Doughnut Plant was one of those things I’ve always really wanted to try, but because of the proximity, I kept holding off. Until now.So just image ultra fresh just hot out of the oven doughnuts. Better than the one’s at Krispy Kreme, and with an assortment of unique flavors.The Pumpkin Doughnut with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds was absolutely phenomenal. Which is saying a lot about Doughnut Plant since it was my least favorite of the three I sampled. The doughnut itself is warm and moist. Although the glaze does get a bit sticky and messy, the flavor is out of this world.Now I forgot to state that Doughnut Plant made doughnuts 2 different ways. Either the traditional yeast way that most of us are used to, or the cake way, which resembles the doughnut packages you get for 99 cents at the gas station. The second place doughnut is the latter and is dubbed the Blackout. With a chocolate cake, a chocolate glaze, and for good measure some more chocolate crumbles. PMS euphoria. Finally, my number 1. The Peanut Butter and Jelly Doughnut. Now this square concoction is heavily glazed and sprinkled with toasted peanuts. Next, they have the audacity to fill this bad boy with a blackberry jelly, and the result? The best damn doughnut I’ve ever had in my life.
Not Pictured: Their Hot Chai Tea was amazing as well, especially on a cold windy day like the day I went.
In celebration of the Lakers’ victory over the Celtics for the NBA championship, I bring to you, cupcakes. Not just any cupcakes, but those that I believe are the best in the world.The sinfully moist and irresistible cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. At just $1.50 per cupcake, they’re not going to set you back like the overly extravagant and costly bricks that they serve at Crumbs. Bring a tiny box of these bad boys to your work place to make new friends.Better yet, bring a case and win their hearts, and maybe that raise you’ve been looking for next quarter. Whatever your goal is, these perfect morsels of heaven, have the perfect frosting to cake ratio. And trust me when I tell you, that the frosting to cake ratio is important. Example: Sprinkles slathers on a ridiculous amount of frosting that almost makes the cupcake inedible unless you scrape some off. However, Sugar Sweet Sunshine gets it on point.Pumpkin – Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingIn my regards, one of the best cupcakes ever. Screw that Red Velvet crap that many have fell in love with. The Pumpkin cupcake is the perfect synergy of sweet, spicy, and savory with the nuts providing a textural contrast. My perfect dessert. Pistachio – Pistachio cake with “The Moose” (a satin buttercream)Another perfect cupcake. Goodness gracious, what should I ever do? I guess just eat it. The airy and fluffy buttercream is paired with the light green pistachio cake to again make the perfect cupcake. Don’t forget about the pistachio topping!Ooey Gooey – Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Almond ButtercreamNext up, we have one of my personal favorites, the Ooey Gooey. Maybe I’m just a sucker for almond flavored desserts, but this cupcake is my true Kryptonite. Although it gets a bit overly sweet, the Chocolate Almond Buttercream is just divine.Lemon Yummy – Lemon cake with Lemon buttercream.Ok, I have to admit that sampling 4 different cupcakes was getting a bit tiring. Sue me, I’m a fat ass. The downside of everything, was that the lemon cupcake just ended up being way too sour (after my taste buds had adjusted to the Ooey Gooey) and became hard for me to eat. I would imagine, however, that the cupcake would’ve been phenomenal if it was one of the first ones eaten.Ok. So…. on top of 4 cupcakes, I also had to try the Banana Pudding at Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Don’t Judge. The pudding is mixed with Nilla Wafers (which have soften) and provide a great bite. The pudding is spectacular, just as I imagined, but it falls just short of the Banana Bread Pudding from Magnolia. Although I hear the “Chocolate Bomb” pudding may be in a class of its own.
Again, congratulations to the 2010 NBA Champions, Los Angeles Lakers. I’m looking forward to a three-peat. Now, time for the encore replay on ESPN.
I apologize for the 2 week hiatus, but luckily for you guys I’m back. I’ll start with a little warm up of Magnolia Bakery.Magnolia Bakery was made famous through popular culture in shows like Sex and the City, but it’s one of the worst cupcakes I’ve ever had.I vowed never to return to Magnolia Bakery after eating their brick hard cupcakes which are topped with so much frosting that just by looking at it will turn you diabetic.No matter how many fake daisies they put on their cupcakes, they can’t disguise the fact that its just adding to the sugar rush. So why would I go back to Magnolia Bakery if I hate their cupcake so much you ask? Good Question..Banana Pudding!! Oh my goodness, why is this container of heaven trapped in such a hell hole. Thanks to my friend Bonnie’s recommendation, I gave Magnolia another chance albeit not for their cupcakes. This Banana Pudding is tremendously delicious. If you can imagine Marie Callender’s Banana Cream Pie, but multiply the banana-y goodness ten fold. The thick creamy banana pudding is basically a custard which binds chunks of fresh bananas and what they call vanilla wafers together. I usually do not prefer desserts, but I can eat this bad boy every day. The only knock that I have on the dessert, but could have just been my batch, was that occasionally I would taste little bites of pockets of flour. Regardless, I want more!
The best word of advice I can give anyone: Go to Magnolia’s for their Banana Pudding and not their cupcakes!!
How can I not be excited for a a well decorated (James Beard award winner with multiple Michelin Stars) world famous chef that just so happens to be Asian American? When he serves me mediocre ramen. I will never forgive him for that, or would I?The Momofuku line has been a rising star in the culinary world, with David Chang in the back manning the charge. Headlining with Momofuku Ko garnishing 2 Michelin Stars and Momofuku Ssäm Bar earning the title of the 31st Best Restaurant in the world. However, Momofuku Noodle Bar does not belong his resume, just head a couple of blocks over to Ippudo for better.Now we end up at Momofuku Milk Bar. To this point, I had been rebelling against David Chang’s restaurants because of the average offerings at Noodle Bar, but I decided to give Milk Bar a shot. Lines, I hate lines, this crap better be worth it. What was vexing me, was that David Chang was well known for his ability to inspire dishes with an Asian fusion, but how would that work with desserts? Easy, ditch that idea and head a completely different route, and produce a dessert spot that promotes ingenuity and creativity. When you first arrive at the counter, always nab your allotted free sample of soft serve. Omg, is the Red Velvet Soft Serve salty. I’ll go with their famous Cereal Milk instead. I’ve always been the type to enjoy desserts that weren’t overly sweet and the Cereal Milk Soft Serve just hit the spot. With the taste of literally the cereal milk that is left behind after a bowl of Frosted Flakes, you’ll find that in no time you’ll be left with an empty cup.I honestly loved it so much, that I went back within a couple of days and got it again. This time I paired it with a slice of Crack Pie.What the heck is Crack Pie you ask? I think it’s pretty much self-explanatory. Pie.. that is crack. It’s also paired with an eloquent description of having a toasted oat crust with a gooey butter filling. Even though it may taste like you’re eating straight butter, there’s something about it that keeps you digging for more. Maybe, that really is crack sprinkled atop. Anyways, the pie is absolutely delicious but immensely sweet, try sharing it with someone to maximize pleasure.
I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, so seeing an entry about dessert only is pretty rare. But let me tell you the story about the Butter Lane cupcakes, where Ted Allen swore he had the best cupcakes of his life on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” The quaintness that used to embody some of the most famous bakeries in the city, now seem to be more of a necessity to identify one. I actually don’t like it. Why do I have to lose all sense of masculinity just to bite into a delicious cupcake. Show me a bad ass bakery with flames shooting out of their cupcakes, now that would be a treat. However, for now, I’ll settle with my pink heart, purple unicorn, pastel colored tiny little easy bake oven bakery. Cupcakes and Daisies, how original.
The workers at Butter Lane were absolutely tremendous. They basically gave us (6 people) a frosting tasting, by letting us sample all 18 or so flavors of frosting, even though they knew we were only buying a cupcake each. Well deserved brownie points.
After all my whining about being too girly and what not, I received my cupcake. A Honey Cinnamon Frosting spread over Banana Cake cupcake. What a freaking marvelous touch by adding a squirt of honey on top. Double Brownie Points. But I wish I could have said the same for the actual cake, which was extremely dry, and left me extremely disappointed.
If you want the best cupcakes of your life, just head a couple blocks south to Sugar Sweet Sunshine in Little East Side.
My friend recommended Cha An, for their black sesame creme brulee and boy can I say, it did not disappoint.
Cha An is first and foremost a Japanese tea house. With a serene and zen-like atmosphere, it can be considered a relaxing stress relief from the hastened outside world of New York. Although, they do have an extensive tea list, their dessert menu falls nothing short of impressive. Instead of ordering the dessert tasting, My friend and I decided to go a la carte and started off with a Sweet Potato Apple Cake with Caramel Ice Cream. A fresh spin-off of an apple pie a la mode, the dessert is constructed with a sweet potato mash, topped with a warm apple puree and a crispy biscuit for the extra crunch. The whole thing is topped with a marvelous scoop of caramel ice cream and a sweet baked crisp. The myriad of flavor profiles, temperature and textural differences, all seem to harmonize together while providing you with a marvelous experience. Behold, why I came to Cha An. The Sesame Creme Brulee.Black Sesame Heaven! The warm Black Sesame custard is covered with a burnt sugar, add a heaping spoon of velvety black sesame ice cream and a black sesame chip. Nirvana. You have to go try it for yourself. Forget the Green Tea Creme Brulee and Kyotofu, this now tops the list. (Thanks Meesh).
Cha An Scores:
Food: 8.5/10 – Can’t say much about their savory offerings, but their desserts were simply divine.
Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – I ❤ Japan. They even have a tatami!
Service: 7.5/10 – I wouldn’t expect any more or any less.
Value: 7.5/10 – At around $7 per dessert, it was absolutely worth it.
I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth and often don’t eat much dessert. However, whenever I’m in LA, I know I can grab some of the greatest desserts at Alcove. Although it looks as if they’ve compiled a delicious savory menu, I’m here for the sugar.
Now many of you may know that I’m usually a super-paparazzi and love to take pictures of whatever I see. However, the celebrity sighting of Mandy Moore at Alcove caught me off guard and also left me starstruck and dumbfounded when we locked eyes. She’s no longer the chubby Mandy we were appalled at in HIMYM, but back to her beautiful and elegant self who is as sweet as she looks. Anyways, back to the point. Because I spent the whole time staring at Mandy, I kind of forgot to take pictures. But fear not my fellow readers, luckily I’ve been here a couple of times and have some pictures from the past.The Strawberry Cake tastes just like it looks, but better. Remember the Chinese birthday cakes your mom would bring back topped with a wide assortment of fruits? This is better than that. The fresh strawberries and refined fresh-made whipped cream paired with the moist white cake brings back a nostalgic birthday party in your mouth.I sucked at taking pictures before. Anyways, the Birthday Cupcake and Caramel Cheesecake were pretty uneventful and a complete reversal of the Strawberry Cake, where they sound and look better than they actually were. When I gazed into the giant pastry fridge this time around, I was looking for one thing. Red Velvet Cake. What? No Red Velvet? However, they did have a vegan substitute. No Thank You! Wait wait wait!! What’s this Cookie Monster like cake? Blue Velvet?!?! I’ll take a slice, I’m no racist. My goodness, was it just as grand. The soft silky cream cheese frosting paired with that blue cake goodness is ethereal. The beautifully dubbed Princess Cake, is a wonderful creation of white cake with a raspberry/framboise preserve and a layer of sweet smooth custard, wrapped in a purple almond/amaretto fondant. Deeeeeeelish. A little on the sweet side but an amazing cake none the less.Don’t forget to place an order of Alcove’s wonderful coffee and flavored lattes. Usually, they top it with gorgeous foam art, but they decided not to this time. So I tried it myself using a fork. Fail.
No score for Alcove, since I’ve only had the dessert and coffee. If the food is just as good as the dessert, Alcove is definitely a can’t miss romantic dining spot with a chance of a celebrity sighting. Oh yea, I’ve also heard their bread pudding is one of the best in the world.