Friday, 1 January 2010

Worst cupcake of 2009*

I've been meaning to blog about this since a very disappointing visit to Treacle on Columbia Road on wet and wintery December evening but I think I kept putting it off as I was just v.p'd off about the whole thing.

The original reason we went to the late night shopping event on Columbia Road was to buy my Christmas present - a framed print "Eat Cake and Carry On" that I'd seen previously and liked. However the print was not to be - when we first asked how much they were no-one in the store knew the exact price but we were told "about £40-50". They had to, reluctantly, phone someone to check - they seemed reluctant to actually do any business to be quite honest. As they were shouting down the mobile to the faceless owner of Treacle, I was examining the print further and noticed how cheep and cheerful the frames were, like a painted £3 Ikea one, but I really liked the print and thought £50 wasn't too bad for something I liked, even if a big chunk at the bottom of the print was covered in the Treacle logo. £150 however was too much. The reluctant shop assistant got off her mobile and informed me one of the colours I liked was £150, one was £180 as it "has more glitter". Then she asked should she wrap it for me- I politely declined. I can order a pretty one for much less from Etsy thanks and not be taken for an utter numpty -seriously £30 more for a splash of glitter a 3 year old could apply, and £150 for a paper print (and huge advert for your shop!) in an Ikea frame - seriously? I'm planning making my own - 10 mins on the computer and a trip to the local craft store for glitter and some pretty paper, then Ikea for a frame and I'm set!

Anyways, we took the cupcakes we'd bought (2 chocolate - there was no choice, and very little in the way of stock - and they had no bags, just paper in pissing and headed off to Albion for dinner (highly recommended!). We didn't have a pudding at dinner as we had the cupcakes from Treacle and a some more from the Albion Bakery to have when we got in with a hot cup of tea. BIG mistake. We should've had a pud!

Firstly, the Albion cupcakes - they weren't great to be honest. They looked nothing like the picture of their cupcakes on the website. The base was quite nice but the "frosting" was just pure butter - which Manny loved as he's odd like that. I ate a bit and then threw the rest in the bin - or maybe at Manny's mouth - I can't remember!

Now for possibly the most rancid cupcake I've had in some time, if not ever. As soon as I opened the bag I could tell the Treacle cupcake was off - rotten in fact. Instead of being a brown chocolate colour it had a grey/green tinge to it, and it smelt BAD, like really off butter. I have added the best pic of a bad lot - sorry it was cold and to be honest I was too fuming to fanny about with the camera. In the interests of the blog I tried a bit of the base and a bit of the topping (I refuse to call rancid butter frosting sorry). The base was HARD, so hard I did an experiment - I dropped it from a great height to see if anything happened - it nearly broke my glass cupcake worksurface topper as it fell with a mighty rock like thud onto it! I have a video but I can't upload it - maybe I should youtube it. The topping tasted like off butter and the morsel I tried left a taste in my mouth that toothpaste and mouthwash couldn't remove.

I toyed with taking the cupcake to environmental health as I am pretty certain that cupcake had been sitting out since the Sunday (3 days previously) when the store was last open, if not longer. We've eaten my baked cupcakes 4 days after making and while not 100% fresh they are not rotten, nor are they so obviously off. But in the end I just didn't have time to go through the process of finding where to complain to, due to work issues, but now I kinda regret chucking them in the bin as if someone had eaten those cakes I'm pretty sure they'd have regretted it, and people shouldn't be allowed to get away with such blatant flouting of health and safety when it comes to food.

I have previously enjoyed Treacle cupcakes but the last time I went they were a bit hard and totally flavourless but never have I had a cupcake so disgustingly inedible. Consider my recommendation revoked.

*I'm hoping this will be the worst cupcake I ever try and cupcakes only continue to be yummy from now!


Anonymous said...

Ugh, how revolting!! What a let-down. Nothing worse than a bad cupcake plus rotten customer service.

I was looking on Etsy for the print you wanted, but haven't found the exact one. I did find these:

Let Them Eat Cupcakes

Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes

Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake

A fun cupcake shop:

A heck of a lot more reasonable pricing! Just add a lovely Ikea frame and there you go!

Hope this helps,

Sarah :)

Manny said...

I totally agree, it takes a lot for me to throw something with chocolate frosting on in the bin but mine was rancid too! Still, nothing was going to spoil my enjoyment of the amazing steak and kidney pud I had in the Albion Caff!!

Kristyn said...

I know these are slightly more plain, a little less fancy and without a frame but they are £12.50 and come in a variety of colours.

Boo for bad cupcakes though.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Urrgh that sounds awful. I know my own cupcakes still taste fine after 4-5 days but they've been in airtight tins and chances are, something in a shop has just been sat there. I thought Treacle was overrated when I visited and yes their packaging was not up to scratch either.

Anonymous said...

When bad cupcakes happen to good people eh!
I just thought I'd mention a couple of places I wasn't sure if you'd been? bake-a-boo in Hampstead (which I know of because they do vegan cupcakes, they were ok nothing to write home about but perhaps the regular ones are better?) and also when we had our vegan cake stall at Cabbages and Frocks in Marylebone had a stall. She was there every Saturday she did those kind of cakes with lots of glitter and all that jazz. And also if you haven't been to Iron Cupcake London yet I think you would love it! Here's hoping 2010 is full of delicious cupcakes for you!

I heart cupcakes said...

@Sarah - thanks for all those links, will go check them out now! I can't believe that anyone would pay £180 for a print of some words but hey some idiot much be visiting Treacle and buying 'em! I know I wont be back for their merch or their cupcakes.

@Manny - I know usually you'll eat anything you dusty bin you! sweetie you had the steak and kidney pud before the cupcake you remember is PUDDING ..tubby!

@Kristyn - I REALLY like the bubblegum pink one - would look nice in my kitchen and I could always bung some glitter on it myself if I wanted to! thanks! Bad cupcakes suck don't they!

@Sarah MC - I have a feeling these had sat there since the shop was last open on the Sunday, or sadly even the Weds before as they were totally rancid. I had a couple of nice visits to them when they first opened but the last couple of times the staff are SO rude to everyone and their service sucked and the cakes weren't good enough to put up with bad service - and this time they were too rotten for words. Think some of the shops in Columbia Rd are believing their hype - the new retro sweet shop is a joke as well! Still recommend Cake Hole and the 2nd hand china shop though - lovely people!

@tohappyvegans -we've been meaning to go to Bake A Boo for so long but things keep conspiring against us and we haven't got there - will DEF check it out soon. Cat and Cream I've heard differing things bout but will try and check them out - thanks! I've been meaning to get to Iron Cupcake for some time now - Monday's are a bit cruddy for me though so I never make it! Have you any stalls coming up soon?

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

I tried to go to bake-a-boo today,missioned all the way there and then it was closed! Two out of four cupcakeries we visited today as part of our cupcake hunt were closed which was a big disappointment! Glad we didn't bother with treacle,their cupcakes look so bad! Will post about my cupcake hunt later in the week when my internet gets connected! I bought the most awesome cupcake tee today from carnaby to follow soon!x

I heart cupcakes said...

@Gem - can't wait to hear about your cupcake hunt and tshirt! I'm assuming you tried Hummingbird - can't believe they shut down for so long over Xmas!

Anonymous said...

We are planning to do all the big vegan festivals this year, first up is VIVA's incredible veggie roadshow in Bath in Feb (a bit of a trek for you!). We are actively looking for a new market in London to sell our cakes though, keep checking our website/Twitter for updates!