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Archive for the ‘Cupcakes’ Category

Summer's best

Berry delicious

I’m trying to enjoy as much as the city has to offer me at night before I officially sign my soul away to the restaurant, so one humid night this week, the bf and I walked to Tartine in the West Village for dinner al fresco. One block away at Magnolia Bakery, throngs of people were gathered inside going coo-coo for media-hyped cupcakes with cloying icing—it looked like a wedding dress sample sale in there. It smelled really good from across the street, but we ignored the waft of enticing vanilla cake batter, turned the corner, and in the end were rewarded with a dessert case full of treats like the berry tart above.

Don’t get me wrong. Surely, cupcakes have their place: they’re cute, they feel special, and when made well, they quell the sweet tooth properly. But there are so many better, even more special treats to be had. No cupcake will do the job of a mixed berry tart right now and pay homage to the season, and no cupcake will taste as refreshing, creamy and buttery. See, that’s the difference between pastry and baking. Pastry takes mastery of a skills-set, an eye for detail, artistry. (The pastry chef Francois Payard said it best in an article I once read in Edible Manhattan about his eponymous Payard Patisserie: “I am not a fucking bakery.”) Cupcakes? Unless you’re making awesome accompanying buttercreams or doing crazy decorations, meh. Please, I will not comment on icing shots.

Of course, there’s something to be said about simple pleasures and good marketing. I’m not a hater, I just love pastries more.

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Home-grown blueberries

Get in my fruit tart!

Between a quick trip to the beach and a little get-together Saturday night, we stopped by at my bf’s childhood home to feed the cats (his parents are away) and pick some fruit. I knew his mother is a big gardener, and I knew these fruit bushes existed, but it was the first time I helped pick any. For a city slicker, this was pretty exciting.

Blackberries

Not quite ripe blackberries

There were some good big, plump and sweet blueberries for the pickin’, but the figs and the blackberries, as you can see, could use more time to fatten.

Would you like some?

Would you like some?

* * *

Then, off to a friend’s home for some grub and Rock Band night. It was supposed to be a Raclette and Rock Band night (a “Rock-lette” night, har har), but their kiddies got sick, so they warned us that there wouldn’t be fondue and it would be a lo-fi night. Interestingly, this was the “lo-fi” spread we were greeted with.

Classy spread

It was classy all the way, starting from the cocktails to rosemary cashews to these below, made with care by the hostess:

Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with edible flowers

Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with edible flowers

Well, almost classy, except for a pitiful rendition of Beastie Boys’ “No sleep til Brooklyn,” when we got booted off the stage 10 seconds into the song. Have you ever tried to rap that? Sure, they can pass it off because they have a three-person posse, but with only one on vocal, you will be doomed to Rock Band ignominy.

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New cupcake truck

Cupcake Stop opening June 3. It looks like you might have to get on the Twitter bandwagon if you’re cupcake-crazy enough.

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