Posts Tagged ‘Cupcakes’

Everybody eats out of necessity, and not always just for the luxury. Basic meals come and go, as they simply provide fuel to make it to the next meal. But do most people simply consume their food and continue with their day, or do they stop to enjoy the sweeter things in life? Ask yourself this: do you eat to live, or live to eat? Nobody can honestly consider after-meal desserts a necessity in life, even if they possess a sweet tooth. Despite this, nature causes all creatures to prefer sweets over anything else. Should you have dessert with every meal? Not always. Can you have dessert any time you want, regardless of other factors like time and weather? Of course! Despite the increasingly cold weather approaching, one should never sacrifice desserts for uncontrollable reasons. By that notion, continue reading to see five desserts in the Greater Los Angeles area that I highly recommend consuming this winter.

5. The Loop Handcrafted Churros‘ Glazed Churro

We live in an age of technology, the internet, social media, and smartphones. The days of face-to-face interaction have died with the past, as most people spend their time in public with their faces buried in their smartphones. People use this as their means of interacting with others, and social media provides an outlet for that. Social media has also paved the way for one-upmanship, or posting something to gain more attention than the previous person – basically, “Oh yeah? Well check this out!” Especially today, we have Instagram food – basic foods made to look pretty so that customers will share it online. Plenty of Instagram food exists, such as at The Loop: Handcrafted Churros. Oddly located in a heavy Vietnamese area of Westminster, The Loop takes the basic churro and fancies it up for customers to snap away at it. Sure you could go to, say, a Costco and get a simple churro for a dollar, or you could spring $4.50 for one of The Loop’s Glazed Churro. The Loop takes one of their ready-made churros, dips about half of it in a glaze of your choice, and coats that part with a topping of your choice. It just looks so cute and fancy that you will want to share this with the digital world before you actually bite into it!

4. Pie ‘n Burger‘s Peanut Butter Meringue

Two major archetypes of people exist: the adventurous and the safe. By human nature, people prefer the familiar – after all, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This explains why corporate products can survive for so long because they continue to serve the exact same product that people grew up with. Because something has never changed over time, that must mean that people love it, right? For something traditional that the people always go back to, look no further than Pie ‘n Burger. This little diner in Pasadena has withstood the test of time with their simplistic approach to traditional diner foods in burgers, milkshakes, and pies. Pie ‘n Burger not only makes food that all customers recognize, but they make them delicious as well that rivals corporate equivalents. When it comes to pies, their Peanut Butter Meringue sets the bar high. Very few places make peanut butter pies like this, and Pie ‘n Burger does it right with just the right amount of peanut butter without making this slice feel too heavy. While the $4.50 price tag per slice feels steep, each slice more than holds its weight up.

3. Confetti Italian Ice‘s Parfait

Everyone loves sweets, but no one can deny that teenagers represent the worst demographic for controlling dessert habits. Teenagers usually have money to buy whatever they want (as long as they can afford it), and they have not grown up enough to make sensible spending decisions. As such, lots of places take advantage of that by introducing desirable foods priced just within reach that young customers will want to come back to, especially cold treats. Starbucks does this well with their blended drinks, as do some Italian Ice places. Take a stroll over to Confetti Italian Ice and you will see that they value quality in their treats instead of simply catering to as many customers as possible. Tightly nestled in a strip mall in Costa Mesa near the Orange County Fairgrounds, Confetti Italian Ice may resemble another popular Southern Californian place that does something similar, but Confetti has vastly unique flavors in their Parfait. Many places do something like this already: Italian Ice combined with soft-serve ice cream or custard. While the competition sticks to common flavors, Confetti aims for a more unique experience with flavors such as Cookie Batter, Chocolate Brownie, Cookie Dough, Birthday Cake, and more. You can get a Parfait for $3.75 for a small, $4.25 for a medium, or $5.25 for a large.

2. My Delight Cupcakery‘s Breakfast Cupcake

For over seven years now, My Delight Cupcakery has doled out some of the best cupcakes this side of the Mississippi. During their early years, I recall that they only had their mobile food truck to serve their scrumptious cupcakes out of. Since I discovered My Delight, they have since opened as storefront in a corner of Ontario close to Upland and Montclair. My Delight utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients to give their cupcakes the texture, moisture, and sweetness that makes a cupcake worth it. Prominently, their frosting does not taste overwhelmingly of butter, which many other cupcakeries seem to not pay any attention to. This allows their cupcakes to portray more of the true flavors of the cupcakes rather than the richness found in most other frostings elsewhere. My Delight rotates the flavors of their cupcakes monthly, but they will always carry their standard lineup of cupcakes, such as their popular Breakfast Cupcake: a light & fluffy buttermilk-based cupcake with bits of applewood-smoked bacon, iced with a light & buttery maple frosting, topped with more bacon, and drizzled with maple syrup. You can enjoy breakfast for dessert for $3.25 for a regular-size cupcake or $1.75 for a mini cupcake.

1. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern‘s Old School

If you seek classic American cuisine with an artisanal touch, look no further than Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT). Reinventing traditional restaurant faire, JFAT covers many grounds of cuisine familiar to many with their high-quality approach to cooking. Currently boasting four locations between Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County, and with a fifth location opening soon, JFAT takes what you know about traditional American restaurants and turns it up to eleven. Between brunch, lunch, dinner, and a full bar, any time of the day makes for a great time to stop on by JFAT and enjoy a bite or sip or more. Their beverage offering alone always stays current with the seasons, as they routinely rotate out their craft beer offerings as well as their fine wines. People also love the cocktails at JFAT, as the drinks here range from sweet to spicy, mild to bold, and more. On the food side, JFAT pays close attention to not only the quality, but the portions of their dishes, especially in their desserts such as the Old School. In a large glass goblet, JFAT combines warm chocolate chip cookies, vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and roasted peanuts. This massive dessert that can feed at least two people costs only $12. Of course, if you have a huge sweet tooth like I do, you will want this entire bowl of indulgence to yourself. The classics never go out of style at JFAT, so check them out soon and get your dessert on.

Some time after the frozen yogurt fad took off around 2004-2005, the cupcake trend emerged thanks to the opening of Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills. After their success, hundreds of pastry chefs across the nation followed that trend and soon opened up their own cupcakery. Many have tried, yet many have failed due to bad cupcakes. However, some cupcake stores have proven that they deserve to remain in the business. Some television shows have helped to keep cupcakes in the spotlight, such as Cupcake Wars. With cupcake stores all over the place, it takes some time and dedication to discover which ones truly stand out for the quality of their cupcakes. Throughout my travels, my sweet tooth has led me to a bunch of different dessert places, some classic and some inventive. While I always appreciate new and unique desserts, sometimes it helps to go back to the classics, which has led me to My Delight Cupcakery in Ontario.

For over seven years now, My Delight Cupcakery has doled out some of the best cupcakes this side of the Mississippi. During their early years, I recall that they only had their mobile food truck to serve their scrumptious cupcakes out of. Since I discovered My Delight, they have since opened as storefront in a corner of Ontario close to Upland and Montclair. My Delight utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients to give their cupcakes the texture, moisture, and sweetness that makes a cupcake worth it. Prominently, their frosting does not taste overwhelmingly of butter, which many other cupcakeries seem to not pay any attention to. This allows their cupcakes to portray more of the true flavors of the cupcakes rather than the richness found in most other frostings elsewhere. My Delight rotates the flavors of their cupcakes monthly, so while they will always carry their standard lineup of cupcakes, My Delight will also have a great assortment of seasonal flavors.

My Delight understands the art of baking, as evident in their little packages of goodness. Make a road trip to My Delight, and you will not regret it. Check out what My Delight has baking up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Following up on the ravishing success of their Bacon Festival this past August, Big Bite Events returned this past weekend with a brand new event, the 1st Annual Big Bite Sugar Rush. Although not as large as the aforementioned festival, this dessert festival still managed to draw enough attention that all the attendees and vendors consistently had something to do. Taking place in one of the hangars at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, this festival pulled together dozens of some of Southern California’s top dessert businesses ranging from pastry chefs to caterers to retailers and more. About half of the vendors delivered copious amounts of sweet samples for visitors to munch on as the visitors strolled up and down the aisles gazing upon all the sugary goodness. To keep the attendees occupied throughout the day, some demos and seminars took place for those who desire to learn about creating desserts at home. To spread out the amount of attendees, Big Bite Events held this dessert festival across two days.

Anyone who did research on this event may discover an angry mob of reviews of this organization’s historical events. Excluding the last bacon festival, at least for the past three years’ worth of Big Bite Events’ festivals, too many things went wrong that no one thought that Big Bite Events could rectify their flagship event. Without going into too much detail, major issues involved the steep admission price, parking fees, long lines, low food quality, lack of food, food not fully cooked or heated, meager sample portions, too few vendors, lack of accessible water, and no crowd control. All of these factors over the past few years contributed to bad press for Big Bite Events. This past year, they flipped it around with the Bacon Festival (linked above) that actually managed to operate well, and that organization has carried over to Sugar Rush.

Much like the improvements of their bacon festival, Big Bite Events delivered a dessert festival that surely would please anyone attending. The amount of attendees compared to vendors matched perfectly, as no vendor ever had a long line, and no one had any trouble navigating through the event space. Fortunately, none of the vendors ever ran out of samples either, even with the vendors encouraging attendees to sample as much as they would like. Sugar Rush had a reasonable admission fee too: $10 for general admission, or $20 for VIP that included early admission, a goodie bag, access to a VIP area, and a complimentary alcohol & chocolate pairing. I believe that if Big Bite Events wanted to truly put a “cherry on top” they should have included a free pair of tickets to next year’s OC Fair.

While the Big Bite Events suffered from bad press in the past few years, I believe this year’s two festivals may help to bring them back into good standing. We all hope that they learned from their past mistakes and use this year’s festivals’ overall success to deliver quality events in the future. If you seek out more food & drink goodness, make sure you check out Big Bite Events on Facebook and Twitter for updates regarding future events.

With Halloween right around the corner, why not start preparing yourself for what may transpire? Whether you will indulge on sweets, booze, or other like-minded individuals on such a holiday, the lucky visitors to L.A. Foodie‘s Treatoberfest could partake in a preview of all sorts of adult Halloween celebrations rolled into one. This past Saturday night, the L.A. Foodie crew strutted into Angel City Brewery, where the crew and a slew of great chefs, bakers, and caterers from all over Southern California set up along the back to prepare for a night of serving up all the delicious sweet treats that attendees could handle. L.A. Foodie encouraged attendees to don their best costumes and have some fun among the crowd, as well as take photos in front of the green screen. All throughout the night, attendees could go trick-or-treating by visiting all of the tables and selecting any treat they desired. General admission cost $12, and included unlimited food & dessert samples from all the vendors while supplies lasted. As an added bonus, L.A. Foodie provided to-go boxes so that attendees could take home as many treats as they could fit into the to-go box. Talk about sweetening the deal!

As L.A. Foodie’s second run at this event, they made some changes to go in a different direction this time around. First off, they nixed the $40 VIP package, which included all of the general admission goodies, plus a goodie bag, an LA Foodie t-shirt, a fashionable wristband, and Angel City Brewery goodies. Second, this year’s event utilized the new private space adjacent to the brewery, as opposed to last year’s event in the open tasting room. Most importantly, admission did not include beers this time – last year, admission included three beer tasters. Personally, I noticed fewer dessert vendors than last year… or at least fewer vendors with food we could take home in our provided to-go boxes. Last year, I took home more than could fit in the box. This year, we really could only take home goodies from one of the vendors, as all the other treats likely would not make the ride home due to spilling or melting. This year’s vendors included some from last year, but otherwise mixed it up to include:

 

 

When L.A. Foodie throws an event, they do it right. Although they have not held an event since April, know that they all constantly search for the best of Los Angeles, whether they record podcasts, scout out new restaurants or bars, or put random food in strangers’ mouths. They currently do not have plans for another event, but when they do, they will blast it out to all of their followers. Make sure you like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter to ensure you will know firsthand when they will hold another event.

With Halloween right around the corner, why not start preparing yourself for what may transpire? Whether you will indulge on sweets, booze, or other like-minded individuals on such a holiday, the lucky visitors to L.A. Foodie‘s Treatoberfest could partake in a preview of all sorts of adult Halloween celebrations rolled into one. This past Saturday night, the L.A. Foodie crew strutted into Angel City Brewery, where the crew and a slew of great chefs, bakers, and caterers from all over Southern California set up along the back to prepare for a night of serving up all the delicious sweet treats that attendees could handle. L.A. Foodie encouraged attendees to don their best costumes and have some fun among the crowd, as well as take photos in front of the green screen. All throughout the night, attendees could go trick-or-treating by visiting all of the tables and selecting any treat they desired. General admission cost $15, and included three 4oz beer pours from Angel City Brewery, unlimited food & dessert samples, and $20 Uber ride service gift card for new signups. VIP cost $40, included all of the general admission goodies, plus a goodie bag, an LA Foodie t-shirt, a fashionable wristband, and Angel City Brewery goodies. As an added bonus, L.A. Foodie provided to-go boxes so that attendees could take home as many treats as they could fit into the to-go box. Talk about sweetening the deal!

A total of eleven tables provided sweet treats, plus a booth to serve beer provided by Angel City Brewery. Take a gander at all of the desserts below, and if any of them entice your eyes, please check out their website to learn more about them.

When L.A. Foodie throws an event, they do it right. Although they have not held an event since June, know that they all constantly search for the best of Los Angeles, whether they record podcasts, scout out new restaurants or bars, or put random food in strangers’ mouths. They currently do not have plans for another event, but when they do, they will blast it out to all of their followers. Make sure you like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter to ensure you will know firsthand when they will hold another event.

What happens when you combine two dudes hungry for sliders, beer, and cake? You can cross ‘really bad sitcom’ off the list of guesses, because I refer to Ben & Drew, the two food dudes behind the group L.A. Foodie. Always in search for Los Angeles’ great hidden gems, L.A. Foodie ventures out around Los Angeles County weekly for that perfect bite. In addition to these adventures, they also record a podcast a few times a month, which you can find on their Soundcloud channel. These gentlemen also find time to organize monthly dinner events such as Get Porked, which occurred last month. This month, they returned to a previous event that they host every two months: Bite Flite in Culver City.

Welcome to Bite Flite, a craft beer and gourmet slider pairing dinner at Bar & Garden in Culver City, with endless desserts provided by Mwokaji Cakery. Unlike Get Porked last month, Bite Flite does not follow any structured schedule. Guests simply show up anytime during the event hours, and receive their food and drinks at their leisure. The $22 admission includes one slider, four craft beer tastings, and unlimited desserts. Upon arriving, guests receive tickets good for whatever the ticket says on it: one slider of choice, and four different craft beer tastings to pair with the sliders. Optionally, guests could purchase additional sliders at cost as specified by the vendor.

Vagabond Grillyard provided the food for the night with their mobile grill stand. This mobile catering company crafts gourmet sliders with quality ingredients and find cooking techniques to rival that of official restaurants. Rarely does one find a slider cooked perfectly medium-rare due to the size of the patty, yet Vagabond Grillyard has perfected a perfectly pinkish medium-rare slider patty. They only brought four sliders to serve off their menu, which included:

  • The Signature: grass-fed dry-aged beef, homemade garlic cilantro aioli, sweet onion marmalade, sharp cheddar, wild baby arugula, brioche bun
  • Bacon Bleu: grass-fed dry-aged beef, homemade garlic aioli, caramelized onions, bleu cheese, thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, wild baby arugula, brioche bun
  • Pulled Pork: 12-hour roasted pork shoulder, fried onions, sriracha-poppyseed coleslaw, BBQ sauce, brioche bun
  • Grilled Cheese: American cheese, buttered brioche toast

A local artist even featured some work at Bar & Garden during the event. I did not obtain any contact information, however.

Missed out on Bite Flite? Fear not, as L.A. Foodie runs Bite Flite every other month. Check back again in early August for the announcement of the next Bite Flite, which will likely occur at Bar & Garden again on a Saturday night. Make sure to like L.A. Foodie on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date with all the latest on food & drinks in Los Angeles County!

When people think about dessert, they often imagine sweet treats. Where does this conception of sweet dessert derive from? Upon searching for definitions of dessert, the word usually appears quite often. One dictionary defines dessert as a usually sweet dish usually served at the end of a meal. Why do you suppose civilization has come to the acceptance of sweet desserts? Sources say that humans wanted to balance meals that almost always contained salt or savory flavors, so they added something sweet to follow up. Any respectable health and/or fitness person will tell you not to balance salt with sweet, but instead to chug water to balance the pH levels in the body. Basic science experiments in school teach us that salt absorbs water, which dehydrates humans, while sugar inflates water, which bloats humans. Conclusively, if humans consume a savory meal without drinking adequate water, a sweet dessert would attempt to inflate the water in our bodies, but since the salt absorbed the water, the sugar will inflate other fluids, leading to fat gain. Lesson learned: always drink water with every meal. However, I now digress – you probably now crave something sweet after taking all that in. Continue reading to discover five bacon desserts in the Greater Los Angeles Area that you ought to seek out this season.

5. Chunk N Chip‘s The Elvis

Desserts date back to ancient civilizations, when humans consumed raw products like fruit, honey, and nuts. Over time, as foods evolve, taste evolves too. Time gets to a point where we finally get to do and try things we always wanted to as children, but could not due to age restrictions. When Elvis Presley grew up, he finally could eat peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches to his heart’s content. Those who have not heard of The Elvis may not immediately find this type of sandwich appetizing, but the folks at Chunk N Chip have discovered a fun way of delivering the legacy. Their version of The Elvis consists of bananas foster ice cream and candied bacon sandwiched between two warm peanut butter cookies. The bacon carries a texture similar to candied pecans, or pralines, but with its trademark salty meaty flavor. In this ice cream sandwich, the bacon adds a crunchy texture to an otherwise soft and gooey treat. Chunk N Chip changes their daily selection, so if you crave The Elvis, contact them on Facebook or Twitter and ask when they plan to carry this. Who says no to bacon for dessert?

4. Suite 106 Cupcakery‘s Pancakes N’ Bacon Cupcake


Shown on right

Some time after the frozen yogurt fad took off around 2004-2005, the cupcake trend emerged thanks to the opening of Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills. After their success, hundreds of pastry chefs across the nation followed that trend and soon opened up their own cupcakery. Many have tried, yet many have failed due to bad cupcakes. However, some cupcake stores have proven that they deserve to remain in the business. While Suite 106 Cupcakery lacks their own independent storefront, they make up for it with their moist and delicious cupcakes. Located inside the Victoria Gardens food court in Rancho Cucamonga, Suite 106 utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients to give their cupcakes the texture, moisture, and sweetness that makes a cupcake worth it. Prominently, their frosting does not taste overwhelmingly of butter, which many other cupcakeries seem to not pay any attention to. This allows their cupcakes to portray more of the true flavors of the cupcakes rather than the richness found in most other frostings elsewhere. On weekends, their cupcake rotation includes the popular Pancakes N’ Bacon Cupcakes, a buttermilk spice cake topped with spiced bacon buttercream, real bacon bits, and maple syrup. The concept of bacon cupcakes started just a few years ago, yet many of those so-called bacon cupcakes fail to accurately balance the saltiness of the bacon with the sweetness of the cupcake, not to mention all the terrible frostings I have attempted to taste. Suite 106 understands the art of baking, as evident in their little packages of goodness. Make a road trip to Suite 106, and you will not regret it.

3. Chapter One: The Modern Local‘s Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut

I blame the saturation of generic donut shops across the nation for the poor conception of donuts. In a similar vein to old food trucks, generic donut shops cause most people to view donuts as cheap sugar foods that police like to eat out of convenience. No one ever took donuts seriously until Krispy Kreme expanded in the late 1990’s. Their significant improvements on donuts paved the way for chefs and restaurant owners to attempt their skills at further improving the donut. If you seek one of these superior donuts, look no further than Chapter One: The Modern Local. This little restaurant in Downtown Santa Ana pushes the limits of quality in food, drinks, and service. With an amazing selection of eats & drinks, they constantly hold a full house on weekends. Perhaps everyone crowds around the bar because of their infamous Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut. Take a banana donut, layer it with bourbon maple frosting, marmalade, and cocoa nibs, then brûlée a banana with candied bacon bits, and sit it on top of the donut. This treat attracts eyes everywhere, which will envy anyone ordering this epic donut. The rich donut carries more density than standard donuts, so I suggest splitting the donut if possible. Once you do finally get to dig in to this donut, remember to scoop a little of every ingredient in each bite. All ingredients contribute to the dish, so you do not want to miss any feature of it.

2. The Factory Gastropub‘s Breakfast For Dessert

The media does an evil job of portraying sweets for breakfast. When kids watch commercials saying “Trix are for kids,” they program into their minds that they should eat that sugary cereal for breakfast. Sadly, many cereals oriented towards kids carry more sugar than a candy bar. I mean, how can anyone consider Lucky Charms an acceptable breakfast? Marshmallows have no place at the breakfast table. Real people eat bacon for breakfast! But what if you want to enjoy your bacon breakfast later in the day? If you so please, you can have your bacon breakfast and eat it later in the day too at The Factory Gastropub in the Bixby Knolls community of Long Beach. In this quaint neighborhood, The Factory attracts gourmet food and craft beer lovers from all over to soak in the smooth atmosphere in a quiet setting. The taps pour local brews, while the kitchen cooks up local organic and sustainable ingredients. They love to experiment with food often, and will host special dinner nights every now and then as test plates for customers to try. When an experiment works, it earns a spot on their menu. In the case of Breakfast For Dessert, this genius idea easily won hearts and a permanent spot on the dessert menu. This plate receives a scoop of peanut butter ice cream, sea salt focaccia French toast, stout-chocolate-covered bacon, and maple syrup. With as much butter as they use in the French toast, you would swear Paula Deen made this dish. The stout they use for the bacon depends on the current stout on tap. Fast food has capitalized on the idea of breakfast any time of the day, so when a local restaurant seizes this idea, one can expect great things to churn out of the kitchen. To get your bacon, breakfast, and dessert all on the same plate, head to The Factory and order the Breakfast For Dessert.

1. Animal Restaurant‘s Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar

If it moos, oinks, baas, clucks, coos, or swims, you can eat it. Only the brave can stomach what the public does not accept as “normal” food. But when has conformity stopped anyone from doing what they want to do? The media explains the acceptance of eating chicken, pork, and beef, but at the same time, the media loves to display groups like PETA, providing a contradictory stance of survival of the fittest. As such, most people find it unacceptable to eat meats like lamb, venison, wild boar, and more. In addition, most people do not consider all parts of an animal as food, and thanks to the media, the general public shuns the notion of eating animal parts like offals, guts, and other appendages. When cooked right, people have nothing to fear, and the lads at Animal Restaurant boldly go where no chef has gone before – into the hearts of the animals. A legendary institution of Fairfax, the folks at Animal treat every party of an animal’s body with utmost care and equality. They do not discriminate against which part of the animal goes into a dish, believing in reducing waste by consuming everything. The main menu changes monthly depending on the market’s offerings, but the dessert menu remains fairly consistent. When you carry something famous like the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar, you would think twice about modifying that section of the menu. This dense bar of chocolate and bacon gets served with salt & pepper ice cream and vanilla bean powder. Take a moment to understand the constituents of the plate. First off, look at that Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar. They carefully layer the bar to appear like a glorified bacon strip after slicing it. No term can accurately describe the bar, since its high density makes it beyond a cake. Now look at that ball of ice cream… Salt & Pepper ice cream. They took it a step beyond vanilla bean ice cream and made their own unique ice cream flavor, tasting like a cold creamy treat of salt and pepper. I dare you to find salt and pepper ice cream like this anywhere else in the world. Just to bring things back into perspective, the plate gets topped off with vanilla bean powder. Do not underestimate the small stature of this plate – this dense bar will easily fill up one person, so take care of yourself and whoever else you bring here by splitting the bar and ice cream. Everybody wins in this case.

Eat dessert first.

This past Saturday, many people had the chance to enjoy the 9th Annual Belmont Shore Chocolate Festival. Taking place throughout 2nd Street, this event follows a pay-as-you-go system, where guests pay for what they plan to consume, just like Belmont Shore’s annual Stroll & Savor series. For the adults wanting to get more involved than simply eating, organizers hold a Homemade Dessert Contest every year, allowing any home baker/cook to submit their unique creations for a small entry fee. For anyone wanting to have fun while eating, organizers also hold free pie-eating contests for all ages. However, the main attraction lies with the local businesses that set up to vend their sweet treats to guests. One booklet of 12 tickets costs $10 each, equating to roughly $0.83 per ticket. 12 tickets seems like a little, but when everything costs 1-3 tickets, one booklet will fill an average person up, especially since most 3-ticket plates come with a lot of desserts. The leniency of purchasing food tickets makes this event and Stroll & Savor so popular, since guests can choose how much to pay for, and can always buy more tickets if they plan to eat more. Observe below a sample of the goodies one could obtain from Chocolate Fest:

Mocha Chocolate Croissant Pudding from Boubouffe:

Homemade Brown Butter Orange Cake w/ Chocolate Labne & Fudge Frosting, topped w/ Cardomon Crunch from Buona Gente:

Red Velvet Bundt Cake from Creative Cakery:

Assorted mini-cupcakes from Frosted Cupcakery:

Chocolate Soda Float from Powell’s Sweet Shoppe:

Chocolate Truffles from Simmzy’s:

Gelato Bombes from La Strada; left to right: Raspberry Gelato, Raspberry Sorbet-filled Dark Chocolate Gelato, Espresso Gelato

Missed out on Chocolate Fest? The food version, Stroll & Savor, returns on May 15th, so plan to visit The Shore in mid-May!