I was quite adamant about making my own celebratory cake since I have such a picky birthday palate. However, when the day of my actual birth arrived, I had come home late from work with no opportunity to bake anything up. Instead, my family sweetly offered to purchase a cake for me and allow me to choose it over the phone from the fairly new shi-shi supermarket, Pusateri’s, inside Bayview Village. They phoned me just as I was about to leave my workplace, and without labels in the cake display, I chose one based on their descriptions of what they saw. Typically, I would have picked something rich, indulgent, and over-the-top. However, attempting to step outside of my preferred comfort cake-zone, I decided to try something different.
My mom caught sight of a snow flecked cake and inquired one of the staff members about it. They told her that it was a coconut cake with a dulce de leche filling. Hmmm, well that definitely piqued my interest. I have always had a soft spot for alfajores in Argentina ( which are soft, melt in your mouth sandwich cookies generously slathered with golden brown dulce de leche filling. This spread is reminiscent of caramel and because it is derived from milk, it has lush and creamy texture. It oozes out of the sandwich and dribbles onto your chin when you take a big bite). It was this nostalgic memory that caused me to choose this cake.
I asked who the creator of this dessert was and was informed that it was ‘Bake: Dessert Co.’ in Toronto. After hanging up, I did a quick Google search (yes.. I couldn’t help myself!) and found their company website as well as a picture of the cake I would soon get to eat. Wearing a bountiful coat of coconut, it was a dainty cake with a beautiful snow-white colour. I was hoping that the flavour would be as good, if not better, than its appearance. It was dubbed on their site as a “Coconut Cake: Layers of coconut cake covered with creamy dulce de leche, iced with cream cheese icing and then wrapped in delectable coconut”. I was quite smitten by the description and had to glance down to ensure that I was not drooling on my keyboard.
When I arrived home, the anticipatory build up and waiting finally came to an end. It was quite the whistle-chirping looker in person, BUT, did it have a fantabulous taste to boot? Lamentably… NO.
Looks are deceiving. It was dry, bland, and stale tasting.
As you will note in the picture above, this slice is slightly ragged… that’s because the cake layers were rock hard and I had to saw through them like a lumberjack. Once I wrestled a piece out and had a bite, I tasted no butter or coconut flavour, and there was only the thinnest film of dulce de leche– I had to wonder where the “covered” part of this filling they were referring to was. The coconut shards were lifeless and tasted like what I imagined eating woodchips would be like. Overall, it was an utter disappointment. Where was the quality one expects from Bake: Dessert and Co. and Pusateri’s? And Hellooo?? Looking high and low for the flavour here!.. which, was nowhere to be found.
Fortunately, there is somewhat of a happy ending to this sad birthday cake of a story. I phoned Pusateri’s and told them about this product. With my feedback, they kindly offered to give us a full refund. They said that it would be helpful if I could bring the receipt as well as any of the uneaten cake back to the store (after the 4 of us each had a slice, there was about 75% of it that went untouched. I assume they made the cake request because they wanted to see it for themselves and inform the company of what happened). I hope Bake: Dessert and Co. receive Pusateri’s message and improve this item! In the meantime, I won’t be trying anything from this company for quite awhile (I would give them a second chance but since this cake FAIL occurred on my birthday– all bets are off).