Friday, April 1, 2011

Dessert | baked & wired

Shortly after paying a visit to Sprinkles Cupcakes, Angela took us over to baked & wired, also located in Georgetown.

When we arrived, this is how long the line was! Angela told us when she typically comes on Saturdays, it's usually not this long, but noted that if there is a line, it moves pretty fast as they're pretty good with turning over customers.

Cheeky chalkboard board outside.

When we finally made it inside the bakery/café, we saw the countertop covered in glass cloches (bell jars), which protected each type of cupcake offered that day. I don't know why I enjoyed the displays so much--I found them really cute!

Marcus loves chai lattés, so it was no surprise that he decided to get the chai cupcake.

Angela went with the chocolate doom. I mean, can you really go wrong with a chocolate cupcake that declares it can create doom? Must be earth-shatteringly delicious.

I went with the tessita, mainly because when I saw chocolate and hazelnut together in the same description, that was it. This was destined to be my cupcake of choice.

The "BAKED VOICE" chalkboard in the café part of baked & wired.

Here are the two cupcakes Marcus and I ordered. The tessita (on the right) was very good. It was a vanilla cupcake with dulce de leche filling and chocolate hazelnut satin frosting, with the extra added bonus of a real hazelnut on top! The cake part of the cupcake was really moist and light--almost like a slightly heavier spongecake. The frosting was my favorite part here, because it had the extra touch of hazelnuts. The dulce de leche filling, on the other hand, was a bit sweet for me and a bit over in quantity to my liking. Maybe Marcus was onto something at Sprinkles--that centers of all cupcakes should be cake-filled and with nothing else. I like my foods to be in even ratios with each other (i..e, cake-to-frosting-to-filling ratio should be even, no one ingredient overpowering others, except maybe for the cake so it can accommodate the sweetness from the frosting and filling).

I love the atypical cupcake liners at baked & wired. I think they're easy to remove and serve really well as a cupcake holder. The traditional liners don't really prevent my hands from becoming sticky or cake-y, but these work wonders! But back to the cupcake at hand--the chai. The first thing Marcus said after one bite was that this was the best cupcake he has ever had! What a bold statement, I thought, so I took a bite to see for myself. Indeed, it was amazingly delicious--it had everything one could want in the ideal cupcake. Moist and fluffy cake, check. Flavorful frosting without being too sweet, check. An extra added twist of deliciousness in flavor (in this case, chai), check. Before I could ask for another bite to taste, I looked over, and the cupcake was totally gone! Marcus ate it all before I could swipe a second bite! It was arguably one of the best bites of cupcake I've ever had as well.

And as for Angela's chocolate doom? It was doomingly chocolate-y. I could only eat a quarter of this because it was really heavy and powerful, which isn't to say it wasn't good. It was really, really good. I would definitely need a glass of milk or something similar to counter the overwhelming amount of chocolate in the chocolate doom cupcake. Unless you could consume a large amount of chocolate at once, I would say this one is best for sharing.

Findings: I would say the cake part of its cupcakes at baked & wired takes the cake (ha-ha, unintentionally added pun!) in that category. The chai cupcake is now on my list of top cupcakes I've ever had (along with the raspberry from Butter Lane and toasted almond from ChikaLicious Dessert Club in NYC). It was basically the hot beverage reincarnated in cupcake form--creamy (frosting) and spiced tea flavors (frosting and cake). The tessita was very good also--can never go wrong combining chocolate and hazelnuts in frosting (my favorite part for this cupcake). The chocolate doom, as I mentioned already, would be best for sharing (unless you're a chocoholic that knows you can handle the chocolate overload)! When I'm back in Georgetown, I will make a bee-line straight away at baked & wired. I would love to return for coffee (they make interesting coffee art in the drinks there) as well as to try other flavors of cupcakes (the carrot cake and vanilla latté look very promising)! So to compare this to Sprinkles Cupcakes, I would put this slightly higher on the priority list--I love the intimate feel of the bakery (doesn't seem as commercialized as Sprinkles) as well as the unique display and cupcake liners. While baked & wired does attract many tourists, it seems that many locals come here to study, relax, or take a break with friends--something I find to be a good sign for the best kind of bakery.

Price point: $3.50 for each cupcake.

--March 26, 2011

baked & wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
Washington, DC 20007

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