Off to See the Cake Man of Brooklyn!
Posted August 14, 2009on:
During a hot, hazy and humid summer day, I had a hankering for a sweet treat that would both fill and satisfy me. Usually on such days I do one of two things: make an ice cream treat or bake something. While I love to bake and my love for baked goods transcends almost any romantic’s definition of true love, I was too tired and hot to bake something myself, so I decided to venture out into the hot streets to see the Cake Man.
I felt something like Dorothy going to see the wizard of Oz, only I wasn’t trying to get home, I was searching for the best red velvet cake I could find. While red velvet cake is considered ordinary by some, I love its moist texture, rich flavor and the contrasting tang that is present
in the cream cheese icing.
As I entered the bakery I was pleased to see the benches outside, surrounded by a variety of green plants to give the feeling of an urban oasis. When I walked through the door, however, I was disappointed to see a counter and two refrigerated cases filled with packed slices of red velvet cake, with nuts and without nuts. It was clear they were catering to clients who either got their sweet fix to go or had placed orders for specific events.
While on line for my cake, I also noted their other offerings: Yellow, Chocolate, Pineapple Cream Cheese and Coconut cakes as well as a variety of pies and specialty cakes. The specialty cakes were not available by slice, but I did observe that many were typical American “comfort cakes” like Pound cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Upside Down cakes, Carrot cake and German Chocolate cake.
I approached and asked the counter person for a red velvet cake, with nuts. For $6, I thought this would be an adequate afternoon dessert treat. I sat out on their bench, amidst the foliage, opened the to-go package and began to admire my cake. The one slice was a generous portion that could easily have been shared by two. I was glad to have it all to myself! The cake was very moist and tender, with an even and bright red color. It consisted of 3 layers with about 1/8th of an inch of cream cheese icing in between layers and about 1/4th of an inch of icing on top. The outside of the slice was covered in crushed pecans, adding a bit more richness as well as a nice crunch. The ratio of icing to cake allowed me to enjoy some tangy, creamy flavor with each bite of moist cake. The cake itself tasted very fresh and had a subtle hint of cocoa throughout.
While the cake’s presentation and the lack of an obvious, air-conditioned seating area were both a bit disappointing, the cake itself was lovely to eat. Each bite was rich, delicious and balanced with sweetness, tang and crunch. Of course, I was already interested in trying Cake Man Raven’s other offerings, but that would have to wait for another day. As I finished my slice (yes I ate the entire thing!), I left their urban oasis on another quest: a cold, iced coffee to wash down my satisfying afternoon sweet treat!