You may have guessed by now that I love food. Although I do enjoy cooking and baking it’s the eating part that I like best. I’m also passionate about all things local. So when good food + local marry each other, I’m on cloud 9.
I have a confession to make. I’ve been stalking someone. Her name is Cristy Swain and she is one of the owners of Shelburne’s Cucina Antica.
Some time last year, I geared up for our usual Family Friday and checked Antica’s Facebook specials. This night in particular they boasted a dessert special new to me; Salted Caramel Cake. Salt? What? Why would anyone put salt in dessert? There’s nothing right or just about that! I was totally skeptical but if anything, Cucina Antica knows food so I decided to give it a try.
I’m not a dessert right after dinner kind of gal. I’m a wait until the kids are asleep, pour a cold glass of milk and get out a good book and savor my dessert, bite by delicious bite. It’s not a stress release for me. It’s just pure joy.
I will be honest, I was not totally looking forward to the salted caramel cake. When I eyed it in the take-out container it didn’t look like anything special. But, once the kids were asleep, I popped on Real Housewives, I mean opened my book, and dug in.
Let’s start with the cake. Dense vanilla, three layers of it. Not too sweet, firm enough to stand up to the rest of the bounty. Smatterings of caramel cake, happily snuggling up to the vanilla. Layers of custardy vanilla filling, thick and whipped to glorious perfection. Rich, salty, buttery caramel strategically placed in amounts not too plentiful to be overbearing, but enough to satisfy and leave you groaning in cake ecstasy. And then the bits. Little sticky, crunchy bits of heaven. The cake is draped in a hearty, divine vanilla bean buttercream, more solid than whipped on the outside. It is absolute perfection.
I admit, during the fall and winter months, I ordered this cake pretty much every night they offered it as a special. The last time I had it was in March. And then….nothing. Weeks and weeks went by and no Salted Caramel Cake. My frustration grew as the weather got warmer. Cristy’s cannoli’s tided me over.
I spent some time befriending Cristy’s Maple Creme Brulee. (A new concoction that this former creme brulee purist never imagined would cause such euphoria in my salivary glands.)
Then there was the brief love affair I had with Cristy’s Strawberry Shortcake. I say brief not because I stopped ordering it, but because it was a special. Temporary.
Each of Cristy’s dreamy concoctions each have put me under sugary, magical spells. But still, I have not been able to stop thinking about Salted Caramel Cake. There were times when I reconsidered visiting my family in NJ because I felt a sixth sense that the cake may appear on Antica’s specials when I was gone and I’d be forced to drive the 264 miles back to get some. Luckily, it didn’t happen. Not so luckily for Cristy and her poor husband and co-owner, Will, I’ve become a problem since then.
I can just imagine them closing up shop for the night. “Did you see that woman was back again? You know ‘Salted Caramel?’ I guess we should have that cake as a special again soon, huh.”
Realizing I’ve posted on their Facebook wall again, “Jeepers, lady. Don’t you have anything better to do?”
Trying to open their stand at the Shelburne Farmer’s Market, eyes darting nervously to make sure other people are around to witness the accosting, “yes, I promise. We will have it next week.”
I fully admit it, I’m obsessed. When Nissa decided to do a write-up of our local favorite sweet spots, I immediately thought of my old absent friend, Salted Caramel Cake. But then I had an epiphany; Salted Caramel Cake does not belong in a list. Salted Caramel Cake deserves a write-up of its own. Of course, in order to do this, I need a piece of cake to take pictures of. Insert selfish little smirk here.
But alas, Cristy agreed to offer up Salted Caramel Cake for me, I mean for the website.
Here’s the thing. As much as I want you all to go out and buy a piece of this cake and enjoy it, I’m really in it for me. I’m hoping that if enough of you demand Salted Caramel Cake on a weekly basis, it will become a part of their standard fare menu. I am literally beside myself thinking about this.
Cucina Antica. Salted Caramel Cake. It’s a special. TONIGHT.
Turn your oven off, and order some lobster pizza as an appetizer. Yes, I said lobster pizza.
“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” ~Ernestine Ulmer
PS) Interested in winning a $50 gift certificate to Cucina Antica? I heard a rumor that Cristy’s going to be making Blueberry Shortcake using Pelkey’s blueberries in the very near future. Get it now, before they’re out of season and you’re left like me, lurking creepily in dark corners, waiting for the next blueberry season.
Enter now for your chance to win a $50 gift certificate!