‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems in a place perhaps you’ve seen in your dreams. For the story you’re about to be told began with the holiday worlds of auld. Now you’ve probably wondered where holidays come from. If you haven’t, I’d say it’s time you begun.
What screams Christmas more than just screaming “Christmas!”? I recommend scarfing down a Sugar Plum Brulée cupcake from Bleeding Heart Bakery, perhaps with the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas” playing merrily in the background. Bleeding Heart Bakery = Punk Rock + Pastries. If you’re wondering why you didn’t think of this combination first, that’s what I thought, too.
Our mission is to use local, sustainable, organic ingredients and to make you the best damn cakes and pastries you have ever had!
Unlike some of the other places we’ve ventured to in Chicago, Bleeding Heart Bakery sells more than just cupcakes. And, unlike other bakeries, they claim, “Our mission is to use local, sustainable, organic ingredients and to make you the best damn cakes and pastries you have ever had!” This bakery rocks out a variety of sweet confections such as cakes, scones, croissants, cake balls, brownies, and the list goes on. Did somebody say chocolate-covered bacon? Yea, they have it. For the purposes of our ongoing adventures, we focused on the cupcakes. I have to admit, however, that one tasty cake ball slipped in the mix. My mouth is watering just thinking of those balls.
There are two categories of cupcakes at Bleeding Heart Bakery—Plain Jane and Fancy Schmancy. The former includes the usual flavors such as chocolate, red velvet, and chocolate peanut butter, whereas, the latter includes hardcore flavors such as Chocolate Chestnut, Butternut Squash with Maple Buttercream, and Veruca Salt. Since my motto is “Go big or go home,” I went the hardcore route with their Sugar Plum Brulée, Eggnog, and Gingerbread with Lingonberry.
First track—Sugar Plum Brulée. As with any true brulée, the frosting had been torched to perfection. Under the crispy top, the frosting (buttercream, I believe) was smooth and creamy. The bottom of the cake was crumbly and dry, but the inside held more moisture as well as a creamy mystery filling, which I can only presume contained some form of plums. ‘Twas the night before Christmas and while nestled all snug in my bed, visions of sugar plum cupcakes danced in my head.
Though their eggnog cupcake inspired my latest creation—Eggnog and Brandy Cupcake—I was less pleased with it compared with the Sugar Plum Brulée cupcake. The cake kind of reminded me of cornbread. It was relatively flavorful and nicely spiced with nutmeg, but the frosting left something to be desired. Though it tasted like eggnog, the consistency was greasy.
Fortunately, the Gingerbread with Lingonberry properly wrapped up the extreme Christmas trio. The cake was incredibly dense and laden with the essential gingerbread spices—cinnamon, cloves, and of course, ginger. The lingonberry filling was tart and balanced the heavy spice of the cake. Upon finishing this creation, I smacked my lips, patted my belly, and a “ho, ho, ho” escaped my lips. It must have been Christmas. Until next Christmas…
And on a dark cold night, under full moonlight, he flies into the fog like a vulture in the sky! And they call him, Sandy… Clawssss…!