boyfriend Luke and I were driving through Matawan, NJ when I noticed a sign that said, “Bakery Amazing Delicious Vegan Treats… Gluten-Free Too!” When I pointed it out to Luke, we immediately looked at each other and said “Let’s try it!” It wasn’t until after we turned into the parking lot when I realized that it was the new location of a gluten-free bakery I’ve been dying to try — Papa Ganache.

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I first heard of Papa Ganache a few years ago from an old co-worker who was vegan. One day he brought in a slice of their vegan sponge cake and allowed me to try a small piece. It was delicious but it never gave me the incentive to go and check out their other desserts. I wasn’t gluten-free at the time (or vegan, but I’m not vegan now), so I didn’t think there was a need to go when there were plenty of regular bakeries around. Now that I’m gluten-free, it’s an entirely different story!

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Before I get into all of the delicious treats I had, I want to mention how awesome the atmosphere is in this place. It’s perfect for the cafe junkies, especially the ones who inhabit Starbucks on a daily basis. It’s quiet and comfortable; perfect for a study session a work environment (if you telecommute), or a place to bring clients for a lunch or a snack. I would highly recommend this place for any of these instances or any occasion really!

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Now, about these desserts! It was really hard to choose from so many options (imagine a case full of snacks, I was in gluten-free heaven!), but I decided on a gluten-free red velvet cupcake and the chipwhich (one of Papa Ganache‘s specialties!)

chipwich & cupcake

The red velvet cupcake was moist that it practically melted in my mouth. It was so delicious that I seriously wish I had gotten two of them! The chipwhich was also great, but I had a lot of problems finishing the entire cookie. As you can see it’s huge and it was also too sweet for my taste! I definitely think that they should make smaller portions of it, like some of the other cookies I saw on their shelves.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first official Papa Ganache gluten-free experience! If you call the Jersey Shore home, I highly suggest you stop by their new location at 106 Main Street, Matawan, NJ! It’s a beautiful environment, filled with the most delicious goodies! I definitely plan on going back and dragging my friends and family along with me!

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#SCBDExclusive: Interview with Abbey & Lindsay, Owners of Cake Couture NJ!

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Cake Couture NJ is a home-based custom cake company founded by two Jersey girls from my hometown of Howell, Lindsay Mauser and Abbey Lanz. Last time I was home I had the opportunity to interview them on the company, their cakes, and more!

cupcakes

SCBD: How long have you been baking and cake decorating?

CCNJ: We’ve been baking as long as we can remember. We started getting into cake decorating by taking classes at Michael’s when they had them locally. Abbey received her degree in pastry from the Culinary Education Center of Monmouth County in 2011 where she performed in pastry competitions too. She’s always been more passionate about cakes rather than general pastry, you can see it in our work.

SCBD: Who came up with idea to start Cake Couture NJ?

CCNJ: We started making cakes for family about 4 years ago and then came up with the name and really started our business three years ago. When we first started it was Abbey and my (Lindsay’s) sister Erin but Erin wasn’t as passionate about it after a while so I stepped in and we’ve been successfully working together since. We feel that our cakes aren’t just any cakes so we felt that Cake Couture was the perfect name for us.

SCBD: What is special about your recipe compared to others?

CCNJ: Well, you can’t really compare us to any other cake or cupcake out there. We’re very creative and are constantly coming up with new recipes to try. We love coming up with new recipes for flavors we like.

SCBD: I’ve seen pictures of your cakes and the artwork looks so professional. How did you learn this?

CCNJ: We learned the most by doing it all the time and through trial and error. It’s all about finding the right temperature, etc.

21st birthday beer cake

21st birthday beer cake

SCBD: What’s a new flavors are you working on?

CCNJ: We are currently working on summer flavors, our latest creation is working on some summer cocktail cupcakes like margarita, and more!

SCBD: What’s the most popular cake flavor order you get?

CCNJ: Our vanilla with vanilla butter cream and red velvet with cream cheese frosting are our most popular.

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Cupcakes with faces of Aunt & Grandma

SCBD: What’s the most unique order you’ve had?

CCNJ: Our most unique order so far was for cupcakes with our client’s grandma & aunt’s faces on them. It took a lot of work but it was fun to do and rewarding at the end.

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21st birthday cake

SCBD: What was your first order? Who was it for?

CCNJ: Our first order was for a 21st birthday at a big banquet hall, we were pretty nervous but it was a success. The cake had pink quilted zebra print on it.

SCBD: What’s a quote you both live by?

CCNJ: “She who leaves a trail of glitter, is never forgotten.”

SCBD: What’s Cake Couture NJ‘s motto?

CCNJ: “Made with Love” which we always have on all of our orders and “Edible Art For Magical Moments”.

SCBD: Where do you see Cake Couture NJ in five years?

CCNJ: We have high hopes and would love to be doing bigger events and have it turn into our full time job. We are looking forward to having bigger orders and to be in demand in the tri-state area. We are  working with the Ronald McDonald house on their event in May and donating a cupcake tower to their silent auction on May 19.

SCBD: Last, what do you want SCBD readers to know about Cake Couture NJ?

CCNJ: Nothing is impossible for us, we are willing to take any order. We take our time with every order and are very critical of our cakes. We do consultations and tastings for cakes for any event.

Harry Potter cake

Harry Potter cake

Make sure you like Cake Couture NJon Facebook  follow them on Twitter @CakeCoutureNJ! I’m definitely looking forward to working with them more because they have such a great thing going!

Cheers– let’s eat cake!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#SCBD Giveaway: The Guilt-Free Treat, Almondina

If you are looking for a healthy treat, we’ve found it! It’s Almondina®— a gourmet cookie, health food and snack, all in one. These extraordinary gourmet treats are created from Yuval Zaliouk’s secret family recipe which has been passed down from generation to generation and was introduced to the market in 1989. It is wonderfully crunchy and does not have to be dipped. It is a delightful accompaniment for coffee, tea, soft cheeses and fine light wines.

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Almondina® biscuits come in the following flavors:

  •  Original – America’s all natural favorite with almonds and raisins
  • Chocolate Cherry – We combined the world’s finest dark chocolate, with plump cherries to produce an irresistible, decadent treat without guilt.
  • Choconut – Rich tasting crunchy chocolate, but low in calories
  • Cinnaroma® – The original biscuit for cinnamon lovers
  • Gingerspice – Trend setting, with chunks of Australian ginger
  •  AlmonDuo® – Double-nut wonder with almonds and pistachios
  • AnniversaryT – Award winning delight with a touch of anise
  • BranTreats® – Made with oat bran and the finest cinnamon “Cookies For Breakfast”
  • Sesame – Irresistible, exotic, flavorful
  • Seasonal Pumpkin Spice – A seasonal attraction with a delightful touch of fall spices combined with the highest quality almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

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Almondina® Biscuits are:

  • All Natural
  • Free of cholesterol, coloring and preservatives
  •  Made with no added fat or salt
  •  Low in calories – only 30 per slice
  • Kosher and Pareve (non dairy)
  •  with tea or coffee
  • as a cracker with cream cheese, Brie or other soft French cheeses
  • with a glass of sherry
  • crumbled as an ice cream topping
  • served to youngsters with milk
  • as a delicious breakfast on the way to work
  • Crunchy, addictive, healthful

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Note: This contest has ended.

 Interested in trying it? Well it’s your lucky day, we will be giving ONE lucky winner a sample pack of Almondina®

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Like Small Chick Big Deals on Facebook
  2. Like Almondina® on Facebook
  3. Leave a comment with the flavor you want to try the most

Winner will be picked at random on Wednesday, March 6th!

Good luck!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#SCBD ‘Spiked’ Adult Chocolate Milk Recipe

Ever have one of those days when you need a nightcap? Bailey’s Irish Cream has to be one of my favorite liquors, it’s flavorful, creamy and can be used in many cocktails & desserts. It can also be used in cocktails like spiked chocolate milk.

Adult Chocolate Milk

Here’s my recipe for simple yet delicious ‘spiked’ adult chocolate milk…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Milk of choice (you may need more or less depending on your glass size)
  • 1 shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 teaspoon of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup

Instructions:

  1. In a glass of your choice pour milk, shot of Bailey’s, & chocolate syrup.
  2. If you have a stirrer, stir to your liking if not use a spoon and mix it together so it looks like chocolate milk. Feel free to use or more less chocolate syrup and Bailey’s depending on how strong & chocolate tasting you like it.
  3. Once it’s the way you like it– sip & enjoy!

This recipe is so simple and delicious, perfect for dessert or a nightcap. Next time you think of buying a bottle of Adult Chocolate Milk, think again, the recipe is simple and only requires three ingredients!

Cheers!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

Happy Chrismukkuh!

Happy holidays! It is a great time of year right now and celebrating the holidays is always fun. But what happens if one of your parents is Catholic and the other Jewish? What if you have friends who celebrate a different holiday than you? How do you throw a party that will please all your guests? We spoke with Kelven Book of the absolutely amazing New York City-based catering company, Canard Inc. for some suggestions. Throw an epic Chrismukkah party!

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First off, how to decorate. Combine Christmas colors – red and green – with Hanukkah colors – blue and white – easy! If you have a Christmas tree or wreath, try decorating it with blue, white, and silver ornaments or put green and red candles in your menorah.

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Once you’ve got your decor taken care of, it’s time to address one of the most important aspects of any party: the food. Make sure to serve delicacies from both holidays, such as a Christmas goose, cranberry sauce, latkes, and matzoh ball soup. Dessert can be a breeze with homemade cookies. Cut them into fun Christmas and Hanukkah shapes and decorate them accordingly. You can even serve them on festive holiday platters.

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Now onto the big kahuna – drinks. Everybody loves a good cocktail, so it’s important to be prepared. You can do fun twists on classic cocktails, like making blue cosmos garnished with a candy cane, or a red cosmo with blue ice cubes. The possibilities are endless. Canard Inc. provided us with a no-fail eggnog cocktail, that will please guests of either religion.

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Chrismukkah Eggnog

While this is not a kosher drink, the use of Madeira rather than the traditional rum or bourbon is a play on the idea of kosher wine that is mevushal, cooked or boiled, since this is the basic idea of Madeira wines. The use of rose water or fleur d’range, orange water, is a nice reference to the cuisine of the Middle East.

Ingredients:

3 pints of milk
2 cups of superfine or confectioner’s sugar
12 eggs
1 pint of cream
3 cups of Madeira
3 tablespoons of rose water or fleur d’range
Grated nutmeg

Instructions:

Separate the egg whites and yolks into 2 different bowls. Beat the yolks with the  sugar until the mixture is thick and slowly stir in the Madeira, the rose water, the milk, and the cream. Place the mixture in the refrigerator until well chilled. Just before serving, beat the egg whites until stiff. Transfer the egg-yolk mixture to a chilled punch bowl and carefully fold in the whites without beating or stirring. Grate the nutmeg over the eggnog. Do not put any ice into the punch bowl. Makes about 28 servings.

#SCBD Thanksgiving Week Treats!

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all we have. Start celebrating a bit early with these special treats available starting next week!

Thanksgiving soup at Hale & Hearty available ONLY during Thanksgiving week (11/19 – 11/23) in all 28 of our stores. The Thanksgiving soup is gluten free, a smooth, savory puree of roasted squashes, pumpkin and sweet potato with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg – perfect for Thanksgiving! Prices start at 3.89 (small), 5.69 (medium), 6.69 (large) and a quart is $12.04, perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!

Shake Shack is cozying up to Fall with our Pumpkin Pie, Oh My! Concrete: vanilla frozen custard blended with a slice of pumpkin pie only available until December 2nd. Prices start at $4.25 for half and  $6.50 for the regular.

Thanksgiving dozen includes 3 Pumpkin Spice cupcakes, 3 Caramel Apple cupcakes, 3 Chocolate Hazelnut cupcakes, and 3 Maple cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake in SoHo.

Divine Saucy Pumpkin cupcake created by Prohibition Bakery is made with pumpkin ale and filled with a chocolate sage ganache using Divine Bittersweet and Divine Milk Chocolate baking bars, this saucy cupcake is topped with a toasted pumpkin seed frosting and garnished with fried sage ribbons. The Divine Saucy Pumpkin cupcake is available for a limited time this fall at Prohibition Bakery (9 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002). $2 each or three for $5. View recipe.

Divine Whoopie Pie created by Ivy Bakery is made with pure Divine Cocoa and filled with vanilla buttercream, this homemade whoopie pie is rolled in chopped up pieces of Divine’s Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar. Heavenly chocolate in every bite! The Divine Whoopie Pie is available for a limited time this fall at Ivy Bakery (138 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10012). $3 each. View recipe.

Sara Monica, Founder
At the young age of 23, Sara is the founder and head editor of Smallchickbigdeals.com aka #SCBD. Sara is a Jersey Girl raised by the shore, currently residing in Northern New Jersey. When she is not working, she is finding something new to post and share with her readers whether it be a new food product, recipe, restaurant review or another interview. Read her full bio, here. Read the full story behind #SCBD, here.  When she is not writing for #SCBD she also contributes to Jersey Bites,Carter Int’l Concierge, & New Fork City. Follow her @SmChickBigDeals!