I returned to Xoco last week with fellow foodie @urbanmatt and was pleased to find peanut butter cupcakes available for dessert. I couldn’t resist ordering one to top off our meal because I wondered if Rick Bayless’ contribution to the national cupcake craze would match up to other cupcake delights throughout the city. I also applaud any chef who is man enough to give cupcakes a try, not because they’re hip, but because truly good specialty cupcakes are hard to make.
Does Bayless’ make the grade? Yes and no. His peanut butter frosting is wonderful — light, airy, and not the least bit grainy. But unfortunately, the cake itself was way overcooked. It had a chocolate ganache center, but that didn’t make up for the cake’s outer edges being almost crispy. It stuck to wrapping when I peeled it back, and the part that didn’t was a tad dry.
Go with ice cream or hot chocolate at Xoco for dessert. They won’t disappoint. And neither will Bayless’ standard specialties. Who says you can’t have guacamole for dessert?
449 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654