Archive for the 'Dessert' Category

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Glazed and Infused Doughnuts – Chicago

Glazed and Infused Doughnuts and Coffee - Chicago

Chicago is ahead of the curve when it comes to the gourmet doughnut trend. Not only is there an abundance of establishments, but they are often chef-driven ventures. Taking deep-fried dough to the next level in every way, Chicago—I commend you.

Glazed & Infused Doughnuts - Chicago

One of the most successful local concepts is Glazed & Infused. The mini-chain is backed by Scott Harris of Mia Francesca, The Purple Pig, and Davanti Enoteca, among others. Behind the deep-fryer are Christine McCabe, onetime pastry chef at Charlie Trotter’s, and Tom Culleeney, former head of Lettuce Entertain You‘s franchise operations with Krispy Kreme.

Glazed & Infused Doughnuts - Chicago

The doughnuts here are made from high-quality ingredients and are fried in trans-fat free oil. Fruity glazes and fillings often change with the seasons.

Every location is equipped with a microwave to capture that ever so fleeting fresh-from-the-fryer essence. The Astronomer was a huge fan of this amenity, while I thought it was a silly move considering the freshness of the doughnuts available on the premises. Day-old doughnuts, on the other hand, I’m all for nuking.

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Firecakes Donuts – Chicago

Firecakes - Chicago

The Polar Vortex couldn’t stop me from getting my deep-fried high on while in Chicago this past January. In fact, it may have contributed to my appetite—a full belly means a warm Gastronomer.

The first stop on the Chicago feeding frenzy took The Astronomer, Cousin Jackie, and me to Firecakes Donuts.

Firecakes - Chicago

Opened last spring by Jonathan Fox (President and CEO of 3Sixty Dinning Intelligence and owner of La Madia), Firecakes is a notable player in Chicago’s robust gourmet doughnut scene. The doughnuts made in this teeny 600-square-foot shop use an heirloom recipe that came from Mr. Fox’s wife’s great-grandfather, Billy Hobbs.

After waiting in a painfully cold and winding line at The Doughnut Vault during my last trip to Chicago, it was really great to stroll on in and be served straightaway this evening.

Firecakes - Chicago

For our pre-dinner “snack,” we selected four doughnuts to share.

First up, a light and lovely cake ring dusted with toasted coconut flakes and prettied with coconut cream ($2.49).  This well-balanced creation was my fave pick of the four.

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#IceCreamSocial: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory Tour (plus a few bonuses) – Waterbury, Vermont

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - Waterbury, Vermont

If my previous post didn’t have you running to the grocery store for a perfect pint, this one certainly will. Or better yet, head to your nearest Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop for a complimentary taste because today is Free Cone Day! Yay! Noon till 8 PM…Go.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - Waterbury, Vermont

Day 2 of the Ben & Jerry’s press trip was as eventful as the first. After visiting St. Albans Cooperative Creamery where hormone-free milk for the ice creams is exclusively sourced, we headed to the Waterbury plant for a behind-the-scenes look at how each pint is made, swirls, chunks, and all.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - Waterbury, Vermont

The tour began with a short movie about the history of Ben & Jerry’s. Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield met in 7th grade gym class, took a $5 dollar correspondence course to learn ice-cream making, and renovated an old gas station in Burlington for their first store in 1978! Following the film, we were led up a flight of stairs and onto a platform for an elevated view of the factory floor—no pictures were allowed, unfortunately.

The factory floor, which churns out 110 pints per minute and 160,000 pints per day, was a mesmerizing sight with its complex machinery moving a mile a minute.

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#IceCreamSocial: Creating the Perfect Pint at Ben & Jerry’s Headquarters – Burlington, Vermont

Ben & Jerry's Corporate Headquarters - Burlington, VT

I scream! You scream! We all scream!

I recently traveled to Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Burlington for a fantastic press trip where I learned about the company’s exceptional ice creams and admirably progressive culture.* As an added bonus, I also explored the awesomeness of Vermont’s food scene. It’s been almost a decade since my last jaunt to this part of New England, so it was beyond great to be back in the land of snow, sleet, and fleece pullovers!

Ben & Jerry's Corporate Headquarters - Burlington, VT

One of the most memorable experiences from the trip was a friendly competition among fellow attendees to create the perfect pint. The winning flavor would be scooped at an ice cream party in the winning team’s hometown. I wanted to take home a victory for L.A.!

Ben & Jerry's Corporate Headquarters - Burlington, VT

Because birds of a feather tend to stick together, I teamed up with my friends Matt and Nastassia, who also traveled from Los Angeles to be here, and my new friend Erin from San Diego. So Cal, represent! Ben & Jerry’s flavor guru Peter was on hand to lend his expertise.

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