This past weekend, Graham took a few days off and we headed back to Charlotte. He didn't get to go with me two weeks ago, and Friday was his birthday, so we went home to celebrate.
I baked some banana split cupcakes a few weeks ago, but I didn't love the way they turned out. So, I tweaked the recipe, & used the guests at his party as my guinea pigs. These were a HUGE success.
He requested a strawberry cake for his birthday, so I made that as well. He teased me about the four layers, and the homemade jam filling. I know he would have been happy with a cake baked in a 9x13 pan and iced... but, I had to get creative somehow!
As if that wasn't enough cake, my friend Kelly & I attended the Sweet Tooth Festival on Sunday.
Thanks to the power of social media, I found out about this AWESOME event. Tickets were $30, the proceeds went to RAIN (an organization that provides support services to HIV+ individuals in the Charlotte area), and you got sample all kinds of delicious stuff from local bakeries and sweet shops. We left with a bakery box full of all kinds of delicious items.
Most of what we sampled was absolutely wonderful. I had only heard of two of the vendors that were participating; Cupcrazed (a winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars) & Got What it Cakes, my new favorite Charlotte bakery, so I was excited to try some new places. Here my favorites of everything I got to sample.
This little bit of deliciousness was called "Gone Wild" from Sweet Elations. It had peanut butter and coconut (which reminds me of my beloved Earth Balance peanut butter) and was so good!
These brownie bliss bites from My Sweet Celebration were so good. This one had toffee and caramel, and I would have loved about five more.
Royal Oats Granola was there with something a little healthier. Their blueberry lemon granola was the best granola I've ever had.
My favorite treat of the day was this lemon bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes (and how cute is that name!). The cake was so moist, had tons of flavor, and the perfect amount of lemon.
I'm not a 100% sure, but I'm pretty sure this amazing chocolate mousse cake (with a rum soaked cherry =)) was from Neet's Sweets (if it wasn't, please correct me). The cake was delicious, but what's even better is what the shop does for women who are victims of sexual trafficking and exploitation.
The Secret Chocolatier was giving out amazing truffles and chocolates. I had a chocolate sea salt butter toffee and a violet truffle. Both were amazing, but the toffee absolutely knocked my socks off.
I'm honestly not a huge peanut butter fan, but this slice of chocolate cake with a PB filling from Got What It Cakes was wonderful. And they were definitely the most generous with their serving size =)
The Sweet Tooth Festival is an annual event, so if you're in the Charlotte area you should check it out. The money raised goes to a great cause, it's a great way to learn about awesome local businesses, and you leave with a box full of cake. =)