1. Cupcake #85
    Mimi’s Bakehouse (63 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6RA)
    Red Velvet Mini

    Farewell afternoon tea at Mimi’s on the shore - here is the requisite tiny cupcake sitting pretty on its tier!  I have to say that the awesomeness of the rest of the selection quite overwhelmed this tiny red velvet (seriously what do they put in that egg mayo?  is it DRUGS?) but its subtle flavours were a welcome, if inconspicuous, respite from the sweetness of the baby pavlova and the chocolate intensity of the mini-brownies it shared a plate with.

    Goodbye Edinburgh you were kind to me.

  2. Cupcake #84
    Cuckoo’s Bakery (150 Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 5DQ)

    This was one of my last cupcakes in Edinburgh.  It was kinda disappointing though.  Part of Cuckoo’s summer range, Twisted is meant to be some sort of tropical concoction of pineapple sponge with a raspberry centre and vanilla lime buttercream.  The pineapple sponge was ace, but the raspberry jam clashed with the other flavours and the icing just tasted kind of like congealed 7-Up.  Bit of an anticlimax for my Scottish farewell.

    Looks: 4/5
    Taste: 2/5
    Total: 6/10

  3. Cupcakes #83 
    Rose & Raspberry

    Amos made these as farewell cupcakes using this recipe for rose and raspberry.  It was kind of a perfect combination.  You know.

  4. Cupcake #82
    Urban Angel (121 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ)
    Carrot Cake

    I have been staking out the elusive cupcakes of Urban Angel for a while now - they have a tendency to only appear after I have breakfasted enormously.  Happily my recent errand run to New Town occurred on an empty stomach, and fortuitously there were cupcakes sitting in the glass display when I arrived at Hanover Street.

    I do love Urban Angel, but there is a monumental problem with this cupcake: to wit, the icing.  While it has not quite defied the icing-to-cake ratio, I definitely found it to be in surplus when consumed against the cake (very wholesome, if not quite skin-crawlingly delicious).  I would not say this icing was saccharine, but it was sweet enough to make me quite despair of finishing the little icing mountain once I had run out of cake.  I should police that icing.  

    Also, it was not cream cheese! Has nobody in Scotland got the memo about carrot cake and cream cheese? I have been here a year and never, never.

    So: not quite the heavenly experience at Urban Angel this time.  (Still, I swear by the breakfasts there).

    Looks: 4/5
    Taste: 3/5
    Total: 7/10

  5. Cupcake #81
    Copper Bird Café (129 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8AJ)
    Lemon & Poppyseed

    One is having to go farther and farther afield to suss out those untouched cupcake corners of Edinburgh.  Today’s adventure took me to the unassuming Copper Bird in the West End, of the charming name and vintage tearoom vibes.

    The variety of flavours on offer was not as wide as I had hoped, although they all looked palatable.  I oscillated between the Malteser and the Oreo, before settling on the Lemon & Poppyseed because of its charming sour candy ribbon.  The ribbon, it turns out, was really what held the cupcake together (forgive the pun); the icing was just a fraction on the sweet side (though no sugar burn), but if taken in the same bite as a piece of sour ribbon, it achieved a most stunning balance of flavours.  

    It was a perfectly delectable cupcake, though not quite spectacular enough to guarantee a return visit from where I live in the East.  Absolutely precious crockery, though.

    Looks: 4/5
    Taste: 4/5
    Total: 8/10

  6. Cupcake #80

    Amos has come through on one of his longstanding promises and baked me baklava cupcakes.  Whether this counts as a cupcake is questionable because an important criterion is icing, but it’s definitely not a muffin and also it was delicious so screw definitions, it’s a cupcake.

    While this did not, on a whole, resemble baklava - not being crispy or powerfully sweet (although it was similarly sticky) - the fragrance of spiced cake, studded with pistachios and infused with rose-water, put me in mind of my brief but happy time combing the spice bazaars and pastanesis of Istanbul.  Also it made me really want actual quality baklava, which is sadly difficult to find in Scotland.

  7. misswander:

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    (via flirtyduets)

  8. Cupcakes #78 and #79
    Mimi’s Bakehouse (63 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6RA)
    Raspberry Mojito and Chocolate Orange

    In their love letter to Edinburgh, the Proclaimers compare the ideal love affair to sunshine on Leith, because it’s phenomenal and it happens, like, almost never.  This Wednesday, however, it got hotter in Edinburgh than it’s ever been, and we walked forty minutes to the Shore because I wanted to see sunshine on Leith.  Round here, that’s like a solar eclipse.

    While at the Shore, we naturally visited Mimi’s Bakehouse.  Earlier I had thought such a trip unnecessary, because I live near Mimi’s Picnic Parlour in Old Town.  WRONG.  Mimi’s Picnic Parlour is but a frail offshoot of the pure source that is the Bakehouse, and that source is worth a forty minute walk, I’m telling you.

    The Bakehouse is a beautiful specimen of deco kitsch, with its pink armchairs and blue-and-white walls, but we opted to sit outside along the Shore.  The Chocolate Orange was bountifully rich and possessed the perfect degree of bittersweet - although I would dock marks on presentation, since the orange curls make it look like the first thing I ever knitted, which was so riddled with dropped stitches that I could only use it as a test-tube wrapper until it caught fire one day in the chemistry lab.  

    Now the Raspberry Mojito.  This…I have never quite had anything like this.  It’s a genius concoction.  The cake, flecked with mint and spiced with a sly hint of rum.  The icing, light and creamy and with a trove of raspberry puree buried beneath it, waiting and juicy.  The monster blackberry basking on top beneath the little paper umbrella.  And the balance, oh gods, the balance, it is so rare to find a cupcake that balances every flavour in it perfectly and this was the epitome of balance.  I understand that this is a novelty flavour and as such you will probably never see its like again on the counter of Mimi’s, or anywhere else in the world.  But I am honoured to have had this once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Just like sunshine on Leith.

    Chocolate Orange

    Looks: 4/5
    Taste: 4/5
    Total: 8/10

    Raspberry Mojito

    Looks: 5/5
    Taste: 5/5
    Total: 10/10

  9. Cupcakes #76 and #77
    Dough-Re-Mi (127 Gilmore Pl, Edinburgh EH3 9PP)
    Apple Cinnamon and Carrot Cake

    Every city I go, there will be always be that one cupcake shop whose name is on everyone’s lips and every stockists’ list, but which I never get round to going to because it’s bloody far out, damnit.  In Edinburgh, this is Dough-Re-Mi.  But on Tuesday, it was twenty degrees out, I had finished my fourth chapter draft for the dissertation, I dragged Amos out of the house and we went for a nice, long walk.

    Was it worth it?  For these exquisite cupcakes, absolutely.  The Carrot was a well-turned piece of baking, with some tasty burnt prune bits that reminded me of those happy Home Economics classes when I was fourteen.  Also, bonus points for remembering the cream cheese! (even if it was not that creamy).  The Apple Cinnamon though was the real gem - mouthfuls of summery spice topped with the softest of icings.  

    The one flaw in both of these was the marzipan flowers.  They’re outrageously beautiful, but also so ridiculously saccharine that they throw those delicate flavours in the icing right off.

    It’s a bit of a trek for pretty things, but if the weather’s nice and the Union Canal’s looking chirpy - why not?


    Looks: 5/5
    Taste: 3/5
    Total: 8/10

    Apple Cinnamon

    Looks: 5/5
    Taste: 4/5
    Total: 9/10

  10. Cupcake #75
    Banco (32 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9PR)
    Vanilla Strawberry

    After nearly a week of torrential downpour, the gods of Scotland have seen fit to grant us a single day of uninterrupted sunlight.  Amos and I rewarded ourselves for having submitted first chapter drafts by sitting in the Meadows and doing nothing.  Whereupon a man approached us and gave us free coffee vouchers.  THERE IS NOTHING I DIG BETTER THAN FREE COFFEE VOUCHERS.  (Well, maybe sunlight.)  

    It turns out Banco, newly in Newington, is not only generous with their coffee but also a dab hand at decorating cupcakes.  As ever, I was easily seduced by beauty.

    I really wanted to be impressed by this cupcake, because, well, free coffee. But I cannot tell a lie.  It was beautiful, but structurally unsound.  An hour after I had purchased it, the mountainous icing had produced a pink, perilous overhang over one side of the case.  Now there are many schools of thought as to the proper ratio of icing to cake, but I am firmly a believer in 2:3.  This quite inverted that.  

    The cake was…all right, I guess, when it wasn’t being dwarfed by crunchy, over-sweetened icing.  Fire up that sugar burn, baby.  The only strawberry to be found anywhere in the cupcake was the meagre dollop of jam in its centre.  There is more jam to be found in a Jammie Dodger.  Also, there will come a day when I will eat a fondant rose and it will not taste like the inside of a rubber poncho.  But today is not that day.

    To give Banco their due, the free coffee was decent.

    Looks: 4/5
    Taste: 2/5
    Total: 6/10