Six months ago, if someone had asked me if I was a dessert / sweets person I would have said No. It was too hot to eat sugary sweet things in Hawaii, unless you’re talking about cold mango. Chocolate melted too fast to bother dealing with the mess. Ice cream, too. Plus, dairy products and heat just don’t mix well for me. Not a physical malady, just the thought of cream curdling in my stomach and the sticky plaque-y mouth feeling afterwords- yuck. I can pretty much talk myself out of eating anything if I think about it long enough and in the right way (ever see the tiny worms that live in carrots?). Anyway, I still don’t generally oooh and aaah over offerings of bread pudding or crème brulee or flourless chocolate cake or molten chocolate puddings. Dessert: take it or leave it, I don't care. So it surprises me to tell you now that I think I am obsessed with cupcakes*.
It started innocently enough, a friend took me to a chic bakery to cheer me up during a personal crisis. She cautioned me beforehand: “I don’t want to start something that’s going to get out of control”. She was already up to 2 cupcakes a week….or more. I thought of cupcakes as child’s play in the obsession landscape of my mind; why would I bother with a childish treat when there are so many other things to obsess about (like eyebrows).
Even forewarned I was taken by surprise. I ate the cupcake, sure. It was fine. A bit sweet. Kind of ridiculous to wait in line for a cupcake, but whatever. Then the next weekend I was attending a dinner party and felt Compelled to bring cupcakes. I could not stop myself. My heart pounded as I waited, weighing all my options in the glass display case. Wondering how the gorgeous counter help stayed so trim (cupcakes?). Which to choose? Red velvet / Carrot cake / Nutella / Vanilla and chocolate / Chocolate and chocolate / those ones with the silver candy ball bearings?
Then I found another Hummingbird bakery in a neighborhood I go to a lot. On the upside, their shop turns out drier, less yummy cupcakes that are just as costly (I can’t even bring myself to tell you how much) and the last time I bought a mixed box (a box! See what I mean?) there wasn’t a divine one in the bunch. But the counter help is just as thin and lovely. Damn them.
So where am I at with cupcakes today? Mostly just hoping that the recent lackluster experience will be enough to keep me out of the shop for a few weeks. At that point I’m sure I’ll have forgotten all about the damn cakes. They’re too sweet anyway and who wants to hang out in a shop with a bunch of Americans? Also, I am changing the route I take so as not to walk by the shop. If I keep thinking like that then I will be off cupcakes in no time.