Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chicago: Part One

by Xani


Oh, Chicago-- where do I even start? It was my first visit to this awesome city and there was so much to eat, so little time. I was there for almost a week and didn't even get around to the most classic Chicago food icon, deep dish pizza. But fear not, while there was no pizza there were many, many, MANY other tasty treats. Starting with...
The Best Cupckake of My Life


People, I have no words. I have no words about what a delicious, amazing creation this was. But this is a blog, so I'll try to make some up. Co-worker Mike and I popped into More Cupcakes after arriving in Chicago on a chilly, drizzly day. It was not far from our hotel on the Magnificent Mile, and since the weather made exploring the city not so appealing, we thought we'd drown our sorrows in sugar!

More Cupcakes is totally tiny and cute. There's just enough room for a couple of customers to stand next to a huge glass wall displaying the various cupcakes. The friendly ladies behind the counter explained all the flavors (they had about 10, and they change daily), and suggested a couple of favorites. They had regular cupcakes (which were actually on the large side) and minis. I was of course tempted by the minis, but I was MORE tempted by the unusual flavors that were only available in the full-size. Namely, salted caramel and maple bacon! Mike picked up a couple of his own: s'more and the cupcake of the day, which was some kind of pumpkin creation. Then we popped in next door to grab some beverages at Starbucks, and then retired to our hotel to sample the goods.



Wall of cupcakes

minis-- you can see their regular-size counterparts above, for scale


Maple- Bacon



Pumpkin Cupcake of the Day



S'more


Then I was faced with a tough decision- which to eat first?! I opted for the salted caramel and this ended up being a very wise decision. When I cut it in half (because I was only planning on eating half) I found THIS:




Oh yeah. That's an oozy, sticky, sweet, salty caramel filling in there. And it's making me drool as I type this. The salted caramel was the glue (literally) holding this all together, but I have to say that each individual element of the cupcake was just perfect. The cake itself was fairly firm and dense (it had to be to keep in that flood of caramel!) but not at all dry or crumbly. The top, bottom, and sides had nice crunch-- kindof like the toasted slices of pound cake EP and I used to have as treats when we were kids (side note: why are we still not eating that regularly, its sooo good!). The icing was a light, fluffy buttercream. Buttercream isn't always my favorite, because it's mostly butter (not that that's a bad thing) and doesn't have much flavor or sweetness of its own. But in this cupcake, a lightly sweet buttercream had exactly the right taste, texture, and sweetness to complement the cake and caramel. Just. Perfect. It's a damn good thing More Cupcakes is all the way in Chicago, otherwise I might find myself eating one of these each and every day, and that would be a bad habit to pick up.


I ate half of this cupcake right then and then found myself nibbling through the other half as I got ready to go to dinner later that night at Kuma's Corner. Nibbling a cupcake right before dinner may seem like a bad idea, but was actually a stroke of genius as we had to wait almost two hours to eat at Kuma's (more on that later)! I didn't get around to trying my maple bacon until the following afternoon, and perhaps that affected its quality, or maybe it just paled in comparison to the salted caramel. No filling in this one, but lots of crunchy bacon bits in the same firm cake (although this one was a bit more crumbly-- again, this could be due to the time it spent sitting out), and the maple-buttercream was topped with a few yummy candied bacon bits. It was good, but nothing could top the Holy Grail of cupcakes.


So there you have it-- More Cupcakes Salted Caramel, the best cupcake of my life (so far). I have much more Chicago delicious-ness to share with you and I promise it's coming soon! Stay tuned for burgers, steaks, hot dogs, and a very special sweet finale!


X

10 comments:

  1. AMAZING. Chicago is where I had my very first salted caramel, so it is quite fitting.

    I am a little disappointed that the maple bacon one wasn't fantastic, though.

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  2. Leave it to you to find the cupcakes! :)

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  3. OMG! i'll be in chicago in a few weeks and i am defly hitting up this place! thanks!

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  4. Peter- can you bring me back some salted caramels? I can pay you CASH MONEY. I'm hooked!

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  5. thats awesome, i just came from there too. i didn't know about that cupcake place. i loved chicago, my gf proposed to me there at the lake front.

    its a pretty cool place, food great, people great not bad place.

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  6. by they way, this blog makes me hungry. its almost torture reading this in the morning b/c i spend the rest of the day hungry as a mug.

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  7. YUMMY. Chicago is one of the best places EVER.

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  8. Love following your travels and eating. If you get to Seattle get Fran's dark chocolate covered caramels with smoked sea salt. Seem Obama loves her milk chocolate covered caramel with sea salt

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  9. For some reason I haven't even SEEN that cupcake place. Granted, I don't spend a lot of time down on Michigan Ave. Glad YOU found it though!!

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