Archive for the 'Dessert' Category

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StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee – San Diego (North Park)

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee - San Diego

I’ve been enchanted with the idea of gourmet fried chicken and doughnuts served under one roof ever since I got wind of Philly’s Federal Donuts and D.C.’s Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. After two years of praying to the deep-fried gods to bring this delightfully gluttonous trend to Southern California, my wish finally came true. Hello, StreetCar Merchants.

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee - San Diego

Opened by RaVae Smith and Ron Suel late last year, StreetCar Merchants serves up three things: fried chicken, doughnuts, and coffee. The Astronomer and I, along with Cousin Danny, indulged in two of the three specialties on a recent Sunday afternoon.

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee - San Diego

Since the fried chicken takes nearly half an hour to prepare, we tucked into three doughnuts while we waited. The shop makes 12 varieties each day, all of which are brioche-based and fried in rice bran oil.

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Chocolate Sheet Cake with Boiled Chocolate Icing

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

Is it too soon to decide June’s first birthday cake? Even though we’re still six-plus months away, I can’t resist dreaming up confections that our little sweetie will have a ball “smashing” on her big day.

This Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting has been a Chaplin family favorite since The Astronomer’s father’s post-doc days. The recipe originated from a colleague of his named Katy, a gal who clearly had a penchant for unabashedly sweet sweets.

While The Astronomer preferred frosting-less bundt cakes for his birthdays growing up, his brother Daniel and sister Rosalind adored this simple sheet cake. And though I’m 33 years late to the “Katy’s Chocolate Cake” party, I love it all the same.

The batter of the matter, seriously moist and cinnamon-kissed, is finished with a classic, Southern-style boiled chocolate icing. Eaten together, it’s an unstoppable avalanche of buttery, chocolatey, sugary, sprinkle-y goodness!

If June’s palate is anything like her mother’s, this cake will get mauled to pieces in 60 seconds flat. I can’t wait.

For cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For icing

  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare cake

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, sift together sugar and flour and set aside.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

In a saucepan, combine butter, oil, cocoa powder, and water. Bring to a boil and pour over sugar and flour mixture. Add in buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla.

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{swoon} Blueberry Doughnut at M&M Donuts

The best damn #doughnut I've eaten this year: M&M Donuts' Blueberry Cake. Featured today on GastronomyBlog.com! #Anaheim #swoon

While making our way south on The 57 to San Diego last Friday night, the idea of stopping into Anaheim’s M&M Donuts for a taste of their famous blueberry doughnuts popped into my head. With a sleeping baby in the back seat and possible long lines to consider, decisions needed to be made quickly and assuredly. The promise of glossily glazed rings, purple speckled and piping hot, proved too enticing to resist.

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Ice Que – Alhambra

Ice Que - Alhambra

If this summer is anything like the one before it, we’re all going to need a lot of cold treats to survive the long days and scorching rays. While there isn’t a shortage of fantastic frozen sweets to be had in the San Gabriel Valley (my favorites include Carmela, Fosselman’s, Rita’s, and Blockheads) having another solid option, like Ice Que, certainly isn’t going to hurt.

Ice Que - Alhambra

The man behind Ice Que is pastry chef John Park. After working in some of the city’s finest kitchens (Lukshon, Providence, and Water Grill), he struck out on his own in 2013 to open Quenelle in Burbank. Ice Que is his follow up effort.

Pro tip: A second branch of Quenelle recently opened in San Marino.

Ice Que - Alhambra

Whereas Quenelle specializes in ice cream, Ice Que is all about shaved ice. Forget artificially flavored syrups and such—the creations here are composed of shaved-to-order “snow” topped with a plethora of whimsical ingredients. Taken together, it’s a one-of-a-kind dessert experience that only a pastry chef could dream up.

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