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Monday, November 22, 2010

Indulge in Gourmet at Sweet Wishes Café



This article has been published in the November 2010 issue of Town Favorites Magazine. You can visit the Town Favorites website at http://www.townfavorites.com/, follow them on Twitter @TownFavorites, "Like" them at Facebook.com/TownFavorites, and find their magazines at over 150 restaurants and businesses around Baton Rouge! Pick up a copy today!


Indulge in Gourmet at Sweet Wishes Café
by Jay D. Ducote

In November 2007 Rhonda Weeks and Sheetal Bueche opened Sweet Wishes Café on Perkins Road. They wanted to open a business, Rhonda liked to bake and decorate, and gourmet cupcakes were an up and coming trend in big cities around the country. Thinking the idea would fit in well in Baton Rouge, their shop opened its doors for cupcakes to go or as a place to relax with their delicacies, coffee, and free wireless internet.

Rhona Weeks and Jay Ducote pose with cupcakes at Sweet Wishes
Sweet Wishes keeps eight to ten flavors available each day on a mostly rotating basis. While the Red Velvet, Heavy Duty Chocolate, Plain Jane, and Chocolate Chip are the regulars on their menu, other assorted cupcakes will come and go with the seasons or with requests from customers. The café owners pride themselves on their level of customer service. If you give a couple days notice they can have any flavor on the menu, not just the eight to ten that are available at the counter. They do custom cakes, are willing to do last-minute jobs, and also specialize in wedding cupcakes and corporate gifts with company logos screen-printed onto the frosting. According to Rhonda, the logo sweets make great holiday presents or “thank you” items for clients.

Delightful Gourmet Cupcakes on display at Sweet Wishes Cafe
The ladies at Sweet Wishes Café played with different flavors a lot more when they were first getting started than they do now. Still, every once in a while they invent something new. Their most recent flavors play with fruit fillings like apple, blueberry, and apricot. Rather than stuff their cupcakes with a blob of fruit filling, they insert multiple columns of fruit throughout the cake, allowing the eater to taste some in every bite without ever getting an overload. I found the Blueberries & Cream cupcake to be tantalizing to the taste buds with just the right amount s of cake and filling in each bite.

Pupcakes also highlight the menu at Sweet Wishes. These gourmet dog treats are made with oatmeal, cheese, whole wheat flour and other ingredients that are ideal snacks for your puppy. They also serve ice cream from the LSU Dairy Store, making them one of the few places on earth to get LSU ice cream. Rhonda and Sheetal proudly brew Baton Rouge’s own Community Coffee. However, it isn’t a one way relationship. During the holidays, CC’s Coffee Houses dish up Sweet Wishes’ Chocolate Mint cupcakes. Sounds like a great way to celebrate to me!

Geaux Tigers!
In the end though, a gourmet cupcake doesn’t actually do any good unless it tastes fantastic. Fortunately for Sweet Wishes, their cakes live up to the billing. I sampled quite a few cupcake varieties including each of their four regular flavors as well as Toffee Temptation, Blueberries & Cream, and Chai. I found the Chai cake to be particularly interesting and a great flavor for a cupcake. Sweet Wishes flavors are found in the cake, not loaded in the frosting. The cake itself is slightly heavier and denser than a typical cupcake while still delivering the necessary moistness, which appealed to my palate. The frosting is the same on all cupcakes. Sweet Wishes uses a cream cheese based frosting that is far more inviting than most completely sugared cupcake toppings. The cream cheese base allows the frosting to highlight the flavors in the cake while providing a great balance between sweetness and substance at the same time.

Jay Ducote takes a bite of the Toffee Temptation cupcake
The Toffee Temptation had a distinct taste with crunchy toffee on top. The textures played really well together and made it one of my favorite cupcakes of the evening. However, while the Red Velvet is consistently their number one seller these days, my personal favorite cupcake was undoubtedly the Heavy Duty Chocolate. Rhonda and Sheetal load the rich chocolate cake with extra chunks of dark chocolate to make the cupcake explode with a chocolate overload. Once again, the cream cheese based icing pairs extremely well as it smoothes out the richness of the chocolate and allows the eater to taste just how delicious the whole thing really is. Heavy duty, yes, but nothing I couldn’t tackle over and over again. It would be worth it… despite my growing waistline. Decadent and delicious!

For more information about Sweet Wishes Café, you can visit them at 10889 Perkins Road, find them online at www.sweetwishescafe.com, follow them on twitter @SweetWishesCafe, like them on facebook.com/SweetWishesCafe, or give them a call at 225-757-6880. Enjoy!


Jay D. Ducote is the author of the blog Bite and Booze, which chronicles his culinary and indulgent cultural experiences around Baton Rouge, South Louisiana, and the world. It can be found at www.biteandbooze.com. You can also reach him by email at jay@biteandbooze.com, like the Bite and Booze fan page on facebook.com/biteandbooze, and follow him on Twitter @biteandbooze
Thanks to Eric Ducote of BRBeerScene.com for taking all the pictures for this article.


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