Dessert Personality Quiz

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When you eat Turkish Delight, do you think of:

  1. languid Mediterranean nights spent on golden terraces
  2. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”

Discuss.

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IT’S NATIONAL DESSERT DAY!!!!! (and I didn’t make that up)

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Oh these “days” – don’t you just love them? I see them as less of an excuse and more of a reminder to treat yo self! (so easy to lose sight of treating yo self sometimes…..)

Today I celebrated at Cream and Flutter with a well-rounded smattering of desserts: a burger-sized pistachio macaron filled with silky pistachio buttercream, a tiramisu cupcake soaked in espresso and towering with mascarpone cheese frosting, and a s’mores brownie big enough to fill a (baby) shoe box. (and the brownie foundation itself wasn’t the only chocolate representation in this s’mores deconstruction….a thick layer of dark chocolate ganache is hiding under the marshmallows for full effect)

So get out there and celebrate while there’s still time! (<—- trick statement: there’s ALWAYS time for dessert) And be sure to spread the holiday cheer to any sad souls less in-the-know….. truth be told, I had to let Cream and Flutter know what day it is….. shame.

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Gracias Madre dessert hack

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Listen, I don’t seek out vegan desserts, and I’d rather something be called “flourless” vs “gluten-free,” but if something is delicious and served in a gorgeous setting, then who am I to complain about semantics?

Gracias Madre is all vegan and doesn’t do substitutions or additions. I get it, I get it, LA dietary requests are prob the most ridiculous in the world. But some things are just better with a sliiiight tweak. Case in point: put some coconut bacon on that flan.

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Order your chilaquiles with cashew cream, order your margarita with toasted sesame infused agave, and then order the flan con cafe along with a side of coconut bacon. The flan is made with Stumptown coffee and burnt sugar caramel. The coconut bacon (while it’s not fooling anybody that it started as a pig) is crispy and salty and smoky. Dump it on top of the flan! Enjoy! You might suggest to your waiter that this be added to the permanent menu and named after me. I mean, “Dessert Oasis Smoky Coconut Flan” has an enticing ring to it, amiright?

150th Anniversary Tea at the Langham

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The Langham London celebrated its 150th anniversary yesterday, and to join in the celebration, The Langham Pasadena turned back the clocks and the cash register to 1865 – complete with the host and hostess dressed in 1865 garb, and a random drawing for a few lucky winners to pay the low low 1865 price of an afternoon tea: 1 shilling, 6 pence (15 cents!). Guess who won the drawing? ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I tried all the signature teas, had all the brioche-y scones, ate all the lovely sandwiches (I miss you, saffron-pickled radish! I’ll always add apricot jam to you, chicken salad!), and lingered long over all the the desserts (and glasses of champagne, hic!). No take-away box was required.

Fave desserts on the menu: baby raspberry macarons, guava cake, and a praline chocolate mousse served in a chocolate cup and topped with a fresh raspberry and gold leaf. All served on tailor-made Langham Rose Wedgwood teaware. Teaware made especially for you = 1865 VIP.

I definitely made sure I got my 1 shilling, 6 pence worth! The view itself is worth at least 10,000 shillings, give or take.

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Will return soon to try the Tennessee Tickle cocktail in the adjacent bar while watching resident squirrels stare longingly through the squirrel guards installed to keep them away from patio tea snacks…..(maybe I’ll have enough Tennessee Tickles to be inspired to invent a dance craze called the Tennessee Tickle? maybe not, because maybe that actually sounds gross….)

dessert delivery / food truck futures

Dear Dessert Oasis,

Do you know of any dessert delivery services; specifically chocolate desserts?

Also, what kind of dessert food trucks exist? Is that the wave of the future?

Sincerely,
I want that but I’m too lazy

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Dear IWTBITL,

I do not know of any dessert-specific delivery services, but most restaurants that deliver will obvs deliver their desserts too, and many have at least a chocolate cake of some sort on their menu. Here’s a pro tip: order dessert whenever you order food delivery, don’t just settle for the free fortune cookie – it will help you meet the minimum delivery amount, and even if you’re not really feeling like dessert when you order, you’ll be happy to forget/remember that you have dessert for later.

Here are two good food delivery sites that serve most major cities and will send you coupons off future orders:

grubhub.com
eat24.com

Re: food trucks: the future is now. You can find trucks specializing in just about anything – not just ice cream or late-night tacos. I suggest you search/follow your fave trucks on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to keep track of their schedules. They won’t deliver to your front door, but they might just be parked right around the corner, or they could be gathered together for a food truck fest! Jackpot!!!

Here are some good ones to follow, depending on your city:

Los Angeles
Coolhaus – ice cream sandwiches served in edible wrappers!
Crème Caramel – custards, bread puddings, a whole bunch more
Carmela – artisinal/seasonal ice creams and sorbets

New York
The Treats Truck – cookies, brownies, dessert nachos (also non-desserty grilled cheese)
Big Gay Ice Cream – old school soft serve done up with crazy toppings

Florida
Bold City Pops – ice pops featuring whatever’s in season (Jacksonville)

Chicago
Flirty Cupcakes – cupcakes, duh!
The Doughnut Vault – hot donuts until they run out
Pleasant House Bakery – British sweets (and savories) like sticky toffee pudding, treacle tart and banoffee pie

Don’t gotta gotta get up to get down,
Dessert Oasis

Have a dessert question?  Email me at courtneysconza@gmail.com – from funnel cakes to fondue fountains, if it has sugar, I’ve probably eaten it.

Madonna Inn Pink Champagne Cake

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If you ever find yourself driving between LA and San Luis Obispo/Big Sur/San Fran, you must stop at the Madonna Inn. And if you ever find yourself stopping at the Madonna Inn, you must try their famous Pink Champagne Cake, because wtf is that.

Underfoot: pink rose-patterned carpet, overhead: vines of huge fake flowers with golden cherubs, alongside: glass water goblets with carved glass roses in a rainbow of colors and also a sugar dispenser full of pink sugar crystals.

I thought this cake would be so disgustingly sweet that it should only be used for a fun photo prop and not actually consumed lest I run the risk of being turned from desserts forevermore (ha). But what a fantastic surprise! It’s not too sweet!!! The yellow sponge cake is so so light!! The layers of whipped cream and Bavarian cream are super fresh!! I even ate the pink chocolate shavings after discovering they were, in fact, pink chocolate and not some fondant bullshit!!! Hooray!!!!!!

Had my dining companion been more willing, I would have also ordered “us” a slice of Black Forest cake. Next time.

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booze as a dessert substitute?

Dear Dessert Oasis,

Do you personally ever substitute a dessert-like alcoholic beverage for dessert? If so, what are some of your favorites/recommendations?

– Tracy

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Dear Tracy,

On the rare occasion I did not save room for dessert, or I happen to be at a place known more for their booze than their baked goods, yes, I have been known to have a “drinkable dessert.” Of course another glass or 5 of red wine is always an option, as is a more traditional digestif such as port, but here are some of my other preferred selections:

– a well-made chocolate martini, maybe with a twirly chocolate garnish of some sort!

Cali’ Creamin’ Vanilla Cream Ale – somewhat unfortunate name, but tastes like cream soda ( + beer)

– Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – pairs well with the dark chocolate Milky Way you may or may not have in your purse

Lips of Faith Cocoa Mole – have faith, this is amazing.

– any Lindemans Lambic – though I am partial to the Framboise or Kriek

Word to the wise: ending your night by drinking your dessert takes some skill. Use caution when consuming sugary alcoholic beverages so that you don’t end up ruining the next day.  Until then, bottoms up!

Let’s just have one more,
Dessert Oasis

Have a dessert question?  Email me at courtneysconza@gmail.com – from funnel cakes to fondue fountains, if it has sugar, I’ve probably eaten it.