One of the local TV stations did a taste test of cupcakes a few weeks ago. While I didn't see the segment when it aired, I read about it online. They tested four or five cupcakes from local grocers, a couple of bakeshops, and homemade from a mix. The judges spoke of the flavor, the moistness, density, etc. The winner was from a bakery in Georgetown. It had all the right stuff that cake dreams are made of and a price tag to match. I'm not saying that I haven't paid $2 or more for a cupcake b/c I have. And was disappointed that my $2 went to something that didn't taste as good as something I or some of my friends could make and make better.
The loser in this event shall go nameless. I am not a fan of the baked goods from the place. My friends know the name and the location. I like the owner. He's very personable, charming and sincere. I just find his product lacking. Of course, I find the bakeshop lacking as well. When I walk past a bakery, restaurant or bistro, I should be able to smell that something is going on behind the brick or concrete walls. When passing a bakery, the air should be redolent with the smell of vanilla and sugar (yes-sugar has a smell when it cooks). There should be some sort of aroma that taps you on the shoulder or caresses your nostrils. It should entice you to open the door and step inside the warm embrace of freshly baked cookies or cakes. Walking past this place was like walking past the dentist office or a hospital, it felt like a sterile environment. What do I know though, there are at least three locations and business is booming.
How do you like your cupcakes? Swathed in oodles of frosting or bald, no embellishment whatsoever? What draws you in to a bakery? Is it the beautiful display that seduces your eye or does your nose know?