Monday, April 25, 2011

Inspired By Buddy Valastro

This past weekend I couldn't help but think of Carlo's Bakery in NJ. Originally from Lipari, a small island to the north of Sicily, Italy, Buddy Sr. immigrated to America with his family when he was 13. Buddy Sr.'s legacy can be seen in the bakery he left behind which is now run by his son Buddy Valastro.
Today Buddy is an accomplished fourth generation master baker, cake decorator and star of the hit TLC reality show Cake Boss.  In his NJ facility, Buddy and his staff turn out thousands of wedding cakes, specialty cakes, and pastries weekly. His award winning designs have been featured numerous times in bridal magazines, newspapers, books, Oprah,as well as television and most namely The Food Network. 

On Thursday evening I stopped by MA's house. This is my brother-in-law's mother but I call her MA even though she's not my MA at all.  Like Buddy's family, MA is a first generation Sicilian,  and an awesome baker.  When I learned that she was going to be making her Easter sweet bread I asked if I could stop by to see how she makes them. She said yes. We started by coloring 13 dozen eggs, Holy Moly, I've never seen so many eggs. After the eggs were colored and dried we began to make the sweet bread. They were really easy to make, and once they were iced and sprinkled they looked amazing. I was thrilled to be part of this Sicilian Easter tradition. Thanks MA!  
Sicilian Easter Bread Recipe
8 Cups of Flour
1 Bar of Crisco
A Little Vanilla
8 Teaspoons Baking Powder
8 Large Eggs
2 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup of Milk

Icing (should be paste-like)
Confectionary Sugar

My lovelies really enjoy watching Buddy on TLC. Best cousins, entrepreneurs, and creative souls, they are always up for a challenge. When they told me during the week that they had been inspired by one of Buddy's cakes, I knew I was in for it. From sketches to grocery lists to scheduling, these girls were determined to make a cake for Easter.  Although Buddy makes it look really easy, I will say that the process was long and exhausting. These little hands baked, rolled, cut, and iced all day long,  but the end result was spectacular.... I think they could give Buddy a run for his money....what do you say Buddy? Game On?

Click Here for Carlo's Bakery

Portions of Buddy's biography were taken from Carlo's Bakery website  & TLC

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