Two years ago she assessed Momofuku Milk Bar's Compost Cookie. Last year she ranted and raved about the Chocolate Chunk Cookie from The Bent Spoon. Naturally, when I once again visited my forthright grandmother in New Jersey, I had to find a dessert for her to review. You see, she's got the sweet tooth of a kindergartner, but "not with fussy stuff." So, obviously, I seek out the fussiest of the fussiest and put it on a plate in front of her and collect her ruminations.
This year's scheduled review also happened to fall on my Dad's birthday, so we got a Red Velvet Cake from the famed Magnolia Bakery. The birthday cake came from the bakery's Rockefeller Center/NYC location, but they've grown rapidly of late (thanks Carrie Bradshaw?) and now have a whopping seven U.S. (including L.A.) and five international locations (so next time you're in Doha!). Magnolia's Red Velvet cake (a thick, sugary cream cheese frosting on top and in between dense and rich layers of red velvet cake) seemed like the perfect dessert for Granny to review because, a former Manhattan socialite in her day, she would probably fit right in with Carrie and the others.
And here are my 89-year old grandmother's thoughts on the cake...
APPEARANCE: "It's very colorful" and "Beautiful" and "Probably tastes delicious, but I wish it was chocolate"
ARE YOU EXCITED?: "Oh, I'm very excited"
TASTE: "Yum" and "Good... very fresh" and "It's cream cheese?" and "Almost as good as chocolate" and "What is red velvet anyway?"
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT COST? "A minimum of $25" and "This sort of thing would have cost 75 cents in my day"
Note: The cake cost $36. I didn't have the heart to tell her.