In the name of science…

…the age old debate looms on, Konditor & Cook or Hummingbird Bakery?

Konditor and Cook:

On Saturday, bofo proclaimed that what he really wanted to do was have some cake in a tea-room and then go to Harrods to check-out the Audio-Visual department…. no one was more surprised by this than me.

So we did what we do best, we had a little wander. We wandered from Borough Market, to the river, then wandered along the river to Konditor and Cook.

K&C one of those places, you see their Paul Smith-esque stripey paper bags around, but unless you know what it is, you never really see the shops. However, when you’ve been once, you see the shops all over the place, popping up on random urban streets, which don’t look like the ideal foot-fall spots…but they seem to do ok.

Bofo had a brownie and a hot chocolate. The brownie was nice apparently, but if you’ve have an Ottolenghi brownie nothing will ever truly match up.

I had a cup of Earl Grey and a (bluddy huge) slice of carrot cake. Deeeelicious, apple-y and carroty, a light colour and texture to the sponge, thick, tangy sweet frosting, quite possibly the best frosting I have ever eaten.

I couldn’t finish it, and they happily boxed-it-up, so I could traipse around town with it in my handbag, still surprisingly delicious when I got home.

Humming Bird:

I have to admit, I was slow on the uptake on this one.

As discussed; I own the Hummingbird Bakery book (not for cooking purposes you understand) but until last night, I had never tried an actual HB cake…

So I set to it, I purchased three (1 x vanilla cupcake with pink butter icing and 2 x Red Velvets) from the new Soho store.

They were panic purchases, the shop was closing, and I hate, hate, hate holding-up shop keepers at the end of the day, that having been said the shop-lady was lovely and friendly and I didn’t feel like she rushed me, or like I was an imposition.

The reason for buying three wasn’t pure greed, it was so as I could put them on my card, they came to a very reasonable £5.25.

I liked that they were packaged beautifully in little brown and white boxes, and that the shop-lady stuck little bits of tape to ensure they wouldn’t pop open on the tube. I was really quite excited, carrying my little white paper bag, with it’s stencil-effect pink hummingbird, girls on the tube gave me knowing looks, in much the same way as a girl looks at a Liberty shopping bag, dying to know what’s inside.

I got home, and sat in bed with a cup of Earl Grey – I’ve recently been experimenting with tea, and so far have found that Earl Grey remains the best, and Duchess of Bedford is the worst. Even though the Duchess apparently invented afternoon tea, so I love her a little for that:

And I listened to Mozarts’ Concerto for Flute and Harp at top volume. There is something divinely decadent about Mozart, and it must be played loud (my next project is The Magic Flute).

Back to the cakes…

The vanilla cupcake was a dream, in its paper cupcake-case it had just enough bosomy ‘give’ , to let me know this was about to be an astounding cupcake experience, and it was…very nearly religious.


The sponge was somehow more than just flour, eggs, butter and sugar and the vanilla butter icing was light and fluffy and delicious. That cake was more more-ish than crack, I swear. It *may* have been the best cake I have ever tasted.

Maybe it was too soon afterwards that I tried the Red Velvet, but in a moment of piggery (and on some cupcake related high from the first) I stuffed it in my gob:

I am highly suspicious of the use of food colouring, especially when it  isn’t used alongside a specific flavour, if the cake was raspberry flavour, I could forgive the use of BRIGHT RED, but instead all I could think of was beetroot, and I don’t like beetroot… the soft-cheese frosting was ok… but after the Konditor and Cook frosting on Saturday… it felt just a little too cheesy.

It was a tale of extremes, the best cake experience 2009/10 and a slightly disappointing red-tongue…I think it needs more investigation.


5 responses to “In the name of science…

  1. where is this new hummingbird soho shop?! i must know! *excited*

    although not having to schlep up to portobello for them may not be such a good thing as i do looooove their cakes.

    although like you, i’m not such a huge fan of red velvet – it’s nice enough but i’d rather have normal!

  2. It’s on Wardour Street, opposite Busaba, where Staffords hairdressers used to be. Which is good because I boycotted Staffords, after Lee Stafford won **Hairdresser of the Year 2006**, and consequentially my cut and blow dry went from £60 to £160 over night…sulk…

  3. that’s weird, i’ve been on wardour st a couple of times in the last week or so and it passed me by altogether! i shall keep my eyes open next time 😀

    yeah that would piss me off too!

  4. Pingback: Cupcake Controversy- a sign of The Times? « Les Petites Choses Du Lis Blog

  5. Going to Konditor & Cook with the team for lunch today, will report back!

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