Friday, May 31, 2019

Super Eats High Protein Puffs

Super Eats.  Makers of high protein, reduced carb puffs.  Snack food of ... champions?

I will fully admit that even though I love trying all kinds of snacks, I had ... essentially zero hope for these products.  But hey, given my munchy tendencies, if I could find a snack food that was healthier, had protein, and tasted good, it was worth a try, right? 
"A serving of Puffs contains 8 grams of complete protein, <1g of sugar, and 25-50% fewer carbs than most chips & puffs, making it the perfect vegan snack for an active lifestyle."
Oh yeah, they are gluten-free and vegan too, even though they boast flavors like "jalapeño cheddar".   Like I said, little hope.

But ... the variety I tried was quite good, and I'd love to get my hands on some other flavors, like the
High Protein Vegan Puffs - White Cheddar.
"Finally a healthy puff snack! Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Kosher and with 8g of Protein. Only 11g of net carbs. 0g of sugar. A classically delicious, cheesy, crunchy Puff."

I took a bite of my first puff with apprehension.

Well, huh.  It wasn't bad.  Wasn't bad at all.  Great crispy factor, but also, fairly light and fluffy.  It really was much like other puff snacks.

And the flavor?  Yup, it tasted like white cheddar, even though vegan.  Not that most commercial cheddar puffs are made with real cheese anyway .... 

Ok, so what is in these things?  The base is the "Supereats protein blend", thankfully not made with whey protein (which my body dislikes), but rather, pea protein and ... sacha incha protein.  Pea protein I'm familiar with, and I'm generally a fan (when used in drinks at least), but sacha inchi?  Next step: learn what this is.  Turns out to be a shrub from Peru, high in protein, omega-3, omega-6, omega-9, vitamin E, and more.  Sounds like a good thing? There is also lentil flour, sorghum flour, and rice flour to round it out.

The seasoning, which I really did like, uses nutritional yeast to achieve the "cheesy" nature, and garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard seed to round it out.

Overall, actually pretty crave-able.  Good form factor, great crunch, nice flavor.  And ... uh ... the protein really is a nice side benefit!
Read More...

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Cookies from Mrs. Fields

Update Review, May 2019

I've reviewed basic Mrs. Fields cookies before, so I won't intro this beyond reminding you that I think they are basically fine cookies, but not remarkable.  And I'm not much of a cookie girl anyway.  You are likely familiar with Mrs. Fields anyway, if you've walked through a mall food court and smelt fresh cookies.

Someone in my office ordered a customized cookie cake for a baby shower.   Mrs. Field's dubs these "Cookie Cakes", but I'd really call them a pie ...

Anyway, they are basically just giant thick chocolate chip cookies, decorated with icing.
Big Cookie Cake (obviously not complete). $39.99.
"Our freshly baked custom cookie cake is the perfect gift to show your loved ones how much they really mean to you. Add a personal touch to a party favorite with a custom cookie cake from Mrs. Fields® . You can customize the message and icing color to create a cookie cake that's perfect for whatever occasion you're preparing for. Your personalized cookie cake can be delivered to you or straight to the door of a loved one for a scrumptious surprise. Shop our variety of round cookie cake flavors and create the ultimate treat to celebrate in a big way. Moist and chewy, our colossal cookie cakes are made with real butter, whole eggs, and pure vanilla. Eat your cookie cake with a fork or your fingers, on plates, napkins, or right out of the box. Any way you slice it, our Big Cookie Cakes are still first in flavor."

Our cookie cake was half blue and white frosted, half pink and white frosted, and read, "It's a boy!".

The cookie was basically just a thick chocolate chip cookie.  Decently soft, better when warmed up in the oven to make it softer and the chocolate melty.  A fairly good cookie base, and plenty of chocolate chips.  Above average chocolate chip cookie, but not remarkable.

The frosting was just sweet, no distinct flavor. I thought it was funny everyone went for the pink section, as it really did all taste the same.  Very sweet, but this wasn't a bad thing.  I may have intentionally selected a chunk with the most.  And volunteered to take any extra.

Overall, something different than a standard cake, and if your guest of honor really likes cookies, definitely a more interesting offering.  Best warm, better a la mode.

Original Review, Jan 2013

To celebrate National Cookie Month, Mrs. Fields was giving away free cookies.  I've never had their cookies before, but I do like my sweets (and freebies), so I went to check it out.

Then a few days later at work, someone received a box of Nibblers (their tiny little cookies).  They were clearly not as fresh as cookies at the shop, and I wouldn't have ever known they were from the same merchant, if it wasn't for the labels.  I was not a fan, as I like soft cookies, and the Nibblers were very hard.

I'm glad I got to try Mrs. Fields, as the fresh baked cookies always smell so good when I walk by in the mall, but I don't really have any desire to have them again.
3" White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie. $1.99.
For free cookie day, I could pick any cookie.  Since I had no idea what they were known for in particular, I asked the woman serving me which cookie was her favorite, and went with her recommendation.

It was a decent cookie.  Soft style, which I like.  The white chocolate was basically just sweet, but a little creamy.  The nuts added a nice crunch.  The dough was nice and buttery.

Nothing extraordinary, but a good enough cookie.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nibbler.  6 for $3.99.
I expected this to be a little mini version of the larger size cookie I'd had with the same name, but honestly, it really didn't seem remotely the same.  Unlike the soft larger version, it was hard.  I didn't find any macadamia in mine.  And the white chocolate chips were just kinda there.  And the base wasn't buttery.  My favorite of the Nibblers, but I wouldn't get again.
Peanut Butter Nibbler.
Like all of the nibblers, another hard style cookie.  Some subtle peanut butter flavor, but not very good at all.  Least favorite.
Cinnamon Sugar Nibbler.
I don't really care for snickerdoodles that much, but I tried it anyway.  Another fairly crispy cookie, not much flavor to it.  A snickerdoodle really needs the base cookie to be good, and this wasn't.  The cinnamon and sugar coating was nice enough.  Second to last favorite.
Triple Chocolate Nibbler.
 Chocolate cookie base, with both white and chocolate chips.  Another hard cookie, not my style.
Debra's Special (aka, oatmeal raisin nut) Nibbler.
Another crispy not good cookie.  The nuts were a nice addition to oatmeal raisin, but the cookie didn't really have much flavor, and honestly, I didn't detect the oatmeal.  The raisins were all clustered to one side.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Nibbler.
This was a totally generic chocolate chip cookie.  Not very buttery, not very sweet, chocolate pretty standard.  It wasn't crispy, but it wasn't soft.  Definitely not my sort of cookie.
Read More...

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Skool Restaurant

Skool opened in San Francisco several years ago, in the Dogpatch.  It was on my radar early on, a seafood focused restaurant, with exciting menus.  I remember being pretty interested in the menu, and it got positive reviews.  I honestly have no idea why I never visited.

And, well, I still haven't visited.  But they are open for lunch Tues-Fri, brunch on weekends, and dinner Tues-Sun.  The menus continue to sound great.

So, I finally tried their cuisine, in a fairly non-standard way, for this type of establishment: delivery!  Yup, they offer delivery  via Caviar, and sometimes ... well, I just make ridiculous decisions.  Like ordering ... delivery uni flan from Skool.

Ridiculous only because uni clearly isn't your average delivery item, not because it wasn't a success.  I was quite pleased with the whole experience.

As you know, I'm a sucker for custards, like panna cotta or creme brûlée, savory or sweet.  I went through quite the phase of seeking out savory custards (remember the asparagus panna cotta from The Village Pub or the English pea and green garlic panna cotta from Radius? Or the foie gras custard parfait at Cyrus, the foie gras panna cotta at The Fifth Floor, or the foie gras creme brûlée at The Village Pub?)

But in particular, I love uni, so I went for uni custards all over the place as well, like the uni creme brûlée from Quincethe signature version from Lot 7, the uni flan from Fifth Floor , the uni chawanmushi at Alexander's and Commonwealth, etc. 

I've had a fair number of uni puddings, it turns out.

So I still can't tell you anything about dining at Skool, or about much of their menu, but the uni flan?  Delivered?  Totally works.
Uni Flan. $16.
"Light Sea Urchin Flan / Ikura / Fresh Uni / Fleur de Sel."

Ok, first, let's just acknowledge that the plating for delivery obviously isn't like what they serve in the restaurant, where it comes in a cute little jar.  But really, this wasn't bad looking.

And the taste?  Yup, uni-liscious!  You could taste the uni quite clearly in the flan, a creamy smooth pudding, that I think had suffered a bit in transit, some of it spreading out into the base of the container, and the top part remaining a bit more firm.  Still, the flavor and texture were good, even if it clearly would be better chilled.

In addition to the uni-forward flan, was two full lobes of fresh uni, which seemed good quality, although they were a darker color than is more common.  It hit all the uni notes I was looking for.

The rest of the dish was made up of ikura (standard ikura, great little pops of flavor and salty component), a slice of radish, and some kind of micro herb garnish.  It looks like a drizzle of olive oil was probably applied too.

Overall, this was a good execution of an uni flan, perhaps not the best one ever, but certainly solid and worthy.  I enjoyed it, and the $16 price was quite reasonable.
Sliced Cucumbers (sub for crostini).
The flan normally comes with crostini to spread it up, but I don't really like filling up with bread, and I knew from reviews that it was just generic hard random bread, so I asked them to sub something else, hoping for lotus chips, taro chips, shrimp chips, anything like that.

I got ... sliced cucumbers.  Fresh cucumber, which is fine, but clearly not something I was excited for. I used nori wraps instead, which worked really well, and it was kinda fun to make my own little bite sized wraps.  (Ok, so I ate at least half of it just by the spoonful, like luxurious pudding ... but once I was ready to experiment, seaweed wraps worked nicely).

Points to Skool for reading my instructions though, and coming up with an alternative, which doesn't always happen with delivery.
Skool Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Read More...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Plaza Premium Lounge, MEL

This is a short lounge review, as I cruised through the Plaza Premium Lounge *very* briefly just to check it out, in and out in under 5 minutes.  I had access to the Qantas First Class lounge via my generous seatmate, so I only stopped in the Plaza Premium Lounge to see it, for future reference.  And nibble a few things, for you dear readers.

The lounge is pretty basic, seating generic, food line up generic.  The lounge shares bathrooms, showers, and catering with the American Express lounge adjacent to it., and is located in the general lounge area alongside most of the other airline lounges.

If you have no other lounge access, this could be a fine home base, but it lacked all personality.
Dining Area.
Simple seating in the dining area, and simple light brown seats for lounging too.   The color scheme throughout was drab.  It felt like being in a basement.

Beer, Wine, Coffee, Tea. 
Alcoholic drinks and coffee are made by a staff member behind a counter, tea was self-serve, as were the biscuits to go with.
Soda Fountain.
Other drinks include a self-serve soda fountain with basic Coke products.
Spa Waters.
And an impressive water lineup.
Pumpkin Risotto, Spaghetti Meatballs.
Food is a small buffet, with hot dishes in steam pans.

I tried the pumpkin risotto.

Yeah, I don't know why I tried it.  I think I wanted comfort food.  It was just mush, mush that had been sitting in a hot pan for likely a while, all crusted on top.  It did have big chunks of pumpkin though.

The spaghetti and meatballs looked even worse than the risotto, really really dried out, so I didn't try it.

The other hot dishes were rice, chicken tagine, and minestrone soup.  I didn't touch any of them either.
Beef Sliders, Vegetarian Fajitas.
Uh ... these weren't really beef sliders.  Or at least, not what I expect beef sliders to be.  I took one out of curiosity.

A stale roll, shredded beef, and bbq sauce on top?  Tons of bbq sauce, really generic, and not a flavor I liked.

Did not like this.
Bread.
Sliced bread, rolls, spreads.

Moving on.
Cold Cuts, Cheeses, German Potato Salad, Asian Noodle Salad, Mixed Greens Salad, Cake.
I have a soft spot in my heart for potato salad from salad bars and delis (or macaroni salad!), so I tried the German potato salad.

There was nothing special about this, not particularly good.  Not creamy, not my style.
Popcorn, Candy.
I was happy to see the jars though, filled with gummy candies (yes!) and popcorn (eh, I love popcorn but this was boring.  The buttered popcorn in Qantas lounges was much better!). 
Read More...

Monday, May 27, 2019

Desserts from The Cheesecake Factory

I probably don't need to write an intro the The Cheesecake Factory.

The quick background though, it is not, in fact, just a cheesecake producer.  It is a restaurant chain, started in 1978, with several hundred locations.  And they do everything ... big.

No matter what your thoughts are on The Cheesecake Factory, there are some things about it that do impress me.   In some ways, I feel like it is the perfect place to send visitors to the US to, as it matches just about every stereotype imaginable.  Its also a good place to go with a group that has just way too many preferences, as they serve any type of cuisine you could possibly want.

The menu has 250 items on it.  That is ... insane.   There are small plates, appetizers, flatbreads, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, chicken entrees, meatloaf, tacos, burritos, pasta, seafood entrees, steaks, chops, sides, and of course, desserts.  Seriously, everything.  And they run the gamut of every cuisine imaginable, from Italian, to Thai, to Chinese, to Mexican.  They serve brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert.  There are some healthy options (kale salad!) and many ridiculously unhealthy, and, um, I'm not just talking about the cheesecake.  The Cheesecake Factory regularly "wins" for most extreme calorific content in dishes.  More than 100 menu items are over 1500 calories.  Some go over 2000.  Yes, in a single portion.   Even the chicken caesar salad has 1,450 calories!  (yes, you read that correctly).

And, well, the place is really popular.  On the rare occasions when I peek into a Cheesecake Factory, there is always a wait.  And the restaurants tend to be huge themselves.  Something about the place appeals to people.

And I kinda understand it.  I remember the first time I went to a Cheesecake Factory very vividly.  I was a teenager.  It was in Boston, the first city I ever visited.  My cousin from California was visiting us, and she wanted to go there.  It was a big deal to be in Boston in the first place, and, no one else in my family had heard of the Cheesecake Factory.  We were also entirely unfamiliar with so many of the cuisines served.  We didn't know what many items were.  But my cousin educated us, and helped us order.

We got the Thai lettuce wraps on that visit, an appetizer (that could easily be a meal, for multiple people).  I remember it because it was so different from anything I had ever had before.  A DIY-style dish, where you were provided with leaves of lettuce, bean sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, strips of chicken, curry noodles, and 3 dipping sauces.  The sauces were Thai-style, one peanut, one sweet red chili, and one other.  She showed us how to make our wraps, and eat with our hands.  I thought it was fun, but, the most vivid part of the memory is the sauces.  There was so much flavor!  Peanut sauce!  Sweet chili sauce!  Where had these been my entire life!

Since then, I've returned a few times over the years, usually for big group birthday parties, or, while at a mall.  I've gotten the wraps, and enjoyed them.  I remember trying a few other dishes, chicken, pasta, and more, and thinking it really was fine.  But, the last time I had food at the Cheesecake Factory was at least 10 years ago.

Until this past year, when I started exploring just the desserts.

Restaurant Delivery

Every Cheesecake Factory also has a very large area devoted to takeout desserts, with all 30 or so cheesecakes on display, plus the other cakes and whatnot.  I think most people can't ever actually order dessert after such ridiculous portion sizes for meals, but feel they "need" to get the cheesecake since they are there, and thus, you get it to go.

Or, you just go to pick up cheesecake, which I've had friends do several times.  I never took any photos or notes during these times though, when they showed up at parties with Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.  I do remember always being excited, the slices look incredible (also, huge), the flavors are ridiculous, but, I don't think I was ever impressed.

Encounter #1 2017

So, why would I get cheesecake from there?  Well, they were doing a free delivery promotion, and you know how much I like to use freebies as a good excuse to try something I wouldn't normally do.
Red Velvet.
"Moist layers of Red Velvet Cake and our Original Cheesecake covered with our special Cheesecake Factory cream cheese frosting."

I ordered the amazing sounding carrot cake.  I got red velvet instead.  It was warm.  Warm cheesecake is not appealing.  It clearly suffered getting to me via the delivery service.

But I still tried it.

It was ... well, kinda rich cheesecake and fairly generic red velvet cake, thick layers of each, topped with mushy cream cheese frosting.  Generic whipped cream on the side.

Any single layer of this was a full dessert on its own, combined sky high like this, it was just a massive undertaking.

It is hard to evaluate though as the warmth and resulting texture were just too off putting.

So I put it in the fridge overnight and tried it the next day.  Now, it was at least the proper serving temperature.

But it still was just nothing special.  The cheesecake was mediocre.  Creamy, smooth, but not particularly flavorful.  The cake wasn't too dry, but it also didn't have much going on.  The best parts were the cream cheese icing (a delightfully thick layer) and the white chocolate shavings on the back.

Maybe other flavors are better, but, this about matches my memories.

Encounter #2: December 2018

Another year, another free cheesecake day.  Another incorrect order.
Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake. $8.95.
"Moist layers of Red Velvet Cake and our Original Cheesecake covered with our special Cheesecake Factory cream cheese frosting."

I've reviewed this item before, and I didn't like.  I did not actually order it then, it was a mistake sent to me when I ordered the crazy carrot cake cheesecake.  I did not like it then.  I would not order it again.  I did not order it again.  I ordered an amazing sounding White Chocolate Chunk Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake.  And yet, I got this one again.

Sigh, seriously.  Mess up my order, but send me *any* other one to try!!!

I cut off a tiny slice to try it.  It was slightly better than last time in that it wasn't strangely warm.  The cake, moist I guess, but not in a good way, no real flavor to it.  The layers of original cheesecake were fine, creamy cheesecake, but, eh, I'm just not into plain cheesecake these days.  

And the cream cheese frosting?  Eh!  I really don't like their cream cheese frosting, which I just don't understand, because, in general, I do like cream cheese frosting.

Even the white chocolate shavings on the top and side weren't good, they were quite stale.  Sigh.

Wholesale - The Cheesecake Factory Bakery

A lesser known fact is that the Cheesecake Factory also operates a wholesale bakery, The Cheesecake Factory Bakery.  They sell cheesecakes, but, also other items.

Cupcakes

Cupcakes aren't available at the restaurants, but were the first item I tried from the wholesale bakery.  They are ...  shockingly good cupcakes.  This inspires me to try some of the non-cheesecake desserts at the restaurants.
Blackout Cupcake.
"The ultimate chocolate experience in a cupcake! Decadent chocolate pudding cake with a hint of chocolate liqueur, topped with sinful layers of chocolate frosting and dark chocolate curls."

This was a shockingly good cupcake.

The cake was crazy moist, crazy rich, some of the best chocolate cake I've ever had.  The frosting was light and fluffy, sweet, and totally delicious.  I loved the dark chocolate curls on top.

This was just a winner, all around.  Incredible for a frozen product.
Blackout Cake Bite.
"Dark chocolate cake topped with chocolate cream cheese icing."

They also make cupcakes in mini size, known as "Cake Bites".

The look was slightly different from the full size Blackout, the frosting darker.  But it was equally delicious.

The chocolate cake was moist, great chocolate flavor.  The frosting, a thicker style, was rich and fudge-y, with the fascinating cream cheese undertone.  I loved the dark chocolate curls.

Again, another shockingly good cupcake.
Blackout Cupcake.
"The ultimate chocolate experience in a cupcake! Decadent chocolate pudding cake with a hint of chocolate liqueur, topped with sinful layers of chocolate frosting and dark chocolate curls."

Hmm.   I loved these before in the mini form.  But this time?  Hmm.

The cake wasn't as moist, rich, or dense.  It wasn't dry exactly, but it was just boring chocolate cake.

The frosting was very very rich though, fudgey, deep chocolate, cream cheese notes. 
Vanilla Bean Full Size Cupcake.
"Buttery and moist vanilla cake with cream cheese, decorated with layers of rich vanilla bean  and cream cheese icing and white chocolate chips." -- GourmetXpress, Distributor

"Moist vanilla bean cupcake topped with Tahitian vanilla bean icing." -- Cheesecake Factory


I adored this cupcake.  I'm never one to be excited for cake or cupcakes, but I devoured this large cupcake in about ... 5 seconds?  It was much like the small format, except, well, full size (and, honestly, bigger than most cupcakes you get from a cupcake shop).

It was just a vanilla cupcake.  Very simple.  But the cake was perfectly moist, and that cream cheese frosting is just so good.  Creamy, rich from the cream cheese, flavorful.  Both the cake and the frosting did have good vanilla flavor.  And I really do like the white chocolate on top, just for extra sweetness.

I was quite satisfied with this cupcake, and would gladly have more.
Vanilla Bean Cake Bite.
"Moist vanilla cake topped with vanilla bean cream cheese icing."

Much like the chocolate version, the vanilla bean one doesn't just have vanilla frosting on top, but rather, vanilla bean cream cheese icing.  Infusing the whole cheesecake thing into the cupcakes even.

The frosting was sweet, fluffy, and did have vanilla bean flavor to it.  The cake was decently moist, and had a lovely buttery sweet flavor to it.

Overall, a solid little cupcake.
Lemon Drop.
"Light lemon cupcake topped with a ring of lemon cream cheese icing filled with lemon curd."

I know that I don't like lemon desserts, and generally don't go for cakes, but, after so much other success with these cupcakes, I couldn't resist eventually trying the Lemon Drop.

I'm glad I did, because, for a lemon dessert, it wasn't awful!

The icing was fluffy and sweet, just like the others, and only mildly lemon-y, barely cream cheese-y.  The dollop of lemon curd in the middle is where the lemon was concentrated, but, I really liked how fruity it was, and, it wasn't tangy really, mostly just sweet and tart.  I again enjoyed the shaved white chocolate curls on top for a pop of extra sweetness.

And the cake itself, decently moist, and more plain than lemon-y.

So overall?  Yup, a cupcake I enjoyed, even though lemon.  The vanilla are still my favorites however.
Red Velvet Cake Bite.

"Moist traditional red velvet cake topped with rich cream cheese icing."

This was my least favorite of the cupcakes, although I know red velvet is often a crowd pleaser.

The cake was moist and fine, but, boring red velvet cake.  The frosting, also fine, thick, rich, cream cheesy, but, fairly boring.

This was a fine cupcake, but, compared to the extra special touches of the Blackout and the vanilla bean (e.g. crazy good chocolate frosting, surprising vanilla bean cream cheese frosting), this one was just a bit pedestrian.

The full size red velvet cupcake comes garnished with dark chocolate curls, but the mini goes for white chocolate curls instead, I'm not sure why.


Red Velvet Full Size Cupcake.
"Elegant deep red butter cake with a hint of cocoa, layered with cream cheese icing and garnished with dark chocolate curls."

Red velvet is always my least favorite cupcake in general, and this was true for the minis from Cheesecake Factory.  But I still tried the full size.

And ... yeah.  I don't like these cupcakes.  Even the cream cheese icing does not do it for me.  It has a strange gummy consistency.  Meh.

Note to self: stop getting these!

Cheesecake

The bakery obviously makes cheesecakes.  More than 20 varieties are available wholesale.  Some look similar to the restaurant varieties, but they certainly aren't a complete match.
Godiva Double Chocolate Cheesecake.
"Rich Godiva® cheesecake baked with chunks of mild chocolate topped with chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache, and chocolate whipped cream." -- GourmetXpress, distributor

"Layers of Flourless Godiva Chocolate Cake, Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse." -- Cheesecake Factory

Hmm.  This was interesting.  Some layers more successful than others.  Which was good, given how many layers there were.  Perhaps not surprisingly, given my reviews of their other products, the cheesecake layer was my least favorite.

The chocolate cake crust wasn't bad, much like the cupcakes, I was surprised by how rich and fudgey it was.

The cheesecake layer on top of it though I didn't care for.  The texture was good, but, chocolate and tangy cream cheese just don't go great together for me.

But the next layer, chocolate mousse, that was good, rich, fudgy, fluffy.  I guess the ganache was just the lines of chocolate on top?  The chocolate whip was good too.

So, ignore the cheesecake layer, and this was good.  Moist rich chocolate cake, creamy rich chocolate mousse, flavored whipped cream.  Just, uh, not a good *cheesecake*.
Godiva Double Chocolate Cheesecake (Sept 2018).
And ... we got it again.

I was interested to see if I felt any differently about it this time.  I did, slightly.  I liked it even less.

I really just don't like chocolate cheesecake.  I did like the bits of chocolate in that layer though.  The chocolate mousse also seemed sour, in a way I didn't like this time.  And the crust was eh, just soft chocolate crust.

The only part I really liked was the chocolate whipped cream.  I'll skip this next time.

Layer Cakes

The Cheesecake Factory Bakery makes a decent lineup of layer cakes, including two chocolate cakes, a classic red velvet, a lemon ice box cake, and an Italian cream torte.  No plain vanilla cake.  The chocolate cakes look to be either the same (or very similar) to the ones served in the restaurant.
Fudgy Wudgy Chocolate Cake.
"Moist fudge cake, chewy fudge icing and chocolate crunch on the sides. Did we mention fudge?" - GourmetXpress, Distributor

"Our moist fudge cake with chewy chocolate fudge icing, and chocolate crunch on the sides." -- Cheesecake Factory

This was serious chocolate indulgence.  690 calories per slice worth, in fact.  Everything chocolate.  Chocolate cake, chocolate fudge, chocolate pudding, chocolate crunch.

I was very excited to try the layered cake.  Which is funny, as I'm usual not interested in cake.  But the cupcakes were so good, I was eager to see it adapted to larger format.

I was saddened however to realize that the cake wasn't just a different form of the Blackout Cupcake.  As in, that chocolate fudge cream cheese frosting I loved was not part of it.  No cream cheese used in this item.  Doh!

But still, it was a looker.  A massive, massive slice, loaded with fudge frosting between the layers, and even more on top.  And then, a cookie crunch crust-like on the back.

The cake itself was fine, rich, moist, dark chocolate cake.  If you were served it at a birthday party, you'd be pleased.

The fudge frosting between the layers, and on top, was thick, rich, and remarkably pudding like.  Thicker than pudding, but it tasted like amazing chocolate pudding.  There was a ton of it though, making for a very intense experience.

The backside was coated with the "chocolate crunch", which let me down.  It wasn't actually crunchy, it was more like soggy Oreo bits stuck on top.

So overall, this wasn't really the cake for me, but, if you are a chocolate fan, and do actually like cake in the first place, I'm sure this delivers.
Read More...