CUPCAKES (& CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON) WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD: CONFECTIONS OF A ROCK STAR
Prepare for desserts that will rock your world.
Ever since Kimmee Masi was nine years old and working in her father’s Manalapan-based bakery she knew sweet treats would be part of her future. After three decades working for other confection businesses, as well as professionally playing the drums in the band Our Last Sin, Masi began sifting through the recipes that made her dad locally famous.
With the support of her business partner Lisa Lasky, Masi opened Confections of a Rock Star on Cookman Avenue last spring. The bakery opened with national fanfare on the Food Network’s “Bobby Flay’s Three Days to Open.”
I spoke with Masi about her to-die-for treats – seriously the best around – which include some of her dad’s classic recipes.
TBP: It was so brave of you to open your business under a national spotlight.
Masi: Being on “Three Days to Open” was a stressful but fun experience. If my team and I wanted to say something to each other, we had to text it because the cameras were on 24 hours a day.
I never thought I would put chili pepper in a frosting or meat on top of a cupcake but Bobby inspired me, which I appreciated, and now the customers love the “Don’t Be Cruel” a banana cake with peanut butter frosting topped with honey-dipped bacon. His influence is still around the store but I feel my dad, who passed away in 2006, here with me all the time. Sometimes I wish he could just tell me what decision I should make instead of me thinking for four hours about what he would do. We were supposed to do this together. I want to be the best like he was and give every customer the best every time.
As a kid I loved seeing how people reacted to what he made. He taught me how to bake the old-fashioned way. I learned by doing for 30 years. Traditional techniques, before there were machines or a mix to do almost everything.
What you see in the cases here is all made by hand, fresh every day. The buttercream frosting is my dad’s recipe with one special secret ingredient. People think they know what it is but nobody has figured it out. The bananas come from Wegman’s, the cherries for the filling will come from the farmer’s market. Nothing is made from a mix or from a can. People think I click my heels and everything comes together. We use the best quality and hand make it all – and that is why it costs a little more.
Gabby Gaetano, Katlyn Curci, Amy Loch (winner of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars Season 3”) and Kara Douglas help me with everything. The flowers and other decorations are edible and mostly made by Kara.
TBP: Those flowers are a very special work of art. I cannot pick a favorite cupcake but I really loved the éclair cupcake with your dad’s famous creme filling as well as the classic vanilla with vanilla icing. Also, the chocolate chip cookie is fantastic – everything is worth the calories.
A friend who fashions herself as a brownie expert told me yours was “fantastic.” The vegan cupcakes were deemed “dangerously good.” Even the lyrical names of the treats are special, like “Sheet Music” with chocolate almond cake topped with chocolate cream cheese icing, “Greetings from Asbury Park” with cinnamon infused yellow cake and cream cheese frosting and “Happy Birthday To You” with vanilla cake and Swiss buttercream frosting topped with rainbow sprinkles. But what about the chocolate covered bacon that a friend eats for breakfast sometimes?
Masi: I have been going through 14 pounds of bacon a week and expect the summer to be even more. It is something you really have to try to believe how good it is. The awesome chocolate chip recipe is my dad’s – a little soft and the chocolate is gooey. We do not just put the dough in the oven and then they are done. It is the perfect cookie, if I can say that. I have been eating them since 1977 and so happy to finally share them with my customers.
Confections of a Rock $tar, 550 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park; more info at COARock.com or by calling the bakery at 732.455.3510. Masi and her staff make amazing wedding and shower favors as well as cakes. There is something in their brain for any event you can imagine.