Cabernet brownie by Blackmarket Bakery—street by M.C. Escher

Yes, as a matter of fact I am the last person in Orange County to visit Irvine’s Blackmarket Bakery, the well-respected Irvine purveyor of good things. Based on reputation and status, I would almost say it’s an institution, but that is far too stodgy a word for a bakery whose proprietress accessorizes her black professional chef’s jacket with John Fluevogs and lace tights in a color pretty close to Crayola red-violet.

I have long meant to go, but the truth is I’ve been a little chary of the Möbius strip that is Sky Park Circle. Once I take one of the entrance spokes it closes behind me like an airlock and I never seem to be able to exit the same place I entered. Not too long ago I successfully negotiated it meeting my husband for lunch at the famous Harry’s Deli… as it turns out, getting to Blackmarket is the proverbial no big.

At the Saturday open house debuting the bakery’s DIY cakes and other new items, I had a cute little round bite of excellent vanilla buttermilk cake, which had a moist, open crumb and a beautiful parchment color, and a teensy version of a coconut tart with a dot of crisp meringue on top, intensely coconutty, which is a very good thing if, like me, coconut is one of your Top 5 flavors. I also had a little cube of a nearly-black cabernet brownie, hygienically and politely lifted with tongs from the loose pyramid on the server’s tray and dropped gently into my hand. Wowee.

I don’t even much like sweet, but I am married to someone who really really does, and not only that, likes Cabernet, and not only that, dark chocolate. Hmmm. Pretty good early Valentine’s Day gift, the thought occurred. (Valentine’s is my favorite Day.) Done and done.


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