Sunday, February 28, 2010

In Search of Rochester's Best Cupcake: Day 4


Nick was trying out his second peanut butter cup cupcake


This was *the perfect* cupcake!



I don't really believe in complete perfection when it comes to rating things, whether it be a moisturizer or a baked delight and I think that's evident in my somewhat nit-picky reviews.

However, my experience today made me prove myself wrong. I never anticipated ever scoring a cupcake with a perfect score. Then again, I had never tried cupcakes from The Cupcake Dreamery until this morning.

I had the pleasure of attending an event today with my 6 year old son, Nick. We went to the Sweet Dreams SundayBrunch, a charity event benefiting the Hillside Children's Center. It was held at the Next Door Bar & Grill, which is owned by Wegmans. The lovely folks over at The Cupcake Dreamery invited us to come try out their delicious cupcakes and I am so happy we were able to try them today.

There was a room with 4 varieties of mini cupcakes: Peanut Butter Cup, Bananas Foster, Classic Red Velvet, and Mimosa. We also had the pleasure of trying the warm Cinnabun cupcakes in the test kitchen. It was perfect for a chilly winter's day.

Nick and I sampled all of the varieties and each and every one was superb. All would easily have topped any cupcake I have reviewed thus far. The Classic Red Velvet, for example, was moist and tasty and the cream cheese frosting was fabulous.

Initially, I thought I would be reviewing the Peanut Butter Cup cupcake. It was awesome. My son said it'd get a 100% if he were scoring it. If I chose to review this one today, I could tell you it'd be scored the same as the one I am going to tell you more about.

For this review, I'm going to discuss the Bananas Foster cupcake. It was a little bite of heaven and left me wanting more. And more. Thankfully these were minis so I could have a second Bananas Foster one. Truth be told, I had a second of Red Velvet and Peanut Butter Cup as well, but I was sharing with my munchkin and plan to put in an extra hour on my Wii Fit Plus this afternoon.

Back to the review. Let me first say that while I like bananas on occasion, I certainly don't reach for banana flavored baked goods. This cupcake changed that for me.

Bananas Foster is a banana and caramel cake. Inside, there is a chocolate ganache filling and it's topped with a caramel buttercream and a dash of cinnamom. The finishing touch is chocolate covered banana chip that is out of this world.

The cake was, in a word, perfection. From its beautiful appearance right down to the final bite, everything was just fantastic! It was the ideal texture--not too moist, but definitely not at all dry. It was just perfect.

What I loved most about this cupcake was the fact that there were so many different dimensions. It wasn't just a run of the mill cupcake (none of them were). You could taste the fresh banana first, then the warmth of the caramel and the decadence of the chocolate. The cinnamon that was evident in the caramel buttercream frosting tied everything together with a delicious, comforting explosion of flavors. The chocolate banana chip on top just sent this one over the edge for me--brilliant flavors that complemented each other so well that it just made the perfect cupcake.

I don't use the word perfect lightly. In fact, I rarely use it. I adored so much about the Bananas Foster Cupcake. What I adored most was the fresh taste. Everything used in these was fresh and of the highest quality. This was reflected in the flavor. The textures were also just right--from the texture of the cake itself to the consistency of the flawless caramel buttercream.

It's funny. I told the marketing director, Nick Rovisa, that I had never had a perfect cupcake until I tried the peanut butter cup flavor. I did not possibly think any other flavor could come close. Then I tried the Bananas Foster. It just was such a special cupcake. So was the peanut butter cup. I wish I could review them both, but I only am choosing one from each place I try to score.

I will be a customer of The Cupcake Dreamery for a good long time--for as long as I like cupcakes--which I predict will be for the rest of my life. Giving a perfect score doesn't mean I will stop reviewing. A tie is possible--right now, though, this place is in a completely different league than the others.

I have to say kudos to Heather Saffer, the woman behind the business. You'd think this young entrepreneur has been baking cupcakes for decades because she really has a special talent for what she does.

For more information about the The Cupcake Dreamery, please visit their site at www.thecupcakedreamery.com.

Coming this week: Dolce Cupcake in Pittsford and the Kup Kakery. Next week we'll wrap it up with Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe and Goodness Cakes.


SCORING:


Overall Appearance: 10/10

Texture: 10/10

Flavor of Cake: 10/10

Flavor of Frosting/Toppings: 10/10

Creativity: 10/10


Total Score: 50/50



*For those new to our challenge, here are the "rules": #1, I have received no compensation for my reviews.

Since I would grow very tired of eating cupcakes if I could only choose one flavor each time, I am not picking just 1 variety and comparing. I want to find Rochester's very best cupcake (to me) overall. I will score each cupcake based on 5 things: overall appearance,creativity, texture, flavor of the frosting/toppings, and flavor of the cake part of the cupcake.

Each category will be scored on a 10 point scale, 10 being the best. The highest overall score possible for each cupcake judged will be 50 points.

This challenge will go on for a while. Since my older son was nearing the end of preschool, I have lost 47 pounds and I am still a bit shy of my goal, so I just cannot eat a cupcake every single day. I will hit two or three places a week, order mini cupcakes when possible, and share with friends on occasion. Expect this challenge to take up to 4 weeks because the recommendations have been coming in, as have emails from bakeries requesting I try their creations.

I also want to say that taste is something very subjective. Just because I adore a certain cupcake doesn't mean you will agree with 100% of my review. The opposite will also be true. With those things said, enjoy the reviews as they come and look for a winner in a few short weeks!

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2 comments:

Melita said...

those look amazing! (wipes up drool) hugs!!

Nick Rovisa said...

Thanks so much for coming yesterday Karley! We are so glad you enjoyed yourself and even more excited about our cupcake score!! I worked that room all day and can tell you that you have good taste, everyone loved our 4 offerings, but we're RAVING about the Bananas Foster and the Peanut Butter Cup as well!

Hopefully we will see you again soon! Tell Nick I said hi!

Thanks and take care,

-Nick