Friday, July 25, 2014

Prunes Café - Kampala, Uganda

Here's another throwback post from my time in the Peace Corps:

Upon my return to Kampala after my cupcake success in Ethiopia, I wondered (and doubted) if there were any other cupcake places around Uganda I should even bother to try. So when I heard about another location that makes cupcakes as well as other baked goods, I was understandably hesitant. The cost of the cupcakes alone stopped me in my tracks. I decided to give them a try, despite my better judgments. I felt there was a small chance that my faith in Ugandans could be revived despite previous experience.

Prunes Café is a quaint spot, almost hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Kampala. The café itself is hidden behind a white gated wall, making one feel part of an exclusive, secret club upon entering. The café has outdoor and indoor seating and is very family friendly. The interior is hand painted with pro-cupcake slogans and phrases, making the entire atmosphere warm and friendly.

My initial impressions were far better than my previous experience in Kampala, so my hopes began to rise.

The cupcake case is enough to wet the palate, with flavors including Devil’s food chocolate, red velvet, and lemon. With red velvet as the obvious choice, I was left to decide what other flavor, outside the standard red velvet, I’d try to test out the creativity of this place. I decided to go with Devil’s food chocolate.

When the cupcakes arrived, I was filled with a sense of anticipation and anxiety. What if these cupcakes were just as bad at my previous experience in Kampala? What if I just wasted 13,000 Ugandan Shillings (about $5 U.S.)?

As my fork broke the cupcake for my first bite, I knew it wasn’t a mistake. The buoyancy of the cupcake told me that this was going to be a good experience. The red velvet cake itself was moist, light, and fluffy. The taste was rich, but it lacked the chocolate that the traditional red velvet should have. Sadly, this seems to be a theme in African cupcakes. The frosting was sweet, reminiscent of a sweet cream frosting. It was a little hard on the outside, but softer on the inner layers.

Overall, I’d have to say Prunes brought back my hope for finding a delicious red velvet cupcake outside of America. While it was exactly what I imagined, it was better than any other I had tasted in Uganda.

Outside of the red velvet, the Devil’s food chocolate cupcake was heavenly. The chocolate gnache-like frosting combined with the chocolate cake was near perfection! It was as if it had been made in an oven in America.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Price: 6,500 USH (~$2.5 U.S.)
Cake: Airy, light, near-perfect
Icing: classic sweet, hard on the outside, smooth/soft on the inside
Decorations: simple
Overall Rating: 6/10

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