Sunday, March 04, 2007

Seattle Cupcake Tour, Part 2

Last week, I found myself at a local mall and what should thrust itself in front of me, demanding the full attention of my taste buds? New York Cupcakes. And thus, I have the second installment of my buttercream infused journey through the landscape of Seattle's cupcake purveyors.

I agonized over my flavor choices (so many and I am weak)... I decided that in the spirit of comparing apples to apples I would definitely try the white cake with vanilla icing to see how the Starbucks cupcake stood up to this latest entry in the cake stakes. But, I decided that I would also try one (or two) of NYC's specialty flavors to see what it was like. In the end I picked Vanilla Bean Dream, The Don Cappuccino, and the NY Black & White. Three cupcakes. The lengths I will go to in order to bring you critical cupcake information know no bounds.
Left to Right: NY Black & White, Don Cappuccino & Vanilla Bean Dream

  1. New York Black & White - This is NYC's signature cupcake. The cake is half white and half chocolate cake and sports a chocolate buttercream frosting garnished with a milk and white chocolate straw.
    • The Cake - The chocolate cake half of this cake is far superior to the white cake. I found it rich and fudgy (in taste, not texture). The white cake was nice but not as rich tasting as I prefer (generally I like my cakes to lean more towards a yellow cake than white). Both cakes were moist and dense without being heavy.
    • The Icing - If you like your chocolate icing fudgy tasting (like those made with melted chocolate) you may be disappointed by this icing. I, on the other hand, found this icing delectable. It was a delicate chocolate flavor (I'm guessing they use cocoa powder) that maintained the underlying buttery-ness inherent in a buttercream. It was also wonderfully light and melted on my tongue. Yum.
  2. The Don Cappuccino - A white cake with cappuccino frosting, garnished with a coffee bean.
    • The Cake - The same basic white cake as in the NY B&W above, so adequate but not outstanding.
    • The Icing - Well, I live in Seattle so I like coffee, ergo, I like this icing. A nice strong coffee flavor (if you are one of those people who likes her sugar and cream with some coffee to flavor it, you might find it a bit much). Like the chocolate buttercream, the icing was smooth, creamy and light.
  3. Vanilla Bean Dream - This is a white cake with vanilla bean buttercream frosting garnished with a small piece of waffle cone.
    • The Cake - Same white cake, same story.
    • The Icing - Like the Starbucks cake I sampled last time, this vanilla buttercream also displayed the telltale bean "specks". Unlike the Starbucks icing, this one had a richness to it that gave my mouth a treat. I could taste the vanilla but it didn't "flatten" the flavor to one note, the underlying butter nature was maintained.
My Overall Impression: I would love to have the Vanilla Starbucks cupcake with the Vanilla Bean Dream icing from New York Cupcakes. That would be an almost perfect vanilla cupcake specimen (for me at least). As it is, I would stick to the chocolate cupcakes next time I visit NYC but I would go with any flavor icing since I found all three I tried to be quite tasty. If I had to pick my favorite from the three I tried on this trip it would be the New York Black and White without hesitation.

So there you have it, two down and at least two to go... I am on the lookout for additional cupcakes that need "testing" so let me know if you have any suggestions.

On the knitting front, since this is, ostensibly, a knitting blog, I am still knitting. Unfortunately, I am still plugging away on The Albatross (I'll never describe a baby blanket as small again). I am making progress but at sloth-like pace and I don't want to bore you with nearly identical photos of the blanket in progress so I'll hold off on that until it is at least halfway complete. I am also trying to squeeze in a few rows on my baby wrap sweater so hopefully I'll have something to show soon.

When The Albatross is complete I'll have to work on some smaller projects so I can take more photos and at least try to fake being entertaining. Until next we meet, vive le buttercream!

1 comment:

Knitting Mama said...

Those cupcakes look delicious!