An Open Letter to our Customers,
When I opened my first Cakelove 6 ½ years ago, there were only a handful of bakeries offering cupcakes and it is exciting to see how popular they’ve become. I’d like to congratulate Georgetown Cupcake on their victory in the Washington Post’s Cupcake Wars. The winning cupcake is very good.
In the course of reading the articles, blogs, and comments about the cupcake boom everyone glosses over one element that deserves a lot more ink— the buttercream. There’s a world of difference between American buttercream—core ingredients powdered sugar, butter, and milk—and everything else. If cupcakes are your vice then you ought to know about the other styles of the good stuff that can go on top. I still remember the first time I tasted a French buttercream, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Buttercreams at CakeLove are inspired by European styles of baking. We follow these methods because they offer more versatility and depth to create natural, bright flavors. This means that CakeLove buttercreams are closer in composition to ice cream than traditional American buttercream—our recipes call for custards and meringues. It also means we use far less sugar. Sugar is essential in baking, but the amounts used in many American inspired desserts are simply overwhelming. We make different flavors that are made from real berries and the like; we skip the artificial dyes and candies. And our style is simple—we frost by hand just because we think it’s homey. I’m a fan of the slow food movement, and I won’t throw my standards overboard even when it’s dessert.
But why refrigerate these delicate devils when they only taste good @ room temperature, especially when it invites comments like “cold cupcakes-WTF?!?”
I wish it didn’t sound so lame and wonky, but we’re just following the Health Department’s rules and regulations. In a commercial bakery, perishable ingredients and foods can’t be out of the fridge for more than four hours. One visitor even accused us of committing “Temperature Abuse” (Yes, that’s right.) when they saw frosted cupcakes sitting out on the rack prior to going into the fridge. If we kept our butter or cream cheese based frostings out all day the Health Department would have a field day! We’ve even been forced to toss out plain butter because it didn’t jibe with their time and temperature charts. But that’s what the Health Department does to protect the public health and we respect their rules.
To simplify, it has been an ongoing challenge to marry the fruits of our all-natural labors and the health regulations we are legally required to abide by. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Similarly, if you’re going to indulge in one of our delicious cupcakes, please wait 15 minutes for the cake to reach room temperature before enjoying.
-Warren Brown, Owner/Founder, CakeLove & Love Café