It was Rolando’s birthday today. I knew I had to come up with something good. He even told me that much.
So I was thinking and thinking about what type of cupcake to make. We usually get something that represents the employee as well as we can. Let me back up, we have a lot of new customers. Clover gives away cupcakes, for free, to customers anytime a staff member has a birthday. It’s never announced, but if you come by for breakfast you’ll see us getting them ready and have a heads up. They’re always ugly, but they taste good.
We usually try to get close to our employees (Enzo == corn cupcake, Rum buttercream when Hat turned 21, Chocolate and stout for Jeremiah, parsnips for Teasel, etc.). I started thinking about Clover’s food philosophy, which Rolando is responsible for. And at the core it’s about making simple things taste great. Relying on care and quality ingredients. This is sort of radical in a world where chefs define their cuisine by unpronounceable ingredients, exotic combinations, exotic techniques, and of course, complexity. We’re into few ingredients, carefully prepared.
So I made Rolando the original recipe that all of our cupcakes are based on. This is an old depression era recipe from my Grandmother. We’ve been riffing on it for a long time, but I’ve never made the original for Clover. So here it is, a cupcake version of my Grandmother’s “wacky cake.” That’s a chocolate cake with a crunchy coconut topping.