Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Meet the Bakers: Cakeology

This is the latest installment in a series called Meet the Bakers of CupcakeCampin which I profile the talented professional bakers who will be present at CupcakeCamp this year. Today, I am introducing you to Victoria of Cakeology. I met Victoria last fall at the New England Dessert Showcase. Her mini red velvet cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting were delightful. The addition of lemon was nothing short of genius.

You might also recognize her as the most recent winner of Cupcake Wars on Food Network, where she beat out three other professional cupcake bakers. It is also possible you’ve seen her colorful delivery van somewhere around town, emblazoned with Cakeology’s mascot, Bruce the panda.

Victoria and I met up on a gray slushy afternoon so that she could hand off a dozen of her cupcakes to me. The box contained three flavors and I was excited to see that one of the three was the magnificent red velvet with lemon cream cheese frosting. The other two were Boston Cream Pie and Chocolate Mint.

I, of course, dug into the red velvet first. The cake was extremely moist, with that perfect textural balance of fluffy inside and a top that is firm and just short of crisp. The cocoa flavor was subtle, which was fine by me, as the bright lemon cream cheese frosting is really what makes this cake.

I have never been fond of Boston Cream Pie, mostly because I often find the custardy pastry cream filling to be vile. Enter Cakeology’s Boston Cream Pie cupcake.

Victoria’s pastry cream was like the lightest, most delicate vanilla bean pudding you could imagine. Flecks of real vanilla bean were visible throughout. It was fluffy as opposed to goopy. The cake was golden and buttery, with the same moist interior and firm top as the red velvet. A thin layer of dense chocolate ganache was sweet and decadent and stood out against the lighter cake and filling.

I was hesitant about the chocolate mint because it is not always my favorite flavor combination. I was intrigued at first bite, and I found that I liked it more and more as I made my way through the cupcake. The cake was a mellow chocolate, not particularly dense or rich. It was speckled with small chunks of dark chocolate throughout which added nice textural variation. The frosting really stood out, with a strong and cooling mint flavor. I found it to be less sweet than mint components usually are in desserts. I ended up liking it quite a bit and I liked that it was different than your standard chocolate-mint confection.

Cakeology offers 36 flavors, divided into six categories including Boozy, Fruity, and Old Skool. I am particularly keen on trying the Earl Grey & Honey cupcake, the Banana Fudge, the Key Lime Pie, and several more. For now, you can order Cakeology’s cupcakes online and they will arrive at your door via bright yellow van. And be sure to look for Victoria at CupcakeCamp. Or, better yet, just look for a life-sized panda and you’ll know you’re in the right place.


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