LTH Home

My season of cake begins [pics]

My season of cake begins [pics]
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 3
  • My season of cake begins [pics]

    Post #1 - August 24th, 2004, 4:51 pm
    Post #1 - August 24th, 2004, 4:51 pm Post #1 - August 24th, 2004, 4:51 pm
    I have a cake season. Three of the four birthdays-- in fact all the birthdays besides my own-- in my family fall in a just-over-60-day period beginning August 16th. The rest of the year, well, I just don't go out and buy cake any old time. So, inspired in part by this thread, I decided this year to take advantage of my cake-heavy season and try a lot of major cake makers within a short time.

    First up: Vanille Patisserie.

    The first cake I bought from there, a year ago, was the St. Lucie-- a white cake. Wouldn't have been my first choice but that day it was the only remaining choice. It was revelatory, mixing delicate whiteness and fresh fruit flavors with a deft hand. It was also extremely expensive, $40 for a smallish cake, but you know, when you're only going to eat one or two a year, that's okay.

    This year I decided to go in early and order something. Of course I couldn't resist also buying some extras to tide us over for the three or four days until we picked up the birthday cake:

    Image

    Two chocolate ones (I forget exactly what), and a strawberry rhubarb tart. Oddly, here's where I came out. Chocolate-- very good, very rich, but I have to say I was less impressed by the artistry this time because, jeez, you start out with good dark chocolate mousse filling, you've already got an A- for starters, how much higher can you go. The St. Lucie impressed me more because it exceeded my expectations so much, it was offering a lesson to a million dry white supermarket cakes before it.

    However, don't think that everyone in the family came at it with such a jaundiced view, or looked a birthday cake in the mouth that way. The intended recipient (left) gave it an A+, two thumbs up, a gold star, and said "This is the best cake ever, Dad!"

    Image

    Next up: either Fox & Obel or Bombon, I haven't decided.

    Vanille Pastisserie
    2229 N. Clybourne
    773-868-4574
    http://www.vanillepatisserie.com

    Photos relinked 9/1/09.
    Last edited by Mike G on September 1st, 2009, 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #2 - August 24th, 2004, 5:20 pm
    Post #2 - August 24th, 2004, 5:20 pm Post #2 - August 24th, 2004, 5:20 pm
    Anyway we all can get invited to Liam's next birthday? I'll bring a present.

    You have also inspired me. In our family the months of February and March are crazy with birthdays. We host one party for 4 kids with 13 people total in attendance. My Mother-in-law usually picks up a cake from a grocery store bakery (she usually brings some of the premade layered taco dip in the plastic container too), but next year I'm, going to seize the cake duties and hunt down something really great.

    Thanks, Mike!

    Kim
  • Post #3 - August 24th, 2004, 7:55 pm
    Post #3 - August 24th, 2004, 7:55 pm Post #3 - August 24th, 2004, 7:55 pm
    Great pics. I've liked what I've had before at Vanille, especially the fruit jellies, but I got to say I am dissapointed a bit with strawberry rhubarb pie in August. Glad to see freshness matters with them.

    Rob
  • Post #4 - August 24th, 2004, 8:14 pm
    Post #4 - August 24th, 2004, 8:14 pm Post #4 - August 24th, 2004, 8:14 pm
    You mean you are not going to don your kiss the cook apron and whip up a cake from scratch?
  • Post #5 - August 24th, 2004, 8:43 pm
    Post #5 - August 24th, 2004, 8:43 pm Post #5 - August 24th, 2004, 8:43 pm
    VI-- which do you object to, strawberries or rhubarb? They both seem to be in season to me still. I forgot to say how I liked that, which was quite a lot, actually.

    As for making a cake from scratch, well-- I'm inspired to make pies by the lack of great pies in town. I've never been especially inspired to make cakes, I've done it a few times, but given the wonderful things you can buy-- I can walk out the door and be at Dinkel's in five minutes, too-- that's something I'd rather buy.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #6 - August 24th, 2004, 10:52 pm
    Post #6 - August 24th, 2004, 10:52 pm Post #6 - August 24th, 2004, 10:52 pm
    Mike G wrote:VI-- which do you object to, strawberries or rhubarb? They both seem to be in season to me still. I forgot to say how I liked that, which was quite a lot, actually.

    As for making a cake from scratch, well-- I'm inspired to make pies by the lack of great pies in town. I've never been especially inspired to make cakes, I've done it a few times, but given the wonderful things you can buy-- I can walk out the door and be at Dinkel's in five minutes, too-- that's something I'd rather buy.


    I suppose everything is in season somewhere. About a year ago, I read a book about Lutece in its heyday, and they talked about how they always were able to procure fresh asparagus. Still, strawberries and rhubarb around here tend to be in season around June. Still, I have to confess, Nicholl's Farm this year was selling strawberries as late as, like 2 weeks ago--I guess it's the cold summer. It's still a Spring fruit.

    Or maybe frozen does not matter in this cake.

    Rob
  • Post #7 - August 24th, 2004, 11:48 pm
    Post #7 - August 24th, 2004, 11:48 pm Post #7 - August 24th, 2004, 11:48 pm
    Nice pics. Cute kids.

    Gotta like the name Liam - have a Liam myself...thought I was the only one!
  • Post #8 - August 25th, 2004, 8:28 am
    Post #8 - August 25th, 2004, 8:28 am Post #8 - August 25th, 2004, 8:28 am
    Not to stray too far from the topic, but I've got a Liam as well. Not quite ready for cake yet, but is eating everything else put in front of him!
  • Post #9 - September 4th, 2004, 4:56 pm
    Post #9 - September 4th, 2004, 4:56 pm Post #9 - September 4th, 2004, 4:56 pm
    Well, my second cake in my cake season has come and gone:

    Image

    A very fancy exterior-- supposed to be roses, I guess, made of chocolate shavings-- for what was actually a fairly homey cake inside, chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and banana puree (I think they said mousse but it wasn't that moussey) between the layers. Very tasty though, as noted, it didn't seem as refined and sophisticated as the Vanille goodies, probably just because banana is a more ordinary seeming flavor; I'll have to try other things to judge where Bombon fits in the overall cake cosmos. Certainly on looks, though, this cake wowed everybody.

    Photo relinked 9/1/09.
    Last edited by Mike G on September 1st, 2009, 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #10 - November 6th, 2004, 11:54 am
    Post #10 - November 6th, 2004, 11:54 am Post #10 - November 6th, 2004, 11:54 am
    Mike,

    What ever happened to the third cake?

    I'm picking up a cake from Vanille later today for my girlfriend's birthday. I'm very much looking forward to it, and will report later. It too came to $36+tax for an 8" cake. But I look at it and figure it's cheaper than the chocolate buffet at the Peninsula, so come away ok.

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #11 - November 6th, 2004, 5:12 pm
    Post #11 - November 6th, 2004, 5:12 pm Post #11 - November 6th, 2004, 5:12 pm
    I went to Fox & Obel but for whatever reason I wasn't terribly excited by the cake choices, and wound up getting a milk chocolate tart instead. So they sort of ended up out of competition. It was pretty good but I can't really say if they belong in the front rank of cake competitors because I haven't had one yet.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #12 - August 23rd, 2005, 5:34 pm
    Post #12 - August 23rd, 2005, 5:34 pm Post #12 - August 23rd, 2005, 5:34 pm
    Well, my season of cake has begun again. I actually managed to come up with a reason to get two for Liam's birthday-- his actual birthday, last Tuesday, I started out for Vanille Patisserie on Monday but they turned out to be closed that day, so I kept going south and popped into Bombon instead. NOTE TO SELF: you do not have to make the poor kid read the name of every single cake in the case, they're on the sign which is behind you when you stand at the counter (which is why you don't notice it).

    Anyway, after making the poor kid read the name of every single etc., I got a chocolate coconut cake with strawberries, raspberries and little tiny grapes on it. I have to say, I've never picked a cake at Bombon as good as either of the two that Cathy bought for the LTH 1st anniversary party; they always look about two notches better than they taste, which is not to say that they don't taste pretty damn good, only that the peak of their artistry is the outside, not the inside. (The problem is that while I think the tres leches is divine, for instance, my wife doesn't particularly like that kind.) But having turned the kid's nanny on to Bombon, she now swears by the raspberry-chocolate-cheesecake one, so maybe I just need to go have that.

    The second cake was also a second choice after Vanille-- it turned out when I called them on Friday to reserve one for Saturday, it was already too late to "order" a cake. I'm not ordering a cake, I said, just reserving one out of the stock you already have for tomorrow, same as if I walked in and bought one. C'est impossible, they said, showing that their French authenticity extended to the level of bureaucracy they present on the phone (I suppose I was lucky they were even open in the month of August). So eventually I decided to pop into Bittersweet instead, which I noticed was doing a land office brunch and gelato business at 2:00 in the afternoon on Saturday. They didn't really have cake cakes, but I picked up a flourless chocolate mousse cake, much as you might have in a fancy schmancy restaurant.

    It was... half really good. The mousse layer of the cake was great. The cake-like base it sat on was... sturdy. Practical. A bit sawdusty. All in all, I'm not saying we didn't scarf it happily, but I've had many better ones in restaurants.

    Another birthday comes up in about 10 days. I haven't decided where next. Try yet another Bombon cake? Try an old school place like Roeser's or Reuter's or somewhere? House of Fine Chocolates? Thoughts?

    Bombon
    1508 W. 18th
    (312) 733-7788

    Bittersweet
    1114 W. Belmont Ave.
    773-929-1100
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #13 - August 23rd, 2005, 7:31 pm
    Post #13 - August 23rd, 2005, 7:31 pm Post #13 - August 23rd, 2005, 7:31 pm
    Mike G wrote:Another birthday comes up in about 10 days. I haven't decided where next. Try yet another Bombon cake? Try an old school place like Roeser's or Reuter's or somewhere? House of Fine Chocolates? Thoughts?



    If it were my birthday, I'd be hoping for an old school buttercream frosted yellow cake with chocolate fudge filling. Two of the places you mention (Roesser's or Reuter's...both closed on Mondays) would be top tier choices.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - August 23rd, 2005, 10:48 pm
    Post #14 - August 23rd, 2005, 10:48 pm Post #14 - August 23rd, 2005, 10:48 pm
    How 'bout Sweet Thang or Alliance Bakery?
  • Post #15 - August 24th, 2005, 11:27 pm
    Post #15 - August 24th, 2005, 11:27 pm Post #15 - August 24th, 2005, 11:27 pm
    I guess the question still begs, are you buying the cake for your palate or for that of the not so discerning but relatively specific palates of oh, say three or four year olds who might think that a cake isn't a cake if doesn't have plastic characters on top or at the very very least, three sweet frosting balloons piped on top a la Dinkels. I am thrilled that our son appreciates a good moist cake but what he really cares most about is the frosting. The actual cake part still seems to be merely a foundation for yummy frosting. So to serve up the gorgeous Vanille choco shaving work of art would be, a too weird underwhelming thing. As his food loving momma. I'm so willing to introduce that cake on a quiet night but not the thing I'd prance out to he and all his shorty friends who really just want to stick their fingers in the frosting and be all goofy and birthday-ish.

    I suggest House of Fine Chocolates as the perfect halfway point. Artisrty meets comfort meets exceptional ingredients. I like Dinkel's but certain baker friends have told me to write it off as they don't use real butter. I am torn about this but they do have moist consistent cakes.

    Please go back and give Fox & Obel a chance, Their cakes are not sexy per se, it's totally standard (three or four varieties) but that is one of the best bakeries in operation in the city right now, dancing the delicate dance of keeping it real and artisanal and pleasing a wide variety of palates. I so wish I'd picked up one of their devil's food cakes for my girlfriend's birthday there rather than spending 60 dollars for an inedible but gorgeous cake from Angel Food. Sometimes, a cake should just be a cake, you know, chocolate cake and chocolate frosting. If someone can do that really well, that's why bakeries make us feel good and better and why we should give them our business.

    Have you ever had the Tia Martita at Bom Bon? It's what we call the Bomb of Bom Bon. It's a layer of cheese cake and then chocolate and then sponge cake oh I don't recall exactly, but it was the huge winner at my husaband's birthday party last fall, the sweet but hipstery ad agency young thangs getting all reverant about the cake and asking me where in the world I ever found a cake like this. But then again, this isn't the demographic I go to for good food sources but damn they loved the Tia Martita to death.

    Good luck. I am intrigued by Cake Girls but they only do cakes to order (read: special occasion cakes) but you never know.

    best,

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #16 - August 25th, 2005, 10:51 am
    Post #16 - August 25th, 2005, 10:51 am Post #16 - August 25th, 2005, 10:51 am
    The kids are quite eclectic in their tastes, they like contemplating what themes they might put on their cakes when we walk by Dinkel's but in the end they will happily tear into any cake put in front of them and leave no survivors. So I've had no problem with indulging my preference for something better than Pillsbury-style generic American cake (which I don't especially care for; I'm the guy who scrapes half the frosting off his).

    Cake Girls seemed to be mainly in the wedding cake business, and I'm always suspicious with those places that they're about making the cake look fantastic and be structurally sound, not about taste. (We actually didn't have wedding cake at our wedding-- the small reception was at Spiaggia and we just served a dessert sampling off the menu.) I'm sure there are wedding cake places that make great cakes, but the fancier they get with the fondant (and Cake Girls does some amazing cake architecture), the more doubtful I get.

    I think House of Fine Chocolates is next.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #17 - August 25th, 2005, 11:03 am
    Post #17 - August 25th, 2005, 11:03 am Post #17 - August 25th, 2005, 11:03 am
    stevez wrote:
    Mike G wrote:Another birthday comes up in about 10 days. I haven't decided where next. Try yet another Bombon cake? Try an old school place like Roeser's or Reuter's or somewhere? House of Fine Chocolates? Thoughts?



    If it were my birthday, I'd be hoping for an old school buttercream frosted yellow cake with chocolate fudge filling. Two of the places you mention (Roesser's or Reuter's...both closed on Mondays) would be top tier choices.


    Hey, I like Reuters a lot, but not the birthday cakes. I'm sure it's other stuff in them, but I swear the artificial colors in the frosting taste bad. Do shop at Reuters, just not for the cakes.

    Rob
  • Post #18 - August 25th, 2005, 4:59 pm
    Post #18 - August 25th, 2005, 4:59 pm Post #18 - August 25th, 2005, 4:59 pm
    Okay, that's good to know. Though I'd think old school non-superpremium cakes would appeal to a fan of old school non-superpremium \ ice cream....
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #19 - August 25th, 2005, 10:20 pm
    Post #19 - August 25th, 2005, 10:20 pm Post #19 - August 25th, 2005, 10:20 pm
    well, it's nice to know that I've found, finally after oh, 38 years on this fine planet of ours my very first bad frosting aversion compadre. I have been scraping the crisco and powder sugar cheapo frosting off my fork since I could hold or even scrape a fork. Part of this may stem from the fact that my crazy Aunt Nancy owned a bakery and then told me and showed me what when into the kiddies birthday cakes (this is sounding so Raymond Carver-ish, I don't mean it to). And I loathe with my entire being fondant, even though I know it looks pretty, sort of, in a molded, creepy, I don't look like a cake but I'm a cake kind of way. No thank you.

    So back to the drawing board. Get your cake investigating person to Fox & Obel, and forget about Cake Girls, I think your gut might be right about the pretty factor. Oh wait I have an idea, totally wild hair, try and find the real woman behind Mrs Winter's Cakes. She sells her mind-blowingly moist and real and no fake ingredients cakes at gas stations on the south side, in those plastic clam shells, as they cal them in the restaurant industry. I buy her cake at the BP at 53rd/Cornell/Lake Park convergance. (Where they always graciously give you a plastic wrapped fork through the bullet-proof glass turnstyle which makes me feel as urban as an urban dweller can get but also charmed by the thoughtful handing over of an individually wrapped little plastic fork as if they were anticipating me, the lady who wants to eat the cake in her car while driving back downtown on Lake Shore Drive.) I've always fantasized about Mrs. Winters making a very big chocolate cake for me. She's out of a south side suburb, I did post on her on the CH site once.

    cheers,

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #20 - August 26th, 2005, 3:05 am
    Post #20 - August 26th, 2005, 3:05 am Post #20 - August 26th, 2005, 3:05 am
    In the South Side sold-in-a-clamshell shcool, don't forget about sweet 'Lil Me Me's Bakery, which actually operates a full scale bakery as well as the clam shell business.

    Sweet Lil' Me Me's Bakery
    11836 South Western Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60643
    Tel: 773/233-7230
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - August 26th, 2005, 4:48 am
    Post #21 - August 26th, 2005, 4:48 am Post #21 - August 26th, 2005, 4:48 am
    well, it's nice to know that I've found, finally after oh, 38 years on this fine planet of ours my very first bad frosting aversion compadre. I have been scraping the crisco and powder sugar cheapo frosting off my fork since I could hold or even scrape a fork.


    You know there is so much lousy buttercream frosting out there, that I no longer even consider whether it is cheapo or not, so count me in, too. And my 17 year-old son who overdosed on cake at some point in his youth has become pretty frosting-averse. I can deal with a quality, thin layer on a good cake knowing it is meant primarily to decorate, because making food visually pleasing has a place. But when we get past 1/8 inch thick or so, I just have to dig in with the fork and start stripping (I have a similar problem with the mounds of cream cheese many bagel chains think I want - I want to say, "it's a spread!").

    For a recent b'day the Bride acquired a cake for me, and noted, apologetically - "I asked for whipped cream, but they said they could only decorate buttercream..." The fat, from Upper Crust in Lisle, was of higher quality than most so it did not destroy the cake, and she is a lovely person, but she knew she was on thin ice with this curmudgeon. Buttercream, yeccch :!:
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #22 - September 2nd, 2005, 8:29 pm
    Post #22 - September 2nd, 2005, 8:29 pm Post #22 - September 2nd, 2005, 8:29 pm
    Image

    So here is cake #3 of my season of cake, 2005. Dark chocolate with chocolate fudge, from House of Fine Chocolates.

    Very handsome, yes-- and those are strips of chocolate along the sides, not frosting. These guys make everything from chocolate.

    But I wish I had bought the chocolate mousse with raspberries one (though my wife, inexplicably, doesn't really like the combination of choc and ras). With fudge in its center, this is one heavy cake. This is like the cake in Peter Newell's The Hole Book, a delightful early 20th century kids' book with an actual hole through almost all of the book as it shows, page by page the path of an accidental bullet-- until it's stopped by the first cake baked by a brand new bride.

    What it reminded me of was one of those Death By Chocolate type desserts you get at chains like Bennigan's. Just too much, too thick, too chocolatey. I expect some lightness, some mousse deftness in a cake. Which is why next time I need to get one that's actually made that way. But I'll go back.

    House of Fine Chocolates
    3109 North Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60657
    Phone: 773-525-5700
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #23 - October 17th, 2005, 10:48 am
    Post #23 - October 17th, 2005, 10:48 am Post #23 - October 17th, 2005, 10:48 am
    Image

    My season of cake ends for this year with a themed cake from an old fave, Dinkel's. As soon as I saw this, I knew it had 7-year-old boy whose birthday is close to Halloween written all over it. He especially liked the spear through the head with raspberry blood dripping from it (not a moment I particularly recall from any Frankenstein movie I ever saw, but whatever).

    And the cake? Well... a few years ago Dinkel's was my default cake. I think it's a nice old school neighborhood bakery with perfectly decent danish and a really good chocolate bismarck, that's been one of my top Chicago things ever since I discovered it when I first moved into the hood 14 years ago this month. But I can't say that this cake compared to the fancy yuppie cakes I'd picked up above. The cake was a little dry by comparison, the chocolate mousse in between layers a little less generous than I'd like, perhaps because the design requires such a weight of frosting (which you'd be insane to eat all of-- even the kids knew to not eat it all). Maybe it's unfair to compare old school cake to decadently overdone yuppie cake-- but of course you can't help comparing it. This was fine for the purpose (a birthday party with lots of kids), it went over big. And it's cake, don't complain. But I'd say Bombon still won this year's competition, with House of Fine Chocolates remaining in competition for next year as a place I'd like to give another shot.

    Dinkel's
    3329 N. Lincoln
    (773) 281-7300
    www.dinkels.com
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #24 - October 17th, 2005, 1:06 pm
    Post #24 - October 17th, 2005, 1:06 pm Post #24 - October 17th, 2005, 1:06 pm
    Mike G wrote:Well, my second cake in my cake season has come and gone:

    Image

    Certainly on looks, though, this cake wowed everybody.


    I can see why. That is an amazingly well done cake. It would also be no surprise if that cake went fast.
    Information on cooking schools, chef uniforms, chef jobs and more.
  • Post #25 - October 22nd, 2005, 9:39 pm
    Post #25 - October 22nd, 2005, 9:39 pm Post #25 - October 22nd, 2005, 9:39 pm
    If yah don't mind my asking, how much was cake #2? It looks sooo yummy! Almost to beautiful to eat!
  • Post #26 - October 22nd, 2005, 10:03 pm
    Post #26 - October 22nd, 2005, 10:03 pm Post #26 - October 22nd, 2005, 10:03 pm
    As I recall Bombon cakes tend to be about $30 for a smaller one (which is plenty big for us) and $40ish for a larger one. Not cheap, clearly, but worth it for special occasions, I believe.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #27 - October 27th, 2005, 2:25 pm
    Post #27 - October 27th, 2005, 2:25 pm Post #27 - October 27th, 2005, 2:25 pm
    stevez wrote:In the South Side sold-in-a-clamshell shcool, don't forget about sweet 'Lil Me Me's Bakery, which actually operates a full scale bakery as well as the clam shell business.

    Sweet Lil' Me Me's Bakery
    11836 South Western Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60643
    Tel: 773/233-7230

    Anyone know if this place still exists? They haven't been answering their phone.
  • Post #28 - December 15th, 2005, 9:31 pm
    Post #28 - December 15th, 2005, 9:31 pm Post #28 - December 15th, 2005, 9:31 pm
    The last cake of the 2005 birthday season at chez Mike G was bought by me--since it was for Mike G's birthday yesterday. At bjt's suggestion to Mike G above, I decided to give Fox & Obel another chance and it was also quite convenient to my place of work. I went on my lunch hour and picked out a 6" round dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I didn't take a picture of it for purposes of posting, but you're not missing much visually because the pastry chef was on his lunch break and was unable to write anything on it! The plain exterior did not reflect the moist cake and rich dark chocolate flavors. I would definitely recommend it.
    We have the very best Embassy stuff.
  • Post #29 - August 16th, 2006, 9:56 pm
    Post #29 - August 16th, 2006, 9:56 pm Post #29 - August 16th, 2006, 9:56 pm
    Image

    Wow, here we are on cake season #3. I have to say, not completely self-congratulatorily, it's really cool the way some of these threads have such history.

    I decided it was time to give House of Fine Chocolates a second shot. This time what I hoped would be a lighter, fluffier chocolate mousse cake.

    Well, I am now convinced that House of Fine Chocolates takes the approach to chocolate that a drywall/mudder guy I talked to once took to plaster. I was showing him the back of my house, where an exterior stairway had been enclosed:

    DRYWALL MUDDER GUY: Yeah, we could take care of that, take a bucket of plaster and smoot' it right on up.

    ME: It's kind of cool, the way you've still got the original wood siding exposed.

    DRYWALL MUDDER GUY: Yeah, you put some quarter inch drywall on that, take your plaster, mud it up real good, you got yourself a brand new wall, good as new.

    ME: I was thinking it might even be kind of interesting to leave the siding on one wall, for character.

    DRYWALL MUDDER GUY: Yeah, no problem, just put down some shims, nail up the quarter inch, mix up a big bucket of your plaster, mud it real nice and smoot', it'll look like one of your brand new houses in your Barrington or your Naperville.


    This was a tasty cake. But a light fluffy touch with chocolate these people do not have. It is chocolate, filled with chocolate, coated with chocolate, built on a foundation of chocolate. The skyline in the picture is a solid, continuous round shell of chocolate, under which there is chocolate frosting, chocolate bedrock, chocolate magma, and a chocolate core in a chocolate plasma state.

    On the other hand, I have to say, this is one of the best deals in town, cake-wise. A really high-quality, dense, fine dark chocolate cake, its equivalent in quality and ingredients would be $30 if not pushing $40 elsewhere, and it was going for the cake-full-of-shortcuts price of $17.50. How they can do that when they pay Lakeview property taxes, I don't know, but that's what it was. And they do gorgeous work, too-- the imitation curtain folds on another cake were as pretty as any cake decorating I've seen. Just be prepared for a cake that's approaching the maximum possible gravitational density of chocolate, that's all.

    Image

    Happy 5th birthday!

    House of Fine Chocolates
    3109 North Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60657
    Phone: 773-525-5700
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #30 - August 17th, 2006, 9:51 pm
    Post #30 - August 17th, 2006, 9:51 pm Post #30 - August 17th, 2006, 9:51 pm
    I'd take that cake anyday! Thanks for continuing the tradition of your birthday cakes with us.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more