Cake Boss

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It is no wonder Carlo'??s Bake Shop located in Hoboken, NJ (since 1910) is the '??boss'? of all bakeries. The well-known reality star, Buddy Valastro, from TLC'??s Cake Boss, and six other Italian family members from Carlo'??s Bake Shop have certainly made their mark in the cake world. I had the sweet pleasure of visiting the bakery and meeting Mauro, the engineer behind the designs and Madeline, one of the artistic decorators.

Madeline unexpectedly, but kindly, filled me in on the sugar and spice and everything nice about Carlo'??s bakery. As we know, there are thousands of bakeries in NYC and NJ, so what makes Carlo'??s Bakery so special? And why do 2.3 million people watch the reality show? Is it because the cake is so delicious or because the viewers are experiencing Monday night boredom? When I asked Mauro, he looked at me with dismay and quietly opened a book with hundreds of novelty cakes. And before my eyes what did appear - cakes made into towers, castles and life-size cars. Then Mauro responded, '??how many can do this?'? Point taken Mauro!

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I have to be honest. Prior to my visit to the bakery, I didn'??t know who Mauro or Madeline were and Buddy the Cake Boss was a name I heard only in passing. My college roommate and her daughter came to NYC for her 12th birthday and all that she wanted to do was to go to Carlo'??s bakery '?? so we did.

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Thanks to an insider tip, we avoided the infamous line that spans around the block by going Friday night before closing and no one was there. We bought her daughter a traditional (they have them too) chocolate and vanilla birthday cake decorated with fondant and flowers and filled with chocolate cream, but more excitingly we were able to snatch a photo of her daughter with Mauro (this made her day, even year).

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The bakery focuses on novelty and specialty cakes (making a thousand per week), but you can find the basic bakery goodies like cookies, rugala, cupcakes($3 each) and canoli there too. So the next time you need a sweet treat or some inspiration for your next cake baking exercise, take a trip to Hoboken or check out www.carlosbakery.com.

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