Sweet Therapy for the Soul

Photo courtesy of Secret Marmalade - Blue VelvetDesserts have always held a special place in my heart. From helping my mom bake as a little girl, to baking for my college roommates as pre-study, study breaks, it’s no wonder I became the frosting fanatic I am today.

In addition to the joy of indulging in its taste, I also find it to be therapeutic.

When I’m baking, it relieves stress. I only focus on the ingredients and what I plan to create. Then, there’s the sweet satisfaction of my accomplishment. When I partake in the expertise of others, I give into the experience – especially if it’s frosted. Frosting makes any day better.

Apparently, I’m not alone in my thinking.

On Friday night, I attended a Depressed Cake Shop Pop-Up Bakery & Art Show in Los Angeles, California. What is a Depressed Cake Shop?

Photo courtesy of Secret Marmalade - LA Depressed Cakes PosterThe Depressed Cake Shop is a pop-up cake shop that sells only grey colored baked goods. The items are thematically tied to mental illness, with the purpose of raising awareness of mental health issues. Proceeds from the cake shops are donated to a local charity of choice. 

The small LA gallery was crowded upon my arrival. It was nice to see such a good turn out. Funds from the event would benefit NAMI Westside LA. Always the foodie, I did a quick recon. I saw a long line for the baked goods, a silent auction in the back, and drinks in the corner.

I didn’t want to become parched while waiting for my goodies, so I stopped by the bar before joining the line. Nothing against the work of the artists, but my main purpose was the desserts.

First, I selected a grey vanilla cupcake with coordinating frosting from Sweet Insanity. The cake was moist and delicious. Its thin layer of frosting was sweet and the bright pink pudding in the middle was a tasty surprise. On a bad day, this cupcake would help take away the blues.

Photo courtesy of Secret Marmalade - Depressed Stickers for BoxesNext, I tried a Kronut, a baker’s interpretation of the popular, croissant & donut hybrid with grey icing drizzled on top. I’ve yet to try a real cronut, so I cannot compare. Nonetheless, I devoured every morsel.

Of course I couldn’t miss an opportunity to try another Blue Velvet Cupcake. This time from Secret Marmalade, a baker featured on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Its founder, Rebecca Swanner, was the organizer of the LA pop-up event.

This Blue Velvet was better than my first experience. Yet, I’m still not sold. I liked the grey frosting, but would’ve preferred a moister cake with more cocoa flavor.

However, Secret Marmalade redeemed itself with their Dark Chocolate Ganache & Sea Salt Brownie. This frosted two-inch square of decadence defeated me! It was too chocolaty to finish in one serving. I enjoyed what I could and saved the rest for later… In fact, I think I hear it mocking me now as I write this post.

Kudos to Emma Cakehead of the UK, the brains behind the Depressed Cake Shop concept. What a sweet way to bring attention to an important cause. I hope to attend another event. In the meantime, I will keep up my therapy.

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