One thing I learned on my travels while on my cupcake tour in Toronto was that the majority of bakeries in Toronto use swiss meringue buttercream to frost their cake. Unlike the basic buttercream (a combination of powdered sugar, butter and extract), this buttercream recipe melts normal granulated sugar (much like the flour based one I tried) so that the buttercream is smoother and doesn’t take on that grainy taste from powdered sugar. Afterall my vanilla cupcake trials, I revisited this swiss meringue buttercream and I really love it. Click here for the recipe.
We went away to to visit friends in Paris and I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to try out Swiss Meringue Buttercream on picky Parisian palettes. I baked two dozen chocolate cupcakes and made a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream to go on top. I packed my cupcakes on the train and headed for Paris with Mr. Cupcake. The cupcakes were received with rave reviews. Score!
Knowing my weakness for cupcakes, our friends suggested that they would take us to their local cupcake bakery on Sunday morning before we left for Frankfurt. On Sunday morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed and headed to Berko. And here is what we found.
The cupcakes at Berko were much smaller than mine, only about half the size. They only sold this one size of cupcakes for €2 each. They had a huge selection! But what we quickly realized when we ate our cupcakes, is that in fact their huge selection is only in the frosting. The base of all the cupcakes are either vanilla or chocolate and the difference in flavour you get is from the frosting rather than the cake itself. Here are the cupcakes we chose.
It was definitely quite busy in the shop for a Sunday morning. There plenty of Parisians getting their cupcakes fix. Most of them took the cupcakes ‘to go’.
The first one we tried was raspberry-vanilla with a white chocolate glaze. This one had a fresh raspberry on top and a cheeky fresh raspberry inside. The vanilla cake was very good but it did have a disappointing empty air pocket inside.
Next we tried the berry vanilla. It was the same vanilla cake base and it tasted very delicious. Not to sweet. Inside the cupcake there was also a fresh raspberry. The frosting was a whipped cream frosting (again, not too sweet) and the berry coulis in the squeezy thing was a delicious touch. Overall, a very delicious cupcake and I would go back for more.
The chocolate cupcake was disappointing. We picked the basic chocolate one with chocolate chip cookie chunks in the frosting. The frosting here was a buttercream, unlike the white chocolate glaze and whipping cream on the previous cupcakes and it was damn sweet. You could feel the sugar granules and the flavour of the chocolate wasn’t deep or chocolately at all. I couldn’t finish the cupcake.
2 outta 3, ain’t a bad score and I wouldn’t mind going back to sample some more of their flavours. Berko’s vanilla cupcakes were lovely afterall and that is sayin’ something as I feel that is one of the hardest flavours to perfect. Lord knows I am still working on mine!
Overall it was a fantastic time and I love experiencing cupcakes from all over and checking out the range of flavour combinations or creative ways of presenting the cupcakes. It’s always such a rush of inspiration!