Friday, February 06, 2009

The Sweet Taste of Southern-Style Bundt Cakes at Kiss My Bundt

A few months ago, I heard the rumblings of a new cake shop in town and surprisingly, it wasn't another new cupcake shop. Instead, it was all about bundt cakes at the Kiss My Bundt bakery, owned and operated by Chrysta Wilson. Since this cutely named bakery was way on the other side of town from me, I didn't have any immediate plans to check it out until I went on a walking food tour run by Melting Pot Tours.

Lo and behold, it was along our route. On the way back to my car after the tour, I decided to stop by and see what the fuss was all about. As luck would have it, it was their grand opening and there were free samples to be had. I tried a couple of items and they were wonderful. After touching base with Chrysta and than following up, I set up a cake tasting for my dining group.

The evening started with Chrysta giving us some background about her shop and how she got started. You can read her entire story by visiting her website, but what isn't written there is how she came up with the name of her business. Her previous work background has been primarily in government and the non-profit sector and after having had a long work week and still having to be in the office during the weekend, she threw her hands up and said "This job can kiss my bundt!" Voila! The name of her new bakery.

Another thing Chrysta emphasized to us is that their bundt cakes are Southern-style and what she meant is that while traditional Southern bundt cakes are very sweet, she didn't want to use that same sensibility for her own cakes. In fact, getting ahead of myself a bit, what impressed me about the cakes we sampled that evening was that they had just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy one's sweet tooth craving without making you feel that you just ate a cup of sugar in cake form. Now that you've had some background, let's talk about cake tasting itself.

The first cake we sampled was a Vanilla Bundt Cake with a Vanilla Butter Cream. I tend to favor stronger flavors, even in dessert, so this wouldn't be the type of cake I'd order on my own. However, the cake itself was moist and if you're a vanilla lover, this bundt cake is for you.

Next up was a Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting that had an interesting story behind it. Traditional Southern carrot cake has pineapple as an ingredient and sometimes even raisins, neither of which Chrysta was a big fan of. So her first attempts at carrot cake didn't include either ingredient, but the cakes weren't turning out right, both in flavor and texture. It took her 5 years to finally come up a recipe that could mimic a classic Southern carrot cake, but without the pineapple or the raisins. I was a big fan as soon as soon as I took my first bite of a cake that was carrot-sweet and nutty. The pineapple and raisins were not missed at all.

The next cake we tried was and still is their top selling cake and it's their Red Velvet Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting. An interesting thing that Chrysta mentioned is that that there's a basic assumption that a Red Velvet Cake is a straight out chocolate cake that's been dyed red. Red dye is usually used, but the addition of cocoa powder to a Red Velvet Cake recipe is minimal to what you'd see added to a regular chocolate cake recipe. Side by side and maybe even blind-folded, one could probably taste the difference. Although I love the color, I never understood why people are so gaga over red velvet cakes. Flavor-wise, it's pretty mild and in fact, I don't even feel like there's anything distinct in how it tastes. I wouldn't turn down this cake, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

After the Red Velvet Cake came one of my favorite cakes of the evening. Simply, it was a Callebaut® Chocolate Bundt Cake with a Chocolate Glaze. My eyes are glazing over just thinking about it. I remember Chrysta mentioning that the cake itself was dark chocolate with the glaze being more milk chocolate. All I know was that each forkful was heavenly. Of the cakes we sampled so far, I found this one to be the most moist and I loved its chocolate richness. I think some people even asked for milk to go with this particular cake. I could go for a slice right now.

Following the chocolate bundt cake was the Pumpkin Bundt Cake served in two different ways. We had one sample with the cream cheese frosting and one with a cinnamon sugar glaze. I actually preferred the version with the cinnamon sugar glaze. It was almost like eating a pumpkin pie in the form of a cake.

Finally, our tasting ended with a slice of their Rum Pound Cake with a Butter Rum Glaze. I enjoyed this cake as much as I did the chocolate bundt cake. I think this cake was actually soaking in rum because the cake was pretty moist. The butter rum which tasted like one of my favorite hard candies, butterscotch, was the perfect match.

Overall, this was a wonderful tasting event. Chrysta was informative, funny and really knows her bundt cakes and we got to sample a nice cross-section of what her bakery offers. Other information you should know is that her bundt cakes come in 3 sizes: mini, baby and Big Ol' Bundt Cake. There is what is referred to as the "Daily 8", which are 8 bundt cakes that will always be available 7 days a week. However, with over 30 recipes that Chrysta has developed, other bundt cakes will come in and out of rotation on their daily menu and of course, pre-orders are also available.

To see pics, go to:

Kiss My Bundt
8104 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-0559

Kiss My Bundt Bakery on Urbanspoon


weezermonkey said...

Sweet! Literally! ;)

Geoff said...

I visited several times in September and loved everything I tried. Do you know whether she was able to get permission to have a seated clientele?

pleasurepalate said...

Geoff: I'm not quite sure what you mean by seated clientele. When I had my tasting event there, she actually brought in some seating, but I don't know what stayed and what left after that.