I really wish there were enough hours in a day to get everything I wanted done. Between work and travels, I just haven't had the time to share all of the other great meals I have had in San Diego and L.A.
I'm back in Ottawa but am leaving for Germany tomorrow, so I'll leave you with this post before I head off to the land of brats and beer. I'm meeting a friend in Nuremburg for a few days so it should be fun. There's a really cool restaurant that I want to eat at, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'll be sure to share if I do get to eat there.
My second and last breakfast while in L.A. was at a wonderful cupcake shop called Vanilla Bake Shop. Funny thing is that I don't really like eating cupcakes, I just like buying them. The Vanilla Bake Shop cupcakes were so beautifully decorated that I couldn't resist taking one...no actually I take that back, six home with me. They reminded me of little, adorable orphan puppies looking for a home.
What's great is that Vanilla sells their cupcakes in miniature sizes. They call them cupcake babies, and you can easily eat a cupcake with little or no guilt, or do as I did, buy a bunch of cupcake babies to sample. The cupcakes were tiny and could be eaten in 2 bites. If you really wanted, you'd probably be able to stuff the entire cupcake in your mouth!
Aside from the beautiful presentation, their cupcakes were moist and tasty. I'm not one for a lot of icing, but I find it's required to make a good lookin' cupcake.
Here's a run down of the flavors I bought. Don't mind some of the photos. The icing on some of them got ruined from the packaging, and I basically devoured them as soon as I bought them so the photos are somewhat half assed.
We were in L.A. the same weekend as the Academy Awards, so it was only natural that we bought an Oscars cupcake.
We got to check out the Kodak Theatre and see how they prepared for the big night. It was kind of neat being in L.A. knowing that all these celebrities were in the same city, and probably not far from where we were staying in Beverly Hills.
The Oscar's cupcake was a chocolate cake with a big, gold candy star on top.
The Vanilla Bean cupcake was the most aesthetically pleasing to me. I loved the layered colors of pink and white, and the use of the sprinkles and the candy bead created different textures at each layer. This cupcake was a creamy vanilla bean cake with a Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean frosting.
The next cupcake was the Southern red velvet cupcake. I've never understood the excitement over red velvet cake. People, it's just food coloring! Nonetheless, I ordered it because it is one of their most popular cupcakes, and because CK kept telling me to order it...I know, I succumbed to food pressure!
I've always wondered, is it the 'red color' that tastes good, or the combination of the cake and the sweet cream cheese frosting together? If it is the red that tastes good, how can a color taste good? These are the things I ponder over.
It's hard to see the red cake in this photo, and I probably should have taken a photo after my first bite to show the inside, but really, how can a girl think straight when she's hungry!?
This was my favorite tasting cupcake: the bittersweet dark chocolate cupcake. I loved the sprinkles, and the lack of frosting. It was a dark chocolate cake with a small amount of bittersweet chocolate frosting, and wonderful little chocolate sprinkles.
I thought the mint chocolate cupcake was for sure going to be my favorite. I love mint and chocolate together, but this one disappointed me. It's one of those things where you have such high expectations that you end up getting disappointed because your expectations weren't met. The only mint part was the icing, and since I don't like icing, there wasn't much mint for me to enjoy. This was a dark chocolate cake with a creamy white mint frosting and semi sweet Callebaut chocolate chips
My favorite cake of all time is strawberry shortcake, so when I saw a strawberries & cream cupcake, I made that connection, and picked it out right away. This was a vanilla bean cake with fresh whip cream and strawberries.
The verdict? thumbs up. Not only do their cupcakes look great, but they taste great too. Cupcake babies are not the only things they sell. They do offer regular size cupcakes, and other great desserts such as tiramisu and banana pudding. Some of their desserts do come in miniature size that are served in plastic shot glasses.
I'll be sure to share the rest of my California meals and recipes as soon as I can.
Tschüss und bis bald!
Vanilla Bake Shop
512 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, California, USA