Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cupcakes from Sweet Passions Bakery

One of my coworkers, Rhuwena, asked me last week if I had tried the cupcake place at the mall near my house. "What cupcake place?" was my first shriek, er, reaction. A cupcake place so close by and I didn't know about it? Unthinkable. There's a Kara's Cupcakes at one of the malls near me (yes, of course, I've been to that one) but she meant the other mall across the street from it. Apparently, there's a kiosk there that sells cupcakes. Who knew? Rhuwena said her husband went there and got a really good banana cupcake. Now we're talking.

Armed with directions from her on the general location in the mall of the cupcake place, I set off to walk the half mile to the mall today. Yes, I'd walk that far for a cupcake. Heck, I flew across the country to Manhattan to try out bakeries so this was a - haha - (cup)cake walk compared to that. It turned out to be a kiosk-like stand that held refrigerated cases of cupcakes right outside Restoration Hardware - not a part of the mall I normally traversed, hence why I'd never seen it before. I made the guy tell me about all the different flavors they offered - they had at least 8-10 different flavors but half of them had some kind of jam in them so I skipped those. Instead I chose a red velvet cupcake (because I always like to try different red velvets) and a banana cupcake (per Rhuwena's recommendation). The impressive thing about the kiosk is each cupcake is already made and frosted and packaged in individual plastic takeout boxes. Not only that, but each little plastic takeout carrier was designed to hold the cupcake. Not only was it deep enough to accommodate the lofty rise of the frosting but there were grooves at the bottom of the carrier to hold that-size cupcake in place and keep it from sliding around in the little carrier. I was impressed. These people knew how to package cupcakes. Look closely at the banana cupcake below to see what I mean.

The kiosk is called Sweet Passions and their business card says they make their cupcakes fresh from their bakery (of the same name) in San Jose. I will have to find it someday and check it out.

As you might be able to tell, these cupcakes are not small. They're bigger than Kara's and are probably on par with the size of a Sprinkles cupcake although their frosting rises higher. I think I've mentioned before that I'm not much of a frosting person. I'm more about the cake. I tried the red velvet cupcake first. Here's the "before" picture:

I have to admit, as luscious looking as the cupcake was, I found it to be just "okay". Not that it wasn't good because it was. But, having made red velvet cake before, and had the pleasure of eating it when it was really fresh, barely cool from the oven, you can imagine I have high standards for cakes and cupcakes. This one was good but nothing I couldn't bake just a tad bit better myself. Hopefully that doesn't sound vain but I'm picky about my calories. Perhaps I would've enjoyed this more if I liked frosting more. The frosting was the whipped buttercream variety and also wasn't my thing. One of the reasons I like Sprinkles red velvet cupcakes more than the average cupcake is I like their frosting on that cupcake - it's dense and rich, not light and airy. I don't like "airy" in a frosting - the texture reminds me too much of whipped shortening and I don't like that either. Therefore, the "after" picture with the leftover frosting should make sense since I scraped almost all of it off. Notice that being just "okay" didn't stop me from eating all of the cupcake.

I meant to save the banana cupcake for tomorrow, I really did. But I walked a lot today and had to do some work which is guaranteed to make me crabby (working, not walking) plus I got a start on my taxes so somewhere in my convoluted thinking was that it was okay to have the banana cupcake too. Yeah, I'll pay for it on the scale tomorrow but the good news is, the banana cupcake was much better than the red velvet. It was moist and tasty, the way banana cake should be. I still didn't care for the frosting so I scraped nearly all of it off before even taking a bite. What I guess Sweet Passions does with their cupcakes is inject some of the frosting down the middle of the cupcake which you don't discover until you eat it so I couldn't quite avoid the frosting entirely (the red velvet had the same treatment). It was fine but I still would prefer it without frosting. I'll have to tell Rhuwena she (or her husband) was right on about the banana cupcake.

No comments:

Post a Comment