Charlene Jaszewski

Sassy redhead living in the big apple.
Content wrangler and boss of words.
Photographer of random NY things. Likes cheese, old leather things and geekery.
Sugar Pusher of sweet treats.

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  • So, i have found a worthy contender for raised donut hall of fame in New York. It’s DOUGH in Brooklyn. They deliver to many places around Brooklyn (and are at the Brooklyn Flea on weekends) but with any raised donut, eating them within a few hours of making is key to maximum nomness. So scoot on down to their Brooklyn location, where they bake donuts most of the day! Their hours are 7am-7pm EVERY DAY! However, I’ve noticed they don’t put out fresh donuts after 6pm.

    This one is chocolate with Early Grey tea (which I can’t taste, actually). But the dough is incredibly tender, and there is a proper amount of icing.

  • I was having lunch at Lucia’s cafe in minneapolis today when i spied a pavlova. A pavlova is a meringue-based dessert, usually simply topped with fruit and whipped cream. This one had blackberries, raspberries and hazelnuts. I’ve been off sugar for a while so while it was mild, it was a little too sweet for me!

  • Review of the Cupcake Cafe

    In the days before I had this blog, I used to do reviews on Yelp (before I discovered their selective reviewing.) Here’s a review I wrote about the cupcake Cafe in New York.

    ______________________________________________________________

    If you like hanging out in a quirky place, drinking coffee made by a crabby barista, and eating stunningly beautiful but dry, brick-like cupcakes served by equally crabby purveyors who would spit on you if they could, this is the place for you!  

    Here’s an actual conversation I witnessed between a slovenly bearded barista and a woman.

    Woman: “Hi, I’m wondering if you do children’s parties here?”
    Crusty dude: (silence, while he looks at her like she’s nuts). “Uh….no.”
    Woman: “Oh, I saw a sign out front with kids on it for this place, so I thought you did.”
    Crusty: “Huh.” (crazy bitch) “Where did you see that sign?” (i can’t believe you’re asking me stupid questions like this)
    Woman: “Um…right out front, in the window.”
    Crusty: SIGH “well…we don’t do that.”
    Me, seeing a way to stir up trouble: “you know who DOES do children’s parties? Buttercup bakery!”
    Woman (excited): “oh really??”
    Me: “oh yeah! the kids get to frost their own cupcakes and everything!”
    Crusty: “Oh, but OUR cupcakes have REAL BUTTECREAM in the frosting, not crisco.”
    Me: “oh, too bad the frosting is on top of cupcake-shaped bricks though.”

    Ok so I didn’t really say that last sentence. But everything up until that point was true.
    I only gave it two stars because the coffee was pretty good, and I like the decor.

  • Donuts are the red-headed stepchild to cupcakes in this country, especially cake donuts, and that’s a crying, unsprinkled shame. Everyone seems enamored of yeast donuts (Krispy Kreme anyone?) So when I found out that Donut Cooperative was opening in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, my donut-loving heart gave out a little squee. Locally sourced, organic ingredients? Double squee. I grabbed a friend and we hit the shop in the first week of opening. CAKE CAKE CAKE DONUTS AS FAR AS THE EYE COULD SEE! Well, maybe just a few racks. Kind of sparse, actually, for ten o'clock in the morning. We ordered up a chocolate ganache cake donut, powdered sugar, and cinnamon sugar donuts.

    THE GOOD: it was still warm. The texture of the donut was very nice. A tender crumb, and dense but not too heavy.

    THE BAD:

    • The outer shell of a cake donut should be slightly crispy (IMHO) but this shell was too thick, and too greasy. And in some cases, a little burnt (look how dark they are in the pictures above).
    • No matter what flavor we tried, the donut itself had the same flavor, only the frosting changed. While a vanilla base is fine to showcase interesting frosting, would it be too much to ask to have a chocolate cake base once in a while?

    THE UGLY: They almost refused to sell me a large order of donuts due to supply issues.

    I wanted to give them a second chance after my initial visit. I wanted to give them some time to hit their stride, figure out their recipes, etc. So a few weeks later I stopped in to get a few dozen donuts for an event. I walked in and announced, “I’d like to give you money in exchange for two dozen donuts.” Expecting a hero’s welcome (I obviously don’t get out much), I thought they’d respond, “yes ma'am! What can I get you?” Instead the counterperson replied, “uh…I don’t think I can sell you that many. We need to have donuts for when people come in. If they come in and see empty racks…”

    “Wait.” I said.

    “Are you telling me you’re going to turn away a sure sale right now, just in case two dozen random people come and want donuts?"  Luckily, before they could answer, someone with more business sense came over and said, "We’ll sell you the donuts.”

    If you can’t keep enough donuts on the racks to supply your customers, don’t penalize the customers, improve your supply chain.

    Since then I’ve heard that they have expanded to yeast donuts, but I’m unbehooved to go back. It’s too bad, I really really wanted to like them.

  • Looking for a smoky-sweet tender caramel? I just discovered the dark chocolate sea salt caramels from Jo’s Candies. If you’re in Minneapolis, they are sold at Bibelot stores. If not, they can be found on the intertubez. Through someone’s lack of pricing skills, the two pack (.97 each) is a better deal than the 9 piece ($1.67 each) bulk pack.

    Added bonus: the confectioners have mastered the fine art of getting the sea salt to stick to the chocolate on its way to your mouth.

  • Cinnamon cardamom donuts at Muddy Waters, Minneapolis, MN

  • Had the best maple long john of my LIFE at Bloedow’s in Winona, MN. the most tender soft dough.

  • I’ve noticed that the midwest is often a testing ground for new snack foods. Found this today. Quite tasty!

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