On a recent visit to the Mall of America, we suffered a kind of low blood sugar, which while not medically serious did put a hitch in our get-along — suddenly the crowds were insufferable, the halls interminable. We ducked into Crave for a snack, only to find more of the same: a half dozen TV screens and the Friday night band. It seemed there would be no relief for our sensory overload. We ate our appetizers with glazed eyes and ordered dessert almost without thinking.
And so it was an utter surprise when a brilliant slice of coconut white cake ($8) arrived at our table and, for a few fleeting moments, transported us to a quiet, happy place.
Here is what we saw when we gazed into our cake: snow. The crumb resembled the kind of snow that falls in big, fat flakes and blows so slow and ponderous that it seems almost without provenance, as if it might just as easily have swirled up from the ground as down from the sky.
On our forks, the white cake had all the delicacy and air of angel food cake, but on our palates it was surprisingly moist and tender. Its flavor was pleasantly mellow, not too sweet, and tasted more of vanilla — and perhaps a wee bit of almond? — than coconut. A whipped cream frosting sat very nicely on top; not too heavy and not so tasty that it overwhelmed the cake, and it featured bits of shaved, fresh coconut that provided some necessary texture in all that fluffy goodness.
When we emerged from the cake, refreshed and in a better frame of mind, the kindly server informed us that it’s available at all of the Crave outlets, but is actually baked by the Delicious Cafe & Grill in Minnetonka. As we gathered up our bags and jackets, we made a mental note to visit the bakery, and then we reluctantly turned our bodies toward the door, thanking the server — just as grateful as could be — when we left.