Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I can't believe it's not cake!

I know it's hard to believe, but I love eating all kinds of sweets EXCEPT for cake. I guess after 4 years and 100's of cakes, I've developed an aversion to eating it. Since I don't have much going on this week, I thought I'd start writing about other great desserts and sweets in Austin. I'm always on the lookout for something beyond the standards available at all the bakeries around town. We live in a city with an infatuation with cupcakes, red velvet, Italian cream cake and chocolate chip cookies. Some bakeries do a great job with these treats (we do too!), but I yearn for something more magical. Isn't that what dessert should be?
This week I was lucky enough to try two stellar desserts, one sophisticated and fancy, the other homey and simple. I happened upon the first one at the Austin Food Bloggers potluck this past Sunday. It was a perfectly sized (read finger-length) eclair from Cissi's Market. My French chef instructors at Le Cordon Bleu in London would have approved of its daintiness. The pâte á choux was the perfect cradle for the smooth, lightly sweetened Early Grey pastry cream. The cream was just firm enough to hold its shape without resorting to corn starch overload. I think I ate 3. (You can see pics on Thai Cooking with Jam)
Today my daughters and I shared a platter sized Whoopie Pie from the Cookie Lounge. (see above pic) I'd heard they starting making them recently and have been looking for an excuse to head over there and say hi to Mark. I will eat anything with chocolate and marshmallows, and this was heaven. The "cookie" part was soft and cakey, and most importantly, not too sweet. It's the fluffy marshmallow filling that carries all the sugar shock, but in a good way. I think it was gone in about 30 seconds. And they go pretty quickly, too. We got the last one and it was only 4:30pm. Considering they're open late, that's a quick turnover.
I'll plan on writing once a month about sweets and desserts around Austin. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

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