ATP Design Works

ATP Design Works

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Chocolate Lover's Dream Cake

Okay, so first off,I have to say that this is NOT my original recipe. It came to me via email from Betty Crocker as a suggestion for dessert. Seeing the title of this dessert, I was naturally curious, and upon seeing how easy it was to make, I decided to go for it. (I can follow a recipe pretty well!) 
I had to post this for all of you (Especially you Adri) who have been asking for the recipe ever since I posted the cake pictures on Instagram!

And heeeere we go:

Chocolate Lover's Dream Cake


1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® chocolate fudge cake mix
3/4 cup chocolate milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 eggs
1 container (8 oz) sour cream
1 box (4-serving size) chocolate fudge instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Ganache Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
2/3 cup whipping cream

Caramel-Toffee Topping
11/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (9 oz)
1/2 cup caramel topping*
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 bar (2.07 oz) milk chocolate-covered peanut, caramel and nougat candy, unwrapped, chopped

*Now for the caramel topping I used a recipe from another dessert as I felt it was going to be much tastier than store bought:

Caramel Topping

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bag (14 oz) caramels, approximately 35 caramels
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

The Process

Step 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Generously grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan ( I used my new Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan for this here!) with shortening and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour.
Step 2 In large bowl, mix cake mix, chocolate milk, butter, eggs, sour cream and dry pudding mix with spoon until well blended (batter will be very thick). Stir in 2 cups chocolate chips. Spoon into pan.

All up in the mix!
Step 3 Bake 56 to 64 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack or heatproof serving plate; remove pan. Cool completely, about 2 hours. 

Naked Cake...Woo! 

Step 4 Place 1 cup chocolate chips in small heatproof bowl. In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream to simmering; pour over chips. Let stand 5 minutes; stir until smooth. 

Chocolate Ganache
Almost finished...
That Caramel SAWSE!

[At this point, you can go ahead and make the caramel sauce, then proceed]

Drizzle glaze over cake. Sprinkle with 11/2 cups chocolate chips. Drizzle caramel topping over cake. Sprinkle with toffee bits and chopped candy. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Finished cake with all the toppings

This is the final version, but I did do some tweaks to the recipe itself. Since I'm a bit concerned that I may be developing a nut allergy and didn't want to take any chances, I substituted the "Snickers" candy bar for a Milky Way Midnight and searched high and low to find some toffee without nuts. Turns out they were as close as the local Fresh and Easy! Fresh and Easy brand Milk Chocolate Toffee Pieces. I chopped these up and strategically placed them on the cake and then proceeded to photograph this thing of beauty.

This is definitely one of my favorite cakes to bake and everyone loves eating it...I should start charging for this! Haha! Enjoy this Taste of Tatumology!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Courage to Rise to the Challenge

He who loses wealth loses much, he who loses a friend loses more, but he who loses his courage loses all. – M. de Cervantes  

Of all the things Judas lost on that fateful night, his courage to seek a forgiving Christ cost him most. Ouch!  

Often we don’t want to face the trials God puts before us, meet the challenges His church requires of us, or step out on faith as His word tells us, but we must. For it is in going through the circumstances of life we grow our faith and our courage for the next battle. We need to remember, Satan’s best and most used tool is “discouragement,” and he keeps it at the ready. So we must pray that the Spirit will empower us for today, for the challenges, they are a'comin.  

Until Monday……  

Pastor Botts  

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” – I Corinthians 16:13-14

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Waffles with the King

The latest adventure for my alter ego "The Waffle King" has been a surprisingly unique, yet easy recipe. I had come across this one while looking through my fiancé's Pinterest pins. How she found this, I don't know, but there before me was a golden brown delicious looking Cinnamon Roll waffle all drizzled with sweet creamy frosting! Since It made me drool all over my laptop, I had to give it a whirl, so, here we go!

Adventures in a land of cinnamon with The Waffle King!

Cinnamon Roll meets Waffle!

So for starters, let me just reference where I found the recipe. I have to give props where props is due, so thanks to the good people at Love from the Oven for sharing what I'm sharing with you. (Great work Christi!)

Butter Cream frosting. Who wants to lick a beater?

This was the first deviation from Love from the Oven's recipe that I did. The original called for Duncan Hines' frosting creations as the frosting, but since the store I went to only had the cinnamon flavor and not the starter, I decided to make my own from scratch. Besides, why should I pay extra for frosting when I had the ingredients to make my own already at the house? I just pulled an easy recipe from All The Perfect Cinnamon Roll Icing Recipe

The process of course is all waffle king. I got the iron out and went to work. Since I make a habit of cleaning my irons shortly after I finish cooking, all I had to to was pull it out, give it a quick wipe down, and get ta cookin!

Finished product

So I paired my newest recipe acquisition with some old favorites scrambled eggs, Canadian maple bacon, and a tall glass of sweet delicious POG!

Up close and delicious

The Spread
I just had to take some shots to showcase my photography skills. I still would like to get a food photography gig at some point. ;) Who knows, as I'm building this mini portfolio, it may turn into something big in the end...I just have to get another regular sized camera as mine was stolen along with my car in January. But that's a story for another blog...

First Bite

Well, what can I say? Using cake mix to make waffles doesn't necessarily produce as crispy a waffle as I like, but when you take into consideration that cinnamon rolls aren't crispy, these were perfect! Warm, soft and perfect! I think in the icing came out great although I will drop a little cinnamon in the next batch, and as great as it looks on the waffles themselves, I think these would be best dipped in the icing and eaten!

These will definitely make it on the Waffle King's regular circuit! Just be ready for a few more twists and tweaks in the batches to come! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Donut Men

So to continue in our tradition of Food Adventures, Josh, Grant and I decided to take a break from our Ramen House expeditions and go for some dessert. The choice this time around was pretty easy as we had been talking about visiting The Donut Man for sometime now.

The Donut Man

My personal experience prior to this one was mostly word of mouth and a little internet research. What I kept hearing and seeing were the words "Fresh Fruit" and "Tiger Tails", so for this run, I already had in mind what I was going to was now just a matter of getting there. For this run we were facing rain, hail and the dreaded LA traffic...No Problem!

Customers out in the rain
So on to the proverbial 'meat' of the story...

Strawberry Donut
Again, since I already knew what to expect, my eyes went straight to the window that housed these delicious treats. I was really hoping that there would be some left since these are seasonal and in high demand, and Oh Glory! there were some available and they were super fresh! I wish I had started the video earlier so you all could see the looks on the faces of Josh & Grant when they saw the strawberry donuts! (I can imagine the looks on YOUR faces now! Haha!)

Donut Man Donut racks WITH
chocolate covered strawberries!
Strawberry Donut Rack

The great part about what I saw was that every donut on the rack looked like they had just been placed out there for us to consume just a few minutes before our arrival. (Mind you we started this Food Adventure at about 7pm.) There were cake donuts with various flavors and colors, stately and pristine looking french crullers deliciously decorated in flavorful frostings. Old fashioned donuts dressed in their traditional garb of glazed and chocolate coats (and a few 'naked' ones too!) sat on display with rows of luscious chocolate strawberries, and possibly the most interesting of the menagerie, were the inside out creme donuts with raspberry swirl designs! I could have purchased them all, but I had to stay focused. Strawberry Donuts and Tiger Tails on this run!

Grant completing his order with a chocolate milk
"I guess that's a dollar..." Lol
 This was a really nice run. The three of us hadn't been together in quite some time, especially on a food run, so this was quite fun! I do enjoy giving the fellas "The Business" as we say.
Josh grabbing a couple of napkins...I think one of
them had the associate's number on it!

Josh was being all camera shy tonite, so unfortunately ladies, you don't get to see his handsome face...which may be a good thing, cuz you might fall in love! Hahaha!

One of the cool things we got to do was watch as the next batch of donuts were being made. There are two picture windows that flank either side of the building, and it's through these that we got to see several batches of dough go through the process of becoming various different donuts. It's like watching an episode of Discovery's "How It's Made" live! Enjoy the video...and us being silly! 

Making Tiger Tails
Now as stated earlier, the other donut that the Donut Man is famous for are the Tiger Tails. Admittedly, I had not had a Tiger Tail before this run. (Shame, I know!) For those who were like I was, A Tiger Tail basically is a twist donut with a streak of chocolate in it. They're long and have a bulbous end, which mimics the tail of a tiger. 

The Finished Tiger Tail
These were quite tasty! Soft, flaky, soft and sweet with just a touch of chocolate in every bite! No being the notoriously slow eater that I am, I was able to savor every bite. It felt like I was eating about a mile's length of donut because these are longer than your average twist donut!

Crumb, Cruller, and Cake donuts
in various stages of completion.
 The Donut Man really had it poppin on this night, and since they're a 24/7 kind of place, I'm sure they have it poppin every night! We all agreed that we would be back since there were so many other donuts to try, and we would DEFINITELY come back in the summer time when Peach will be the featured seasonal fruit! Imagine that donut filled with sweet juicy peaches....Mmmmm!

Through rain, hail, cold, darkness, and dreaded LA Traffic, we will press on towards the next Food Adventure. Until then,

Happy Eating!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Super Saiyan Series #3

So, in the ever continuing Saiyan Illustration Series, the Original Sketch turned out to be a great launch for my latest series of avatars. This Image is the next step in the process. Instead of merely scanning the sketch for this go round, I slipped the sketch onto a light board, and inked a "clean" copy on another piece of paper, then scanned it in.

Earth Background
Space Background

Namekian Background

I put the inked version to the side temporarily to work with my more "sketchy" version. I did three variations, an earth background, a space background, and a Namekian background based on the landscape of Planet Namek.

I had to draw in the clouds and a Namekian landscape to complete the overall loose feel of the two images, then I added the appropriate color fills and effects to finish them.

The space background was pure Photoshop fun! I picked the star field up from some old school notes I had taken a while back, and I actually just played with various effects and shapes to create the planets. I love "playing around" and seeing what I can accomplish! ;)

Avatar Montage
After I had created each version, I decided to put them together in a bit of a Warhol-esque montage. Turning simple illustration into high end pop art. Cool, huh! I am willing to sell some prints!

Final Vectorized Version
Once I had played around with my sketches enough, I picked up the inked version and set to work to complete it. Illustrator makes this task pretty easy and fun. I did some color fills with the Live Paint function, and added some slight shadows. I found a font that replicates the DragonBall Z font very well and stretched some of the letters to fit the image. I had to do some work and hook the "O" up to make it look wore like the DragonBall in the original font. For the background I took the "sea" from the earth sketch, then I used a Cloud Tutorial from one of my favorite design tutorial websites to give it the same feel as the main image.

This is phase 3. Phase 4 of the series is already done and I'll be posting it soon, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

VOG Concert 2011 Tri Fold Program

This was definitely a fun project. As I do every year I get the privilege of designing the program for our annual gospel concert. This year since I was very pressed for time I had to really unleash the creativity and work fast!
VOG Concert 2011 Tri Fold Program (Inside)
As God gave me the vision for the flier and gave us the direction for the theme, a big part of putting this all together was already in place. Again, with the divine inspiration, I decided to go with the same tri fold brochure style program. In this instance, it world simulate the various maps, travel guides, and vehicle maintenance pamphlets, which ties into our main theme "I Won't Turn Back!" We're on the road with God. We have said we won't turn back. The bible is our roadmap to life. Etc. AND It also works with the key scripture in John 6:63-69. Pretty cool, huh!

So with all these in place, I merely needed to drop the info in where it needed to go. This time around I decided on doing the design and layout all in Photoshop versus InDesign. I opened the picture I took in Australia. (see the blog on that for the story), and began to play with type placement, and color. Still, there were a couple of panels that had to be addressed. For these, I remembered that while I was searching for a cool type effect to use as a possible main element for the flier, I came across another effect that I saw had potential as a good support element for this occasion. As it turns out, Abduzeedo again, provided the tutorial for the typography wallpaper technique I used here. To see how, follow this link: Typography Wallpaper
VOG Choir 2011

The last element and inspiration hit just before "zero hour", and right after I had most of the program in place. We needed a current picture to add the final touch to the work. I sent a quick text to the choir members stating that we would be taking a picture right after our final rehearsal, and I grabbed my camera gear and headed off to rehearsal. Some members couldn't make the final, and some could stay around, but with the help of my dear friend and fellow photographer John Bulwer, we rounded the choir up, played with lighting, moved furniture, placed everyone we had and took one cool picture.

The Ladies of VOG
About eight hours behind my personal schedule, ( I had a TON of other things to do for the concert AND my side hustle!) I was done with the program and ready to enjoy a bit of the rest of my day. Yogurtland with The SYDe, and my volleyball game later that evening.
At the concert, I kept getting compliments on the design and it made for a great keepsake of the powerful night we had as we sang to our 'Audience of One".
The "Classic" Fellas Shot!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

VOG Concert 2011 Flier

The OFFICIAL flier for the Voices Of Glory 2011 Gospel concert "I Won't Turn Back" utilizing original photography, and type placement and manipulation in Photoshop.

The photo was from one of the back roads we were on somewhere north of Deception Bay when the Island Breeze guys and I went pig hunting in Australia. I had stay with the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) group during my first week or so of my mission trip, and this second time was an unplanned stay for me which I thoroughly enjoyed! On the morning I was to leave, I was informed that the guys were going to hunt pigs so they could prepare a feast for the graduates of the program, so how could I NOT go? We headed out and after a couple of stops, a redirection, and a few wrong turns, we ended up at a huge farm off of an isolated road. I stepped out on to they highway and was in awe of the scenery that stretched before me. When I lined the shot up I knew I was going to have use for it some way, and in some capacity. I just had no idea it was going to be like this! Wow! Several people have even commented that this is a professional grade photo. (Technically it is, but I understood what they meant. *wink*) I mean I'm not against a company like Getty Images buying this from me or anything. *Hint Hint*

The title type treatment is a distort effect used to simulate the road paint on the highways. I used several effects and used red to add emphasis to the overall message. All in all this is definitely an image dominated flier with type as a support element.