Favorite Desserts 2012
I have such a sweet tooth that I decided to launch a list this year that included the desserts I most loved that didn’t come from my own kitchen. These are ones I purchased or had at a restaurant that I just can’t stop thinking about:
The chocolate cupcake I tasted at 2Good2B Bakery was one of the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. The bakery managed to make the cupcake unbelievably light and fluffy and still pack a very rich chocolate flavor. And to top it off, it’s even gluten free.
I like my crepes to be thin and crispy and Crepes Bonaparte delivers on that. In addition, this crepe is stuffed with Nutella, strawberries and bananas. Need I say more?
Bread Puddings usually aren’t high on my list of favorite desserts, but Uptown Tavern makes a fantastic one that stays close to the classic. It’s hard to describe or explain why I love it so much. It’s just a really well made bread pudding and one of the best I’ve had in San Diego.
#12 Black Sesame Snow Ice from Blockheads (not yet blogged about)
This year I’ve explored quite a lot of snow ice places. I didn’t love the toppings offered here but the black sesame snow is the best version of black sesame flavor that I’ve tried. Black sesame can be an intense flavor, but Blockheads has managed to find just the right balance. The snow itself is also very, very soft. In fact, I think it’s actually softer than the snow of my beloved Class 302.
I love ice cream, exotic flavors, the color purple and super premium creamy ice cream. Mitchell’s provides all that for me in their ube ice cream. It’s the best ube ice cream I’ve had to date and if I could, I’d bring gallons of this stuff home.
#10 Rhubarb Strawberry, Espresso, and “Oh No You Didn’t” Macarons from Bouchon Bakery Yountville (not yet blogged about)
Thomas Keller’s macarons are my favorite next to Pierre Herme’s. This year I visited the Bouchon Bakery in Yountville and realized that there are quite a few flavors offered there that are not offered at the other locations I’ve visited. I’ve tried three there that I love more than any other flavor I’ve tried. The strawberry rhubarb actually uses fresh rhubarb pieces in the filling. The Espresso cuts into the sweetness and I love the smattering of espresso powder over the shells. The “Oh No You Didn’t” ones are his classic macarons but dipped and covered in chocolate.
I had this dessert while visiting Lisko Artisan Deli, though the desserts are actually made at Opera Patisserie. I really enjoyed this one. Rich chocolate, crunchy hazelnut bottom and creamy liquor cherries in the middle.
This is my favorite dessert from Extraordinary Desserts. I love chocolate croissants, so making it into a bread pudding just makes it even more decadent.
#7 Beignets from Bouchon Las Vegas
These were the softest, fluffiest beignets I’ve come across. They were like pillows that melted in my mouth.
Class 302 remains my favorite spot for snow ice and this year they headed a little closer to San Diego by opening a location in Irvine. Along with a new opening, they also brought a new snow combination: Golden Mango which is topped with mango, oversized mochi and caramel pudding. It also comes with mango flavored ice but I like to swap it out for milk snow ice.
I haven’t come close to finding chocolate in the US that tastes anywhere near the complexity of flavors of the chocolate I had in France. My favorite piece of chocolate by far was the hazelnut praline I bought from Jean Charles Rochoux. When the piece of chocolate melted on my tongue, it was like an attack on the senses, I tasted so many flavors at once. I only wish we had bought more. We tried to go back before we left, but it was closed.
I don’t normally like caramel desserts. I find caramel to be too sweet. But this caramel budino was amazing. It was super sweet, but the sea salt cut into the sweetness while also enhancing the caramel flavor at the same time. Despite not really loving caramel or salted desserts, I simple could not stop eating this dessert.
I fell in love with Pierre Hermé’s Macarons, especially the shimmering Jasmine flavor. We enjoyed the macarons here so much that we went back three different times during our trip, even going right before our flight to ensure that we could bring the freshest macarons homes to our friends.
I love runny egg yolk dishes but I had no idea that it could be made into a dessert. The egg yolk is caramelized so that it is slightly sweet, allowing you to enjoy the sensation of a runny yolk with a sweet dessert. It’s paired with a simple chewy meringue cookie and was such a fun dessert experience.
#1 French Laundry desserts (not yet blogged about)
Usually the weakest part of a fancy meal for me are the desserts. But not at the French Laundry. I plan on blogging about this memorable meal soon, but I really enjoyed all the desserts we were served and couldn’t separate them to rank them; I just loved them all equally. They were definitely some of the highlights of the meal and I hope to experience them all again some day.