There were so many cakes to try that we had to split them into three rounds of three for tasting. I’ll post the reviews in the order in which we tried them. The selection was purely random. Well, mostly random and a little influenced by what we fancied eating! I apologise profusely for the poor photography.
Lily Vanilli Strawberry Cupcake (Harrods)
EDIT: I have been informed that this cake was infact a red velvet cake with a strawberry and coconut topping, which throws these comments into a new light. I think either Harrods needs to label their display better, or I need to pay more attention!
Seeing it in the store, I hadn’t expected the sponge to be quite this red, but it certainly looks very striking. But enough of how it looks, how did it taste? My carefully assembled team of experts will tell you!
Me: I was disappointed by this cupcake. The colours led me to expect a vibrant strawberry flavour which simply wasn’t there. I thought the sponge was a little too dense and tasted floury and sugary. The whole cake was very sweet and not discernibly fruity.
Mark (hubby): Did not like the texture and thought that the overriding flavour was of coconut from the sprinkled desiccated coconut on top. However, he thought what flavours there were tasted very real.
Richard: Really liked this cake – “It hit all my pleasure centres” – but thought it had a very sugary aftertaste. He found it very addictive and immediately
Hummingbird Black Bottom Cupcake
A black bottom cupcake is a chocolate sponge cake with a dollop of cheesecake baked in, usually topped with cream cheese frosting. Adding as much cheese as possible is a very American thing to do to a cake, but in this case I have always thought it might work.
Me: I thought the cheesecake dollop was too small, especially as this cake was cut up for sharing, however the surrounding sponge was perfectly textured. I did think the frosting was way too sweet and after just a little piece, the whole cake left me feeling a bit over-sugared. I liked the concept but think the sugar needs to be toned down a little and the cream cheese frosting is just too much.
Mark: Thought the sponge had a good consistency and nice flavour but the frosting was far too sweet.
Richard: Tasty, but the sweetness overrode everything else.
Pudding Cook Chocolate Fudge Brownie (Harvey Nichols)
I like the idea of these cupcakes based on favourite desserts, but thanks to Harvey Nichols, could only guess at which flavours I had bought before I tasted them. That said, this one was pretty obvious.
Me: The sponge was nice and moist and loose textured, but the frosting was again too sweet and didn’t have a chocolaty taste at all.
Mark: Thought this was the best sponge so far but that the frosting tasted more of sugar than of chocolate, although it wasn’t too sweet.
Richard: Nice and chocolaty overall but the sponge was a little bit too dense and not all that flavourful.
Plenty more cakes to come! Watch this space.