So this was absolutely, 100% done for yesterday. But….I was in DC visiting family and had no way to upload the pics to go with the post (as my cord was here). Sorry for the delay, but I think the visuals really do help.
I’m having a little trouble with chocolate Monday. Not for lack of things to write about. My problem right now is that I have way, way, way too much to write about. I could probably do a whole week of nothing but chocolate blogs, but as I’m visiting family for part of this week, then have family visiting for part and then am leaving for parts international at the end of the week, I have a feeling I’m just going to have to pick one to start with and hope that I can remember all the wonderful chocolaty goodness I want to write about.
So, since it is my latest chocolate experience, I’m going to talk about Cake Love. On my last trip to DC, I found a brochure with an ad for some specialty cupcake store. I couldn’t remember the name of it, but when I mentioned it to my sister, she immediately told me about Cake Love. It’s a gourmet cake shop and she raved about the cupcakes. Since we were bored, and my mom was willing to watch all the kids, we took the trip out to National Harbor to get some cupcakes. Sure, we planned to walk around a little, see a big statue of Posidon and maybe even eat dinner, but our main goal was to get cupcakes.
I’m a big fan of cake. I like cake no matter what form it comes in, but cupcakes are so cute that I have a slight weakness for them. Even though they have the same amount of calories as a piece of cake (of the same size), I am convinced they are somehow better for me than actual cake. So, I was excited about the idea of a store dedicated to cake and cupcakes.
I bought three, two for me and one for my son. At first glance I wasn’t that impressed. the frosting was thick, but looked a bit sugary. It seemed to be on the cakes rather haphazardly. They did not look at all like the ones in the brochure I saw. Those cupcakes had smooth frosting and little designs. They looked like toy cupcakes from a kitchen set. These looked a bit sloppy. I had a hard time telling the chocolate frosted ones from the cookies and cream frosted ones.
Plus, they are a little pricey. Each cake is $3.25 and they aren’t huge. They are bigger than what I make at home, and they did obviously cook over the regular muffin pan. But they didn’t look like the giant ones I’d seen in London at Sugar Buzz.
My first pick was the new german chocolate cupcake. I’m a huge fan of german chocolate cake and this did not disappoint. The frosting was full of coconut and nut slivers. The cake itself was moist and chocolatey. It nearly melted in my mouth. The second was a cookies and cream frosting on a chocolate cupcake. Since it wasn’t covered in toppings, I was able to get a better handle on the actual flavor of the frosting. Despite its sugary look, the taste is far more creamy butter than sugar. Although it looks thick and heavy, it is actually very airy. It definitely seems to be whipped. Very creamy and it even had little bits of cookies in it. Now, I’m actually not a huge fan of cookies ‘n cream, but as it was nearly the end of the day and the supply was low, I wanted something a bit fancier than chocolate on chocolate or chocolate on vanilla. For my son I got a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting. I didn’t actually try it, but the frosting has real bits of strawberries in it.
It figures that I find an amazing place with perfect one serving tasty treats and it’s 12 hours away from me. So what does that mean? I went back the next day (Monday) and got half a dozen for the ride home. Well, not for the actual ride home. That would make even me sick. And I didn’t even get all 6 for me. I got two for my husband (strawberry on vanilla and red velvet), one for my bff (mint on chocolate) and three for me (red velvet, raspberry on chocolate and because I loved it, german chocolate).
The only one I’ve had a chance to try is the red velvet. Unlike the others, this has a cream cheese frosting. It also is the only cake which violates Cake Loves strict all natural philosophy. I read the blurb on the website which explained the process they went through trying to make the cakes without food coloring and cake flour, but it was a no go. They compromised for this one recipe, but vow not to again. In the actual store, they do warn customers that the cake contains food dyes, which I think is very honest of them. They also have a great sign that says “Nothing is fat free” and another that explains just why their cakes have fat and other goodies in them (although they do make both a glutton free and vegan variety, which I also find very cool).
As for the red velvet, well, I have to admit it’s not quite what I expected. Since it has cocoa in it, I kind of wanted it to taste a bit more like cocoa. It was moist and tasty, just not quite what I’d wanted. The cream cheese frosting tasted like cream cheese…no sugary taste to it. By itself, I wasn’t a fan, but it does complement the cake fairly well.
My favorite is definitely the german chocolate. I’ll have to update as I try a few more. I’ll also let Eee get her two cents in when she tries her treat.
Extra: Just FYI, the big cupcake at the top is cookies n’ cream. The others are as follows (top row): raspberry on chocolate cake, red velvet, peppermint on chocolate cake, (bottom row) german chocolate and strawberry on vanilla cake.
Today I tried the raspberry on chocolate. I don’t get a lot of raspberry from the frosting. It’s creamy and with a very slight fruity hint. The cake isn’t quite as soft as the others, but it was bought on Monday and spent all Tuesday in a cooler in the car, so I’ll forgive it that. Although I like the chocolate taste of the cake itself, I think this is probably my least favorite one so far. I was just expecting more berry. Especially since the small taste of strawberry icing I snuck from my son’s cake did taste like strawberries. In fact, it reminded me of Brummel and Brown’s strawberry flavored butter. They used to make it (not sure if they still do) and I would gorge myself on bagels, dipping them in the butter (instead of buttering them in a healthy way).