Toast (146 Marchmont Rd, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH9 1AQ)
Toast in Marchmont was the place I least expected to find a cupcake, let alone one of such an intriguing flavour as butternut squash. I understand that Toast used to be cool with students when it was dirt cheap and didn’t mind free wi-fi abuse, but now it’s knocked prices up and so when I went it was full of elderly ladies taking brunch. The staff were curt. People tend to be, when you’re a single person taking up a whole table so you can stare at a cupcake.
I have never had a butternut squash cupcake before. I’ve had carrot, parsnip and zucchini (damn good, that zucchini) but this particular vegetable was uncharted territory. I quite like the idea of the butternut squash, which is pleasant to the eye (though it does not go easy under the knife. Oh no sir, the butternut squash is a FIGHTER. But this is not the platform for my many kitchen mishaps.) What unknown and uncircumscribed spirit, whatever aberration or complexity it might display, would such a cupcake unlock?
The novelty of this experience was swiftly squashed (please forgive me) by disappointment. The cake proved to be of a gluey, bitter disposition, which was only barely salvaged by decent cream cheese icing. The icing went down quick enough but the aftertaste of the butternut squash roiled in my mouth for ages. People ought to stick to zucchini.