Posts Tagged ‘donuts’

National Donut Day!

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Everyday is National Donut Day isn’t it? Well, I guess technically it is not, although it certainly feels like it or maybe it’s more that I make everyday National Donut Day. But today is in fact National Donut Day, so happy National Donut Day!

Whether you are in LA, NYC, ATX, PDX or any other wonderful city or town there is a donut out there calling your name. Answer the call – eat a donut today!

Los Angeles, CA

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In a city filled with donut shops, there is no shortage of options for celebrating National Donut Day, but how about we get creative. What if I told you that to celebrate you could enjoy with a donut ice cream sammie? Two wonderful sweets together as one. Two please! Today Coolhaus and Donut Snob join forces to offer a limited number of donut ice cream sammies. A vanilla glazed donut with some coffee ice cream sounds like a match made in dessert heaven!   <Available at the Coolhaus Culver City shop after 6pm while supplies last>

Austin, TX

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You can enjoy the same fun donut ice cream sammie offering from the Coolhaus ATX truck parked at 6th and Waller from 6pm-midnight! Enjoy a local farmers market fave Red Rabbit vanilla lavendar donuts paired with Coolhaus mango sorbet and Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!

OR you can always hunt down my Austin decadent donut fave Gourdoughs. Have a Funky Monkey for me will ya!

New York City, NY

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You New Yorkers are blessed with having Doughnut Plant on your island. I’m jealous! If I lived in NY I’d likely have a doughnut a day. Do you? Break that Doughnut Plant routine just this once and celebrate National Donut Day with a different kind of donut. Head over to Tres Carnes to enjoy a double smoked churro donuts filled with crema de carmelo from Fanny Gerson (owner of LaNewyorkina). If that description didn’t make your mouth water, one look at these beauties will. I want one! Have one for me, pretty please.

Portland, OR

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I just returned from Portland. I ate A LOT… of donuts. They were so good, but Blue Star Donuts, well those are the best seriously! Bourbon Blueberry Basil was the standout donut for me. Imaginative flavors, freshly fried fluffy fat donuts. These donuts are magical. Portland go get one of these to celebrate!

 

Happy donut eating!

Daily Dose of Donut!

Ever since returning from an overly donut-indulgent trip to Denver, I’ve had nothing but donuts on the brain. I keep trying to find an excuse to go to Blair’s in Los Feliz to treat myself to some deliciously overpriced donuts for dessert. I’ve been trying to find the time to make the trek to Culver City to try the much talked-about glazed donuts and jam from Waterloo and City.  I’ve even tried to convince R to drive to Glendora to get me some donuts from the famous Donut Man. I hear SK Donuts on West 3rd street is pretty amazing too. Or how about Bob’s Donuts in the Farmer’s Market? You can see how much I’ve been thinking about this and yet I haven’t been able to make it out to any of these places to satisfy my ever-growing donut desires. Then by chance, a conversation on Twitter with @CremeCaramelLA provided me with the perfect solution – Daily Donuts.

Daily Donuts provides just that – the perfect daily donut.  Appearance-wise this is your standard LA strip mall donut joint. Bare bones, minimal design and glass cases full of old fashioned cake donuts, glazed donuts, maple bars and the like.  I have to admit I was skeptical at first. I have high standards for my donuts. I know a donut is a donut is a donut, but then again it isn’t. A bad donut can be dry, crumbly, cloyingly sweet and utterly unappealing. A good donut on the other hand is one of the simple pleasures in life that never fails to bring a smile to my face, and Daily Donuts offers just that kind of perfect donut. Did I mention that Daily Donuts has been about a block away from me for the last two years? I had somehow overlooked or ignored this little shop not knowing that within its doors lay row after glazed, sweet, glistening row of doughy fried confections.

There are no fancy flavors or inventive creations – just the basics. I suggest sticking to the classic glazed or the glazed donut holes; both are ethereally light and doughy with a thin sweet sugar glaze that tenderly gives way with each bite. Not too sweet and not too fried, it is truly a challenge to exercise discipline and not eat an entire half dozen in one sitting.

While thus far nothing has filled the hole in my heart that was left when Friterelli’s in Beverly Hills closed, Daily Donut is a great neighborhood haven, a one-stop shop for that daily dose of donuts!

The Denver Donut Hunt

Hello? Anyone still out there? I’m not dead… just been busy running a food truck. So as you can imagine my time has been spent smelling like a fryer, driving a beast of a truck, and rolling lumpia to the point where I think I’m becoming a lumpia. I just haven’t had much time to share delicious adventures with sweets. But have no fear – it’s a new year and I plan on blogging more. On that note, I’d like to share with you about my unrelenting love for donuts!

On my last trip to Denver with R, we decided to spend the entire weekend in search of these delectable fried delights. I see some of you rolling your eyes back there, but hear me out. I know you may think donuts are so 2009 – and I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing about maple bacon donuts – but for me this is beyond a fading trend. I am absolutely, whole-heartedly besotted with donuts.  What’s not to love? It’s dough. It’s fried. It’s sweet. Done!

My journey can be broken down into three categories of donut shops.

1. You daily donut: LaMar’s

LaMar’s is a Denver staple. It wasn’t hard to find this shop since there are plenty of them scattered throughout the city. After talking to a few locals, it was evident that Denver loves LaMar’s.

LaMar’s has a large variety of donuts to choose from. Upon inspection I noticed that most of the donuts seemed to be of the old fashioned cake donut variety. While I do enjoy a good cake donut (it is cakey afterall) I prefer the fluffier fried variety. R on the other hand was in heaven preferring the dense delicious cake donut over the others. We decided to get a half dozen to fully enjoy the spectrum of offerings. We ordered a blueberry cake donut, a german chocolate cake donut, a red velvet cake donut, a pumpkin cream cheese cake donut, an apple spice donut and an original glazed.

The cake donuts were dense, moist, and packed full of flavor, exept the red velvet which was a dry crumbly mess of a thing. My favorite of the cake donuts was the apple spice cake: bursts of cinnamon, juicy apple sweetness and a perfectly spongy texture. The original glazed was everything I love about a good glazed donut. The glaze gently cracks with each bite revealing the soft semi-sweet dough below. All in all I can see how LaMar’s is Denver’s perfect daily donut joint. I only wish LA had something similar.

2. The creative and hip donut:  The Hole

When doing our research for donuts around Denver we came upon The Hole. A newer establishment in the hip, fun Highlands neighboorhood, The Hole is a beer and donuts joint ( yeah I know, awesome right?) They are open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. While their menu isn’t limited to beer and donuts, those are the focus.

This isn’t necessarily the type of donut shop you would go to on your way to work like LaMar’s, but unlike LaMar’s it is a great place to hang out with friends or to satisfy a late night sweet tooth craving. They have a full counter display of freshly baked donuts in addition to their specialty donut offerings. Their flavors are anything but ordinary. Their elaborate inventions range from amaretto donuts and elvis donuts to pizza and churro donut bites. With so many mouth-watering options it was hard not ordering the whole menu.

We started from the menu and ordered the salted toffee bites. They are served in a paper cone sprinkled with salty toffee. They come to the table hot and fresh from the fryer. We popped these salty sweet bites one after the other without blinking, but then we realized while we loved their hot doughy texture, we found the salted toffee flavor to be missing. There was a sugary salty sprinkle on the bites, but that was about it.

Next we ordered from their selection of daily fresh donuts at the front counter. It was tough to narrow down only two donuts among so many, but now I have a reason to come back (the pina colada is calling my name). We ordered the Elvis donut and a lemon rosemary. Again, these donuts had the perfect texture. Nicely fried, not oily, and ribbons of dough that fold so softly and sweetly together. The lemon rosemary had a flavor profile that was a little too subtle for me. I expected a tart tangy lemon bite balanced with a verdant floral rosemary burst, but instead the flavors were flat. The Elvis on the other hand is a donut worth dreaming about! Thick and rich, it is filled with ooey gooey banana, coated in chocolate and sprinkled with crispy salty bacon. All of these ingredients formed the most harmonious marriage. The banana folds into the yielding dough, both enrobed in chocolate that adds bitter sweetness. The sweet notes are rounded out by the bacon which provides a salty, savory, meaty depth. I could have easily consumed 10 of these they were so addictively good.

3. The expensive donut you should probably only have once a year: Table 6

Table 6 is a well known eatery in Denver. It is a favorite among locals and visiting foodies. Table 6 offers a convivial American bistro style that has patrons coming back for more. R and I were full off of donuts already so did not have a chance to enjoy their full menu, but full or not we came for donuts.

The donuts at Table 6 are what I’m going to call the “fancy gourmet donut:” chocolate beignets. You have probably seen a version of these before on the dessert menu at many fine dining restaurants. However, these are anything but your ordinary gourmet $9 order of donuts. The chocolate beignet provided a fried shell of a donut covered in powdered sugar that gently collapses to reveal liquid chocolate heaven hiding inside. There was a passionfruit syrup spread across the plate upon which the beignets sat. The lovely contrast of citrusy tang with the oh-so-decadent melted chocolate inside each donut was divine. It is a very small order, but these lovelies are so rich you only need a bite to fully enjoy.

While this was a great start for my donut hunt, I can’t wait to go back and try Il Posto for their famed Italian donuts and the Sugar Lips food truck for their donut holes. Mmmm deep fried sugary heaven!


A Year of Sweetness and a GIVE AWAY!

It is here – my one year blogiversary! It has been quite a sweet year.
One of my favorite places to get a sweet treat in Los Angeles is Sweets for the Soul. This is a sweets shop to rival all others. They make an amazing brownie. The exterior is faintly crisp like a French macaron, while maintaining a satisfying chewy soft texture. The Valrhona chocolate is stunningly rich with a delicate creaminess. These brownies are just sexy. So buttery they almost melt away.

On a recent visit I discovered the Caramel Bliss brownie. Is there anything better in the world than combining chocolate, caramel and pecans? This brownie is dense and luxurious. The caramel is sweet and toothsome. The pecans supply the perfect bite, blending together all of the flavors.

While Sweets for the Soul is known for their seductive brownies, they do have an enticing glass cake stand right by the register. This glass carapace is home to daily specials from pb&j; cupcakes to cookies and more. To my surprise I found one lone cinnamon sugar cake donut shyly hiding beneath the glass lid.

I ordered it instantly.

It was perfect.

Crumbly soft and sweet, it was a heart shaped piece of heaven. What are you waiting for? Get in your car and visit Sweets For The Soul in Atwater Village, I promise you will not be disappointed!

On this blog I often wax poetic about my on going love affair with desserts. Let me eat cake is really just a philosophy for enjoying life’s sweet pleasures. To celebrate my blogiversary I have a GIVEAWAY. Sweets For The Soul’s owner Lilly LaBonge has kindly donated a $20 gift certificate for one of my readers! Simply leave a comment below and I will be picking a winner at random on Thursday. For a second chance to win tweet a link http://bit.ly/b6Kp79 to this blog post and leave me another comment letting me know you have done so. Be sure you leave an email so I can contact you if you win!


Good luck!

* must be a Los Angeles resident to win giveaway*

Things To Do In Denver Before You Die: D Bar

photo courtesy of Dbardesserts.com

After my lovely experience at Nomelie Cupcakes, I began a culinary conversation with Nomelie’s owner through Twitter. She is as sweet as her cupcakes and gave me more than a few fantastic recommendations on the best eats in Denver. Per her advice, R and I headed to D Bar in the Uptown area of Denver where we were joined by our friend Neil.

D Bar is a restaurant devoted to desserts. Upon arrival it was very clear that D Bar was the place to be on a Saturday night. Every Saturday night chef and owner Keegan Gerhard can be found behind the bar preparing his sweet masterpieces right before your eyes. Inside D Bar the lighting is dim, the room is packed, and the energy is electric. After a long wait in the cramped heated doorway of the restaurant we were finally seated. The prime seating is along the L shaped bar – this is where all of the action can be experienced first-hand. We sat along the counter facing the window, which turned out to be a comfortable spot with the windows serving as mirrors to the bar behind us.

D Bar offers a well-stocked wine and beer list. We started our meal with my favorite wine: Layer Cake Primitivo. Layer Cake is a well-balanced and jammy wine that lends itself well to both sweet and savory dishes. It was the perfect accompaniment to our food.

We ordered four desserts to try to get the full spectrum of D Bar’s offerings. The desserts $8-$10 each. The Palmond is an almond cake with a caramelized pears and almond ice milk. The cake was dry and crumbly with a crisp almost pasty almond layer on the top. The pears were soft with a deep rich flavor. The almond ice milk was a light and cool compliment to the caramel tones of the pear. While this was a pear dish I would eat again, I did not enjoy the mild and dry flavors of the cake.

I have a special place in my heart for donuts. When donuts are on the dessert menu at a restaurant it is often hard for me to pass them up, so I was sure to order D Bar’s Brioche Cinnamon Sugar Donuts. The order comes with three fluffy, sweet brioche donuts dusted in cinnamon sugar and served with vanilla dipping sauce with a chocolate swirl. When the donuts were dipped in the subtle combination of vanilla and chocolate, it added a sweet gossamer casing that enhanced an otherwise average donut.

style="font-size:medium;">After watching waffle after delicious waffle pass by, we had to order the Warm! Mit Waffles. This is an ice cream sandwich unlike any other. Let go of your preconceived notions of ice cream sandwiches because this dessert is nothing like its predecessors. Vanilla bean ice cream is packaged between two warm rock sugar waffles that are adorned with a three-cherry compote and amaretto cream. The waffles were ideal: a gentle, firm exterior that gives way to a warm, doughy bite. The cherry compote added a pleasant tartness that paired harmoniously with the other sugary flavors.

Our final dessert was not on the menu, it was the night’s special: Baked Alaska. I’ve often heard of this fabled dish, but I’ve never seen it on a menu. This was my favorite dish of the evening. This Baked Alaska consisted of a tart shell filled with coconut ice cream covered by a baked meringue. All of this was lying atop slices of pineapple, which were brushed with a vanilla bean caramel sauce. Each dense mouthful was permeated with vanilla bean. The pineapple was sweet with no hint of tartness. The meringue top was baked to perfection with toasted edges and a gooey, spongy bite.

I have an unyielding penchant for sweets and D Bar satisfied my proclivity. Whenever I am in Denver I will be sure to make a stop at D Bar.

D Bar
1475 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, Co 80218
(303) 861 – 4710

Holy Grace!

Doughnut tasting night at Grace… Yes, I said doughnut tasting. Three delicious courses all consisting of donuts.A total of five glorious fried carb confections in one sitting… holy Grace!

R and I went to Grace on Saturday, a day after National Doughnut day but just as special. This was my first visit to Grace and what better way to experience this famed LA spot than through its desserts. There is a wine pairing option with the doughnuts, but we opted for coffee instead – keeping it traditional with the ol’ coffee and doughnuts pair.

Course 1: Salted Caramel Doughnuts with Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream

After the first bite of this gooey salty sweet treat I had to pause. Or rather, I took a moment of silence. I was wide eyed, sugar crazed, and happy, just happy. It was heavenly. Caramel glazed over a hot doughy mouthful studded with salt crystals. Everything about this salty sweet confection was perfect. How could two more courses even compare?

Course 2: Pistachio Chocolate Buttermilk Doughnut with Marble Ice Cream and Dried Cherries

As I feared, Grace got a good start out of the pastry kitchen but quickly lost steam with course two.The chocolate buttermilk doughnut was covered in sugar and oozed a pistachio filling. It sat atop chocolate ice cream and dried cherries. The doughnut itself was thick and moist but drowned in the overpowering pistachio filling. When I happened upon a dried cherry every few bites my mouth was confused. “What are you doing here cherry? You are not helping this situation. Where is that caramel doughnut? I want that one again! Valiant effort Mr. Pistachio Chocolate Buttermilk but you are not quite as good as your predecessor.”

Course 3: Buttermilk Brown Butter Glazed Doughnuts with Warm Rum Spiced Milk


Now the buttermilk brown butter was delicious, but the warm rum spiced milk? After a twirl with my spoon and a teensy taste on the tongue I did not proceed any further with the rum spiced milk. I didn’t know whether to drink it or dip it, but it’s slimy slick texture was so unappealing I didn’t want to do either. The buttermilk brown butter was like a traditional glazed doughnut with a hint of sophistication.  However, I think I only enjoyed it so much because of its resemblance to the salted caramel in course one.

Overall the tasting menu was good, especially with a strong and memorable first course: the salted caramel doughnut. I think I will dream about that doughnut, it was so divine. In the end the doughnut tasting menu was a one trick pony but man, was that one good trick!