In the thread a couple days ago about Sprinkles in B.H., a couple of people mentioned Leda's in Sherman Oaks. It's been open about a month but I hadn't noticed it although I drive by all the time. I think Senor Fred's large red and black facade kind of dwarfs Leda's, which is directly next door to the east.
So I went in yesterday morning and had a chat with the owner, Ledette Gambini (Leda was her grandmother). I sampled some goodies and brought a bunch home. It's an airy space with packaged items on the counter and a small refrigerated case with trays of mini-cupcakes. They're baking and decorating in the open space behind the counter. They are using organic eggs, hormone-free milk, Plugra, Sharffen-Berger chocolate.
Mini chocolate chip cookies, about 2 bites each, are packaged 12 in a bag for $4.75. I sampled one and they're very chocolatey. There were similarly-sized gingersnaps, also $4.75 for 12, pistachio orange biscotti (didn't note the price), and cranberry almond orange mini-muffins (4 for $4.75). Didn't sample any of these.
Ginger scones and Sharffen-Berger scones are each packaged 5 per bag at $4.75. The scones are round, about 2-1/2 inches in diamater. I sampled both types and bought a bag of the ginger. Finally a tender, buttery, flakey scone, with pieces of crystallized ginger enhancing the flavor and texture. Nice and delicate, with a biscuit-like crumb. Thankfully these are not your usual scone-rocks. The chocolate scone was fine too, with the chocolate not in chunks but rather distributed more thoroughly in flakes.
Cakes are made to order with tons of different cake flavor, filling and frosting choices, as per the website linked below. They also do wedding cakes, and cute little creations made of multiple cupcakes.
The refrigerated case contained five types of mini-cupcakes. These are about 3 bites each. I neglected to note the price but I think they may have been $1.50 or $1.75 each. The middle ingredient is the filling but it seems more dabbed under the buttercream than truly filled, as these cupcakes are fairly small. These are the ones I bought:
vanilla cake - blood orange curd - blood orange buttercream
chocolate cake - chocolate ganache - chocolate buttercream
chocolate cake - peanut butter - peanut butter buttercream
carrot cake - blood orange curd - mascarpone buttercream
They also had a vanilla cake - lemon curd - lemon buttercream but I'm not really a lemon person so I didn't buy any of these.
All three elements in the mini-cupcakes can definitely be tasted. The carrot was really superb, by far the favorite of both my husband and me. Buttercream isn't really my thing, sometimes it's just so greasy, but these different buttercreams were very light and flavorful. Husband was really raving.
Leda's also makes "kids cupcakes" in chocolate and vanilla, in two sizes - mini for $1.50 and larger (more like regular size cupcakes) for $3.00. The kids chocolate is filled with chocolate ganache and iced with a more traditional chocolate icing, not buttercream. The vanilla doesn't have a filling and is just vanilla cake and vanilla icing. Ledette gave me the large-size kids chocolate, which was nice of her. It was very chocolately, with the ganache filling and the chocolate icing having distinct flavors. Husband liked the minis better, probably due to the buttercream.
I guess I don't really get the cupcake fad, even though I've read at least one thread on General Topics about the whys of the cupcake fad. These cupcakes are fine, even really good, but the ginger scones were really great.
Leda's Bake Shop
13722 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
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