Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cupcakes & Gelato

I'm not entirely sure why everyone loves cupcakes so much. Perhaps it has something to do with our obsession with all things miniature being adorable, for whatever reason. I read a blog entry somewhere saying that they were the puppies of the food world - an interesting point, considering people can't help "ooh"ing and "ahh"ing at them, despite the fact that it's just an individually sized cake. Why don't people get their panties in a bunch over a slice of cake on a plate?

In any case, I can't say I'm not the same as everyone else when it comes to this. I have a painting of cupcakes and a sundae hung on my wall done by a friend of mine, cupcake necklaces, and am planning on getting a cupcake tattoo in the next month. At least by planning pastry as a career I have more meaning behind it than a lot of other people with them do. I know a few other girls in my classes have themselves some cupcake jewelry as well - we really can't help ourselves.
Tonight we'd planned on going to Capogiro for some gelato. They have some seriously fantastic, albeit expensive, gelato and sorbets. Seasonal, freshly made, light, and extremely flavorful. Flavors are different every day, with just a few that are always available. The blueberries and cream tastes like pure fresh blueberry, and they're not afraid to get adventurous with flavors like lime-cilantro and avocado. Just a couple of the flavors are duds - like plum, grape, and kiwi. When you're having a hard time choosing(it's not a choice of if, but when), you can have as many tastes as you like before deciding. It's the best gelato I've ever had, and it's not hard to see that tons of other people agree - the new location here in University City is packed every time I go by, including just before they close at 1am on the weekends. Having a Capogiro just a few blocks away is a serious danger to both my ass and my wallet.

Anyway, somehow we ended up ordering cupcakes for delivery instead. Cupcakes for delivery at midnight? Really? The peculiar fact that such a thing exists was, I'm sure, the driving force for me actually ordering any. I've never lived in an area where anything like this was available. Obviously, I could just make some, yet that thought didn't stop me from ordering a few to try anyway.

Alas, after a couple bites of each (plain vanilla, Peanut Butter x3: vanilla cake with peanut butter frosting topped with Reese's PB cups and crushed Butterfinger, Coconut Island Breeze: vanilla cake with vanilla frosting topped with marshmallows and coconut and caramel, Just Broke Up: chocolate cake with chocolate frosting topped with M&Ms and crushed Butterfinger and PB cups and chocolate cookie crumbs), I wished I had just made my own. None of it - absolutely none of it - had flavor. The frosting I'm sure was no more than powdered sugar and shortening without even a drop of vanilla extract. The cakes were tough and clearly overmixed: tunneling had occured and far too much gluten had been formed. A cake mix from Duncan Hines would have been better than the crap I'd just paid for.

Clearly the gelato gods were punishing me.

But at least somebody enjoyed it.

By the way - that book she's standing on is Michael Ruhlman's The Reach of a Chef. Go to the store right now and buy all his books and enjoy them as much as I have.

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