Well, I’ve had a pretty awkward experience at Black Rook Bakehouse this week. Just a bit of background info: I’ve been to Black Rook Bakehouse several times; they have a nice assortment of beautiful layered cakes, and usually have 2-3 varieties available on any given day. I’ve been absolutely DYING to try one of their chocolate flavours, but have not had any luck thus far. Being extremely stubborn and persistent when it comes to getting my desserts, I decided to try my luck again this week. My persistence finally paid off: they had a few chocolate flavours available, specifically the Marlow and Oscar. I decided to get a slice of each, along with a Raspberry White Chocolate Croissant and a Chocolate Mousse Heart. When the staff (who was SUPER nice and friendly by the way) rung me up however, I noticed that he charged me for 3 slices of cake instead of two. I questioned him about this, and he promptly apologized and charged me for 2. I went home and opened the box, and realised that he had actually given me 3 slices of cake: there was an additional slice of Elizabeth cake in addition to the aforementioned Marlow and Oscar. I felt absolutely terrible and guilty. Even though it was completely unintentional (since I wasn’t paying attention and did not see them packaging my cakes, and hence did not know that they actually gave me 3 slices), I still felt pretty bad for confusing the staff and not paying for the extra slice. Upon closer inspection however, I saw that they had done an absolutely terrible job in slicing my cakes. Both the Elizabeth and the Marlow were literally crumbling and falling apart, and moreover, the slice of Marlow was very small, about half the size of what it should have been, and to be honest I’d have felt ripped off if I had actually paid the full price for everything.
Chocolate Mousse Heart ($4.15):
This consisted of a chocolate mousse shaped into a heart and enclosed by another layer of milk chocolate. The mousse was light and creamy with a mild bittersweet flavour. The sweeter milk chocolate on the outside melted in my mouth and was not at all waxy, and paired well with the more delicately flavoured mousse. This was not the most exciting dessert, but it was definitely quite tasty.
White Chocolate Raspberry Croissant ($5?):
This was basically a cross between a croissant and cinnamon roll: it consisted of croissant dough that had been rolled up with cinnamon sugar, and glazed with what I assumed to be white chocolate icing. Now I’ve tried their croissants before, and they honestly weren’t very good at all, being very doughy and bread-like. The “croissant” here is still doughy, but that didn’t bother me nearly as much as I’m eating this more as a cinnamon bun than a croissant. It did have a nice bit of crispness and butteriness however. It was mildly sweet and had a good cinnamon flavour. Although it was tasty, I didn’t feel that it lived up to its name: there were only a few small pieces of raspberry and I could not detect any white chocolate flavour in the icing at all.
Marlow Cake Slice ($6.95):
“comprised of espresso chocolate cake layers and chocolate ganache, surrounded by praline butter cream and topped with dark chocolate ganache and mouthwatering butter crunch.”
I’ve waited a LONG time to finally get to try one of their chocolate cakes, and I cannot help but be incredibly disappointed to receive this small, mangled slice/ As we say in Chinese, it seriously looked like a dog had chewed it up. Fortunately, the cake did taste better than it looks (although I guess that’s not really saying much). The cake itself was quite moist, and had a nice cocoa flavour. I didn’t really care much for the buttercream however; I found it to be quite stiff and greasy. The praline topping was delicious, and I wish that there was more of it.
Oscar Cake Slice ($6.95):
“black and white tuxedo cake”
This was the only slice of cake that I received that was not tiny and/or falling apart. Taste-wise, it was very similar to that of the Marlow. The cake was relatively moist and had a nice dark chocolate flavour. The icing in between was creamy and sweet, but did not have distinctive flavour. Again, the buttercream on the outside tasted pretty stiff and greasy.
Elizabeth Cake Slice ($6.95):
“Constructed with layers of Earl Grey infused chiffon cake, white chocolate mousse, blackberry crush and surrounded in rosettes of a blackberry butter cream.”
So this is the slice of cake that I (unintentionally) got for free. While again the cake slice looked horrible and was literally falling apart, the size of the slice was at least decent. I didn’t get to try this; my mom had it. She honestly did not like it very much at all. She complained that the cake was too dense and “muffin-like”, and had too much baking soda while the buttercream on the outside was too sweet and stiff, and tasted artificial. She ended up throwing about half of it away. Ouch.
So my latest visit to Black Rook Bakehouse hasn’t exactly left the best taste in my mouth (no pun intended), both due to the mistakes by the staff and myself, as well as the horrible mangled slices of cakes that I received. Nevertheless, my previous experiences with the bakery, in particular with the Chester Cake (their version of a carrot cake, which is FREAKING FANTASTIC) has been quite good, and I still quite like this place overall.
Service: N/A (the staff was SUPER friendly though)
Recommendations: Chester Cake (hopefully they don’t sever you a small mangled piece)