If I fall off the weight-management bandwagon, surely the Cake Monkey weekend pop-up shop on Rowena Avenue would have had something to do with it. Out of the three weekends that they were in operation, I went twice. How's that for self-control?
I'm a sucker for Cake Monkey and all its nostalgic-treats-reminiscent goodies, but special trips to Silverlake Wine, Umami Burger and even Intelligentsia Coffee on busy Sunset Blvd. just to get my fix were a tad too impractical for this toddler-in-tow mommy. And special order just doesn't cut it when a sweets craving suddenly strikes on a lazy weekend day. Having been able to take my little ankle-biter with me into a cute little cottage with a cool neighborhood vibe on the weekends, however, was much more my cup of tea. Which was why I was ever so grateful that Cake Monkey and a handful of local artists and artisans collaborated in a three-weekend pop up sale. Unfortunately, the pop up ended last weekend to my surprise so um, yeah, after looking at the following photos of all the ridiculously delicious stuff I bought there, you won't be able to go until they decide to pop up again. Sucks to be you? Not quite. So maybe you won't be able to purchase everything under one picket-fence-surrounded-roof, but fortunately most of the goodies I consumed are available for purchase via other avenues. Just refer to the contact info and links at the end of this post!
Anyways, check out some of the diet-destroyers that I picked up:
My first foil wrapped treats as a kid were the Hostess Ding Dong and Ho-Ho. My kid's first foil wrapped treats were Cake Monkey Black and White Cakewiches filled with vanilla cream and Valrhona crunchy pearls and coated in bittersweet chocolate, Raspberry Red Velvet Cakewiches filled with raspberry swirled vanilla frosting and encased in the same yummy dark chocolate shell as its sister cakewich, and Yo-Ho's--chocolate cake rolled up with a swirl of vanilla cream. He only got a bite or two of each, but I'm kind of afraid I'm setting a precedent for spoiling the kid with such high quality sweets at such a young age. I mean, I was lucky to even get a Ding Dong when I was young. I'm telling you, these kids nowadays...
My Inside Out S'More from Cake Monkey got a little squished on the way home, but who cares? I think I almost ate the fun little cookie creation--homemade graham cracker and chocolate ganache cookie topped with a mound of toasted marshmallow--in one bite.
I have to admit, I've never been a huge fan of brittle because it always seemed like I was about to break my teeth eating overly sweetened glass remnants. Until I tried that of Morning Glory Confections, that is. Fellow food blogging and tweeting mommy Reservation For Three first alerted me to her husband Max's artisan brittle creations which are handmade in small batches using high quality natural ingredients. The unique flavor combinations such as Thai Curry & Peanut, Chai Tea & Cashew and New Mexico Chili & Pumpkin Seed are a perfect combination of savory and sweet, and the textures have the right amount of crunch--not so hard that you feel like you're paying for your dentist's kids to go to college.
At the pop up sale, I purchased a box of Morning Glory Confections' Chocolate Enrobed Brittles--Darkened Milk Chocolate-, 55% semisweet chocolate- and 70% bittersweet chocolate-covered versions of their brittle varieties. Each tile was small--less than a square inch--but full of delicious flavor and texture.
My second trip to the pop up was inspired by ResForThree's tweet a couple weeks ago raving about some of the Bacon Fat, Smoked Paprika and Fleur De Sel Caramels that Max had whipped up for that weekend's pop up. Perfectly chewy pig candy with a hint of spice...they were definitely well worth the drive from the San Gabriel Valley to Silverlake.
Who eats dessert before eating lunch? Well me, I guess. I ended my sweets binge on my second visit to the pop up with a Lasagna Cupcake made by catering company and pop-up vendor HeirloomLA. I thought the idea was a little hokey at first, but I soon pledged allegiance to the hearty layers of al dente pasta and bolognese ragu that I could eat with my hands. Tasty and convenient...genius!
Hopefully, Cake Monkey and friends will decide to pop up again in the same or similar location--I loved being able to quickly snag up so many goodies in one convenient kid-friendly place that wasn't too far of a drive for me. Until then, here's how you can get your cake, brittle and lasagna cupcake groove on:
Available by special order or at select food-centric locations. See website for specifics.
Morning Glory Confections
Available for purchase online or at select food-centric locations. See website for specifics.