Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Based upon a recommendation from Coca, we went to this lovely little bakery in Saint Paul.
"Dense cornmeal cake featuring a crispy top and soft and tender crumb topped with honey buttercream and candied corn."
This cupcake was a little bland. We walked out the door with a box full of flavors. Some that we'd been dreaming of for days (black currant) and some were last minute whims. Kettle corn was a whim. By the time we were in the car, we had forgotten some of our choices. The aroma seeping from the box forced us to eat one on the drive. We looked at the spread and grabbed the one we couldn't put a name to. "What is it?" we asked one another. As we attempted to tear the paper cup away, we could only determine on thing. This one is sticky. Once we bit in we knew, too, that it was sweet. Sticky and sweet. That's all we could figure. Dumbfounded and distracted from the road, Erin clumsily pokes at my iPhone. She's digging for their daily menu. "KETTLE CORN!" I suppose kettle corn is sticky and sweet, but this flavoring didn't lend itself to cake well. I don't know if we saved best for last, but we had the least amazing first.
"Coconut cake topped with coconut buttercream and coconut shavings."
After a delicious dinner at Brasa, we felt we were entitled to another road cupcake to settle our tummies. We plucked Snowball from the box. This was the prettiest one. A red marzipan dot atop a mound of snow white coconut frosting, felled upon an earth of coconut cake. If you love coconut and you love sweet, you'll really love snowball cupcakes. Erin took her first messy bite and passed my "half" to me in between gear shifts. Half was questionable. SWEETS makes normal and small cupcakes. We got some of both. This was a small and so was Erin's bite. She passed it and I had the rest. I'd wager that the split ended up 60/40, but she'd argue it was a more drastic ratio. A score she'd attempt to settle with each following bite.
"Chocolate cake topped with black currant buttercream and candied almonds."
With the fear that our minimal after dinner activity may have burned some calories, we made sure to have another cupcake before bed. We wanted to make sure the sugars would be stored for winter, next year. The black currant frosting was so smooth, but a little tart. The dark chocolate of the cake was a little bittersweet, or just tasted so next to the frosting. Like one spoon of sugar versus two. Very delicious all around, but an inch and a half of cake wasn't enough to offset the inch of frosting. This was probably the tastiest of the bunch, but a little moderation could be used with the frosting to make the perfect bite.
"Vanilla cake filled with salty bacon, topped with sweet maple buttercream."
The best part of waking up is CUPCAKES. By now the sugar high is wearing off and we're picking our skin and grinding our teeth like my crackhead buddies at the jail. Luckily, our fix is in the fridge. The morning calls for a bacon/maple cupcake. When you look at this one you know you're in for something different. I spire of bacon shoots out of the top of this tower of flavor. A first bite reveals a cross section maple cake with a little frosting center complete with bacon dust. A wonderfully salty compliment to the intense sweetness of maple. This one is scary on paper, but you'll want more once you've tried it.
"Chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache topped with chocolate buttercream."
Of course when coming off an addiction, you tend to set terms and bargain. We decided that we could swear off cupcakes, only if we could have a little more cupcake. So, before we washed its flavor from our palettes with lunch, we had our last cupcake. Triple chocolate was delicious and a perfect pick for a chocolate lover. The only thing better than one chocolate is two. This had three and was divine. It could have used a little salt to offset how sweet it was. Maybe next time I'll add some bacon. Maybe I'll start adding bacon to everything. Unless it's too salty. Then I'll add chocolate. We could just start adding bacon and chocolate to EVERYTHING. Maybe not.
By the way. Next sweets purchase at Byerly's is Dark Cholcolate Bar with Bacon. Yum!
Pork Chops with Onion Compote
The pork chops turned out so soft. We cooked them medium-rare, which we've heard is not recommended for pork. It was awesome anyway. The onions were mouthwateringly delicious and would be good on just about anything from a burger to a piece of chicken.
There is no need to make any changes to this recipe. The onions were so delicious, that I would double the onions and make half of the meat.