Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sweet Tooth Indulgence: Crème Fraîche Cupcakes

If there is one taste I can never get enough of, it's sweetness. I have all sorts of excuses for it, the main one being how a love for sugar has roots in evolution and as such, is essential to our very survival. I hunger for all things sweet: candy, chocolate, caramelized fruits, you name it. So imagine my delight when last week, I discovered a little cupcake boutique in my very own town!

Crème Fraîche specializes in cupcakes, having 5-6 flavours per day, with a wide selection rotating throughout the week and one additional flavour of the month on weekends. Their prices are 2.75$ per cupcake and 1.25$ per mini-cupcake, with deals if you buy in half-dozens, dozens, etc.

The Mocha didn't quite live up to my expectations. The base is moist and light, made with espresso with a hint of cocoa. However, the frosting did let me down. It had a grainy texture rather than a smooth buttery one, and its overwhelming sweetness was too much for even me to take. The coffee tones also struck me as generic, and not as strong as I'd hoped. Although cream cheese would have muffled the coffee flavour, I would have preferred a creamier frosting than sugar icing. The coffee bean was a nice touch.

I had the Chai before my exam, to satiate pre-test hungers and for a little caffeine kick. For those who aren't aware, masala chai is a type of Indian black tea made with various spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. This particular cupcake had a denser texture, much like a small muffin, and you could see the little specks of tea. The frosting was simple vanilla dusted with... cinnamon? Although tasty, I found this to be lacking in tea flavour. Perhaps a dash of twice-brewed tea or extra spices would do the trick?

Here's Salted Caramel. From a glance, it is identical to the Chocolate, but notice that little trickle of caramel peeking out? Mm... The frosting has the same grainy texture as the previous ones, but this was rich with the taste of decadent fudge. And the cake, oh my. Two bites in, and it becomes sneakily moist, almost mushy, then you are hit with that salty caramel center of chewy gooey goodness and then it's just impossible not to gulp the entire thing down. And then it's gone. Amazing. I would suggest something to add to the look, perhaps a bit of caramel drizzle on top, or a sprinkle of caramel candy shards.

Key Lime Pie was another delightful surprise. The frosting is toasted, and a curious bite revealed that it is marshmallow fluff frosting! For those who cannot eat regular marshmallows, I believe this does not actually contain marshmallows, though it certainly tastes like one. If you peel away the lining paper, you will discover that the very bottom of the cake is lined with cookie crumb crust, like a real key lime pie! The inside of the cake also contains a deliciously tart key lime filling. I think this one is my favourite yet. 

The shopkeeper was kind enough to give me a sample of Banana Nut, which was an elegant combination of banana cake, chocolate frostng, caramel drizzle, and walnuts on top. I'll definitely be back for that one.

I also got some seasonal treats. The speculoos cookies are crisp and crunchy, warming up your month with rich holiday spices, leaving the aftertaste of Christmas lingering long after the cookie is gone. The shortbread cookies are full of buttery goodness and packed with cranberry, white chocolate, and walnut. They are both 2.75$ per pack, and make for excellent stocking stuffers. I also got a free cake pop, which I've yet to try. Can't wait!

Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to go again. It is a short walk from the Valois train station, and is on the edge of the charming little Valois Village. I would really like to try some of their more exotic flavours. However, some of their cupcakes would do better with different kinds of frosting; the ole grainy sugar frosting does get on your nerves after a couple of bites.

60A Donegani,
Pointe-Claire, QC
H9R 2V4
Crème Fraîche Facebook Page
(514) 505-3222

Crème Fraîche on Urbanspoon

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