Thursday, June 28, 2012

White Mountain Cupcakery - North Conway, NH

Last week we went to the White Mountains, specifically North Conway, for a few days away from the hustle and bustle of Portland. I was quite excited to be able to try the White Mountain Cupcakery, which I have "liked" on facebook for a while. I tried the Boston Cream cupcake and Kate had the Chocolate Raspberry. 

 Boston Cream cupcake

 Inside the Boston Cream

Chocolate Raspberry

Unfortunately, I will have to only say that they were good, but not great. I wish that we had gone earlier in the day, because by the time that we made it in it was closing time and the flavor selection was limited. It is far too easy to lose track of time when in the beautiful White Mountain Forest. The customer service was great, as they made sure that we had everything we needed even though we were there after they had actually closed. They also took our trash for us after we finished our cupcakes outside!

 I liked the cream for the Boston Cream cupcake and the butter cream was good, but Kate and I both felt that perhaps a ganache would have been a better choice instead of a frosting. The other cupcakes also had massive amounts of frosting on their cupcakes, which at a certain point just seems excessive, unless you really LOVE frosting (and I know some people do). 

We were unfortunately not there on the weekend, which is when they have their special daily flavors. I really wanted to try one of those ones! Or at least see what they came up with! I have pretty high expectations when it comes to cupcakes now, but I would go back to their shop the next time I am in North Conway. I loved their sign, which might sound weird and now I wish I had taken a picture of it, but it was really adorable. They were also really nice, which makes me like a place even if I'm not 100% pleased with the product. So, I look forward to the next time I can make it there. I hope that I can get the Green Mint Mountain Cupcake or maybe even be there on a weekend day with a special flavor that I will want to try. 
Check them out if you are in that area and let me know how you like them! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Andy

Just look at this awesome cake that Kate made for our pal Andy's birthday a few weeks ago. It is a brownie layer cake, with cream caramel in the middle and cream caramel with chocolate ganache topping. Also, an amazing frosting lobster holding a bottle of Jameson, which a few shots of had been poured over the brownie cake prior to putting the topping on. It was amazing.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bakery on the Hill

Thank goodness Bakery on the Hill is open again. There was a change of ownership and during that period of time and some renovations, it was closed for a month or two. I was quite distraught seeing as it was the end of tax season and I was very much in the need for some delicious baked goods. Now they are open again and the deserts are just as fantastic as they were under the prior ownership. I hadn't tried a cupcake there before the changeover, but a few weeks ago I popped in on my way to get a slice at Otto's and picked one up. I decided that some desert was needed to round out that very healthy meal of pizza. 

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting

The cupcake was everything I would ever want in a cupcake. The cake was moist, had a great chocolate flavor and the frosting was light. I love a good butter cream, don't get me wrong, but there are often times when it is much too heavy for the cupcake that it is paired with. This was the perfect pairing of frosting and cake. Both were light and sweet, however neither was too sweet. I find that it is quite a feat for a cupcake in today's market to manage to avoid that "overdone" trap that so many bakeries that make cupcakes have fallen into. Sometimes you just want a basic cupcake, that is really effing good, without the five inches of frosting and a level of sweetness that should result in an immediate trip to the dentist. Bakery on the Hill is a master of this really effing good cupcake.

I also decided that I needed another treat, since I would be sharing both of these with my significant other. I made the very tough decision (only because they have so many visually appealing treats to choose from) and went with this raspberry mousse, chocolate treat. I can't remember the exact name they gave it, but I do recall how delicious it was.

This picture only slightly does it justice.The raspberry is quite mild in the cream portion, which was perfect for me as I am not very fond of raspberry. It is quite delicious in this treat and the chocolate crust on the bottom was, as silly as it might sound, my favorite part of it. Each layer is distinctly different and adds in an additional element of complexity with texture and flavor.

I am very lucky that they are just around the corner from me on Congress Street, but they are well worth any drive.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You know what I still like?

Cupcakes. Lots and Lots of Cupcakes. Yes I had to capitalize Lots and Cupcakes in that sentence when it didn't even call for it. That's how serious I am about this. These cupcakes are from Cakes Extraordinaire on Brighton Avenue. They are pretty good, however, I am not even going to attempt to write a blog post about these ones since I ate them three months ago. Maybe five...That's how far behind I am in life.

I also like warm, fun times outside still. However, since it's been winter, that hasn't occurred quite as much. School and work (six days and now seven days a week) have been dominating all of my time.

I have been still enjoying my loves of delicious baked goods, just not quite as often and with less time to inform the Great Portland area about it. My pants fit just a little bit better, but it's just not as satisfying as knowing you are spreading the good word of good treats. There is a fantastic new spot for cupcakes opening up in the Portland Public Market, their first day open was this very weekend. Y-Limes Gourmet has been a go to in the wholesale market for coffee shops in the Portland area and now the general public can go to their retail location to be guaranteed a freshly baked, delicious cupcake. Please consider going and welcoming the newest edition to the cupcake scene in Portland.

Another of my current go-to's for baked goods is The Bakery on the Hill. Wolf makes the most amazing pastries and is one of the most positive people I have met. I am currently jonesin' for the Oreo roll. It is pure perfection in confectionery form. I love that every time I go in there, I am immediately welcomed AND they remember my name. I love places that take the time to learn the customers names and then remember them. I personally am more of a face person, so I am always impressed when someone remembers my name, since I can never remember anyone's name. I blame the ADD. So, in addition to going to the Portland Public Market and welcoming Y-Limes, my few followers, please go to The Bakery on the Hill and enjoy the wonderful pastries and the amazing energy that the owners have put into the place. They are also a new addition to the ever growing culinary scene here in Portland and I don't think Portland could have asked for a better baker than Wolf. Spread the love Portland.