No New York trip would be complete without a visit to the Magnolia Bakery. On our very last day in New York as we were caffeinating the man, one of the Blue Bottle staff recommended we check out the Magnolia Bakery. I was delighted as I was pretty sure we wouldn't get a chance - I had previously planned to go with my friend, Lauren from LA but we couldn't find time between conference activities to meet up. After getting directions to Magnolia and the recommendation to "get the Banana Pudding" we were off.
Like Gray's Papaya, it's been featured as a New York destination in Sex and the City, and the Devil Wears Prada. Also like most popular things, I expected big hype and equally big disappointment.
As we opened the door I was instantly enthralled with the charming decor. This wasn't the cloying pinkness of Cupcakes in Vancouver. It was more charming, like an Aunt's house. Staff were busy in the kitchen piping cupcakes and mixing batter over cheerful banter. It made me yearn to join them.
On display was a selection of vintage iced cakes. This style of icing would have horrified my cake maven friend, Maureen. Maureen made our wedding cake and is Meticulous with a capital M. She considers this style of icing lazy. And I agree, but I also really like the simplicity and charm.
Cheesecakes and pies were also available for purchase.
Official Magnolia Bakery cookbooks were available for purchase so I stealthily placed the two editions on the counter beside my personal sized banana pudding when John stepped outside to escape the estrogen.
Looking around the place seemed to be packed of Asian women, just like me with their own personal banana puddings... only they possessed a certain wildness in their eyes that I've heard is seen in prisons, or when a dog is defending a prize bone.
As I was waiting to pay, the lady ahead ordered the largest "share" banana pudding I've ever seen. It was probably 15 times larger than my modest little pudding. She whispered to me "I'm not sharing this." And then with a wink and a smile, she darted out the door.
So you may wonder, what did I think of this banana pudding? It was delicious. As a fan of trifle, I appreciated the balance of fruit (bananas) to pudding and whipping cream. The ingredients had ample time to meld their flavors together. I dare say, at risk to my own life, that I think it was only good to average, but well worth the experience.
For those that wish to make this signature recipe at home... It's simple. Layer Nilla Wafers, Vanilla Pudding, Whipping Cream, and sliced bananas and then let sit for atleast 2 hours for the Wafers to fluff up. Easy Peasy Japanesey.