Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Asian-inspired cupcakery at Batch

JL and LB of FoodMayhem invited TL and I over for brunch, and beforehand the two of us stopped in at Batch, the newest confection from Chef Pichet Ong. The bakery was just about to open its doors when we showed up, and upon entering I was surprised to see that there was only a meager pastry selection on the counter, and also that Batch's cupcakes were arranged in a refrigerated case (wouldn't the frosting get too hard, wouldn't the cakes dry out?). Nonetheless, we chose four: lemon yuzu, strawberry coconut, green tea chocolate, and "chocolate dragon devil's food." We also picked up two yuzu-lime shortbread cookies (because I kept reading about them) and a chocolate-pecan tart.

Our hosts treated us to a delicious "Mexican-style benedict and chistorra," and afterward we broke out the sweets as a prelude to Apples to Apples and Rock Band. Of the four cupcakes, the lemon yuzu was the crowd favorite with its light, citrus flavor, and followed by the strawberry coconut. I liked that they all had a bit of filling in them (there was a thin apricot jam in the green tea chocolate, a fairly inspired combination), but overall they were too sweet for me, despite being less sweet than some of the others being baked in this city. I guess I'm just not much of a gal for cupcakes.
The two yuzu-lime shortbread cookies were a disappointment—usually I love shortbread, but I tasted neither yuzu or lime, and the cookies themselves were hard instead of crumbly, tough instead of crisp. They were the only two on the counter though, so my guess is that they were the last of those unsold from the day before. Its only a theory, but if it's true: not cool, Batch, not cool. The chocolate-pecan tart was forgettable, too.

I'd be willing to try Batch again, maybe for their carrot cupcake with salted caramel frosting, which looked pretty good when we were in there. But then again it's a bit on the pricey side, and I'm not sure if further experimentation is worth it. After all, these days I'd rather have a macaron than a cupcake….

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