Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.
On first hearing, the prospect of reviewing the Bloomin Blossom Sampler Pack of booze-infused cakes made by Full Spirited Flavours® was a daunting one. I am not unfamiliar with cakes bearing liquor as additives; I’ve tasted my share over the years, and those experiences have with rare exception left me feeling underwhelmed enough that I debated whether to again risk sipping from that historically dispiriting well.
Sometimes this was owed to the usage of poor quality spirits that left me too distracted by the overt astringency searing my teeth and gums to properly assess the dessert. On other occasions, mischaracterization was to blame; the usage of alcohol-flavored extracts in place of actual liquors or liqueurs in instances where the descriptor “infused” was used when “flavored” would have been more forthright. Full Spirited Flavours is to praised for adjusting my view of such products. My experience with four different samplings of tender cake infused with liquors and liqueurs from Limoncello to Coconut Rum was more positive than I could have hoped or anticipated.
The Bloomin Blossom Sampler Pack includes four 3.5-ounce cakes, or “blossoms,” in flavors Amaretto, Chocolate Raspberry, Limoncello, and Mango Coconut Rum. ®Whereas I have found liquor infusion to oftentimes add density (or at least to give the illusion of doing so) to a cake’s physical texture and weight, these desserts remained airy and spongy despite arriving so thoroughly infused with alcohol that ample liquor/syrup remained in each cake’s individual plastic packaging after I lifted the cake out of it. Rather than waste these drops, I poured or spooned these bonus elixirs over the cakes or whatever fruit or ice cream I happened to enjoy them with.
As far as negatives or caveats, the only thing that springs to mind regards certain cakes that come bearing toppings—such as the crumb-topped Limoncello and the Chocolate Raspberry cake adorned with curls of shaved chocolate—as the toppings appear to melt/get absorbed into the moist cake top by the time they arrive. And while this somewhat detracts from the respective cake’s visual appeal, it does nothing of the kind relative to flavor. Any resultant doubts about the quality of this product line will be laid to rest upon first tasting. Of the quartet received, my favorite cake was the Amaretto, with the Limoncello a close second. I felt that these tasted truest to form in terms of how well the actual cake flavor meshed with the alcohol infusing it.
The fact that the company—created and owned by sisters Sue Katein, Carole Algier, and Kathy Lanyon—opts for actual, quality alcohol over artificial flavorings in producing its light, moist cakes earns big points with me, as does the fact that each of the cakes sampled is available as a full-size dessert. This is a product that I would purchase without reservation for sharing with company on festive occasions, or enjoying privately at the end of a day as a reward to myself.
Learn more about the full range of Full Spirited Flavours products at http://fullspiritedflavours.com/.