Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Magnolia Cafe and Bakery in Webster, TX Review

Sometimes it's not about the cupcake, it's about the cake, and sometimes it's not about the place, it's about the company you keep.

My friend David and I went to Magnolias Cafe and Bakery in Webster, TX for coffee and dessert tonite around 7:00pm.  The cafe was fairly empty and you could tell the staff was winding down for the day.  My friend ordered the German Chocolate cake and I ordered a strawberry cake ball and a red velvet cake ball.  I would have ordered the only cupcake they offered, which was a chocolate cupcake, but it resembled the chocolate disaster cupcake I had baked a few years ago (actually looking at this picture, my cupcake looked more appealing). 
We also ordered coffee but had to wait for a fresh pot.  I was very impressed that they were honest about the age of the coffee.  Most coffee connoisseurs would rather wait for a fresh pot than be mislead with stale coffee out of shear laziness from the staff. 

As we were bantering over next year's potential super bowl champion (I of course picked the only team possible...Hello!  The STEELERS.)


 I watched my friend eat his German Chocolate cake while I attempted to sawed through my cake balls.   My friend said eating his cake reminded him of when he growing up and remembering what a good cook and baker his mother was and how she always made things from scratch. I would have to say that his German Chocolate cake tasted pretty darn good then.  However, attempting to even see the inside of one of my cake ball reminded me of the time I received a fresh ostrich egg and how I had to use a hammer to crack it open.  (Blonde trivia: Do you know how many chicken eggs equals one ostrich egg? 24! That makes a whole lot of cupcakes.) When I finally broke into the cake balls neither the strawberry nor the red velvet did anything for me. 

If you ever are in the area, I would recommend you only stick with Magnolia's  cakes and before reaching for the coffee ask when it was last brewed.  The cafe itself was somewhat inviting and there is a very large dining area.   

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cupcakes in Vegas Baby!

I was scheduled a 10 hour layover in Las Vegas landing around 7:30 PM.  I frantically googled cupcakes within walking distance from our hotel and found Jean-Philippe Chocolates and Pastries at the Bellagio.


I introduced my cupcaking world to Lorena, one of the other flight attendants working with me, and invited her to make the short trek to the Bellagio. In the two blocks we walked, we passed vagrants, stray dogs, a vagrant with a pet cat (that's a new site for me), limos, limos with people sitting out the window screaming  and many street performers.  I had been to Vegas briefly two times before on the way to Hawaii, but I never seen the street performers.  I had an epiphany! Wouldn't it be cool if I got my picture taken with Bumblebee from the transformers.  I handed my camera to Lorena and said take a pic.  I walked up to the bumblebee dude and he literally stepped away from me and said "I work for money".   At that moment, I was totally mortified! I can be so small town sometimes! I had no idea that you had to pay people to get your picture taken with them.  I could understand paying street performers, ya know the kind that play the saxophone beautifully, or the dancers that are so awesome they make it on the show "So You Think You Can Dance", but he was just standing there! At least street performers have a tip jar so you know they want money! So anyway Lorena and I walked away with no picture of Bumblebee.  When we arrived at the Jean-Philippe Chocolates at the Bellagio, there was a crowd of people at the entrance taking pictures of a huge display. The display was the worlds largest chocolate fountain. The fountain stands 27 feet high and circulates 2,100 pounds of chocolate (120 quarts) a minute. It's quite impressive.

Everything at Jean-Philippe Patisserie looked wonderfully delicious! There were even little mini wedding cakes just in case you had one of those quickie Vegas weddings for $20 bucks a pop.

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We looked at all the delicious desserts and finally came upon the cupcake section. There were only 3 to choose from but I had a feeling no matter which one we picked, they were going to be fabulous. I, of course, picked the Triple Chocolate cupcake and Lorena picked a Red Velvet cupcake. 

Our cupcakes were so pretty we didn't want to eat them.  Both our cupcakes were super fabulous.  I had never tasted a cupcake quite like it.  The frosting on each cupcake was more like a rich chocolate mousse and the cake was just so incredibly moist. Next time I am in Vegas I am going to try this little set up called a Sweet Trio. It has a rose macaroon, a mini creme brulee, and a peanut cake pop. 
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Somethin Sweet Review in Deer Park, TX

It's been a long time coming.  Although blogging about cupcakes has been out sight, it has not been out of mind.  I wanted to bake Snickerdoodle cupcakes for my new inflight friend Tyler, but I couldn't find the time this week when I was home.  If there was a way to bake cupcakes in a hotel room in the microwave and it was edible, I would be the microwave cupcake master.   Fear not girlfriend! before the month is out there will be a cute little cupcake box on top of your V file filled with your Snickerdoodle cupcakes.

On our way home from the airport I begged Toby my roommate to stop by a cupcake shop.  Any shop! It didn't matter.  I just needed a cupcake fix.  Something Sweet in Deep Park, TX was what we narrowed our search down to based on their location and yelp reviews.   Something Sweet is location on a corner lot off of a main road with easy access in and out of their shop.  When we entered Something Sweet the smell was just overwhelmingly wonderful.  If you were not in the mood for cupcakes before you entered the store, I can guarantee you were after taking one whiff of those freshly baked cupcakes. They have at least 10 different cupcakes available daily.  They all looked beautiful! There were two teenager boys (forgive me I forgot your names) behind the counter who were upbeat and friendly.  As we were trying to pick just a few cupcakes a woman was waiting behind us.  We let her go in front of us.  She knew right away which cupcakes she wanted.  She asked us if it was our first time at Something Sweet and we said "yes".  She said, "You are in for a treat.  I usually never make it out of this shop with just two cupcakes". Toby and I narrowed our cupcake pickins to Peanut Butter Bliss,  Italian Creme Cake,  and Cookies 'N Cream.

Both Toby and I picked a Peanut Butter Bliss cupcake. Who doesn't love peanut butter!! This cupcake is a chocolate cupcake with butterscotch and peanut butter chips topped with a fluffy peanut butter buttercream.  We arrived at the store around 5:30 PM.  I can tell you from previous visits to other cupcakeries most are dried out by the end of the day.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how moist these cupcakes were.  The peanut butter buttercream was a bit sweet but you can definitely taste the peanut butter in it. 

I ordered the Italian Cream Cake cupcake.  I have great memories of the most wonderful tasting cream cake from an Italian Bakery in South Carolina.  This cupcake had a wonderful cake texture.  As I am typing this review I read the description from their website and it describes it as filled with fresh coconut and walnuts.  I had no idea Italian cream cake had coconut in it. I did not taste any coconut in the cupcake but I did taste many walnuts.  The cupcake cake was delicious even if I couldn't taste any coconut.  The cream cheese buttercream was wonderful as well.  I did not taste any cream cheese though.  It also was not as sweet as the peanut butter bliss buttercream.  Again, this cupcake was just wonderfully fresh and tasty.  I will be coming back to try the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake which was suggested by one of the teenage boys and I am curious about as the key lime. 

Toby ordered the Cookies N' Cream based on the suggestion of one of the teenage boys.  He said his cupcake was great.  I can only assume he was speaking the truth becuase he didn't even let me have a bite. Just to make it fair, I didn't share my Italian Cream Cake with him so we are even!

I would definately reccommend this shop to anyone needing a cupcake fix.  The prices are very reasonable at $ 2.75 a piece.