Tag Archives: DC

Baked & Wired Kaboom Cupcake Review

Oh dear lord.

check out that solid core of ganache!

Kaboom Cupcake:  Guinness vanilla cake, whiskey chocolate ganache center, and Bailey’s Irish buttercream frosting.

Kat: This was a St. Patrick’s Day special, but I hope it makes some more appearances! Each element of the cupcake was great and the combo was even greater. The Guinness cake tasted like vanilla with a malty finish. The deep chocolate core definitely had a little whiskey kick blending with the bittersweetness of the chocolate. And the frosting had a notably Irish cream flavor, unlike some other Bailey’s flavored things that taste only of cream. The cupcake was not a super-boozy  dessert like a tiramisu, instead it was a grown-up tasting cupcake with a bite. And a CHOCOLATE GANACHE CORE, did we mention the core? A+

Kendra: Ditto. Just…ditto. That chocolate core goes STRAIGHT THROUGH–it’s like Journey to the Center of the Earth, except with delicious chocolate instead of burning lava. A+


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Baked & Wired Mocha Cupcake Review

Lest you start thinking that we’re in cahoots with B&W, we’re gonna tell you that they aren’t perfect. Not all the cupcakes we’ve sampled have been hits (the Unporked Elvis comes to mind)–as far as I know, there aren’t any immaculate bakeries.

But man, their Mocha cupcake is a huge letdown, especially compared to the Vanilla Latté. What the hell happened? Et tu, BWute?

Kendra: As much as I love drinking mocha lattés, I’m going to stop eating them from now on. I haven’t noticed any of B&W’s other chocolate-cake based desserts being quite so dry and flavorless, so I don’t know what’s up with this. And the mocha frosting just doesn’t taste like much of anything other than cloying sweetness–I didn’t get any chocolate taste, or hints of espresso. Epic Fail. F

Kat: This is definitely a different cake than their other chocolate offerings. It is bitter without being chocolate-y, and notably drier. It does have coffee undertones, but the vanilla latte cupcake is a much richer experience. This cupcake is mediocre at best. D

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Factsheet & Review: Sprinkles Cupcakes

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Georgetown's got some cool old buildings

Sprinkles has opened their first East Coast location in Washington, DC, less than two blocks from Georgetown Cupcakes and Baked & Wired. If DC is the cupcake capitol of the East, Georgetown must be the executive residence.

Location: 3015 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

Neighborhood: Georgetown

Transit: The nearest metro station is Foggy Bottom, though the walk from Rosslyn across the Key Bridge is probably not much longer. The Dupont-Georgetown-Rosslyn circulator brings you nearby, as do many other buses on K and M street routes.

Seating: With two tables, Sprinkles is primarily a take-out joint.

Sweets: Nothing but cupcakes, which are of typical size and priced at $3.50. Find the weekly flavor schedule on their website.

well, we do cast reflections, maybe we aren't vamps...

Drinks: Coffee, tea, bottled soda, and Sprinkles branded bottled water.

Otherwise Notable: Sprinkles sells cardboard and ribbon cupcake display kits, Sprinkles t-shirts, Sprinkles cupcake mixes, Sprinkles cupcake ziploc baggies…

::insert WTF Picard gif::

Kat: Kendra and I visited the day after their grand opening. We wanted to try a chocolate flavor and a lighter flavor so we ordered the Strawberry and the seasonal Irish Chocolate. The cupcakes are the typical mushroom-ish shape, baked in crinkly paper wrappers. They all have a brightly colored decoration on top. From the photos I imagined these cute little garnishes might be fondant, but when we opened our cupcake box I found myself staring dubiously at my pink disc suspecting it was made of plastic. With a good chomp, it shattered between my teeth releasing a faintly sugary and overwhelmingly unpleasant alkaline flavor. Recommendation: do not attempt to eat.

the strawberry looks like a boob! whuwha

The Strawberry cupcake is pink-flecked strawberry cake with pink strawberry icing. The icing was very light, more like a cream filling than a frosting. Both cake and icing were very sweet, with sugar as the overwhelming flavor component. The flavor all hit just one spot of tongue. B

Irish Chocolate is a special that will be running until Saint Patrick’s Day. Sprinkles describes it as ‘belgian dark chocolate cake topped with a Baileys irish cream cheese frosting.’ The cake did not taste very good. The frosting was creamy and custardy and sweet, though I could not taste Baileys and I definitely couldn’t taste any cream cheese. I did like the texture contrast of the crunchy parts around the rim of the cupcake, where it was unprotected by paper, with the main body. C

SEE THE TOP FELL OFF FAIL

Kendra: Wow, they sure do love their branding! Perhaps they ought to spend more time on their cupcakes…or at least make the cupcake decorations more edible! Like Kat mentioned, the decorations are completely wretched–I assume they’re sugarpaste, but they were like biting into a rock–and not even a delicious rock. Putting nigh-inedible things on something meant to be consumed is just a bad idea.

Strawberry was a pleasantly sweet deal, though the strawberry itself was fairly subtle. I tasted the strawberry faintly in the cake, but the frosting seemed more like straight-up buttercream to me. It was somewhat reminiscent of drinking NesQuik strawberry milk, and overall it was enjoyable enough, though not very memorable. C+

The Irish Chocolate was a big disappointment–the Bailey’s was undetectable, and the actual chocolate cake was completely underwhelming–tasted like box mix, which isn’t too surprising considering a.) Sprinkles is a chain and b.) they sell box mixes of their cupcake flavors. You do the math. The cupcake itself just didn’t taste like much of anything.

…also, the top of my cupcake fell off. 😦  D

Kat: I returned to Sprinkles on my own for an Orange Cupcake, which is only offered on Tuesdays. Sprinkles bills this as ‘fragrant orange cake with orange-vanilla frosting flecked with zest.’ The cake tasted like poundcake to me, but I did spot some orange flecks. The sweet frosting was also flecked with zest, and tasted lightly citrusy with floral notes. The frosting is very soft and giving.

This time I was eating a the whole cupcake by myself. Sprinkles cupcakes are more-or-less flat on top with a dome of frosting over half an inch thick. I liked it a lot at first but about half-way through the cupcake I found myself eating around the frosting as it became unpleasantly greasy (not unlike the texture experience of Cupcake Pebbles). The ratio of frosting to cake is much too high for me and I discarded the final gobs of it. I can imagine that some people would really enjoy it, though, the way I can really enjoy Cadbury Creme Eggs. C+

This time I asked the clerk about the colored circles that adorn the cupcakes. She said “they are for telling the flavors apart” and confirmed that they are sugar paste. Sprinkles provides flavor cards that index the cupcakes by their circle colors, and the circles also show up a lot in their branding, but I think the cupcakes would be much improved by making the decorations out of something that tasted good–and ideally something chewable.

TAPTAP

This time I was eating a the whole cupcake by myself.

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Pitango Gelato or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Ice Cream

Baltimore has brought us lots of good things: Dan Deacon, The Wire, John Waters…and now,  Pitango Gelato.

dairy mecca

As a small Kendra, I hated ice cream and all ice-cream related desserts. When my family would go out for it, I’d dump my scoops out and just eat the cone. In high school I was such a weirdo that the only way I’d eat ice cream was if I microwaved it (I have witnesses!).

Nowadays, I find myself thinking about Pitango Gelato quite a bit. It’s really that good. It wasn’t the first thing that converted me over to the frozen side (that’d be my college Bruster’s and its banana split special), but it’s the first place to offer frozen goodies that I actively lust over (it makes my boyfriend jealous when he knows I’m going out for it, but only because he wants in on the action).

all this for an Abe!

a delightful Saturday breakfast (DON'T JUDGE US)

Multiple Locations: DC (Logan’s Circle & Penn Quarter),  Reston (Town Center) and Baltimore (Fell’s Point), as well as a presence at various farmer’s markets; local to Baltimore

We visited: 413 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Transit: Pitango falls between Chinatown and Archives, and is not an unpleasant walk from the Mall.

Seating: Limited bench-style seating indoors & some outdoors. The nearby Navy Memorial plaza also provides public seating in benches by the fountains.

Sweets: It’s all about the gelato (& sorbet), though there are biscotti & other Italian cookies in bags by the register.

Drinks: Coffee, affogato (shot of espresso and scoop of  gelato), drinking chocolate (seasonal)

Otherwise Notable: Late hours, open till midnight Friday and Saturday, 11pm otherwise. Organic ingredients, with clear information provided about the sources.

Kat: I always like gelato, and I always enjoy visiting Pitango. My go-to flavors are Sicilian Almond, which any marzipan-fiend will enjoy, and the unassuming Crema, described as ‘Italian custard’ and tasting of lemony cake batter. These are both creamy, back-of-the-tongue flavors and go best with a sharper accompaniment as the second scoop.

Kendra: I’ve had  my fair share of middling gelatos, with their bits of ice muddling it up, and Pitango is nothing but creamy smoothness. Or smooth creaminess? They let you choose two flavors for a regular size, which is great since it means that a.) you can get your favorite and still try something new, and b.) you can pull a Jelly Belly and create fun concoctions that alter the flavors in ways you wouldn’t expect. This past time, I had espresso and cardamom, which pair in a deliciously bittersweet way. Since they allow you to sample any of their flavors, you have no one to blame but yourself if you end up with something you don’t like. I can’t choose a favorite flavor (they’re like children!), but I’m partial to Chocolate Hazelnut (it’s like eating nutella without the guilt of your roomate finding you spooning gobs of it from the jar into your mouth) and Crema. I’d recommend trying the Chocolate Noir sorbet if only for the shock that a sorbet can somehow be that rich and dreamy.

TOUGH CHOICES

so gooooooood

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Bakery Factsheet: Baked & Wired

 

Baked & Wired, Fabulous DC bakery best known for its generously-sized $3.75 cupcakes

Location: 1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

Neighborhood: Georgetown

Transit: The nearest metro station is Foggy Bottom, though the walk from Rosslyn across the Key Bridge and down the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal path is more fun. The Dupont-Georgetown-Rosslyn circulator brings you nearby, as do many other buses on K and M street routes.

Seating: Is often full, but you can walk twenty feet to benches by Lock 2 of the canal or go down the street the Potomac River Park and Washington Harbor complex.

Kat’s Must-Have: “Razmanian Devil” Cupcake – Lemon Cake with lemon buttercream frosting and raspberry filling

Kendra’s Must-Have: “Chocolate Cupcake of DOOM” – Chocolate cake with a dark chocolate satin frosting

Super-COMBO: Go with a friend, get one Chocolate Doom and one Razmanian Devil, cut in halves and redistribute to make two superflavor cupcakes

Sweets: Cupcakes, cookies, cookies bars & brownies, coffee cakes, hand-pies, muffins, dog treats, granola, and, on Tuesday & Friday mornings, donut-muffins (“When a muffin and a donut fall in love…”)

Savories: Quiche

Drinks: Coffee & Tea

Otherwise Notable: Baked & Wired is a full-service café as well as a bakery

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