Showing posts with label sweets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweets. Show all posts

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dominique Ansel's Frozen S'mores Seal the Deal

Apart from the cronut, I didn't think it could get much better this summer as far as my sweet adventures were concerned.  But it did, as Andrea and Taylor, my sweet accomplices took me to Dominique Ansel one day during lunch last week to taste his latest creation - the frozen s'more.  

Not knowing if we can actually get our hands on one of these, we took a chance and as soon as we walked in, we asked the nice folks behind the counter "are we late? Did they sell out?"  "Yes," the young woman said, "the cronuts are all gone."  We smiled to ourselves, as we were no amateurs and quickly clarified what we were talking about.  "No no, you're in luck -we still have the frozen s'mores," she said.  Score!

Frozen S'mores - Keeping these babies tucked away from plain sight, you have to know to ask for them.  The best part is that they make them for you on the spot, torching the marshmallow and browning it before your eyes.  I loved this approach, as it really gets you involved in the whole process, and you almost feel a sense of accomplishment when you get handed that beautifully toasted treat.

The inside is quite magical, as it's completely filled with exquisite vanilla bean ice cream that's further coated in chocolate and a graham/gingerbread cookie.  It's definitely an innovative take on the s'more, which still lets the marshmallow shine as its star ingredient.  My accomplices devoured it with gusto, and even though we shared two, we could've polished off our own pretty easily.

If you'd like a closer look on the entire frozen s'more making process, have a look at this video that I took at the store.

Also, as you can tell, I've recently had the pleasure of meeting the master of these creations, Mr. Dominique Ansel.  My dad offered the sweet hookup one day after we hit up the Union Square Farmer's Market.  Dominique was not only gracious and friendly, he was truly a testament to the sweet genius he brings to New Yorkers each day.  This guy is the real deal and I can't wait to experience what he thinks up next.  Now all I gotta do is wash those sticky fingers.

Service and Cost:
The frozen s'mores are one hot item.  At $7/pop, they will rob you blind but at the same time leave you with a permanent smile on your face for the day.  Arrive between 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. to get your dose.

Dominique Ansel Bakery - 189 Spring Street, New York NY 10012
E/C Train to Spring Street

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

3 Great (Local) Ways to Get your Holiday Sweet Fix

It's holiday time, and my gorging has officially started.  From various blogger events to work lunches and dinners, it just doesn't stop.  And the worst (I mean the best) part is that there are sweet treats everywhere.  Cookies, cupcakes, magic bars,'s hard to refuse a festive holiday treat, so I made a pact to just give in for the time being and work it off later.  If you're looking to satisfy your sweet fix for the holidays or to simply share something delightful with your friends and family, here are three great (local) resources.

The Chocolate Swirl - It's no secret that I love the indulgent little bites from this Astoria based home baking business, run by the talented, Lisa Bracigliano.  For this holiday season, there will be plenty to choose from including their signature cake pops (the red velvet rocks!), holiday chocolate truffles and even festive gift towers and baskets.  See their
full menu.  

Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery
- Having the pleasure of trying their goodies just today, this neat little bakery business with humble beginnings is on the brink of something really big, real soon, recently being discovered by Chef, Tom Colicchio.  I can personally vouch for their oatmeal, brown sugar cookie bars that make me think of the magic bars at Buttercup Bake Shop (but better), the chocolate chip cookies with fleur de sel and the dark chocolate explosion cookies.  Contact them directly for a full menu and to place your order.

Miss Amy's Baby Cakes - Another local small business sweet shop, they specialize in cupcakes with a classic as well as a couture flair.  You can personalize the flavors to your specific liking, and even brand your cupcakes, whether for a company party or a special celebration with family and friends.  Feel free to peruse their offering and place your order.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nutella Peanut Butter Pie Bliss

There's nothing like delicious, homemade baked goods to put a smile on your face, especially at a time when we all need it.'s fall-time, which is prime pie season, so why not take a crack at a delicious homemade pie and enjoy it with your loved ones?! 

I just happened to see the recipe for this indulgent Nutella, peanut butter pie on the Nutella Facebook fan page (yes, I'm a proud member) and decided to make it for Paul and Jamil's big Halloween bash last weekend.  Although it was a bit unwieldy to eat, Dan gave me his compliments, and I ate some too and devoured it rather quick.

The unique thing about it is that it's made using a pretzel crust, which adds a little savory to this sweet dish.  My peanut butter topping came out a bit sloppy, as you can see here, but if you're into rustic things as I am, you won't mind - and it's all about how it tastes in your mouth.

Here's the recipe, courtesy of Shugary Sweets blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tartine Bakery – Behold the Mighty Breakfast Bun

Tartine Bakery – 600 Guerrero Street, San Francisco, CA 415.
BART to 16th and Mission

When travelling to a new city, it’s best to seek food advice from locals, and they never usually steer me wrong. This was totally the case this week in San Fran, as my awesome co-workers Danny, Diane and Dina (the 3 D’s) told me about some pretty amazing eats in my Mission District neighborhood. One such not-to-be-missed place is Tartine Bakery, which turns out to be quite the popular spot, as folks from all over San Francisco go there to enjoy their freshly baked sweet and savory treats. However, there’s one item it’s most famous for, which I was dying to try – the almighty Breakfast Bun!

Even though they warned me I’d have to wait in line, I wasn’t expecting this to be the case on a weekday after morning rush hour. But they were spot on, as I walked up to Tartine, only to find a line snaking outside the building. Honestly, I was contemplating walking away, as I was in a hurry, but once I got a peek and a whiff of what lay inside, I just physically couldn’t walk way.

When I finally got inside, I understood the intense crowds. The display case literally said it all, as it was filled with the most immaculate sweets including chunky hazelnut tarts, fluffy meringues with perfectly browned shells, chunky and buttery chocolate chip cookies, humongous fluffy croissants, and of course the famous breakfast buns. I inched my way very slowly to the front of the line, which took about 18 long minutes to get through, but I can wholeheartedly say that the wait and effort were worth it.

Breakfast Bun – Though I expected the bun to be bigger, after I tasted it I was thankful for its size, since it was so stinkin’ rich. One bite and I was a total convert – loving the flaky, croissant-like dough, dotted with lots of butter and a lemon glaze that gives it a fresh, zingy bite. The outside is beautifully crunchy and sticky while the inside is soft, fluffy and contains a delicate filling of cinnamon that just warms every inch of your body. Not being able to resist eating the whole thing, I was worried it’d heavily settle into the bottom of my belly but not at all, and I was surprisingly feeling light (this was probably just in my head, as there was nothing light about it) :)

Service and Cost:
Although it took forever to get to the front of the line, and I do understand that it’s a part of the Tartine experience, when I did get approached by Tartine’s staff, they were nice and pretty quick with my order. However, I got the sense that they were incredibly swamped and not in the most relaxed spirits.

Costs are expensive but totally worth it for all you sweet tooth hounds. My bun was a whopping $3.95 for a pretty small portion. Cakes and tartes range from about $38-$64 for the whole thing and about $5-$7 per slice.

3 Sticky Mmmms

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake Comes to NYC

For those of you who know me well are familiar with how enamored I am with cupcakes.  Having tried most well-known cupcakeries in Astoria and NYC, I'm always looking for that next little decadent taste of perfection, and I've recently found it at Georgetown Cupcake, which is now open in NYC.

Being a huge fan of cupcakes, I naturally not only eat them or bake them, I also love to immerse myself in cooking shows that feature them.  One of the better ones out there is TLC's DC Cupcakes, highlighting two sisters and friends who own a bakeshop called Georgetown Cupcake.  It's needless to say that I'm always drooling each time I watch them make their decadent treats, but also marveling at the challenges they constantly overcome that come with owning your own small business.  

It's exciting to see that their cupcake empire is growing, a new outpost opening right here in NYC in the Soho area where I work.  Having now sampled these cupcakes on three occasions, and recently buying them for my friend Dianne's bbq, I just had to tell you about my experience.  

A common challenge with fancy bakeries in NYC is that they're super small and often cramped with people (including tourists).  You'd expect Georgetown Cupcake to fall into this category, but it's nice to see they were pretty selective with their space and chose a really long, high-ceiling space on Mercer street, in the heart of Soho.  

Not only is there enough room up front to admire their display case, there's also a nice seating area for people to relax and enjoy their treats on the premises.

Overall, I adore the space and its embellishments, which are really colorful and feminine.  The cupcakes are the main showpiece, as they should be, and they deck the front counter with some pretty elaborate displays.  Good cupcake art is hard to come by, but at Georgetown, they've nailed it with a gargantuan mural of fancy cupcakes, somewhat reminiscent of a Warholian style.  The blinged out pink stand mixer is also something to admire and I just couldn't not snap a photo to record the memory.

With about 16 different regular flavors as well as daily specials, choosing a dozen cupcakes here is no easy feat.  But it can be done!  Some of the flavors vary only slightly and I think it's good to go for a couple of classics and then finish off the assortment with some interesting stand-outs.  That's just what I did when picking out my dozen.  While I naturally didn't get to try them all, here are the three that I did:

Red Velvet - The signature Georgetown red velvet cupcake is really sweet, and not in the literal sense.  I like the soft, spongy texture of the dough that's perfectly moist and actually quite simple.  Where things really kick up a notch is in the vanilla, cream cheese frosting that's a wonderful combination of tangy and sweet.  All this goodness is sealed with a red fondant heart, which helps to communicate its red velvetiness.

Banana Split - Because I'm a sucker for banana desserts, I just had to get two of these cupcakes in my dozen to make sure I get to try it.  The inside was made of fresh banana cake with an injection of dark fudge while topped with vanilla buttercream frosting, chocolate fudge, sprinkles, hazelnuts and a maraschino cherry.  The combination was reminiscent of a good quality banana split sundae, just without the ice cream.  I can see kids really going for this one, due to its festive appearance and delicious filling.

PB Fudge - Let's face it...almost everyone loves peanut butter, and especially on desserts, so naturally I could not, not get this cupcake.  Combining a classic valrhona chocolate dough with an airy peanut butter mousse on top as the frosting, it was simple and nostalgic.  While it didn't need much else to add to it, I think fresh slices of banana may be a nice suggestion, as I thought it needed something to cut that richness.

Service and Cost:
Georgetown's experience definitely shines through, as they had a great system down for ordering and picking up your cupcakes.  All the ordering is done up front, after which everyone gets a number and you wait and watch your cupcakes being assembled.  I liked the way this all worked because each order was really arranged with care, each person receiving great customer service.

Costs are expensive, but absolutely worth every penny:


$15 for 1/2 dozen
$29 for 1 dozen

Georgetown Cupcake - 111 Mercer Street, New York NY 10012

N/R Train to Prince Street


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