Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sweet! By Good Golly Miss Holly - Orlando, Florida

A few weeks ago my family celebrated my older brother's engagement. The party was small and intimate with family and very close friends. What the party lacked in population, it made up for in food and drink. The quantities of both were easily twice the number needed for the amount of people we had...but I digress.

During the entire party, I found myself gravitating to the dessert table. It was filled will goodies from far and near. Baklava, Indian sweets, chocolate cake, s'mores cookies, and of course cupcakes! My mom had the foresight to get mini cupcakes from Sweet! By Good Golly Miss Holly, the leading cupcake bakery in Orlando, Florida. I've always meant to try the cupcakes from this THREE TIME Cupcake Wars champion, but never got the chance. Luckily my brother's engagement provided me with the chance.

Miss Holly makes a variety of classic and original flavors (see full menu here). There varieties also include gluten free and vegan recipes. She has two locations, the first in Orlando and a second in Jacksonville, Florida.

Hollis's career started with a "sweet beginning". "Hollis' career as a chef took off when Max Mutchnick (the creator and producer of Will and Grace, as well as other major television shows) "discovered" Hollis. It was with his encouragement and connections that a star was born. She began cooking for the biggest television shows and celebrities in Hollywood. Her client list read like an invitation to the Oscars with names such as Demi Moore, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, The Osmonds, Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Annette Benning, Bruce Willis, Warren Beatty, Jay Leno, The Rolling Stones and even Mikhail Gorbachev!" 

(see Hollis's full story here)

My first exposure to Sweet! was on Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. It was her first time and I was proud a Floridian won the competition. That was when I committed myself to visiting her establishment. When I saw her mini cupcakes on the dessert table, I noticed there was a great representation of the variety in her cupcakeries. My eyes went straight for the red velvet minis though, duh! I could not wait to try it.

Mini cupcakes from Sweet! By Good Golly Miss Holly

The red velvet cupcakes stood out from the crowd. The contrast between the white cream cheese frosting and red color of was so strong, I knew I was in for a treat.

Red velvet mini cupcake

When I finally got to try the cupcake, I noticed right away the light, fluffy texture of the cake. It felt nice and spongy, but not too airy when I took my first bite. The frosting was soft and creamy. With the addition of the chocolate flakes, it added to the quality of the taste. After a few seconds, I noticed I didn't taste any chocolate in the cake.


I didn't really know what to think. Maybe the cream cheese was overpowering the cupcake? I decided to take a bite of the cupcake itself, no frosting. Still no chocolate.

Now, in my mind a traditional red velvet cupcake is a red chocolate cake. Was I wrong? After all, this cupcakery won Cupcake Wars three times! They have to be good, right?

I decided I had to do some research. Now I know Wikipedia isn't always used as a valid source for research, but I thought in this case it would be okay.

According to Wikipedia's Red Velvet Cake page "Red velvet cake is a cake with either a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It's traditionally prepared as a layer cake topped with cream cheese or cooked roux icing. The reddish color is achieved by adding beetroot or red food coloring. Before more alkaline "Dutch processed" cocoa was widely available, the red color would have been more pronounced. Common ingredients include buttermilk, butter, cocoa, and flour for the cake, beetroot or red food coloring for the color."

Apparently the cocoa was missing from this batch of mini cupcakes. I'll have to go back and see if their normal cupcakes are true to the traditional red velvet flavor. 

Until then, I can only say I'm slightly disappointed and confused.

Red velvet a little dressed up

Price: $2.50/cupcake; $1/mini cupcake
Cake: Light, fluffy, moist
Icing: Soft, sweet, could taste cream cheese
Decorations: simple
Overall: 5/10 sprinkles

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