Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cake is Awesome! Another review of Charm City Cakes

Yes it is, and the one pictured above most certainly is! (As is written on his head!)

This past Saturday night, Matt and I went to a party hosted by Threadless and Charm City Cakes. Threadless is one of my favorite clothing purveyors - they make t-shirts based on user-submitted designs, and I own far too many of them (such as this, this, and this, and yes, I love giraffes). If you don't know what Charm City Cakes is, check out their website - they're an incredible bakery here in Baltimore that turns out anything but the standard cake, and they have a show on Food Network. But what does Threadless have to do with Charm City Cakes?

Mary Alice, the manager of CCC and one of the stars of Food Network's Ace of Cakes, frequently wears Threadless
tees on camera, so the folks at Threadless decided to throw a party here in Baltimore to 1) present Mary Alice with an award for "Best On-Screen Visibility" and 2) launch a new shirt design.

The party was free to attend and there were also copious amounts of pizza and beverages. To my surprise, there was a table near the entrance on which there were piles of t-shirts bearing the design pictured at left and over which was a sign directing people to take one (but most people took way more than one...what ever happened to the honor system?) The party was listed as running from 8-11:30 and we got there at 8:20, but the only shirt sizes left on the table were both guys and girls small (luckily I wear a size XS or S, so I was able to get a shirt...I later managed to get Matt - who is tall and therefore wears an L - a shirt, too, through my smooth talkin' ;)

The highlight of the party (for those who didn't leave after snagging 5 shirts) was the cake! Matt and I were completely convinced that the cake pictured at the top of this post was not a real cake but rather a styrofoam round covered with fondant - we came to this conclusion based on the following:

  1. There were two large boxes containing sheet cakes set out in the food area near the pizza.
  2. This party was announced somewhat last minute, leading me to believe that they didn't have time to bake a real cake (not that a round cake would have taken that long to make, which leads me to # 3)
  3. There's no way those tiny feet could support a cake of that thickness unless they were made of some sort of cast metal, and
  4. They didn't cut into the cake, indicating to me that it was indeed styrofoam.
I've had the pleasure of sampling Charm City Cakes' wares in the past, but I was still looking forward to having some more.

The two sheet cakes that were made for us partygoers were chocolate chip cake and espresso cake. CCC's sheet cakes are frosted with their classic buttercream and they don't have fondant on them, which is good, because despite its smooth appearance and utility in cake decorating, it doesn't taste all that great. The real reason sheet cakes don't have fondant on them is because they are usually not displayed to the crowd at an event, so there's no need to go through the laborious and costly process of making the cake look completely smooth and perfect.

As I stated in my previous review, the frosting on the cakes was great. CCC uses a meringue buttercream frosting, which many people are unaccustomed to and therefore usually find to be oily or greasy. This is likely due to the fact that they are used to the standard American buttercream frosting, which is made with confectioners sugar and butter, giving it a thick and grainy feeling. CCC's frosting isn't overly buttery nor is it sickly sweet.

The cake flavors I had this time around were espresso, which was made of a chocolate cake and a coffee-flavored mousse between the layers, and chocolate chip, which was made of a white cake with chocolate chips and their classic buttercream between the layers.

I normally don't like chocolate cake, but I thought theirs was pretty good. It was moist but not dense and it was neither overly rich nor overly sweet. The coffee filling was a nice foil to the chocolate cake. While I would never choose this flavor if I were to order a cake from them, I'll objectively give it a grade of B+ .

The chocolate chip cake was also good - I'm not a big fan of chocolate chips in cake (I find that to be more of a muffin feature) - the cake itself had a good crumb and mild vanilla flavor (it was a soft white cake, not a dense yellow cake). I think I would have liked it better had the chocolate chips been left out. My grade for this cake is a B, mostly because of the fact that one layer had sunken chips and the fact that there wasn't a different flavor frosting between the layers.

All in all, it was a great night - free pizza, free Yuengling, free Charm City Cake, free supercute Threadless t-shirt - what more could a girl ask for on a humid Saturday night in June? Not much more, that's for sure.


johnny dollar said...

thanks for the review - we got there probably around 11:30 and things were really wrapping up. ah well...

John said...

Now I remember where I heard about this - I got the email and didn't go. I went to Kobe with my sister and her husband and father-in-law. It was a blast. Glad the CCC thing was fun. Hopefully I'll get an invite to the next one!

Erin said...

Oh Roopa, I envy you so! Not only did you get to go to a Charm City Cakes event, but you have those awesome shirts! How did you score an invite to that party? Sounds like a great time, and I'm glad to hear that the CCC cake was good, as well as looking amazing as usual.

Question: was the cake made for the t-shirt design? Is that a classic Threadless design?

Sophie said...

I am a huge fan of threadless Ts and the Ace of Cakes (charm city cakes)! This is so cool, I can't wait to get that shirt :D!

Collene said...

You just might be my new favorite person!
Threadless is one of my favorite clothing companies and I adore Charm city cakes <3

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