Location: 583 Gerrard Street East, Toronto
Soul Chocolate is a delightful chocolate/coffee shop on the east end that has some seriously satisfying chocolate soft serve. Like, ridiculously satisfying.
I also tried the chocolate chunk cookie, and that’s very good too — it has a nice chewy texture, a sweet buttery flavour, and a whole bunch of great quality chocolate chunks. It’s lightly sprinkled with just the right amount of salt to offset its sweetness.
As delicious as the cookie is (and it’s extremely delicious), it’s overshadowed by the phenomenal soft serve.
Seriously: this stuff is pure magic. It’s perfectly rich and creamy, though it’s the intense chocolatey flavour that really makes it stand out. It’s got that bold flavour that you only get from great quality dark chocolate, and it’s amazing.
It actually reminds me of the thick, rich drinking chocolate that they serve at Soma — only it’s ice cream. If you’re thinking that sounds delightful, you are correct. It is delightful. Extremely delightful.
Location: 1121 Queen Street East, Toronto
I kind of hate going to a good bakery, because I want to eat that, and that, and that, and that, but there’s only so much room inside my stomach. It’s kind of like Sophie’s Choice, but at least she only had two children to choose between; there’s like a dozen things here that look delicious.
I wound up going with the Cookies and Cream cupcake at Bobbette and Belle, but there were so many other pastries I could have picked. Everything looked great.
I’d say I chose pretty well. The cupcake features a chocolate base topped with an Oreo-infused frosting. It’s delightful. The cake is nice and moist, with a satisfying chocolatey flavour. And the frosting is sweet (but not overly sweet) and creamy, with a nice balance of cookie chunks. It’s one of the better cupcakes I’ve had in a while.
Location: 160 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Sukoshi Mart is a little Japanese convenience store in Kensington Market that sells hard-to-find Japanese goods. They also sell freshly-made taiyaki, a waffle-like dessert that’s traditionally filled with either red bean or custard.
I like this place. If you’re looking for Japanese snacks or candy, it’s worth a visit.
The taiyaki, on the other hand? Not so much.
It’s fine. It’s perfectly edible, but the exterior is dense and doughy, and the red bean is overly sweet. It’s also misshapen and haphazard, so it doesn’t even have the (usually) delightful visual component. It’s not the best.
Location: 13 Baldwin Street, Toronto
One of the things that takes some getting used to in Asia is that some countries there consider white bread to essentially be a dessert. More than once, I’ve gone to a convenience store and bought what appears to be a Twinkie-esque pastry, only to realize that it’s just a plain white bun, like a hot dog bun.
Which is to say that if you’ve never had the type of Japanese cream bun they serve at Hattendo, you might be surprised to discover that the bun itself is basically just a soft, fluffy hamburger bun. Once you get used to it, however, it’s quite tasty.
I tried three: custard, chocolate, and red bean. The bun itself is quite nice. It’s soft, fluffly, and just a little bit sweet.
The custard was my least favourite of the three flavours. It was nice and creamy, but the flavour was middling; there just wasn’t much to it.
The chocolate was much better, with a pronounced cocoa-infused flavour and a satisfyingly restrained level of sweetness.
The red bean was the best of the three. If you normally don’t like beany sweets, this might just be the perfect gateway dessert — it’s super creamy and tasty, with a really nice balance between the creamy custard and the sweet red beans.
Location: 205 Delaware Avenue, Toronto
Chocolate cream pie is one of those desserts that’s incredibly simple (it’s basically just chocolate pudding in a pie crust), but incredibly satisfying.
There’s not much to say about this; it’s exactly what you’re hoping it’ll be.
The filling is dense and rich, with a very pronounced bittersweet chocolate flavour that’s nice and intense without being overpowering.
The cream helps to cut the richness from the chocolate filling, and the little bits of chocolate on top add additional texture and flavour.
The crust is nothing to write home about, though the pie was in the “day old” section of the bakery at a discount, so it’s possible it might have been better when it was just baked. There certainly wasn’t anything wrong with it, but nothing about it jumped out at me. The balance between the chocolate and the cream was so tasty, however, that it really didn’t matter.