Over the past week, JiT and I had our wedding cake tasting. It was hands-down the happiest, most positive wedding-related experience we’ve had so far, and not just because it involved cake (although that helped).
I’d heard through friends that the BomBon Bakery is a bit of a hidden gem, known for excellent-tasting, beautiful cakes and reasonable prices. On top of that, they have a reputation for making some of the best tres leches cakes in the city. Tres leches — a traditional mexican cake with an almost custard-like consistency that literally translates as “3 milks” — is Jit’s favorite kind of cake, so this place seemd like a match.
We met with the owner/pastry chef Laura and were immediately impressed by her kindness, enthusiasm and fabulous credentials (trained at the Cordon Bleu in France and formerly worked for Rick Bayless). Then she busted out the cakes. Holy CRAP!
I’d been expecting some little cut-up squares of cake. No, no! We were presented with a bevy of tiny, beautifully-decorated mini-cakes. Each one packed with complex, unexpected flavors like mango-coconut, margarita (vanilla with a hint of lime and tequila and stuffed with whipped cream and berries), cuban chocolate, and several types of tres leches. All of the cakes we tasted were outstanding…though JiT and I found a hands-down favorite in the Convento Cake…a version of tres leches made with a Mexican liqueur similar to Baileys. Yum, friggin, yum.
She definitely had us at first bite, but Laura was clearly not satisfied with our delirious swooning. She insisted that we come back over the weekend to pick up a few additional samples that hadn’t been ready when we first met her.
Happy for an excuse to visit the Bombon Cafe for an authentic Mexican lunch (also an amazing hidden gem), we brought my parent by and picked up 4 additional flavors on Saturday. Again, we found ourselves more than impressed…happily stuffing ourselves with sweet bites of heaven.
Since our cake display will involve some smaller cakes instead of one large one, and will be supplemented by additional sheet cakes, Laura encouraged us to choose as many flavors as we’d like at no additional charge. I think we’ve decided on….five ; )
Speaking of charges…as I’d heard, BomBon’s prices are incredibly reasonable. We’re actually under budget for once.
Even if you’re not in the market for a wedding cake, I highly encourage taking a little field trip to BomBon Cafe. They have a variety of small cakes available in their cases for immediate purchase and you will NOT be disappointed (try one of the little cups of tres leches!)…and while you’re there, try the cafe’s tortilla soup. Its some of the best I’ve ever had.
And for more info on BomBon’s owner Laura, check out this article in the most recent issue of TimeOut Chicago.
Jeez…now I’m craving cake!