From London to Suffolk to stay a day with Fran and her husband Søren, catch up and, most importantly, get their opinions on the four remaining cupcakes! Trust me, these guys know their cake.
Chewie’s – Chocolate with coconut topping
Me: I was a little daunted by the thick layer of frosting but it actually tasted lovely, felt silky smooth (more ganache-like than frosting-like) and helped to compensate for the bland sponge which tasted brown rather than chocolaty. I think the coconut was mostly for decoration rather than flavour.
Fran: Less chocolaty than expected. The icing was very pleasant and incredibly smooth, overshadowing the cake.
Søren: Found this cake slightly disappointing as he expected really chocolate truffly-ness but would still eat this cupcake again.
Sweet Couture – Peanut Butter
Me: The sponge had a great peanut butter flavour but the icing was too sugary to take the flavour on. I would be happy with an uniced version of this cake and a big glass of soya milk!
Fran: Liked the real peanutty taste. Thought the icing was slightly too sweet but there was a good all round flavour and the sponge had a good texture.
Søren: This cake could have done with half as much icing – it was way too sweet! The icing completely overpowered the sponge. Would have liked it better with just a thin layer of icing. He didn’t think he liked peanut butter but quite enjoyed this cake.
Outsider Tart – Chocolate
Me: The sponge had a nice firm, moist texture but no chocolaty flavour at all. The whole thing put me in mind of those ‘chocolate-flavoured’ syrups you get for ice cream and dunkin’ donuts. Which is not my idea of chocolate!
Fran: Not chocolaty at all although it has sort of a nostalgic charm, conjuring memories of sugary childhood treats and the chocolate icing they use on cinnamon swirls in Denmark.
Søren: Thought this cake smelled like the chocolate cakes of his childhood but didn’t taste of much. The most distinctive taste was from the sweets used to decorate it.
Maison Blanc – Pistachio
Me: This cake was beautifully executed – the sponge had a lovely light texture and the frosting was airy and not oversweet – but the whole cake tasted a lot like marzipan which I do not like at all. Sorry!
Fran: Icing was slightly over-sweet but the balance of icing to cake was good as the light, crumbly sponge needed a good frosting to complement it. However, it tasted like marzipan rather than pistachio.
Søren: Doesn’t really like marzipan but loves this cake. Liked the way the icing sort of melted with the light cake. This is the only one of the bunch he could have eaten all of.
Søren: Maison Blanc Pistachio
Fran: Peanut Butter. But thinks the pistachio cupcake was actually the best, just not to her personal tastes.
Me: I totally agree with Fran. In terms of the best cake, Maison Blanc’s pistachio was flawless but the taste is not my cup of tea at all. Personally I like the peanut butter cupcake from Sweet Couture the best today.
So what was the best cake overall? It’s actually very hard to say. In terms of what I enjoyed eating, I think it was the raspberry ripple (Cox again!) but the peanut butter cupcake would have maybe taken the top spot if it had been unfrosted (or frosted in a less sickly fashion). However, if I had to award the title of “best cupcake” to one of these eight, it would have to be the pistachio from Maison Blanc. And, even though I think price isn’t really a factor for luxury goods like cupcakes, the Maison Blanc cake was also the cheapest.