Dani’s Pick: Coconut Cream Cupcake at Brown Betty, 20th and Spruce, http://www.brownbettydesserts.com
Searching for Distraction in a Cupcake
I reached for a pen, and a Brown Betty business card fell out of my bookbag, from when Dani and I got cupcakes last week. Dani is on a mission to find the coconut cream cake of her dreams. Her woman sense tells her that were she to taste the cake, it would instantly become her favorite. Similar to how, in Total Recall, Arnold Schwartzenegger subconsciously knows that he is a secret agent through his dreams of the brunette lady. So she and I embarked on a journey to find this cupcake; first stop, Brown Betty Petite.
College is not all fun and games. (It used to be, and then someone lost an eye.) Now it is strictly academics and stress; this is why college students are perpetually doing ridiculous things. Older people who have forgotten what it is like to be young think that misbehavior is immaturity, when, in fact, immaturity is the fearful reaction to a reality that can be serious and very scary. Rolling-chair races down the dorm halls, toilet paper attacks during midterms week, burrito-eating contests at Chipotle, fort-building nights spent in—these are all demonstrations of a 20something’s realization that their hope of gainful employment is less likely than being hit by a car, and the resulting reversion to a childlike or possibly insane state.
Dani and I like to think that we are more grown up, more sane, or possibly just more boring than other college students. (As a wise man once said: Erroneous. Erroneous on all counts.) Rather than silly pastimes, we obsess over food. We each had a tense week and decide to forget about it over cupcakes—or more precisely, a search for a cupcake of a most obscure flavor and texture.
Brown Betty’s counter is cute and tiny, just one glass case wide, stocked with rows and rows of cupcakes with identical cream cheese icing and uniform pound cake underoos. There it was, on the bottom row, the Grail of our mission.
I chose an almond cupcake that was the dense, cakey iteration of marzipan, heavy and sweet. Dani chose the Grail. If I remember correctly, as the boy behind the counter handed Dani the cupcake, it began to glow. She took a bite, her face, unchanged. The cream cheese icing, she said; it wasn’t supposed to have cream cheese icing. I know the truth. It wasn’t the wrong cupcake; it was the wrong time. I’m thinking she’ll find it in five or six months. I hope.