Two big things happened in my life this week:
I reached the weight loss
goal I’d set for myself earlier this year …
… and I celebrated that fact with the best cupcakes
an American can find in Paris!
Back in July, you see, a blogger friend embarked on an epic a quest to find the best cupcakes in Paris and document the results for the world. Incidentally — perhaps fortunately for me — this all came about when I was also embarking on an epic quest … to lose the 25 pounds I’d packed on since coming to live in France. (Blasted croissants!) I say “fortunately” because I was forced to indulge vicariously in my friend’s cupcake caper … instead of following in her wake and packing on yet another 5 pounds!
Nevertheless, as soon as I reached my weight loss goal on Thursday, I knew exactly how I was going to celebrate. I dug out Nikki email’s announcing the champion of the cupcake competition, and I went in search of my victory prize at Sugar Daze!
Sugar Daze is a quaint, unassuming little place tucked away very inconspicuously in the 9th arrondissement not far from Pigalle. When we arrived, I was struck by its simplicity. The storefront with its sixties-inspired logo gave way to a small interior dominated by a heavy wood dining table and chairs. The walls were stark white, the one facing the entry decorated with album covers (some, but not all, American classics), the one to the right featuring a huge mirror to add the illusion of space. And to the left, our hostess stood behind a display case like a salesperson in a Paris jewelry store.
In Paris, appearances are very important, but the real test, of course, is the taste. Sugar Daze succeeded on both scores. Our initial cupcake selection — and it was a tough decision because they all looked so delicious — was a “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (pumpkin-ginger cake with caramel cream cheese icing and a sparkly pecan) for me and a “Lucky Star” (chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and a peanut M&M) for Michel. The verdict was immediate and decisive:
In fact, the cupcakes were so good, we couldn’t stop with just one each; we had to split a third. But just like our initial choices, this one wasn’t at all easy to make. With flavors (and names) as intriguing as “Orange Mignon” (lavender cake with orange buttercream), “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” (cinnamon cake with mocha buttercream), “Empire State of Mind” (apple-spice cake with maple-cinnamon cream cheese icing), “California Dreaming” (lemon cake with crushed pistachio buttercream), and “Sweet Thai O’ Mine” (coconut cake with key lime buttercream), how are you supposed to choose just one?! (You can take a look at the complete menu here and see how difficult our decision was!) After some deliberation and not just a little restraint, we finally decided on a “Rapture” (vanilla cake with salted butter caramel icing and a chocolate-covered malted milk ball), and it was scrumptious!
I spoke with both our hostess, Christina, and the owner, Cat Beurnier, about the story behind Sugar Daze. Cat came to France some 9 years ago and started her cupcake business in 2008. In the beginning, it was a catering-only affair: parties, weddings, you name it. But in June of this year, Cat opened the doors of her little cupcake boutique, and now anyone can just stop by and sample her beautiful, delicious, and truly unique cupcake creations.
Michel and I had arrived at 5:45 on a Friday evening, so we couldn’t stay and chat with Cat for very long … or lounge around eating more cupcakes. (Maybe that’s a good thing, as my willpower had completely crumbled with the first bit of that Jumpin’ Jack Flash.) Cat didn’t send us away empty-handed, though; she offered us two more for the road — on the house — and we chose a “Dirty Vegas” (chocolate cake with chocolate icing) and another Jumpin’ Jack Flash. That night at dinner, my mother-in-law raved over the Jumpin’ Jack Flash — more proof that I was completely wrong about French people and pumpkins.
Sugar Daze might seem a bit expensive: 3,80€ a pop. Then again, this is Paris, and Cat’s creations are truly decadent little works of art. The only problem is that they’re so good, you could easily bust your budget in a single afternoon hanging out at Sugar Daze!
So, if you’re jonesin’ for an American cupcake in Paris, look no further, my friends. The Perpetual Passenger and je parle américain agree: Go straight to Sugar Daze and see what Cat has cooked up for you! You will not be disappointed!
Sugar Daze is located at 20 rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris, not far from Pigalle on the 2 and 12 lines or St-Georges on the 12.
Bon appétit !
© 2012 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved