Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Every Batch from Scratch

I had cupcakes for dinner last weekend.

It's the kind of thing my seven-year-old self would dream about.

Instead of having to eat nasty pot roast and cooked carrots (my #1 ranked most detested meal, still), I am certain I'd have preferred a dinner of cake and cookies and ice cream. Because those food groups are the most important anyway, right?

I digress.

My Cincinnati neighborhood has a new business to support - a worthy effort that shouldn't involve much work on your part. You see, I know you will fall in love with Abby Girl Sweets, because to not fall in love would mean you are a human being who doesn't appreciate delicious confections - and that doesn't sound one iota human in my book.

Abby Girl Sweets opened up shop three weeks ago - it is the confectionery creation of a husband-and-wife team who named their bakery after their little girl, Abby. Nathan (the husband) told me he and his wife (Lindsay, I think he said) bake all of the cupcakes - which range from carrot spice to a pistachio version that wasn't available the afternoon I stopped by.

My first visit to a "cupcakery" was two years ago in London at Notting Hill's fabulous boutique bakery, The Hummingbird Bakery. The Portobello Road destination is quite stylized inside - cafe furniture, frosty white accents and pretty chandeliers. The real attraction is the cupcakes, with unusual flavor pairings and artfully crafted icings and toppings.

While I enjoyed the aesthetics of one called the "Bling Bling" (liberally covered by a mound of silver dragees - which are now classified as "non edible" by the FDA because they contain minute quantities of heavy metals), I went with a double chocolate version topped with chocolate sprinkles and a glass of milk.


Abby Girl Sweets achieves much the same vibe, showcasing couple beautiful glass cases filled with silver trays and cake stands graced by delicately iced beauties. I was enchanted by the peanut butter cup and chocolate chocolate versions and decided I'd have cupcakes for the meal traditionally enjoyed between lunch and dinner.

Take a look at this cross section.

I'd like to underscore the mile-high mound of icing on that baby.

Each cupcake was incredibly moist. Very dense and sponge-like, I think Duncan Hines himself would be impressed with how wet this cake is. Having made peanut butter icing before, I know how wonky the consistency can get. Sometimes it turns out more like something made with marshmallow fluff - Abby Girl's peanut butter icing is not sticky, but nutty and buttery and everything you'd expect from a top notch cupcakery.

The chocolate chocolate version was just as divine - I was tickled to taste a hint of almond extract in the chocolate icing.

My two cupcakes came to about $5.75 - at the time the store only accepted cash, but they'll soon accomodate credit card charges, too.

I shot a video of me digging in to a "Strawberry Delight" sample sized cupcake Nathan threw in the box for good measure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Stop by Abby Girl Sweets at 3218 Madison Road in Oakley, about half a mile north of the square.


Dr. Alex said...

Great review of the cupcakes! Cupcakes are all the rage out here in Seattle. They say it's a "hipster" thing. I'm still not sure what that means, but I know I do love my red velvet cupcakes. :-)

Also, I know quite a few people who think "moist" should only be used to describe two things, one being a "moist towelette" and the other... :-O

LMJ said...

I love hearing about this new business. Perhaps a walk is in order for us, then we can induldge in these sweet treats! Hope all is well for you Kate the Great :)

Jeff Elrod said...

i hated pot roast and cooked carrots too! it was the only thing mom ever cooked in the crock pot, which was this really ugly 70s model with brown and mottled cream-colored ceramic. there were potatoes involved as well. blrrghhhh.