When I find home bakers whose products I really like, I give them a lot of attention. Take Sweet Patti Cakes for instance, run by Patti Grandidge. Not only did I write about her on DCF, but her cupcakes were one of my 5 Favorite Things featured in my video for Fully Booked, and her Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter Cupcakes play a starring role in an article I’ve written for FOOD magazine that comes out in the April 2012 issue.
Patti has also become a friend. I was very touched when she personally hand-delivered the cupcakes we used in the Fully Booked shoot, waiting for me on the set so we could chat in between takes. It was a bright spot during that very fun but exhausting 13-hour shoot.
Not too long ago, I’m having dinner at Atelier 317 and I’m excited to see Patti’s name on the menu. Turns out she’s created a cupcake specially for the restaurant, a Nutella Cupcake With Truffled Cream Cheese Frosting. My excitement is quickly dashed however when I’m told that someone has beat me to the very last one. Now, the restaurant is really just a very small space and there’s just one other party dining in the restaurant. I’m forced to employ immense willpower to prevent myself from climbing onto the next table to initiate some sort of exchange deal. I’m dining with some very respectable chefs and oh, how I try so hard to conduct myself with decorum!
The next time I see Patti is at the presscon for Magnum, where she is the host. It’s my turn to cheer her on and in between segments, I tell her about my unsuccessful attempt to try her fabled truffle cupcakes. The next day, a box appears at my door with – oh, can it be? Oh god, yes, it is! – those cupcakes plus two more flavors that Patti is introducing.
These truffle cupcakes don’t play coy, let me tell you – they’re as guileless and as gung-ho as can be. Possessing a fevered fragrance of truffle, they’re feral and earthy and finish off any hope of restraint while in their presence. The first whiff, the bite that follows, and a succession of sensations ensue. First, a fierce flavor of truffle in the frosting lunges forward, raw and rough-hewn. Quickly, so quickly, its edges are smoothened by cream cheese made silky with honey. My nose and tongue are awash in truffle flavors and fragrances that smolder before settling into a dark chocolate cake. But it doesn’t end there. The depths of its dark heart hide a nugget of Nutella, its gloss glittering mischievously. Oh, luscious luxury!
Patti’s also debuting two new flavors, more inhibited shall I say, than the truffled cupcake but nonetheless worthy of desire.
The Cookie Royale plays on the idea of what I call “biting for buried treasure.” A ball of chocolate chip cookie dough lies patiently in wait before it’s sussed out by sucks and licks. Ensconced it is in a dark chocolate cake, its lighter color makes its discovery a joy. And surprise, the ball of dough miraculously bakes into a mini cookie! The choice of a vanilla frosting demonstrates an eye for flavor balance – a chocolate frosting would’ve blighted the overall effect, I think – and a single chocolate chip atop signifies what lies beneath.
My Bin is mad for the 24 Carrot cupcake, candid and creamy as I’d expect from this classic confection. It’s moist, slightly spiced, and no surprises hidden in the middle.
Cupcakes by Sweet Patti Cakes
Nutella Cupcake With Truffled Cream Cheese Frosting (P150 each)
Available only at Atelier 317
02 384 7064
Cookie Royale, 24 Carrot and Patti’s other flavors are available though the following numbers:
0917 554.1986 / 02 586.9586