Monday, March 9, 2009

Cupcake Tasting #2

"Tasting #2?" I can hear you all asking, "what happened to #1?"...yes, well, if you remember, we went to a cupcakery in our neighborhood some months ago and bought three cupcakes, so that was our first tasting.

Sunday, however, marked our first official tasting, with an appointment and everything. We had to pay $10 for the tasting, which I guess is not so different from that other cupcakery telling me that I could come in and buy cupcakes, but it just felt different.

We came dangerously close to missing our appointment, thanks to forgetting about Daylight Savings Time. I turned on my computer, saw the real time, and exclaimed, "holy crap, we need to leave in 15 minutes!" Luckily the traffic was on our side and we were right on time.

This bakery's name is an inadvertent Spinal Tap reference. The baker named her business, and then discovered the ST connection. It was a little disappointing, since we are ST fans, and also a little painful when she mentioned ST was before her time...ouch! Still, we liked her a lot.

We tried 9 mini cupcakes in our 45-minute slot. Mr. T and I split each of them, so we only had 4.5 minis each, and the baker assured us that it would end up being about the same amount as one slice of cake. However, you couldn't prove that by my stomach. Now, I have a sweet tooth, as I've mentioned. I thought nothing could conquer it. But at the end of our appointment, the thought of eating another cupcake was nauseating. I literally had to force myself to eat the last one. Who knew? I met my match, and its name is cupcake.

The first one we tried was the red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. We both really liked this one. As I took the first bite I remembered that I hadn't put any lactaid pills in my purse. Ooops.

The next cupcake we tried was vanilla with vanilla buttercream frosting. Mr. T surprised me by declaring he liked the frosting better than the cream cheese. Just the other day he was telling our friends how he didn't like buttercream, but there he was at the tasting, switching sides. I liked the cookie on top but I thought the cake was unpleasantly dense. Luckily, we're not really interested in vanilla cake, so that one's crossed off, even if the frosting is not.

The next cupcake we tried was a dark chocolate with chocolate buttercream frosting. This one was yummy, but overwhelming. I think I'm just not one of those "chocolate with a layer of chocolate and some chocolate filling" type of gals. This one would be yummy with the vanilla frosting to cut the richness, though.

Cupcake #4 was the "Killer Carrot" flavor, and it was hands-down our favorite. It was carrot cake, no nuts, with vanilla cream cheese frosting and candied carrot on top. Mmmmmmm. Mr. T was raving about it.

The fifth cupcake was one of my favorites, although Mr. T was not as taken by it as I was: the pink lemonade flavor. It was just a little tart, which was a nice balance for the sweet frosting, and it was refreshing, just like real pink lemonade. And she told us that pink lemonade is lemon with pomegranate juice, which I hadn't known, so it was an educational flavor as well.

The next cupcake almost killed me. I think this is the one that made me declare I had to take a break. It was the raspberry truffle cupcake, and much like a real truffle, I didn't want to eat anything else once I was done. This one would make people keel over were it full-sized. Luckily I only had half a mini.

We passed the break by asking questions about herself and her bakery business...she is planning on opening a retail shop soon. She had originally gotten her masters in education, and whim took her completely in a different direction with her cupcake business. It's so interesting to find out how people end up where they are.

Anyway, the next cupcake was called Strawberry Blonde and was a honey cake with strawberry frosting. The "honey" referred to half the sugar being replaced by honey. I thought it was interesting, but not my fave. For this one she came up with the name before she created the cupcake!

I really liked the second to last cupcake, which was a mocha cupcake with a crazy name sorta making fun of Starbucks drink orders. I think I may have liked it mostly because the bitterness of the coffee was such a welcome change from the sugar overload I was experiencing. Mr. T didn't love it because he likes his coffee unadulterated, and for him, this did taste like a fancy coffee drink.

The final cupcake not only tested my capacity for sugar, but it was a flavor I didn't really care for--coconut s'mores. Coconut cake, chocolate ganache frosting, and homemade marshmellow creme. I liked the marshmellow the best, but I'm just not a coconut lover. It's the gritty texture (and there was grated coconut in the cake, so I got to enjoy all that grit!). The baker surprised me by declaring she also hated coconut. I thought that was funny.

She also has a cupcake tier available for rent for a very reasonable price, and it would hold all the cupcakes, so we'd only need the one. And she can make us a "big cupcake" if we wanted something to cut at the ceremony, so our cake table would look something like this, only more awesome:

She could also decorate them for Halloween for us, like so:

Which, while no Ace of Cakes, is still pretty cute.

She mentioned that there's a pumpkin flavor available in the Fall that I would love to try. I like the idea of throwing something seasonal in there.

So, our thoughts? The cupcakes were moist, her prices were good, we liked her a lot, and she's definitely a contender. Mr. T wasn't crazy about the paper cups they came in, but that was our only negative, really, aside from the sugar sickness!

Our next scheduled tasting isn't until next month, unless we want to just go buy some cupcakes at some of the other places. That one place still has not emailed me back, so I guess that takes them out of the running!

One lesson we learned is that there's no way we can schedule two tastings the same day. We'd die. I thought we should have them close together so we could compare, but really, I'll just have to take good notes, I think!

No comments: