It is the worst when a favorite item gets permanently eighty-sixed from the menu (RIP ginger cookie from Brite Spot and coconut cake from Coral Tree Cafe… I’ll never forget you!). What a treat (pun intended) when a bakery brings back a lost classic. Bless you Valerie Confections, the historical society of desserts owes you one!
Valerie serves the long gone, but luckily not forgotten, Coffee Crunch Cake from Blum’s – a Cali department store that went out of business in the ’70s. You can special order a whole cake from them, or take yourself down to Grand Central Market for a single slice. This joy of joys is a lemon-vanilla sponge cake with coffee whipped cream layers encrusted in honeycomb candy (or sponge toffee, as some call it). Somehow the light lemon and coffee flavors both keep to themselves while also becoming besties. And how the honeycomb stays crunchy even in the interior layers is a dessert miracle. #blessed
But Valerie didn’t stop there. Besides their signature rose petal petit four (vanilla bean cake with rose petal passion fruit ganache covered in white chocolate with a candied rose petal on top – precious!) and a billion other things, you can order and pay your respects to these other desserts of Los Angeles yesteryear:
*The Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake (only otherwise found at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida – I’ve had it – it’s pretty great!)
*Chasen’s Banana Shortcake (def not available at Bristol Farms)
*Bullock’s Wilshire Tea Room Coconut Cream Pie (def not available at whatever law school is there now)
Probably someone should order all these cakes and have an old-timey party. Thanks for the invite – I’ve already RSVP-ed “yes.”
(Continuing with my self-guided 10 min historical tour of one block, I also stopped at the Bradbury Building. You might recall this building from “Blade Runner” or “The Artist,” I recall it from being stuck in traffic on Broadway. Just park and go in.)