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The Cupcake Dude

The Cupcake Dude A Culinary poet who has shifted his focus from ecclectic restaurant cooking to cupcake baking

Operating as usual

05/18/2015

It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humility

Humidity is a dish best served cold, preferably in an air conditioned dining room. Humility on the other hand can be served either hot or cold but damn its only May and already seems too hot to be preparing any kind of dish. Yea well if you can’t stand the heat don’t work in a kitchen. It’s that time of year again, when we forget about how much we bitched about the cold and couldn’t wait for it to warm up. But these days it warms up with an angry faced humidity snarling a chuckle at us now bitching that spring no longer springs eternal. Not one month ago everybody was offering to help me out working near the ovens to escape the deep freeze. Or perhaps to avoid shoveling the mounds of incessant snow. But now the chef’s clog is on the other foot as everyone springs out of the kitchen in search of air conditioning. Oh the Humanity, Oh the Humility. Oh, the Humidity!!

What happened to those days when young love and beautiful roses bloomed amid the even keeled gorgeous spring weather? Could it be global warming? Well let’s not open up that political can of worms or we will only bait each other over unrelated issues. The bottom line here is….Where the hell is spring? Not even one month of casual warmth? The four seasons are now nothing more than a fond memory and the name of Frankie Valley’s band.

The basic kitchen heat index equation is this, take the heat you feel outside, double it and add ten more degree’s and that’s what make a chef’s pores open up pouring sweat like a power shower headspray. On an extremely hot day there are nine circles of infernal hell around a stove and even Dante doesn’t want to be there cooking. Maybe a dip in the River Styx will cool things off.

Is it hot enough for ya? Too hot to handle? It’s a moot point because once you decide you want to be a chef heat is what you signed up for and heat is what you get. But who signed up for the humidity!? Actually the relative humidity itself seems relatively harmless. I mean its nothing more than the amount of water vapor in the air. But when the air is hot and the water is hot the vapor gets downright ornery. A hot and humid day can best be described as a sweltering steamy stifling sticky muggy oppressive heat that makes one all sweaty and clammy. Put that near an oven and that’s a chefs summer of love. No wonder so many of us chef’s consume so much beer.

As is often the case however I digress. Bottom line is I did choose to become a chef and it is a profession which requires a great deal of passion to take all the heat that both a kitchen and nature can throw at me. So I continue in my kitchen as always to bring the tastiest and best quality food I can create to the inhabitants of my universe. The main thing here is humility and as a humble chef to the universe I maintain my kitchen standards with passion, pride, and an iced cold IPA. Stay cool Y’all…

01/26/2015

Are you ready for some football?? Whether you enjoy the game or the commercials more is not whats important, its how you celebrate the event. With that in mind The Dude is introducing this years Super (insert appropriate legal term) Sunday team cupcakes. "Seahawk Pep Tawk" attempts to repeat last years winning flavor fest with its cinnamon struessel cupcake filled with dark coffee custard and a new addition the controversial "Patriot Games", A red velvet cupcake over-inflated with maple syrup infused whipped cream, both adorned with their teams color icing... Available starting Friday... Bring it on

01/25/2015

Don’t Write What You Know, Write What You Feel

In an interview with Esther Davidowitz, the food editor of the Bergen Record recently I mentioned that I approached my culinary creations as way to express my writing passion. She asked me to explain but I had never really thought about it I just always did so I gave it some consideration. I had a passion for writing since I can remember and I developed a passion for food because of that passion. Creative energy flowed through me into the dishes I created much like it did from my pen when I was young. When I was a young lad I carried a spiral notepad around with me and wrote whenever I felt I needed to express something. Truth is I have had no formal writing education. Yea I know, hard to believe until you actually read what I write and then it becomes painfully obvious. But then again it worked to my advantage because I had no structured rules to follow I just write how I feel. I don’t write to be right I write to be me. I write to release burning creative energy that constantly bounces around inside my brain looking for an escape hatch. So how does that relate to the career path of chefdom I roamed through? Well let me write you about it.

From the very second I came out of the womb I wanted to be different. When the doctor smacked my ass I didn’t cry, I laughed. Okay maybe a bit of a stretch, I don’t actually remember my coming out party but I was there. The real point is from a very young age I enjoyed disregarding the rules and practicing the art of uniqueness. I didn’t just color outside the lines, I made up my own lines. I added things that didn’t belong and used unrealistic colors, like green suns or purple trees. I wanted to color my own way. For me, that was art. When I went to school and entered my first art class it was painfully clear my talents where limited to making Ducco cement balls and really interesting stick figures. A future back windshield artist for young families aside, I had no apparent talent in art class at all. I couldn’t draw the most basic of structures. In fact I failed penmanship up until the third grade. Still I had an urge to create so I stuck to writing, illegible though it was. I started out writing silly poems. My idol at the time was Hallmark, because the poems in his cards were spectacular.

When I got to junior high school I took typing for three reasons. First the penmanship issue, second I knew it would help me in my writing, and third and most important it was full of girls. I failed typing because I focused too much on the third advantage but I had a fantastic year and the long term what little I did retain from typing class would help in the years to come. I was still writing, the poems took on a bit more maturity, politics began to form, and I started testing the waters of short story writing. In high school I had an assignment of writing a short story so I had an advantage. I actually wanted to do the assignment. I went with the tale of a couple of youths with liquid LSD robbing a cop car and losing the LSD when they crashed the car into a reservoir. The reservoir it turned out fed the towns water supply and all the families began tripping. It really wasn’t very good or well written and I feared the content would land me a visit with the principal and perhaps even a shrink, but I wrote what I felt. Instead of lecturing me about drugs and off color topics my teacher found it extremely creative and convinced me to take her creative writing elective course. I did, and I failed. Unfortunately the class was right after lunch during the ritualistic handball court marijuana smoke break and I missed too much of the class, either coming in late or missing it all together. Not really my fault, the weed in my town was always very high quality and hard to resist.

I talked a lot in school about going to college for journalism to learn how to write but as is often the case in dreams life got in the way and I changed course. I had been working in kitchens to make money to buy the great weed I mentioned when a thought occurred to me. I finally realized it would behoove me in my life to have a career so I went to culinary school and embarked on a gastronomic journey to find my culinary Zen. It was really the only thing I was good at but as it turned out I was really really good at it. I was working my way up to become a chef when I met an established chef who would become my mentor. Chef Patrick was a cutting edge French chef who was poised at the helm of the kitchen during the New York City culinary renaissance period. Food was beginning to change and long standing cornerstones of culinary traditions were being stretched and tested. No longer were parsley and watercress the only garnishes, imagination ruled the day. Red wine with fish and foods such as grilled grapes and goat cheese salad replaced the tried and true recipes that had worked well for over a century. Sorry Mr. Escoffier, but its time to move over and let the youth of culinary communities take over and deconstruct the classics. Cultures of foods were clashing and mashing and a slew of new creations appeared in top restaurants around the world. It was the ideal time for me, chefs were now coloring outside the lines, adding things, and painting purple trees and green suns in their dishes. Patrick taught me how to take my passion to write and inject that creative flow into my cooking.

I approached cooking the same way I approach writing. I see ingredients, colors textures smells and tastes and rearrange them to create biodegradable art that tantalizes all five of the senses. I know different ways to alter them and I pair them with other ingredients by my feeling not by a cookbook. I just imagine how different things would work together and instinctively know the right ratio or combo. Much like the writing. I see words, I know how to use them and what they mean, but its up to me to choose the ones I want and arrange them how I like to get across the feeling I want to share. Maybe it’s a concept to convey, maybe it’s a moral I want to impart, or maybe I just hope to elicit an emotion from anyone who reads it or tastes it. I don’t write what I know, I write what I feel. The truth is as much as I would enjoy reaching a wide audience I’m happy and grateful for the few people who take the time out to share the energy along with me. As a chef cooking was my Zen, but now as I no longer compete with young chefs but have my own little food niche, I have more time to focus on my first passion, my true Zen, writing.

Never underestimate the power of a cupcake
05/06/2014

Never underestimate the power of a cupcake

We just received our Zagats Plaque! #jaretsstuffedcupcakes #zagats #njbest #nutley #totowa #nyc #soproud http://ift.tt/1kJ34Yr

01/24/2014

If you prefer to go more traditional for the big game, We are also making Superbowl Shotpacks, a beer inspired 12 pack of mini's. 3 Velvet Tier, red velvet cupcake, "Southern Tier" IPA/honey custard, 3 "Irish Boilermakers", Guinness chocolate cupcake with sweet whisky custard, 3 "Once in a Blue moon", orange cupcake with Blue Moon custard and lemon icing, and 3 "Short an Stout", vanilla cupcake with chocolate stout custard. If you love beer, and love cupcakes, give 'em a shot. or twelve shots.

01/24/2014

Time to choose sides, the big game is here soon. So what side should you choose? A side of cupcakes of course, a football party isn't complete without some killer cupcakes, so The Dude created a side for each opposing team's cupcake. The "Bronc's Cheer", a chocolate cupcake with orange/chipotle custard and Denver orange and blue icing, and/or the "Seahawk Peptalk", a cinnamon streusel cupcake filled with Seattle dark roast coffee custard and Blue wave and green icing. May the best cupcake win.

12/26/2013

The end of the year is upon us and it can mean only one thing. Party time!! Watching the ball fall, Twilight Zone Marathon, dancing thru midnight, however we celebrate its a party and it often involves some moderate imbibing of alcohol. The CC Dude is a fan of both parties and imbibing (In moderation and with Designated Driver if you're out) so this New Years Eve I'm introducing "Shot Packs" A dozen pack of alcohol infused mini cupcakes, 3 mini screwdrivers (orange cupcake with vodka custard) 3 Sweetbirds (bourbon and amaretto custard in chocolate cupcake) 3 Velvet Pirates (red velvet cupcake with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum custard) and 3 Cinnabrusers (Vanilla cupcake with cinnamon schnapps custard)....Order ahead to insure your shot pack, and remember, eat you cupcakes responsibly....enjoy, and never underestimate the power of a cupcake

Timeline Photos
11/19/2013

Timeline Photos

Busy weekend for the Dude....Dude loves sci-fy and enjoyed Star Trek, but he is not a Trekkie. I do have to confess though, a major nod to our talented friends across the pond for not only The Beatles, but for Dr. Who. Yes its true, the Dude is a Whovian and is addicted to Dr. Who. So this weekends huge 50th anniversary event will not go unnoticed by CC Dude. Coming on Friday my newest cupcake creation, Fish Fingers and Custard. That's right, the 11th Doctor famous meal is now a cupcake. Chocolate cupcake with a Swedish Fish custard and Strawberry Whipped Cream....It would Be-whovian all of you to come in and get one to watch the show with. Also, on Sunday we will be doing a demonstration on the almost completed new cupcake, a sweet potato cupcake with cream cheese icing, filling to be determined

Busy weekend for the Dude....Dude loves sci-fy and enjoyed Star Trek, but he is not a Trekkie. I do have to confess thou...
11/19/2013

Busy weekend for the Dude....Dude loves sci-fy and enjoyed Star Trek, but he is not a Trekkie. I do have to confess though, a major nod to our talented friends across the pond for not only The Beatles, but for Dr. Who. Yes its true, the Dude is a Whovian and is addicted to Dr. Who. So this weekends huge 50th anniversary event will not go unnoticed by CC Dude. Coming on Friday my newest cupcake creation, Fish Fingers and Custard. That's right, the 11th Doctor famous meal is now a cupcake. Chocolate cupcake with a Swedish Fish custard and Strawberry Whipped Cream....It would Be-whovian all of you to come in and get one to watch the show with. Also, on Sunday we will be doing a demonstration on the almost completed new cupcake, a sweet potato cupcake with cream cheese icing, filling to be determined

09/18/2013

Autumn is rounding the solar revolution and The Dude is preparing. Some people call it fall but that's far too negative for an idealist like The Dude, so Amped For Autumn it is. We have introduced two new cupcake this week to get amped for Autumn, The Drunkin Punkin, pumpkin cake with bourbon pecan filling, and Apple Stumble, and apple cake loaded with Bacardi Rum raisin custard. And Saturday we will kick off "Amped For Autumn" with a pumpkin maple latte in the Nutley café....So before you go off leaf peeping this weekend amp yourself up...Peace

06/23/2013

As many of the Dudes fellow moon-gazers know last nights Super-Moon was also a Strawberrry Moon, so named by the Algonquin Indians as it meant harvesst time for strawberries. In honor of these enlightenments the Dude has made Fresh Strawberry Lemonade at teh Nutley shop to help quench the mighty thirst Gods during this humid harvest time...

Address

Stuffed Cupcakes 231 Franklin Ave
Nutley, NJ
07110

Opening Hours

Monday 7am - 6pm
Tuesday 7am - 6pm
Wednesday 7am - 6pm
Thursday 7am - 6pm
Friday 7am - 6pm
Saturday 7am - 6pm
Sunday 7am - 6pm

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