Friday, August 27, 2010

Checking out the competition

The last week of my summer holiday has been a busy one with regard to Project Cupcake.  My elves helped me bake several batches of cupcakes in the "test kitchen" and  yesterday and today were spent doing a bit of industrial spying.

First the spying.  Elli, Caitlin and I paid a visit to Jenny's Cupcakes,  a cupcake cafe on Bergerstrasse in Bornheim, Frankfurt.  At first glance Caitlin was in love, while Elli recoiled in horror......but this was not due to the cupcakes, but the interior decor.  Picture this; fuchsia pink walls and white faux leather couches. But I digress.  The cupcakes themselves looked very nice, albeit the icing layer towered over the cupcake itself.  On closer observation we noticed that despite the variety of flavours, they only offered chocolate or vanilla flavoured cakes.  The icing came in all sorts of colours and flavours.  Elli chose a raspberry mint flavoured creation, Caitin the double chocolate and I chose the cookies and cream.  All three of us were unanimous in that the cakes themselves were dry and tasteless.  We were also unanimous over the icing, ie not too sweet, but waaaayyyyy too rich. My cookies and cream was unexciting, Caitlin's chocolate with chocolate sprinkles so rich that she couldn't finish her cake, although the best flavour of the three and Elli's was just downright weird.  Within minutes of leaving the cafe we all went into sugar shock and desperately went seeking water and something fresh and savoury to eat.  A chicken wrap never tasted so good!!!  All in all within a scale of 1 to 10, I would award Jenny's Cupcakes a 6.

Today I dragged my friend Maisa to "We Love Cupcakes" on Gartenstrasse in Sachsenhausen.  The first disappointment was that because of the Museumsufer Fest this weekend, it only opened at 13:00, a full hour after we arrived.  It was rainy and miserable weather, but this was only a minor inconvenience.  We  killed an hour having a healthy salad lunch nearby and catching up on the summer's gossip.  So with shining eyes and watering mouthes we returned to "We Love Cupcakes" for dessert.  I have to say, their cupcakes were truly beautiful, with just the right amount of icing perfectly swirled on dainty little cakes and topped with delicate little decorations.  Both of us chose Belgian Chocolate, a dark chocolate cake with a white icing.   They were delicious!  The chocolate was very similar to my own devil's food cake (Maisa wholeheartedly agreed) and the icing was light and fluffy and not too sweet.  It took me a little while to realise it was white chocolate ganache, but whatever, it worked!  Afterwards we regretted not taking different flavours, but somehow the others didn't seem attractive enough.  On closer inspection we realised that all but one flavour out of the nine options were chocolate based one way or another.  Still they were that good that they deserve a score of 9+.

As I have rambled on quite a bit about the competition, I'll report on the test kitchen results next time.  Ciao for now!

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