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Sam’s Club Launches Smaller Sized Cakes for 2020’s Virtual Graduates

I never thought I’d one day be writing a piece about Sam’s Club that involved the word “small.” If memory serves me, my last visit to Sam’s Club began around noon and ended early evening. The place is simply THAT massive. Size aside, Sam’s Club has been affected by the covid-craziness, too. Efforts to adjust and assist employees have been respectable; they recently approved a second round of bonuses for workers. Additionally, changes to store hours, customer capacity allowances, and shopping slots exclusive to seniors have all been instituted. 

While the corona rages, life must persist, and Sam’s Club’s goal is to continue serving their customer’s needs. For instance, students nationwide are preparing to have virtual ceremonies as graduations are approaching. To support and celebrate this year’s graduates, Sam’s Club, typically known for their massive cakes, have announced smaller-cakes for the at-home festivities.  These smaller cakes are 10”, can be personalized and still pack all the tastiness Sam’s Club cakes are known for. The best part is that it costs less than $10. That’s perfect for families on a budget. You can personalize your cake with your school colors, a picture and a custom message as well. 

Sam’s Club personalized cakes come in various sizes ranging from the smallest, 10” single layer cake, to the mini-two-tier cakes and 15 count cupcakes are also offered. Prices vary depending on specifications as each cake is made from scratch.  A 3-tier option exists for larger gatherings but considering the times, that may have to wait until the dust settles.

If you have a soon-to-be graduate, birthday or other type of celebration around the corner, Sam’s Club is sure to meet your cake needs. Orders can now be made from your local club bakery and online.

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News What's New

Pop-Tarts Dropping New Pretzel Flavors Nationwide

There might not be a food out there with more variations than Pop-Tarts. From flavors that prompt a sturdy “what the hell?” to ones that make you think “…that might actually work,” the people behind the famous toaster pastry keep the creative wheels moving.

Their newest flavors lean toward an innovative side of the spectrum, as they gear up to take their shot at sweet and salty with Pop-Tarts Pretzel.

The newest additions to the toaster pastry aisle sets themselves apart with a pretzel pastry crust that’s topped with a coarse salt.

In January 2020, they’ll be available in two flavors nationwide: Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar. The former is topped with a drizzle of chocolate icing while the latter opts for an icing resembling that of a cinnamon roll. 

As someone who was always grossed out by the sickly sweet Pop-Tart variations, it’s promising to see the brand pivot into a different flavor profile. I might have to go cop a pack and give it a try in the only acceptable fashion: while watching cartoons on the floor, just like I would after school.

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Culture Restaurants

There’s A Hidden Speakeasy Inside The First Permanent US Hello Kitty Cafe

The cultural phenomenon that is Hello Kitty has opened a few popups in the United States over the last few years. These mini “cafe stands” served treats and beverages inspired by the animated feline and were beacons for fans to venture forth, visit, and get to know one another through a shared love of the iconic cat. Now, Hello Kitty is finally opening her own brick and mortar location complete with a secret immersive experience for enthusiasts to enjoy: a hidden Hello Kitty tea room and speakeasy.

Located in Irvine, CA, the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe front of house features fresh baked cakes, cookies, donuts, beverages, merchandise, and apparel — all inspired by the beloved Sanrio character.

In the back of the cafe, tucked away against the far wall, is an inconspicuous white door where a single golden bow hangs. When you knock on it, the door opens, transporting you to the wonderland known as the Hello Kitty Bow Room.

It turns out that magic comes in all shapes and sizes, including the form of a tiny white Japanese cat. Who knew?

By day, the secret space operates as a tea room that serves Hello Kitty bites and teas. Afternoon tea assortments include paprika-smoked egg salad in a cone, cucumber bread with dill cream cheese, smoked salmon served with cream cheese on a pretzel croissant, strawberries and cream, and Hello Kitty mini cakes.

At night, however, the Bow Room transforms into what’s essentially a speakeasy — complete with a wide array of cocktails inspired by Hello Kitty and her animated animal friends.

Along with the cocktails, guests can also choose from a selection of wines which are available during both the afternoon tea service and the cocktail service.

Once you’re inside the Bow Room, really take it all in and let yourself become one with the become one with the euphoric pink atmosphere. Dress to the nines, take tons of pictures, make Hello Kitty puns, and immerse yourself in the experience. How often can you really say you’ve been inside a secret Hello Kitty speakeasy?

The Hello Kitty Grand Cafe (and Bow Room) will remain inside the Irvine Spectrum Center as a permanent location. To experience the Bow Room, reservations will need to be made ahead of time by calling the store or visiting the cafe’s website.

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#foodbeast Cravings FOODBEAST Video

This Unicorn Cake That ‘Bleeds’ Sprinkles Is Innovative Use of Unicorn Food Trend

Just when you thought the unicorn food trend had peaked, this new visually impressive cake puts a unique enough spin on it to breathe in some innovation to the stale pastel-hued movement.

On the surface, this Unicorn Cake from Playa Provisions in Playa Del Rey, California is already worthy of placement in a lot of Instagram feeds. But besides the kaleidoscopic array of colors, there’s other details that help it stand out from the other unicorn food out there, like an actual “unicorn horn” and “ears” made with an ice cream cone and sugar cookie dipped in white chocolate and painted in edible gold. It ain’t guac, but it sure is extra.

But that extra-ness doesn’t stop at surface level as the hook here is the army of sprinkles unleashed once you cut into the cake. It’s a veritable unicorn party that’s one Lisa Frank marker set short of a unicorn festival. This Unicorn Cake’s appeal can also be found in its quality as well, with an uber moist vanilla cake as the base and a luscious Swiss meringue buttercream frosting embracing the whole affair in vibrant colors like electric purple and lime green.

Such a fun creation is from Playa Provisions’ pastry chef Jennifer Hsiao, a mastermind at crafting whimsical and playful desserts that channel the inner child in all of us.

So just when you thought you were over the unicorn trend, in comes this massive Unicorn Cake that bleeds sprinkles to resuscitate interest within all who are craving a little more extravagance and fantasy on their culinary radar.

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Hit-Or-Miss Video

These Hungarian Chimney Cakes Are The Steamy Dessert You’ve Never Tried

Newly opened in Anaheim, Calif., House of Chimney Cakes is bringing a delicious traditional Romanian pastry to Southern California, just in time for winter. So, get ready to push the donuts and churros aside and make room for chimney cakes!

Chimney cakes

Evan Lancaster/Foodbeast

These slightly crispy, flaky cylinder-shaped pillars of dough are referred to as “chimney cakes.” As it cools, these cone-shaped pastries let steam out from the top, creating the smoking chimney effect.

This Romanian dessert is made from Hungarian sweet bread that’s baked in a rotating oven, then coated with a sweet glaze.

Sporting a consistency between a donut and a churro, House Of Chimney Cakes in Anaheim gives guests full-control of toppings, but serves a variety of cakes rolled in cinnamon and sugar, crushed Oreos and even Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Chimney cakes

Chimney cakes can also be filled with Nutella, or soft serve ice cream, and topped with customizable flavors like s’mores. You could also just load it up with fresh fruit, either way, it’s going to be delicious.

So, for all you pastries lovers out there, just follow the smoke signals and head over to House Of Chimney Cakes.

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#foodbeast Adventures Brand Cravings Drinks Features FOODBEAST Restaurants SPONSORED Sweets Video

5 Sinful Eats To Chow Down On In Costa Mesa

Culinary entrepreneur and Southern California foodie Thomas Pham has an undeniable influence within the vibrant SoCal food scene.

He holds a heavyweight belt as a well-respected social media influencer, and we have him to thank for bringing an East Coast food icon to sunny California in the form of the popular mediterranean restaurant Halal Guys, which opened in Southern California back in 2015.

With that in mind, we were stoked when Thomas let us tag along with him as he munched his way through some of his favorite spots in Costa Mesa, California.

During our first stop, we anchored ourselves down at West Coast Fish, located within The Camp in Costa Mesa. West Coast Fish is fairly new but already booming with popularity. Thomas ordered one of his favorite dishes: The Bjorn Battered Tacos.


Photo by Christian Bourdeau

The temperature was rising and we needed something to cool off, so naturally, Thomas recommended we stop by Creamistry for some made-to-order liquid nitrogen ice cream. Thomas grabbed one of his favorite frozen treats, the Taro Nitro MilkShake, topped with marshmallows and Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Next, we drove over to Paderia to watch Thomas tear open one of his favorite pastries, a cheese ensaymada — a soft, Spanish pastry made with sweet bread covered with sugar and filled with with cheese. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

After indulging our sweet tooth, we headed over to Orange County’s East Borough to indulge in an OC favorite: the French Pho Dip. Made with beef brisket, Thai basil, bean sprouts, onions, and Sriracha hoisin aioli on a fresh baguette, this culinary creation is an incredible fusion of East meets West, and should be on your list if you haven’t tried it yet.

Finally, for our last bite, Thomas took the gang over to Capital Noodle Bar to try another East-meets-West creation: Thai Basil Spaghetti. The dish was made with minced pork, bell pepper, egg, fresh chilli, Thai basil, and spaghetti noodles.

Thanks, Thomas. We’re stuffed.


Created in partnership with Hansen’s

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Sweets

You Can Eat Your Own Face With These Realistic Portrait Cookies

Next time someone tells you “bite me”, you actually can with these highly-detailed portrait cookies. The customizable creations are the work of a patissier, sculptor and food stylist named Ayako Kurokawa. The cookies can be ordered from the patissierie burrow in New York. The pastry recipes, including the ones to make the portrait cookies, combine classic French recipes with Japanese and American influences.

According to her website, the technique was developed from stone carving a clay sculpting. The cookies can be ordered in three sizes. A medium 5″x6″ cookie goes for $60, a jumbo 8″x11″ cookie costs $150, or six small 2″x3″ cookies for $120. Customers are asked to send in a full face high-resolution photo of whoever they want the cookie to represent. They also have to include eye color and hair color. The cookies last for 3 weeks without opening.  They can be ordered online here.

The highly realistic cookies can be anyone.

From celebrities like Kate Moss,

#Katemoss

A photo posted by Ayako Kurokawa (@burr0w) on

and Marc Jacobs,

To everyday people. 


The cookies are designed to look just like the people who order them.

The portrait cookies aren’t her only unsettlingly realistic baked goods. She also makes portrait cakes and other incredibly detailed creations.

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Tastemade/Snapchat

This Is How The Rest Of The World Does Apple Pie

“There’s nothing more American than apple pie.”

While the US is the most vocal about its apple pride, apple pie is really just a testament to the constant stirring of our melting pot. British and Scandinavian pies have the most direct influence, but various other countries have their own ideas when it comes to apple pastries.

 

GERMANY: Apfel Maultaschen 

 

American apple turnovers get most of the fame associated with their deliciousness, but they owe their ubiquity to early German immigrants. In 17th century Germany, Swabian monks began to “hide” donated meats in savory pastries that were eventually called Maultaschen. The nearby Bavarians, no strangers to the dessert world, began putting sweeter fillings between the dough, like plums and apples. The result can look like a traditional apple turnover or a strudel, depending on the recipe you follow.

What sets it apart: Though some throw this ingredient to the wind, authentic Apfel Maultaschen should use potato dough instead of plain flour.  

COLOMBIA: Arepas Dulces con Manzanas

 

If you’re not much of a baker, this dessert is the perfect deconstruction of any country’s approach to an apple pastry. Arepas are typically a no-nonsense, cornmeal flatbread found throughout Latin America, but Colombia is notorious for its arepa ingenuity. There are dozens of variations that stretch the definition of what a flatbread should be, including a simple addition of sugar and cinnamon that allows you to cling to the culinary safety of the frying pan. Caramelize some apple slices to pile on top of your crispy arepas and they’re ready to enjoy.

What sets it apart: No oven necessary. But you might want to wear sleeves.

 

ITALY: Torta di Mele

Lately, cakes with fruit crusts have been popping up all over Pinterest and dessert blogs with little to no credit given to the Western European countries who’ve been mastering these bad boys for centuries. Italian torte di mele seems like uncovered apple pies at first glance, but beneath the oven-glazed apple slices lies a lemon cake. Its rustic simplicity allows for several variations, but it’s common for recipes from Northern Italy to require more apples due to the region’s plentiful 2,000-year-old apple orchards.

What sets it apart: When people talk about rustic cakes, this is what’s on their mind. 

FRANCE: Gâteau aux Pommes

A photo posted by Isma (@touchedesaveurs) on

This cake is more apple than anything else and is an unapologetic celebration of French flippancy. The measurements vary from person to person, because French chefs just have a sixth sense about how much vanilla extract is too much without using measuring tools. Think of this cake as a torta di mele’s wild sibling: full of enough apple chunks, booze, and sugar to produce the sexiest sugar crash ever invented. Rum is the popular libation of choice, but whiskeys and bourbons round out the recipe just as nicely.

What sets it apart: The breathalyzer you might need afterwards and the overwhelming apple presence.

RUSSIA: Sharlotka

Russia’s thrown its own hat in this fray by way of a super sweet treat that lends its popularity to the simplicity in its preparation. Contributing to the overall sweetness of the sharlotka is the tale behind its name’s inception: as the story goes, the inventing baker named it after Charlotte, the name of the woman he was smitten by. Aaaaand the crowd goes ‘awwwww.’

What sets it apart: Think of the sharlotka as the glorious offspring of an apple pie and apple cake.