Happy early New Year! I hope you’re managing to get through the holidays without being subjected to the season’s biggest bane: liquor-soaked desserts.
Why is it only around the holidays that people feel the need to destroy otherwise delicious sweets and baked goods by adding excessive amounts of alcohol? Is it a consequence of Awkward Family Get-Together Season? Or maybe the misguided pull of tradition? Perhaps I’ll never know, but my gag reflex does not lie. No good can come from rum balls or their ilk.
I make an exception for Crunkcakes — liquor-infused cupcakes made by H Street NE residents Faith Alice Sleeper and Raychel Sabath and sold at a handful of bars in their neighborhood.
Crunkcakes defy the norms of boozy desserts because they’re not overly moist. If anything, a few that I tried recently — such as the Irish Car Bomb (Guinness chocolate cake infused with Jameson, topped with Bailey’s buttercream frosting) — were a tad dry. The frosting, though, is as thick as any other bakeshop’s.
Each Crunkcake holds about a shot of alcohol (you can smell it from the next room). While sampling the Car Bomb, I tasted the hard stuff immediately, but it’s a fairly subtle complement to the other flavors. That’s the way liquored-up desserts should be (if you must have them): neither intimidating nor innocent … and certainly not seasonally mandated.