Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Great Cupcake Search -- Cupcakes By Lu

Opie and I are still trying to lose weight.

Which, once again, means that Opie is still losing weight and wandering around the house saying things like "Hey, these pants fit again!"

Meanwhile I am pretending to be happy and supportive but am secretly seething with resentment and muttering profanities under my breath.

Which may sound like a reason to eschew The Great Cupcake Search.

As a matter of fact, Opie even suggested this radical course of action. Which is, of course, complete insanity.  I mean, why don’t we just give up red wine and move into the woods and live like savages??!!

As Patrick Henry's wife would have said (if, of course, Patrick Henry's wife had been a chubby chocolate fiend) "Give me cupcakes or give me death!"

It has, however, added a new criterion to the judging process. Now, in addition to evaluating taste and texture and other culinary details, I also have to decide if the cupcake’s caloric value is worth the extra time on the medieval torture machine that Opie bought to help us on our weight loss journey.

If you’re a fan of late-night infomercials, you may be familiar with the exercise equipment known as the Bowflex Treadclimber. If you haven't, no worries, just picture the most exhausting, ridiculously hard, exercise machine ever created.

It's supposed to burn 700 calories an hour. And it might, but right now I'm on that thing five minutes and I'm pretty sure my heart is going to explode.

So it was with all of this in mind that I went into our newest cupcakery find: Cupcakes by Lu.

And the thing is I really, really wanted to like them. The shop is convenient, I met the owner—Lu herself—and not only is she sweet and adorable, she has an economy-sized bottle of hand-sanitizer on the counter and used it twice when I was in the shop. Clearly, a fellow germaphobe!

And, best of all, they have a punch card—once you buy 12 cupcakes, you get one free.
Is interesting to note that Opie thinks the punch card thing is kind of silly.  He's all "You're basically spending 30 dollars to get 1 free cupcake!" Whereas I think "Hey, the more cupcakes I buy, the more cupcakes I get!"

So, I started my punch card with a cake that I assumed would be a sure winner: M&M Fun—chocolate with buttercream frosting and garnished with M&Ms.
Anyway, as I said, I really wanted to like them...But I didn't.

The cake itself was fine. Light, fluffy, chocolatey.

But the frosting was also light and fluffy. Too light and fluffy—a whipped buttercream that was too heavy on the butter and too light on the sugar.  When I eat a cupcake, I like it to be smothered in a frosting that smacks you in the face with sweetness.

Don't get me wrong, they weren't awful--I certainly didn't spit them out like I did with the black anise cupcakes of death that prompted this whole search--but they were only ok...
Final verdict:

Size: Average
Price: Average ($2.50)
Cake: Good
Frosting: Not sweet enough.

Overall, I'd eat them in a cupcake related emergency but they're not good enough to spend an extra 15 minutes on the treadclimber...though I'll probably give them a second chance down the road because, after all, PUNCH CARD!

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