There are the kinds of foods you eat because they’re there, like drive-thru burgers on a road trip or steamed broccoli because you need the folic acid. And then, there are the types of foods that consume your thoughts and inspire you to get in the car and drive clear across town for a culinary escape.
For me, that item is a strawberry cupcake created by Amy Wardle, baker extraordinaire of . One bite and I was scheming to write in to “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” I think I can get Giada on board.
For weeks before its grand opening, I was rubber-necking, trying to sneak a peek in the windows, which were promptly adorned with pink and white decals. And the name? Warm Sugar? I mean, what’s more inviting than that?
For years, the residents of the nation’s most cosmopolitan cities--New York, Los Angeles, Chicago--have been traipsing down their boulevards, devouring the cutest of all “handheld desserts,” as Amy calls them. It’s about time the Lehigh Valley had a cupcakery to call its own.
It would be one thing to whip up a batch of red velvet cupcakes and call it a day. Warm Sugar actually takes it to the next taste level, however, using the most natural, organic ingredients and taking advantage of the season’s freshest produce. Expect strawberry and rhubarb in the summer and pumpkin in the fall. Amy goes so far as to import her chocolate sprinkles from France because, apparently, you just can’t get the best sprinkles stateside.
Taste them for yourself atop one of Warm Sugar’s most decadent treats, the “P.B. Incognutto,” a rich, Valrhona chocolate cake (Valrhona being a French chocolatier), with swirls of soft peanut butter.
Craving something more sophisticated? A little more royal? Try the “Lady Bakewell,” inspired by Amy’s British hubby. This vanilla-almond cupcake has a hint of lemon-raspberry jam and is topped with almond frosting. God save the Queen!
Now that we’re on our world tour, why stop? Head south to sultry Argentina and sample “La Copacake,” a caramel cake filled with Argentinian dulce de leche and finished with caramel frosting.
Although we could continue our travels--through Italy with the “Limoncello” and the South Pacific with “The Tikicup”--let’s bring it back to Hellertown, where Amy is waiting, cupcake tiers filled, coffee at the ready. All you need to do is pick a cupcake (or three), grab a chair and let your taste buds do the rest.
Oh, and say hi. To me, I mean. As I plan on moving in. (Hope you don’t mind, Amy!)
Where: Warm Sugar, 1308 Main Street, Hellertown. More information at warmsugar.com.
Escape begins: Tuesday-Friday, 10am to 7pm; Saturday, 10am to 2pm.
Cost: SugarMama - $2.95; SugarBaby - $1.49