Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tasty Tuesday/Cupcake Chronicles: Cosmen y Keiless

Early on in my stint in Madrid, I was desperately craving cupcakes, so I did an exhaustive Google search of cupcakeries in the city and Cosmen y Keiless turned up. There were a ton of gorgeous pictures of this quaint, little bakery (little did I know that it's actually a chain), where France seemed to meet the States, so I made the pilgrimmage to the location near Salamanca district on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

I lived in Malasaña so it was a bit of a trek, but the weather was gorgeous, as it often is in Madrid, so it made for a very nice walk.  I have a bit of footage of the trip, which I still have to edit, but I promise it will eventually find its way to my YouTube channel. :P

So when I got there, a lovely cluster of colourful cupcakes in a glass cake stand greeted me in the window.  The bakery itself was very beautifully deocrated.  The décor made me think of France, but some of the products - cupcakes, certain donut-like things - made me think of classic American baked goods.

I went in and was delighted to discover that they only cost 1.50 €, which made them the cheapest cupcakes I found in Madrid to date.  However, they only came in chocolate and vanilla cake bases and they were all frosted with coloured vanilla icing.

I really wanted a classic vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, but as that wasn't to be, I simply chose an all-vanilla cupcake that looked very summery (I was in denial about the winter coming) and then I chose a "muffin de chocolate", which was a chocolate confection covered in chocolate ganache and chocolate shavings.  The muffin cost the same, I believe, although I can't be sure now because I didn't write it down.

First, the pros: The cupcake was obviously made with very good ingredients because the rich taste of butter was very strong.  The presentation was also very nice, because they were colourful, the frosting was carefully piped on and topped with pretty flowers or other edible foam decorations (I know it sounds gross, but they were flavourless and just melted like rice paper).  The chocolate in the chocolate muffin was also a very decent quality baking chocolate.

Now the cons: They were obviously not fresh!  Both of my purchases were quite, quite dry and I really value moistness in my cupcakes.  Also, the lack of choice in flavour really put a damper on my fervour.  I understand that it's not an exclusive cupcake bakery, but at the very least, couldn't they have made some cupcakes with chocolate frosting?  Lastly, and perhaps most importnatly, they just weren't that tasty.  And at the end of the day, prettiness aside, a cupcake has to be tasty, don't you think?

Several weeks later, a Cosmen y Keiless opened really, really close to my office in Madrid, so I stopped by once for a baguette for dinner.  It tasted okay, as breads go, but as a baguette, it was a huge NO.  I've been spoiled with traditional, top-quality baguettes, living in France, so I understand that my standards are ridiculously high, but either way, the one I had here was really doughy.  Not only was the crust not as crispy, thin and brittle as the good stuff, but the inside was really dense and heavy, not airy and fluffy like baguettes are supposed to be.  It was also quite expensive - I think 2 or 3 € - so I was soundly disappointed.

The service was always fantastic, though.

The locations I went to are:

Plaza de las Salesas, 8
28004 Madrid


Alberto Aguilera, 3
28015 Madrid

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