I’m not wild about marshmallows, and for that matter, meringue, so I’m somewhat hesitant when faced with Tina’s S’mores Cupcakes. Undeniably gorgeous and evocative they are – squat, midnight-black bodies dotted with brown and crowned with a tuft of toasted meringue.
My hesitation tossed aside, the height of the cupcake poses a question: might I be able to open up my mouth enough for a bite? It’s a deliciously daunting proposition that I gamely accept. In the delicate dance of open-mouth-enter-food, the cloud of meringue touches the tip of my nose. With that as a starting point, a trail of sugary kisses leaves its white imprint on my nose as my teeth slide into and down the cake. Feeling the swath of stickiness, I giggle. And then I look down at the sweet I hold in my hand.
So moist it’s impossible to show you a cross-section of the cake.
A cache of ganache cradled in cake gleams – a streaky, wet, and messy mound. The cake is so moist that it seems to have collapsed at first bite, but now, exposed to teeth and desire, it feeds all my senses. Whiffs of butter and vanilla float out as the chocolate in ganache and cake makes itself known in varying degrees of depth – luscious licks and dark decadence. The sweet is never too sweet but just this side of satisfying; ask my Bin and daughter, Boo. This is their favorite cupcake of all.
While I’m touch and go about meringue, I’m unequivocal about my love for lemons and all things sour. I’d say that after sweet, sour flavors are a very close second.
Tina’s Lemon–Olive Oil Cake is summer on a plate. Radiant and white, its pinwheel design mirrors the circular spiral of the meringue rosettes.
“This cake came about when I was developing butter and oil recipes for a magazine,” Tina tells me. “I continued to develop it further to my liking and came up with a blond version of my chocolate cake and cupcakes, which are characterized by being moist and dense. I’ve been wanting to incude a lemon dessert for quite some time, so this is my take on the lemon meringue pie.”
Waylay your misgivings about (olive!) oil in cake and decide to dive into the refreshment that this cake radiates. Once cut into, remarkable aromas of lemon are revealed, piquing nostrils and appetite. The olive oil – you can’t taste it, I promise – lightly leavens this cake and together with a scattering of lemon zest, elevates this cake’s crumb, releasing it from what could’ve been unwieldy density. The oil and lemon up the lushness of this cake, working in tandem. First, densely moist golden cake flits between bursts of citrus, then is revved up with smears of sweet-sour from the lemon curd. The cake keeps its cool under a mantle of cream cheese frosting whipped to lightness along with rosettes of toasted meringue to soothe the sweet slap of citrus.
This is a cake that has the power to revivify spirits wilting in the summer heat. It’s sweet, sunny, and dessert-perfect. “Eat this cake cold to best appreciate its refreshing lemony sweetness,” Tina recommends.
S’mores Cupcakes & Lemon Olive Oil Cake by Tina Diaz of Taza Platito
02 373 2732 / 0999 998 8901