Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Original Cupcake Hater Turns into Vegan Marshmallow Fluff for CakeKraft

How did I get here? I have a box of vegan cupcakes to contend with, and over a dozen gilded-ribbon-and-cellophane-wrapped cookies from Michelle Poole of CakeKraft, a bespoke bakery that deals out gluten-free, vegan, and/or all-natural requests. Poole can make you a Vanilla Bean Buttercream cupcake, but it'll show off real vanilla bean specks, with no imitation extract or partially hydrogentated oils. Sorry, Isgro's.

What can I make? I can make a really tall man eat a petite dark chocolate cupcake in front of me, smooth chocolate ganache and white candy heart, tout complet.

First thing I noticed about Michelle's sweets collection (that she was kind enough to drop off on her way to dinner in Philly) was her slick packaging. DIY chic. This isn't the handiwork of your vegan commune that you convinced to wrap in exchange for free tastings. Michelle transports using professional cupcake boxes with her own labels, and her cookies were packed like thoughtful Xmas gifts from someone way more domestic than I.

On to the tasting. Even I mumbled a semblance of an aw at the wee cakelets. Need I remind you that part-time this blog moonlights as Fear & Loathing Cupcakes in Las Veggies? I've never met a cupcake that I want to eat again. Even Steven Wells feels me on this.

But the Cakekraft cake was MOIST. It had a fresh-baked taste of deepest chocolate and was not a bomb of sugar. Overall, I did not want to yell at it. But I only finished half, because I'm a jerk and I can't change. Plus, I was eyeing the vegan cookies the entire time.

I carefully chose a Chocolate Chip Cookie and bit into it thoughtfully. If this was the best it got, then Michelle was okay in my blog, but I was not going to get CakeKraft tattooed on my chest or anything.

Next, I learned that the Double Dark Chocolate are the kind of cookies you fight with a gold bow to take out of the package for. You ride a chocolate elevator down to the basement, where the very darkest of it lurks. These are sexually fantastic, and if you come over tomorrow, there will be none for you.

Although I already found a favorite, I still had to try the Monster Oatmeal Raisin & Chocolate. Were they made with Monster energy drink? NO, but they were breakfast cookie clusters that'd be ideal to wake up to.

It wasn't until Saturday morning that we got around to the sugar cookies. A foolish wait, as the sprinkle-dusted suckers were packing some serious punch. A berry-filled sugar cookie? That is crafty.

To summarize, I enjoyed the cookies over the cakes, by far. The chewiness and quality of the chocolate were what I look for in a cookie, even if the buttery and full-fat mouthfeel of a superprocessed, monster-sized cookie is what sells these days. CakeKraft's desserts don't feel overly decadent, but lend just enough sweetness to cover the tab.

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