Heavenly bakers

Includes: Upper Crust Bakery, Raleigh, NC and more   

Lots of good eatin’ the past couple of days. It’ll take me a few posts to catch up.

First, a quick one on baked deliciousness.

If there’s a heaven, mine had better have baked goods there.

I love, love, love many types of food, but I must admit that baked goods are at the top of the heap. My very favorite sweets (and some savories) are, I realize, all things that come out of the oven: brownies, cupcakes, pie, scones, etc.

On Friday, I had a new concoction from one of my favorite local bakers, Audra’s Cakes and Creations. (I’ve written about her wonderful goodies before on A Tarheel Tastes.) As a few friends and I were being shown to our table at NOFO we passed a beautiful collection of cake truffles. I suspected at first glance that they were Audra’s, and our server confirmed I was right!

I took a picture of the red velvet cake truffle post-bite so you could see the ultra-moist interior. It was like one of her red velvet cupcakes taken to a whole new level — more intensely flavored and moist. Why? Audra said the recipe’s no different from her cupcakes, but she mixes the cake and frosting together, then dips the “truffle” in vanilla coating.

I wish she would stop creating such addictive goodies. Well, not really. (Don’t ever stop, Audra!)

This morning I returned to Lafayette Village yet again. (I know, I know, I’ve blogged about it a number of times. But it’s so close to my house and all my food experiences there have been great.) This time it was for breakfast at the Upper Crust Bakery, one of Lafayette’s first dining establishments to open.

I discovered during a nice chat that owner Mariea and I have very similar food philosophies. Namely, that food is meant to be savored. That everything can be enjoyed, in moderation. We both bemoan Americans’ obsession with manufactured foods. But we delight in the small movement that seems to be slowly growing into a  groundswell: A return to local, whole, fresh ingredients and shops and cafes owned by neighbors.

Mariea’s philosophy is obvious in the Upper Crusts’s offerings. Everything is made from scratch on premises. Breakfast, lunch and snack items — they’re open from morning until late afternoon — include sandwiches, salads and a plethora of baked goods like cannoli and cupcakes and croissants.

And scones. Delicate, perfectly textured scones, moister than many, yet still with a good crumb. I had a cherry vanilla scone with coffee to welcome my Sunday. For a little while, at least, it helped dispel the low gray clouds and cool weather outside.

I’ll be back to the Upper Crust. For more scones, assuredly. For a slice of one of her famous pies concocted from heritage recipes. And I can’t wait to get my mouth around one of those gorgeous cupcakes.

About atarheeltastes

I'm a passionate foodie who started this "temporary" blog during a gustatory tour of Tuscany. I decided to continue, since I love to dream about, plan for, prepare, eat and write about food!
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2 Responses to Heavenly bakers

  1. Cindy Jones says:

    Terry- so happy to read this post. Of course, we are partial to Upper Crust Bakery as our neighbor here at Lafayette Village. We not only frequent the bakery, but also provide some of our ingredients to their lovely menu. And Audra, well Audra shops with us, was in just today, and has her wares at Antonio’s here in Lafayette Village and Dean & DeLuca in Charlotte. The key to all good food is to savor it, and begin with the freshest and best ingredients. The trend does seem to be a throw back in time, when life was simple, when sitting around the table in good fellowship with good “From scratch” food was put on our table. We are so happy to be part of something that brings good ol’fashioned common sense back to our tables. Thanks for your wonderful blog, and for bringing to the attention of our “Foodie” community what our shared vision is about. Keep writing, keep sharing, you are such a terrific writer!

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