I won't eat a dessert that's not worth the calories.
Especially when I'm having a cupcake, I want an indulgent experience. If you're trying to make it lighter or less sweet, that defeats the purpose of dessert.
I bring this up now because I had an underwhelming cupcake experience on my last reconnaissance.
I went to Layer Cake Bakery in Irvine, California. It's a family owned business with an additional Orange County location in Fullerton.
There was nothing unusual about the look of the cupcakes in their display case. On the contrary, they were quite alluring. It wasn't until I made my selection that I noticed the sign atop advising of Swiss buttercream.
I didn't alter my order, but at least I knew what to expect when I got home.
I began with their Mocha Almond Praline. It's a chiffon cupcake infused with coffee rum syrup, filled with chocolate mouse, frosted with coffee Swiss buttercream, and topped with almond praline.
Back at the bakery, I noted chiffon in the description, but couldn't remember my feelings toward the cake.
With my first bite, I knew.
It was not preferred.
The cake's texture was light and almost spongy. It wasn't dry, but it wasn't moist either. Between the syrup absorbed at the cake's center and that used in the buttercream, the coffee flavor was strong. The chocolate mousse filling was light, as was the frosting.
Overall, there was too much light and not enough weight. Perhaps, that's why the coffee seemed to overwhelm.
When I finished, my stomach barely realized it had cake. It was like an appetizer.
I hoped my next cupcake from Layer Cake Bakery would feel like a main course.
It was Boston Cream, a vanilla chiffon cake filled with pastry cream, and frosted with Belgian chocolate ganache.
Now this was a longtime favorite, so I've had many a variation of this flavor. Yet none were like this.
With the addition of vanilla, the chiffon cake was better. It had more depth. The pastry cream was nice, but not sweet.
The thick ganache was dark chocolate. It was just within my acceptable cacao percentage, so I was able to finish it. However, when I did, there was a lingering bitter aftertaste.
I found myself wondering if I enjoyed it?
I give Layer Cake Bakery 3 out of 5 stars.
I do understand the need for lighter and less sweet options. Nevertheless, as a Frosting Fanatic, that is not my choice.
Next time real cupcakes only, please. When I have dessert, I'm all in.
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