Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sheryl's Tokyo Cupcake Crawl Part II

A week just flies by so quickly! To be quite honest I've had one of those may well have been that time of the month and the fact that I've had to pull myself back into reality after my holiday. I have been feeling rather shitty. I have procrastinated and I feel horrible about it. I lie awake in bed at nights, asking myself "What is wrong with me? If this is what I love doing, then why does it seem so hard? Why is it so stressful? Why am I procrastinating??" Well I've concluded that even though things seem as though they're going well..I am still so afraid of failing. I'm scared that I'll end up having to quit this dream of mine because I can't make ends meet. Running this business on my own means that I can only rely on myself, I can't or don't want to ask others for support...especially financially.

There's always the rosy period at the start of running your business. There's a peak in interest, there's hype, there's excitement. But at night when you start calculating and adding up your numbers, realising that it's not all just fun and games, the stress starts to hit. So what do you do? What do you do to keep yourself focused on your goal? What do you do to keep yourself positive and have that sense of belief that things will work out?

For me, I've realised that the positive people that always encourage you and believe in you no matter what happens, are the ones you need to stay close to. The people that always seem to doubt your ability to succeed and say "you can't do that" - steer clear of them but also use their negative words and transform it into means of motivation.

"In order to succeed, we must have long term focus"
- keep reminding yourself Sheryl!

Today I watched an episode of Oprah whilst cutting out Christmas fondant shapes for cupcake toppers. It was about how your life can change in an instant. There was a story on a beautiful woman with a loving husband and 4 kids, she had experienced a plane accident that left her with horrific burns on 80% of her body. She struggles to do the day-to-day things we take for granted. So after watching that, I realised how lucky I was to be able to do my daily chores without experiencing that pain, I realised how lucky I was that I was healthy and how I had been taking things for granted. So I stopped procrastinating and did all my chores without leaving it to the last minute and I felt good doing them!

Ok I've got that off my chest now and it's now time to continue on with my

Cupcake Crawl Part II

Next stop:
N.Y Cupcakes

This was the only cupcake store that we found quite easily. We followed the instructions to get there from Cupcake Fetish, it was located just around the corner, along the side of the railway line of Meidaimae station. It was one of the cutest little shops I've ever seen. So adorable I could hardly contain my excitement. I even told the lady serving us, we went all the way to this town for her cupcakes, she looked surprised. She also had a photo of herself with other bakers in San Fransisco.

After marvelling at the cute and adorable shop front and cupcakes I decided on two cupcakes: The chocolate cupcake covered in white chocolate shavings and a pink teddy bear AND the vanilla cupcake with raspberry/strawberry frosting and a flower on top.

They didn't have any chairs or tables outside so we could enjoy these goodies so we had to walk around to find a place to sit...apparently eating whilst walking or standing in public is frowned upon. We found a little corner with no one around so I took my cupcakes out and took some photos.

We tried the strawberry one first. The cupcakes were much smaller than a classic sized cupcake but larger than a mini cupcake. Almost a patty cake size. The frosting had a meringue buttercream texture and tasted like strawberry jam. The cake was a little dry for my liking and crumbled a lot. We made a huge mess in that corner we found...of course we cleaned it up. It's a sin to even drop a tissue on the ground in Tokyo - in fact you can't even smoke on the streets over there, only indoors and selected 'smoking areas'.

I was quite excited about this cupcake and left it to last. The frosting was a meringue buttercream which is much richer in butter than buttercream frosting, however it's less sweet. The white chocolate shavings had a Cadbury white chocolate taste to it, not too creamy and rich but went well with the frosting. The chocolate cake was dry and didn't have the rich cocoa flavour I was expecting. I really wanted to try a moist cupcake over in Tokyo! I have tried other cake slices, like green tea cake and mini muffins over in Tokyo and they were quite moist, I'm not sure why I found the cupcakes over there very dry. If I didn't have water to wash it down with, I would have a hard time swallowing it. I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo below.

Overall, I absolutely loved how they decorated their small shop and loved their pink KitchenAid's in the back. You can tell they baked from scratch and took much care in their presentation. They were also so friendly and let me take my time choosing my cupcake flavours.

Last Stop:
Notting Hill Cakes

Our last stop for our Cupcake Crawl was Notting Hill Cakes. With an especially impressive website, I was most keen to visit this store. Let me say firstly that this was one heck of a trek to get there. We basically asked 5 different people how to get to this place and about 1.5 hours of walking and still a bit under the weather, I was very close to throwing the towel in. But just as I was getting (more) annoyed and whiny to my poor bf, we turned the corner and my bf was like "OMG, there it is!!!". He was more relieved to find the place than excited, he just didn't want to put up with my crap any longer and since this was the last place to visit I guess he was happy it was over with.

We spoke to a lovely lady there that co-owned the store with her husband. She spoke English so it was refreshing to speak to someone and order in English!

The store itself looks much larger on the website so when I walked in I was surprised how compact it really was. The fit out of the store was beautiful, it was classic with the wood furnishings and modern with the city silhouettes on the walls. I really liked how they decorated the store because it wasn't too cute & shabby chic, it was like a nice modern cafe.

After looking at the selection of cupcakes (they also had muffins, cakes, biscuits), they didn't have many flavours left. I really wanted to try Pistachio but they didn't have any left, so we decided on
the Earl Grey cupcake and the Chocolate Ganache cupcake.

Their cupcakes were the first standard classic sized cupcakes we've seen in Tokyo. They also had brown cupcake papers with their logos printed on them, which looked kinda fancy (I so wish to have that done one day).

This cupcake was more moist than the other two places we've tried but it was still dense and a little crumbly. It had an unusual earl grey tea flavour which was different, I'm not a real fan Earl Grey tea as I think the flavour is a bit too overpowering for me but the cupcake just had a hint of it so it wasn't too bad. The cupcake had a fluffy buttercream frosting on the top which wasn't too sweet and complimented the cake. I wasn't sure what the black flecks were in the cupcake, perhaps tea leaves but I wasn't sure. They also had a chocolate lattice on top with flecks of gold which I thought was quite unique and made it stand out.

Next was the Chocolate Ganache cupcake. Well presentation wise, I wasn't very impressed because all of their cupcakes had the cake spilling out the sides so it looked a little wonky.

It kind of reminds me of a Picnic chocolate bar and their slogan "Deliciously ugly". Well it did look ugly, I was hoping it would taste delicious though. Unfortunately the cake was dense and so dry, the cake texture was almost powdery which made it hard to swallow and messy to eat as it crumbled easily. The ganache was ok, I do like dark chocolate so I liked the bitterness to it but my bf whispered to me "I make better ganache than this" - he is actually quite good at making ganache though so I nodded and said "Yes, darling you do".
Inside the Chocolate Ganache cupcake.

So that concludes my Tokyo Cupcake Crawl, it was a fun little mission to go on because not only did I get to experience cupcakes from another country...since I did get a little lost finding these places, I did stumble upon areas of Tokyo I would never have seen if I hadn't gone exploring. It was also inspiring to see these cupcake shops because just like me they would've all started with a dream of baking cupcakes for a living.


  1. What a shame the cupcakes were so dry - but that NY Cupcakes is certainly gorgeous!! If only we had some cupcake bakeries like that over here!

  2. NY Cupcakes was my favourite out of the cupcake bakeries I managed to visit in Tokyo. The owner was especially enthusiastic about baking and you could just tell by speaking to her. She wasn't doing it for the money but for the love of cupcakes and baking. Her shop was so adorable too!

  3. Reading this tells me that the Cupcake Market is open over there. Perhaps I should move my cupcakery from California to Tokyo!