Vanilla Pod first came to my attention courtesy of Brett's Wharf mega star chef Alastair McLeod, who confessed he had a weakness for their caramel slice. I was interviewing him for a story in Jetstar's inflight magazine where well known chefs shared their best budget bites around Brisbane. You'd be surprised!
Alastair described this caramel slice as the size of a 'brick' and hoped his personal trainer didn't find out about his secret passion.
He's right of course - it's definitely a good caramel slice. Like Alastair, I have something of a passion for this sweet treat. The base is textured with a well proportioned biscuit crunch, the caramel has a fresh, strong flavour and the chocolate is nicely thick, but not too thick. Try it halved with a dollop of thick cream but let it come to room temperature to fully enjoy the flavours.
But I was really at Vanilla Pod to check out their cupcakes. Owner Carla Burns has a long family history in baking and her shelves are full of delicious looking cakes, slices and cupcakes.
We sampled two cupcakes and they were definitely amongst the best I have tasted in Brisbane. The range varies according to the larger cakes currently being made but includes a selection of gluten free cupcakes which Carla says are extremely popular.
My raspberry chocolate cupcake was just the way I like it. Thick cream cheese icing with a strong raspberry flavour and a moist chocolate cake. I took home a larger, slightly different version called a red velvet sponge which was just a joy to eat - red velvet cake and chocolate mud cake sandwiched with chocolate cream and covered by raspberry icing.
Vanilla Pod also has a good range of shelf items and a deli cabinet filled with must haves.
Bottom line: These cupcakes are among Brisbane's best and worth checking out.
Vanilla Pod, 1198 Lancaster Road, Ascot. p 3268 7285