January 17, 2010

Seriously. . .

Ok, so I've been avoiding doing this blog entry because it's most definitely going to sound like I think I'm "all that" or something, but really, I know I'm not. It's just that I will be bragging - sort-of, so consider yourself warned.

A couple of days ago, I had to head out to Seattle for a few errands, and thought it would be a great excuse to stop by Trophy Cupcakes in the University Village for a little "research" ha ha ha, yum, yum, yum. I decided I'd get a half-dozen cupcakes - all different flavors, and see just how I thought the quality compared to my own, and how I could improve mine.

So, I ended up with: Triple Chocolate, Triple Coconut, Samoa, Chocolate/Peanut Butter, Lemon/Strawberry, and Red Velvet. There were only a few other choices there that day, and I'd already tried several of them in the past.

Here's what I thought:
TRIPLE CHOCOLATE-
Cake was nice, moist and dense enough, but lacking in flavor. Frosting was just that-frosting - whereas I use chocolate ganache to frost mine. Ganache is basically cream and chocolate, and is what truffles are made of. It's divine. I'm certain that in Heaven there is Ganache, Raspberries, Mangos and Lemons - just a few foods I think are utterly PERFECT. Anyway, in my opinion, ganache wins over powdered-sugar frosting any day!

TRIPLE COCONUT-
Cake was very good, though, again, could have been a little more flavorful - I would have added coconut flakes to the batter. But I really appreciated the soft, moist texture. The frosting was a bit too sweet, but still yummy - I just couldn't eat it all at once. My frosting is extremely creamy, but because I use a French Buttercream recipe, it is not sickeningly sweet.

SAMOA -
A salute to the Girl Scout Cookie! I was really excited to try this one, so I actually saved it till last - like the grand finale. But, alas, I was a bit disappointed. The cake was the same chocolate cake again, and topped with much-too-sweet frosting, coconut, and a small caramel drizzle. I paid .50 more for this one, as it was filled. I was sad to find out that the filling was just more of the same frosting. Can we say "SUGAR HEADACHE"???? And there was hardly enough coconut involved to remind me of the Samoa Girl Scout cookie.

CHOCOLATE/PEANUT BUTTER -
Great peanut butter flavor for the frosting, though, again, too sweet. The salty peanut crumbles on top were a nice contrast with the sweetness. The cake was the same chocolate - still moist but not flavorful enough for me.

LEMON/STRAWBERRY -
Well, YUM. Great flavor combination. Made me feel like a refreshing Strawberry Lemonade. The cake was again, moist and yummy - but definitely could've been more lemony. The frosting was a perfect flavor, even though it was still too sweet. But over-all, quite good.

RED VELVET -
Ok - this was the most disappointing of the bunch. I had been sharing the cupcakes, and so had been cutting them into fourths (you didn't really think I ate them all myself, did you?) and when I cut this one open, I was actually shocked at the lack of redness in the red-velvet cake! What happened? I know there are people out there who think that to make a red-velvet cake you simply add red food-coloring to a chocolate cake, but there is actually a traditional, Southern recipe for red-velvet cake. Trophy claims on their website that they use a buttermilk cake recipe, with cocoa added. I don't know. Maybe they do, but it can't be the traditional recipe - as there was no resemblance to the proper flavor at all -not to mention the skimping on the color. Goodness! This one didn't have that Southern "tang" to it, and didn't even make my mouth red! What is the world coming to??????

Ok - so, now I've had my turn on the soap-box, and my little vanity trip, and I think I'll cool it with the opinions for a while. After all I said, I still think Trophy does a decent job, and kudos to them for spreading the cup-cake love around so well! They also deserve a big thanks from me for unknowingly inspiring me to branch out from the wedding and celebration cakes by adding cupcakes to my business. Doing that has been a great boost to my business. So "thanks"! (And yes, it's still wonderful to eat something yummy that you didn't have to bake yourself - so that won't be the last time I visit Trophy!