While doughnuts dominated 2013’s Year in Delicious, 2014 featured more diversity. Ever the equal opportunity sweets seeker, I set aside plenty of gastro real estate for everything under the sugary sun from puddings to pies to pastries and cake! Without further ado, here are the 10 best sweets that I ate this year…
Malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu, Hawaii
Whether served simply with a dusting of sugar or fancily with a coconut custard filling, the Portuguese doughnuts at Leonard’s were a treat for the senses. Mmm…deep-fried paradise.
Kouign Amann from b.Patisserie in San Francisco, California
Beneath the unbeatably flaky layers of laminated dough, a gorgeous sugar-tinged and buttery center was revealed. A spectacular creation by pastry goddess Belinda Leong. We’re not worthy.
Seasonal Cherry Dessert from L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas, Nevada
The dreamiest, creamiest vanilla soft serve studded with juicy cherries and accompanied by a chocolate peanut butter sable. This seasonal dessert provided a fantastic finish to Joël Robuchon’s summer tasting menu.
Peanut Butter Fudge Core from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, Vermont
I’m no stranger to getting up close and personal with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but digging into one fresh off the conveyor belt… now that was a first. Pre-frozen ice cream…a splendidly decadent dream.
Krasinski Torte from 20th Century Cafe in San Francisco, California
Also known as Russian honey cake, the krasinski torte was comprised of ten delightfully fluffy layers of caramelized honey mousse and genoise cake. I loved how the honey’s distinct flavor was front and center with each bite. Ahhh…
Key Lime Pie from Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach, California
With its crumbly house-made graham cracker crust, tart kaffir lime filling, and torched meringue peaks, Chef David Lefevre ‘s key lime pie was beautifully balanced and perfect from top to bottom.
Beignets from Chef Zoe Nathan (at the Huckleberry cookbook brunch) in Santa Monica, California
When Chef Zoe Nathan invites you into her home for brunch, the only acceptable answer is: “Yes, please.” In celebration of the release of her gorgeous cookbook, Huckleberry, Chef Zoe treated a few lucky food writers to an incredible spread of homemade delights, including these light and golden beignets. I could’ve eaten the whole batch. Easy.
Chocolate Budino from Flour+Water in San Francisco, California
While the wait for a table at Flour+Water wasn’t pretty, the dessert certainly was. The dense, rich, not-too-sweet pudding paired gorgeously with whipped espresso cream, while the salty shards kept our spoons coming back for more.
Cherry Pie from Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, California
Every Fourth of July, Chef Diep Tran whips up beautiful pies made with her signature buttery crust and summer’s sweetest bounty. The Astronomer and I reserved one stuffed to the brim with K&K Ranch cherries and polished it off in a matter of days. This Good Girl’s got a way with pie.
Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie from Ted’s Bakery in Haleiwa, Hawaii
After spending all day in the hot Hawaiian sun, diving into a slice of Ted’s Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie was something kinda wonderful. Comprised of layers of smooth dark chocolate custard cream, creamy coconut pudding, and whipped topping, the pie had a cooling sweetness that hit the spot like you wouldn’t believe.
BONUS! June Q. Chaplin, born November 17, the sweetest, most delicious treat of 2014. Squee!