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Friday, July 13, 2007

Vanilla Bake Shop

New(ish) bakery alert!

I'd heard whispers about this place on-line, but didn't know where it was until I drove right by it today (the south side of the 500 block of Wilshire in Santa Monica).

I'm long over the cupcake craze, so I got an icebox "cake" instead. I think if Angelenos can get over their lemming-like devotion to cupcakes, they'll realize that the icebox cake is Vanilla's strength. They have interesting flavors like dirt cake, tiramisu, Southern banana pudding, and key lime. All winning combinations in my book, though I could do without the fancy (and pricey)jar. Shot glass versions of the icebox cakes are available for $3. Incidentally, shot glass desserts have also hit Whole Foods.

Truly, one of the best desserts I've had in a long time. The whipped cream is fresh and light, and the chocolate mousse is exquisite in its intensity. They did not skimp on quality or dumb down the mousse with sugar and milk chocolate. The cake crumbles are slightly chewy like a browny, and actually more salty than sweet.
The best thing about this dessert? It is so reserved in its use of sugar that the aftertaste is just as savory as it is sugary. This is not a dessert that coats your tongue in sugar and makes you thirst for milk or water. Delicious. Easily enough dessert for two, $8.


She-Hulk said...

I love the vintage style wallpaper of the place. What a great dessert find. :)

Pei said...

That's actually the awning outside, for anyone who plans to drive by and look for it! It's hard to miss.

carnationgal said...

Hi Pei,

Just discovered your site via your chowhound post and have scanned through some of your other food posts and have enjoyed it a lot, especially the reviews and recipes for Asian food.

One wedding related note, in case you have not yet decided on a wedding cake, Amy Berman, one of the owners of Vanilla Bake Shop, also does wedding cakes. She did mine last year, when she was still doing mainly mini-desserts and before the shop opened. She'll do tastings. We had a meyer lemon cake with lemon curd and fresh rasberries, with vanilla buttercream frosting. Just one flavor as it would have been too hard to deal with more than one if folks wished they had a different one. Overall, it was very good, not too sweet (and even the Asians, which was my side of the guests) seemed to enjoy. Good luck with planning the rest of your wedding. We also married on a Sunday (what a savings, even though we ended up spending quite a bit). The best was finding great vendors still available at the last minute.