I am obsessed with Charm City Cakes. I knew of it before I moved here, and then last fall Ace of Cakes started up. Well, I love that show and now I have a horrible obsession with all things Duff. However, I have always been skeptical of the quality of his cakes - they are usually half cake-half styrofoam/PVC pipe, and the cake part is cloaked in fondant. If so much attention is paid to the cakes' appearance how good could they possibly taste?
The answer: VERY VERY GOOD.
I had the good fortune of being able to attend the Maritime Magic event in Fells Point tonight. It was a fundraiser for the Living Classrooms Foundation, which is an organization with which my workplace is closely involved. My boss bought a table and invited his employees, so I, being his employee, got to go. I thought it was going to be lame, but lame it was not. It took place at the Frederick Douglass Museum, which is at the end of Fells Point, so the setting was lovely. There were food/drink booths set up all along the boardwalks, and the booths were nothing to scoff at. The finest restaurants in Baltimore were there in full force: Ale Mary's, Birches, The Capital Grille, Charm City Cakes, Chipotle (ha ha - nice of a chain to show up), Clipper City Brewing Co., The Charleston, Lebanese Taverna, Mama's on the Half Shell, McCormick & Schmick's, The Rusty Scupper, Sofi's Crepes, Vin, etc etc etc.
Anyway, I got myself near CCC's booth and started spazzing at the sight of Duff. (I know, I'm a loser, no need to remind me of that.)
Review part 1: Pumpkin Chip cake
- I LOOOOVE all things pumpkin, so I was very excited about this one. The cake had a lovely texture: moist but not dense. However, there was no discernible pumpkin flavor. It tasted like spice cake. The frosting, however, was marvelous. It was a plain meringue buttercream, but it was impeccable - barely sweet and perfectly silky without being greasy.
Review part 2: Blueberry Lemon Curd cake
- Again, wonderful texture to the cake. Moist, not dense. Light crumb, but not at all dry. However, I didn't detect even the faintest trace of lemon in the cake. There were fresh blueberries in the cake (YUM), but where was the lemon? The cake was 2 layers, and the aforementioned plain buttercream was between the layers and also all over the outside of the cake. So it was a blueberry cake with buttercream frosting. It was indeed tasty, but I was definitely misled.
- OK so before you deem me a gluttonous cake-hoarding wench, let it be known that, while I am slightly shameless, I do have limits - I only got two pieces of cake. This piece was garnered by my coworker (who also got a slice of Mudslide that I refused to try). The cake did not at all taste like white chocolate; it tasted like a plain old white cake. There was raspberry jam between the layers, and the entire cake was covered in the same plain buttercream. Again, impeccable cake and buttercream texture, but the flavors were weak.
So, bottom line: I don't have $1000 + to spend on a cake, but, strictly hypothetically speaking, if I were loaded, I would totally get my giraffe playing a piano-shaped cake from Duff and co.