Are there women in Colombo who don’t have a sideline selling cupcakes? Sometimes I wonder. There seems to be such an infiniti of these homebakers who, assisted by hyper-active facebook profiles, and the speed rumors of new baked confections fly through Colombo’s gossipy grapevine, actually make a reasonable living using little more than a cookbook, their oven and ingredients from the local Cargills.
Recently though I’ve become curious as to who actually buys all these little confections. I mean I love a good cupcake, once maybe twice (even three times) a week I might pick one up from Paan Paan, or substitute a slice of lemoncurd cake from Hansa. But do I and the other Colomboars really consume enough sugar to provide employment to a percentage of the city’s female populace?
I’ve begun to doubt it, and have been evolving my own theory to explain Colombo’s proliferation of cake makers. I propose that, in fact, the majority of the demand for these home baked goodies comes from other home bakers. As each of the galaxy of rivals within Colombo’s cupcake sphere puts out a new offering- a fondant with particularly gooey centre, a locally inspired lovi or rambuttan frosted meringue or whatever, her rivals are compelled to place orders. Having sampled the competing creation they are then forced to respond with variants and upgrades of their own. Its an unending quest for ever gooier centers and choclatier chocolate with the objective of staying ahead of the cutthroat competition. A sort of cupcake arms race that’s created a half-closed circle of inelastic demand. That at least is the theory.
But cupcake conspiracy theories aside I just encountered another home based supplier of, wait for it, cupcakes- Moreish. I sampled a single (im lying it was three) Chocolate lava-cupcake and it was very good. I bit through the cracked, crisp, mahogany moonscape of a surface to discover a molten chocolate interior. The consistency was perfect and the taste, rich with real chocolate and a hint of hazelnut, was a notch above your average Colombo cupcake contender. At Rs 100 (for one) its not cheap but they are so well executed and presented that shelling out for an order of a dozen or so is well worth it. The vanilla cupcake – of which I only sampled crumbs, also seemed promising and she makes carefully frosted and painstakingly decorated birthday cakes too, plus traditional Sri Lankan love and Christmas cake.
So a broad array of baked offerings for her rivals to suss out and respond to- initiating another round in Colombo’s cupcake cold war.
Ordinary, cupcake civilians should also strongly consider placing an order- though you have to troop out to Dehiwala to pick them up.