cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

cupcakes and getting back to the photos.



So cupcakes are kinda a big deal outside of the US. why? Because they are different and are so stupidly cute that even the manliest of men can't overcome the urge to sneak one into the corner. That and the fact that anything remotely american in brazil is considered "que chique!" Brazilians, like many other non-americans, are cookoo for cupcakes. My theory is that they are coveted so simply for the fact that they are actually attractive unlike most Brazilian desserts. Now there i go offending Brazilians again, it's an unfortunate habit of mine, but the fact of the matter is that most Brazilian desserts are ugly. If you knew me, say 4 or so years ago, you would remember my sentiment about Portuguese desserts. ugly. It seems to be an inherited trait from papa portugal. As recorded here on the Salty Cod a few years ago, when i first arrived in Porto, one of my initial thoughts that may or may not have been said aloud was how god-awfully ugly most of the bakeries were. That pretty much sums it up for the pastry scene in Brazil as well. Many Brazilians have argued with me on this, but meh. Stewed strawberries in a simple syrup just don't translate for me, many apologies. Either way, once you have been in a Parisian boulangerie-pâtisserie, everything will seem ugly to you henceforth. This is where cupcakes come in. They are brilliant for children as they offer relatively small portions, and they simply look good, whether or not they actually taste good.   

You can find a few cupcake copycats at supermarkets or bakeries around the Sao Paulo, but most look like cookie monster vomit. However, there are a few cupcake "specialists" in the area. One being the delightful to-order cupcake shop Sophie & Theo's Cupcakes in Sao Paulo owned and run by my New Zealand expat friend Jaime. The key to Jaime's cupcakes is the cake to frosting ratio which is right on the money, and she even has a line of gluten free cakes. If you are looking for an authentic cupcake with actual taste in the Sao Paulo region, i recommend getting in touch with her at saopaulocupcakes. and yes, she sells a special cupcake with a hello kitty charm!


Lately i have been shooting quite a few cakes and cupcakes. They are just so deliciously photogenic. And to be honest, i miss sharing photos with you. So here are a few cakes and cupcakes i have been working with lately. just for fun. As hard as i try, i just can't get away from photographing food, especially sweets. 








7 comments:

Lolla said...

With cupcakes it's the opposite: they look cute, but taste like shit. Too sweet, awkward to eat, the cake itself often dry and tasteless. Also they look faintly infantilized - and sometimes a bit ridiculous. All the ones you posted here look great with just the right amount of cute. But I still wouldn't change a good bolo de fubá with brazilian coffee for any "chic" dessert on a french patisserie - and I've eaten at Ladurée in Paris (very disappointing). Much better the english sponges/teacakes/scones or german kuchen. :)

Mallory said...

hahah, hey! not all cupcakes taste bad. the shop i mentioned are really good, and there are many that have really moist cakes and fillings. but yes, most of the cupcakes made and sold in brazil by brazilians are a little dry and tasteless. i do like bolo de fuba, but maybe for an afternoon tea time, not for a party. cupcakes are nice because they have a magical look; remember we eat with our eyes first. im sorry you didnt enjoy Ladurée, it's a wonderful place.

Nani said...

Mall, I have to agree that Brazilian desserts are not very cute, but they do taste a lot better then American pastry, well cheesecake is an exception I love cheesecake haha. I hate American cake in general, they are dry and have no fun inside. Lots of icing and stuff. Because of that I never liked cupcakes as well... but everything changed the day I tried a homemade cupcake in Farmington, NM. OMG, that was awesome. The homemade ones are so good that it become an addiction. I was baking cupcakes everyweek for a while haha.

I still think that brazilian cakes are way tastier than American cakes. I love how moist they are, and how much recheio e cobertura they have. American cakes are usually too thick and with lots of icing but not enough recheio. But again, that is my taste hehe.
I love the pictures. Me deram agua na boca :)

Mallory said...

haha, well i think the taste of american baked goods definately depends on where you buy it or who makes it. i was for SURE talking about how they LOOK, not how they taste :) if you buy a cake at Albertson's or some other crap place then yeah, the cake will be dry and yuck. but if you know a good baker or head over to an artisan bake shop, then you will find really amazing cakes and cupcakes with cream fillings and everything! my personal problem with brazilian cakes is NOT the flavor, i can't taste them anyway. it's about how they look, which is totally different! i think liquid chocolate rolling off the top is not very attractive. but hell, im sure it tastes good ;)

Toasted cheese and coffee said...

I happen to like Albertons fried chicken and your cheese balls for dessert...

SueSue said...

Simply love your photos, i've been trying to document my own cooking creations and they come out crap! Deep appreciation from Israel of your talents

Anastasia Ustenikova said...

It is your photos?Very beautiful!!!