Monday, February 28, 2011

$50 lighter at Jacques Torres

All I wanted at Jacques Torres was a little cocoa.

But how was I was supposed to resist?

Chocolate-covered Cheerios, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered espresso beans…

Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate mudslide cookies and chocolate bark…

And bonbons infused with booze, fruit, and nuts.

All I wanted was a little cocoa.

But I should know myself better by now. It's an affliction.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Make My Cake a Cobbler

It’s not often that I’m in Harlem. But when I am, I always make an excuse to visit Make My Cake (and when Levain opens around the corner this week, it, too, will be on the diet-busting-in-Harlem list). The bustling bakery has been around since 1995, serving ooey-gooey, over the top Southern specialties like hot cross buns, red velvet cake, and cobblers.

Unlike crumbles and crisps, cobblers usually have top and bottom crusts—sort of like deep-dish pies. Sometimes they’re made with pie dough, other times (and/or regions), with thick, cakey biscuits.

Make My Cake’s family recipe uses the former. Their giant pan of blueberry cobbler was crisscrossed with lattice shortbread crusts.

Amply dished into a plastic container, there was no thought to its presentation. It was all about the contents.

Wickedly-sweet, syrupy blueberry filling. It coated my belly. Filled me up. And felt like a sloppy-sweet embrace.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stick it to me

Again and again if it tastes like this.

The sticky bun at Peels is pitch-perfect: sticky-sweet, just the right size, light cake buried under a pile of pecans.

A ridiculously delicious way to begin the day.

As Bennie and I certainly will again.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine’s at Bespoke Chocolates

Valentine’s is often for the lucky… the lucky in love.

So tempt the hands of time, seduce your true love and express your creativity and deepest, most burning emotions at Bespoke Chocolates.

Rachel and Gil are creating a limited number of hand-molded heart-shaped dark chocolate boxes (advanced orders, a must!), to be filled with ten of their most amazing artisanal bonbons (think: French milk chocolate, strawberry balsamic, passionfruit…) and your personalized message, written in on a red card in gold ink (love, desire, passion, sex, marriage??).

The boutique’s open extended hours this weekend so even if you haven’t been slayed by Cupid’s arrow, you can pick up some pretzel-covered sea-salted caramels or other divine hand-crafted chocolates.

Photo by Saleena Fortunato

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Valentine’s from This Chick Bakes

I judge books by their covers, and I judge sweets by their packaging. I’m sorry, but it matters. And Jen and Charley of This Chick Bakes get that.

Their Little Box of Kisses for Valentine’s Day comes adorably wrapped in turquoise stripes and polka dots, which is swaddled in matching tissue. Undo the sticker to get inside the petit boite, and, voila!, three individually wrapped decadent treats await. Rich, fudgy brownie sandwiches a bright Italian cherry ganache center, all of which is drizzled with dark and white chocolate and dusted with hearts. Love-ly and delicious.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Valentine’s at Roni-Sue

Valentine’s Day is supposed to make you feel good, right? All the love and friendship… all the big hearts and dark chocolate…

Well, you can really, really feel good getting treats from Roni-Sue. Every Valentine’s Day, she creates her edible rose truffles: one, a hand rolled and dipped dark chocolate ganache truffle, topped with a fresh-dried rose petal, and the other, a rose-shaped bonbon, filled with white chocolate-rose ganache. Buy a box of 12, and a portion of the sale goes to the Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Valentine’s at Recchuiti Confections

There are certain chocolatiers who blow you away with their skill and creativity. I was surrounded by them in Paris, but I dare say they are fewer and far between in the states. Michael Recchiuti is definitely one of them.

I’ve been a fan of his since discovering him at San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Known especially for his dark chocolate fleur de sel caramels and his vanilla bean s’mores, Michael is brilliant when it comes to creating flavor pairings that wow. And his Valentine’s box contains a bunch of them…

...rose caramel, lavender vanilla, burnt caramel, lemon verbena, bergamot tea, tarragon grapefruit, sesame nougat and nine others that will pierce you right through the heart.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Valentine's Day Macarons

From Pierre Hermé. Need I say more?

(Okay, I will.) Three love-ly boxes...

...I will take any of them...

...filled with creme brulee, infiniment caramel, chuao, mogador, infiniment chocolat, le magnifique, white truffle and hazelnut, olive oil and vanilla, médélice, fragola or, you know, any old flavors will do.