I remember going down E. Hasting’s street every day in late August to work at my first job at PNE. The district is quite impressive in its offering of bakeries and casual restaurants, but unfortunately, being a broke high school/college student at the time, I didn’t have the opportunity to try any of them. Since quitting my job at PNE (thank god, since I hated working there), I haven’t been in the district much. So what brings me back to Hastings? Cake of course! More specifically, Black Rook Bakehouse. They make quite an impressive variety of delectable looking cakes, of which a few rotating flavours are offered every day. I’ve visited them twice now. On my latest visit, I was able to sample their “Ashley” cake, which is actually a Devil’s Food cake.
Ashley Cake (~$7):
“A sinfully delicious combination of chocolate and raspberries. Ashley is a chocolate devil’s food cake, filled with double fudge icing and raspberry crush, and surrounded by a rich pink cream cheese icing.”
This sounded like just the cake for me, and, for the most part, it was. The cake was rich and fudgy, albeit a bit dry on the dry side. The fudge icing was smooth and creamy. It was a bit on the sweeter side, which was fine with me since I have a high tolerance, but might be an issue for some other people. The sweetness was somewhat balanced however by the tangy raspberry crush/preserves layers within as well as the smooth and also tangy pink cream cheese frosting.
On a previous visit, I’ve sampled their Molly cake (which is a Red Velvet Cake), as well as Bacon & Cheese Croissant.
Bacon & Cheese Croissant ($4.25):
2.5/5 (4 if it wasn’t a croissant)
The first thing that struck me was how heavy the croissant was. Although it looked to be about the same size as a regular croissant, it weighted at least 1.5x as much. Unfortunately, as a croissant, it was not very good. It had a more bread-like texture, and was not flaky and buttery as a croissant should be. I did enjoy the taste; I just think that it should be called a “bun” rather than a croissant.
Molly Cake (~$7):
“The Red Velvet of your dreams! Molly is filled with gooey cream cheese icing and fresh raspberry crush.”
I really liked this! The cake was very moist and tangy, with a perfect amount of delicious cream cheese frosting (and what appears to be bits of cranberry/raspberry). Yum.
While the cakes at Black Rook Bakehouse doesn’t quite measure up to the ones from Trafiq and Cadeaux, the bakery has certainly found a spot in my cake-loving heart and I’ll certainly be returning to try more of their delectable varieties listed on their website (Chester, Harold, Bill are at the top of my list). Besides, how can you dislike a place that gives their cakes people names? I don’t know if there’s any story behind this (i.e. were they named after people?), but I think it’s quite cute.