Thursday, 7 July 2011

An ode to Ms Cupcake

This post is pretty much a wall of text, so here's a picture of my gorgeous husband, reading a book instead of talking to me when we're waiting for our food at Infinity in Brighton:

(BTW, he's wearing the shirt he was wearing when we met. Aww.)

I'm sitting here hungry, waiting for my dinner to cook, with an open package of Oreos within easy reach. So what better activity to occupy my time than writing about cupcakes?

As mentioned in my post about the last two days of our holiday, we went to Ms Cupcake when we were in London. Holy hell. Let me put it this way - if Ms Cupcake were in Edinburgh, I would be fat and poor. If I'm ever in London again, I'll be hitting up Ms Cupcake on the daily, no matter what part of the city I'm staying in. I will get a day pass for the tube and take 3 trains if I have to. Lemme tell you why.

First of all, we got off the Victoria line at Brixton. I stupidly didn't print out directions because I looked at the map before I left Edinburgh and thought, that's right around the corner, I'll be able to find that. Well, we had no idea where to go. But I had their number, and I called them up, and they told me the way. Good customer service - that's what it's all about.

Then we got there. I wouldn't say the cases were overflowing, but there were so. many. cupcakes. And cookies. All vegan, all the time. And other things as well - Plamil chocolate spread, candy bars, cake baking and decorating ingredients and equipment, and multiple copies of every cookbook written by Isa and Terry (together and solo). I think there was even some variety of vegan jerky.

We decided to get a half-dozen cupcakes (3 each), a cookie sandwich with chocolate frosting (they were out of vanilla), and some Plamil milk chocolate spread (which I talked about in my chocolate post). Mike got a triple chocolate, a chocolate raspberry, and a banoffee cupcake, and I got triple chocolate, red velvet, and gingersnap. Later that day, while at Vx, I also got another cookie sammich (vanilla this time) and sausage rolls (since we'd be on the train for 5 hours and would need something savoury to eat).

We ate the sammich cookie - two large chocolate chip cookies with a thick layer of chocolate frosting in between - while we were still at the shop. I normally prefer vanilla frosting, but I hadn't had a proper sammich cookie in a dog's age, so I took what I could get. I'm so glad I did. It was exactly what a sammich cookie should be - slightly crunchy around the edges, but nice and soft in the middle. The frosting didn't overwhelm despite being chocolate. It was like the ones I used to get at the mall, except nearly twice as big and 10 times better. When I saw the vanilla one at Vx, I thought, surely this will be the perfect sammich cookie. AND IT WAS! I hesitated a bit with the first one because we were getting all those cupcakes, but when I saw the vanilla cookies, I almost bought 2. I kinda wish I had. It might actually have been the best thing we ate on the entire trip (well, the best sweet thing for sure), and it was a day old!

Then came the cupcakes. I think Mike finished all three of his before we even got on the train, while I managed to save two of mine until the day after we got back (probably because I ate most of both of the sammich cookies). We both started out with the triple chocolate - chocolate cake, a layer of chocolate ganache, and thick*, fudgy chocolate frosting, topped with a chunk of dark chocolate and two white chocolate buttons. I usually don't go for something so chocolaty - I like chocolate, but not in such heavy doses. But when I saw it, I just thought, I'll have that. And it wasn't nearly as overwhelmingly chocolaty as I expected. It was quite good, though I kinda expected more white chocolate than just the buttons. I guess we're programmed to see "triple chocolate" and think "three varieties of chocolate" rather than "chocolate three times". Meh.

I can't say much about Mike's other cupcakes. I barely had a glance at the banoffee because I'm not a fan and didn't really care. He said it was good, not great, but you'd probably love it if you like banoffee (he didn't know if he actually did). I did have a bite of the chocolate raspberry - chocolate cake topped with (I think) a thin layer of raspberry jam and then a thick* layer of raspberry buttercream. One bite isn't much to judge by (especially since I prefer the middle and I had to have an outside bite), but it had a good flavour - you could definitely taste the raspberry. I think I might have liked a more pronounced raspberry flavour, but that might just be because of the one-bite thing.

I loved my other two cupcakes less than the cookies, but they were still great. I think the red velvet was the only one that didn't have a layer of something between the cake and the frosting. It was just red velvet cake with thick* cream cheese frosting. What can I say - it tasted the way red velvet cake is supposed to taste. The gingersnap was golden cake (I'm pretty sure the cake itself didn't have any flavouring) with a layer of ginger preserves (I assume) and thick* gingery buttercream. I liked it a lot, but I would've preferred it to be a little more gingery. Or maybe to actually have bits of gingersnap in the cake and/or frosting (a la cookies and cream cupcakes) - that would've been awesome!

We did eventually eat the sausage rolls. Sausage rolls are something I prefer hot, but I usually end up eating them at room temperature because I'm usually eating them on the go. I'm used to dry, slightly stale-tasting, not very full sausage rolls from Holland and Barrett. But these were actually really good. They had a decent amount of sausage wrapped in gorgeous flaky pastry. They were lovely.

So, in case you couldn't tell, I'm now a huge fan of Ms Cupcake. If you're in London, even if you're not vegan, hit them up. You won't be disappointed.

I think I'm gonna experiment with those gingersnap cupcakes this weekend! That sounds like a good use of my time. I'll probably blog about that on Sunday.

*I keep talking about the frosting being thick. Here's why - the frosting on every cupcake was nearly as thick as the cakes themselves. It was at least an inch and a half to two inches thick. I had to bite from the top so I could sink my teeth into the frosting before getting the cake in order to not have a nose full of frosting. It was some thick damn frosting.

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