I love the challenge of baking: trying to get a light flake in a pie crust or the perfect crumb to a cake or the right texture for a chosen cookie. But mostly I love baking because when successful, it can bring such delight to those doing the eating, usually my friends, whom I enjoy making happy. So, it is rare for me to purchase baked goods as I feel I lose out repeatedly: once in the making, once again in feeling the love, and too often in taste, with overly sweet, overly greasy or overly heavy confections. However, baking requires time, and when you don’t have it you need a quality go-to bakery that will not disappoint. Happily, I discovered my go-to place last week: Sweet On You Bakery in Stamford makes heavenly confections that are beautiful and delicious, and frankly, better than I can make at home. Even if you don't live in Stamford this bakery is worth the trip.
I needed something sweet to take to the city for a pre-Thanksgiving Day Parade party and tried Sweet On You based on a friend’s recommendation. After checking out their website, they got my vote for artistry (and the accolades from Martha Stewart and the ABC News crew didn’t hurt either). I narrowed my options from the many choices for cake flavors, buttercream flavors and fillings, but needed to phone for advice before landing on the final combination.
I spoke with Rebecca Martin, one of the owners, who couldn’t have been more helpful. She returned my call within the time frame promised and answered all my questions, thus leading me to a decision I would not come to regret: chocolate cake with mocha mousse filling and topped with mocha buttercream. (Note: mouth watering as I write this.)
The cake (seen here) was beautifully and tastefully decorated in their standard coffee bean motif. I also ordered a dozen chocolate cupcakes; I didn’t have them decorated, although the only limit here appears to be your imagination, and they looked fabulous just piled high with creamy chocolate buttercream frosting.
Clearly, Sweet on You understands that looks do matter, but their expertise does not stop there. The cake and cupcakes were light, moist, rich in chocolate flavor, and had an excellent crumb. The buttercream was inspiring: it was not too sweet or overly buttery and the texture was positively lofty. The combination was phenomenal. The hostess admonished me for causing her to fall off her diet bandwagon as she cut herself a second helping and the kids devoured the cupcakes within minutes. Some of the under 10 set went after the cake, but the mocha-mousse and buttercream proved to be an adult-friendly flavor, which left more for those of us over 30 (and 40 and 50).
The women behind the art and magic of this wonderful bakery, Rebecca Martin and Judith Rollin, are a former lawyer and a trained baker, who opened the bakery in July 2006 because “Food is our passion and design is our love.” You can’t see the quality of the ingredients they use when clicking through their website (Valhrona chocolate and European butter, for example), but their designs alone are stunning. Gravity may be the only limit to what they are able to accomplish in their cake and cupcake creations. They offer complimentary wedding cake tastings and will deliver cakes to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. All their cakes are kosher certified by the Vaad of Fairfield County.
The subtitle to Sweet On You is Dinner to Dessert and if you live or work in Stamford or nearby, you can visit the café for lunch (and dessert) or have it delivered (minimum $20 order for delivery). The café is certified kosher and the menu is substantial with ample choices in all categories. Appetizers include 2 daily soup specials, hummus, falafel, and quesadillas. Cold and grilled sandwiches and wraps range from standards like grilled cheese and tomato to a Wasabi Salmon Salad Wrap and a Falafel, Mozzarella and Red Pepper Wrap. Entrée salads include Spa Cobb, Tuna Nicoise, Harvest with gorgonzola, apples cranberries and spiced walnuts on romaine, Sephardic with lentils sun-dried tomatoes, hearts of palm, carrots and red peppers on baby spinach. Finally, in the entrée offerings you will find Salmon (oven-roasted or pan-seared), Baked Ziti, Macaroni and Cheese and Black Bean and Roasted Vegetable Burrito.
And, if all that isn’t enough to entice you, Sweet On You won the 2009 Best of Stamford Award for catering. The website says they’ll work with you to “produce a unique, memorable event from the menu to the room, entertainment to décor … for parties of 10 to 2,500.” Based on my small experience, I’m convinced they would be true to their word. I was already impressed with the time Rebecca spent with me on the phone for my tiny cake and cupcake order, but really wowed when I went to pick it up the day before Thanksgiving and learned they had to fill an order for “5,000 pieces” for the Stamford Mall to be delivered on Friday morning. With that kind of service, artistry and attention to detail, and last but not least, quality of product, this bakery, café, catering company should be on everyone’s short list.
1035 Newfield Ave. Stamford. 203.321.0066
(intersection of Vine and Newfield, inside the Jewish Community Center, membership not required)