Archive for the 'Dessert' Category

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Nancy’s Fancy Coconut Stracciatella

Nancy's Fancy Gelato & Sorbetto Artiginale

Inspired by the desserts served at her fantastic collection of restaurants (see: Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, Mozza 2-Go, Chi Spacca), Chef Nancy Silverton recently introduced a line of artisanal gelati and sorbetti called Nancy’s Fancy.

These premium pints, which are sold exclusively at Gelson’s (for now) and priced at $10.99 a pop, include flavors like Butterscotch Budino (scotch-laced “pudding” with salted caramel swirls), Roasted Banana with Bourbon & Pecan Praline, and Frutti di Bosco (Greek yogurt with mixed berries). While I was pretty certain I would fall hardest for the Budino, one spoonful of the Stracciatella and…swoon.

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Nomad Donuts – San Diego (North Park)

Nomad Donuts - San Diego

After downing our doughnuts and fried chicken at SideCar Merchants, our band of merry eaters strolled down to Nomad Donuts for more deep-fried goodness. We found the shop on a quieter stretch of 30th Street in North Park, flanked on one side by a purveyor of grindz and on the other by an upholstery specialist.

Nomad Donuts - San Diego

We happened to swing by during Donut Happy Hour, which meant that all wares were marked down to $2. You bet your boots we took full advantage of the situation.

Nomad Donuts - San Diego

Nomad’s yeast-risen and cake doughnuts are “globally inspired,” boasting made-from-scratch fillings, glazes, and toppings that are playful and inventive. The daily offerings were prettily propped atop stacks of old books, which made the task of choosing which ones to buy quite difficult since they all looked so good.

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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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