Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching, so, naturally, Sherri Gorelick and Wendy Weinberg of Barrington Bites ["Bite-size Bliss," Nov/Dec 2010] have been elbow-deep in buttercream, crafting mouthwatering new versions of their signature miniature cupcakes.
Last Friday, I returned to the duo’s demo-kitchen setup at the Chef’s Shop kitchenware boutique in Great Barrington, Mass., to find the pair refining the latest additions to their menu of forty-plus varieties. Gorelick put the kettle on for chai tea, and thus began an impromptu tasting. TGIF, indeed!
First up, stuffed cupcakes. Not exactly a novel concept in the world of desserts, but a surefire flavor-booster nevertheless. Each of these one- (or two-) bite treats is happily complex: Butter Pecan is injected with caramel, frosted with Madagascar bourbon vanilla buttercream, and topped with roasted pecans and fleur de sel; Fluffy Nutter harks back to sleepaway camp mess hall with a lip-smacking peanut butter center and pillowy marshmallow buttercream.
I sampled a variation on PB&J, stuffed with a generous dose of lush strawberry jam and coated in rich peanut-butter buttercream. “People say it tastes just like a Wonder Bread peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” marvels Weinberg…and it does, in the best possible way.
Also in the Barrington Bites rotation are sundae cupcakes—standard vanilla buttercream cupcakes dipped in butterscotch or hot fudge ganache, with or without nuts—and the third gluten-free offering: Mocha Hazelnut, a Nutella
(!) cupcake dressed in espresso buttercream. Seriously, folks, you will feel like you’ve died and gone to Italy.
In addition to the mainstay Red Velvet and simple pleasures gussied up with edible glitter and candy hearts, the upcoming February holiday might feature an Aztec chocolate dessert with the spicy zing of chili pepper ($15 a dozen, left).
“We're all about pushing big flavor,” Gorelick affirms, “big flavor, small bites.”
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