Saturday, September 20, 2008

A new cupcake destination: Sweet Revenge

On a fine late-summer Saturday afternoon, I finally (FINALLY) made my way down to the West Village, by way of the farmer's market, to visit Sweet Revenge cupcakes. They've been open for a few months and I've wanted to go for just as long, know... it's sort of far from Hell's Kitchen. No matter; today I made the pilgrimage. And it was worth every step.

The adorable exterior

Sweet Revenge is a cute little cafe that offers a varied lineup of treats, from sandwiches to coffee to beer. But I was there for the cupcakes, so I made a beeline for the cupcake case. There were several options on offer: Pure (vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream); Sweet Revenge (peanut butter with peanut butter frosting and a bit of chocolate ganache in the center; Crimson and Cream (raspberry red velvet with cream cheese frosting); Spice Islands Carrot (spiced carrot cake with cream cheese frosting); Dulce de Leche (vanilla cake with dulce de leche buttercream and caramel); and two types of chocolate-on-chocolate cupcakes that I didn't consider. Sorry, but I'm a vanilla gal.

The cupcake case... with other pastries too


Sweet Revenge; Spice Islands; Dulce de Leche in the back

Crimson and Cream; chocolate offerings

While I stood slack-jawed in front of the cupcake case, the bubbly owner, Marlo, who was working behind the bar, explained each one of her creations and gave me recommendations. Nonetheless, I stood, incapacitated by choice, in front of that cupcake case for longer than I'll care to admit...and certainly longer than is socially acceptable. Finally, I made my choice: a lovely little Pure cupcake, just for me, packaged in an ingenious to-go container. In my bag it went, and off I skipped to the subway to make my way home.

The carrying case

Snug in its bed

After dinner, I eagerly unpacked my cupcake and readied my utensils. The Sweet Revenge cupcakes are baked in little free-form parchments, which gives the cupcakes a unique shape and maximizes the golden-brown jagged bits that are the best part of the cake. The ample frosting is piped in a creative design, much different from the usual Magnolia/Buttercup/Billy's swirl.

Thick frosting

Check out that lovely golden-brown cake

Cake from another angle

I cut the cupcake in half, revealing a dense yellow crumb and a burst of vanilla fragrance.

Especially dense right under the frosting. Yum.

My first bite of cake revealed a very tightly-structured, buttery vanilla cake. It was very reminiscent of the Amy's Bread vanilla cake, but it was not as overwhelmingly buttery--certainly pound-cake-esque, but not nearly as heavy. Definitely a very, very good vanilla cake.

The massacre

But oh-- the frosting: an intense, creamy, delicious buttercream, enhanced with a sprinkling of sugar crystals across the top. This was an adult vanilla buttercream; it had almost an alocholic tang, like when you sniff vanilla extract. Powerful and, well, pure, the Mexican vanilla shone through to give this buttercream a distinct flavor. Yum.

I haven't had a cupcake in a while, and I'm glad I chose Sweet Revenge to break my fast. Marlo has a good thing going here-- high quality ingredients, clever tweaks on a tired formula, and a friendly cafe atmosphere all combine to make Sweet Revenge a great new addition to New York's cupcake "scene." I can't wait to go back and try the rest of the flavors. Till next time, Sweet Revenge; save a Crimson and Cream for me...

62 Carmine Street

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