Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cupcakery Review: Minicakes by Tasha

Minicakes by Tasha - visited November 29, 2014, Saratoga, CA
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t watch that much TV since (nerd alert), I prefer to read a book instead. But I do have a small handful of shows I watch, mostly Masterpiece Mystery (I’m a sucker for those British detectives), a crime show here and there (Person of Interest, NCIS) and, most importantly, I’m a slavish follower of Cupcake Wars. Every episode is extremely formulaic and I can be counted on to watch the same show multiple times and never remember who actually won until it’s announced (again). But that’s okay. I have a low threshold for amusing myself when it comes to anything food related.
One of the things I like about watching the show is finding out who the contestants are, what their bakeries/cupcakeries are and where they’re located. I’m particularly interested in any who are in my area. That’s how I first discovered Sift. And, last year, Minicakes by Tasha. Tasha won her episode (I can’t remember what the theme was) so I was particularly interested in trying her cupcakes. Back then she only had an online bakery and I tried ordering from her website for a Thanksgiving gathering. Unfortunately, she wasn’t open for the day I needed the cupcakes so we never did business.
However, I was looking for businesses to support for Small Business Saturday last month and I recently looked up Minicakes by Tasha again. I was pleasantly surprised to discover she had opened her own retail storefront last August. It was a little farther away than I normally go but I don’t mind going a little out of the way to support a local small business so I headed over there after Thanksgiving. 
The cupcakery was of comparable size to some of Kara’s Cupcakes or Sprinkles bakeries with the front half of the retail space being where you could enjoy your cupcakes and the back half containing the entrance to the kitchen and the display cases of cupcakes. As is typical with most cupcakeries, there are certain flavors available every day and some flavors are only available on certain days of the week. On the Saturday I went, I picked out a red velvet cupcake (available every day) and a Toffee Crunch cupcake that’s only available on Saturdays.
Minicakes by Tasha also offers, appropriately enough, mini cupcakes in the same flavors as the regular size cupcakes. Mini cupcakes are 2 for $4 and regular cupcakes are $3.25. If you’re a frugal, value minded cupcake consumer, you might notice the size of the regular cupcake isn’t that big. It’s actually the size of what a home baker would make, similar in size to Kara’s and smaller than Sprinkles. That’s actually not a bad thing if you don’t want to consume a lot of cupcake calories but some people like bigger sizes for their $3.25. I don’t mind the relatively smaller size of the regular cupcakes as it’s automatic portion control and $3.25 is a standard price for cupcake boutiques.

I thought the packaging was really clever. Tasha herself put the two cupcakes I bought in a clear cellophane bag with a clear plastic cupcake holder inside that would hold both cupcakes nicely in place. A Minicakes by Tasha sticker sealed the bag closed and it was just a nice, clean, simple package that showed off the cupcakes which I appreciated.
I also appreciated the cupcakes once I got home. The red velvet was nice but I have to admit I felt like I could make it myself. It was good but didn’t really stand out as anything different from what a good recipe could offer a home baker

But the Toffee Crunch was divine. It was a chocolate cupcake with “salted caramel swiss meringue frosting, ganache, and chocolate covered toffee pieces”. I know I can make a good chocolate cupcake and I could buy my own Heath Bar milk chocolate-covered toffee bits but the swiss meringue couldn’t be beat and certainly something I’m not likely to make as well. And remember I’m not a frosting person. But yup, I ate the whole thing, frosting and all. Normally I scrape off half the frosting from any cupcake (I did with the red velvet) but not this one. It was delicious.

Now I have to plot on how I can go back on a Wednesday for the Sweet Potato Cupcake, on a Thursday for the Salted Caramel Mocha, Friday for the Snickerdoodle, and Sunday for the Lemon Vanilla Bean. She’s closed on Mondays. If you live in the area, you might want to stop by Minicakes by Tasha and enjoy the calories before those new year's diet resolutions kick in. 

No comments:

Post a Comment