Delicious Bread Pudding and Pie at Bobbette and Belle

Bobbette and BelleLocation: 1121 Queen Street East, Toronto
Website: http://bobbetteandbelle.com/

It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that Bobbette and Belle is one of the best bakeries in the GTA.  Maybe the best?  It’s right up there, that’s for sure.

I tried the apple bread pudding on a recent visit, which they heat up and serve with a very tasty custard sauce.  I mean, look at it.  Do I even need to mention that it’s delicious?  Of course it’s delicious.

Bobbette and Belle

It’s crispy on its exterior and creamy inside, with a great custardy flavour.  The apples give it a nice zing, and the melty chocolate (yes, there’s melty chocolate in there, in case it didn’t already seem amazing enough) compliments it so well.  My only real complaint is that the apples are a bit crisp.  I know some people like their apples firm in pies and baked goods, but those people are wrong.  Tender apples 4 eva.

Still, the whole thing is so tasty that it just barely matters.

On another visit (yeah, I’ve been there a bunch, so what, wanna fight about it?) I tried the coconut banana cream pie, which was even better.

Bobbette and Belle

I love both banana cream pies and coconut cream pies, so I have no idea why it never occurred to me that you could combine the two, but you can and it’s amazing.  There’s also a layer of dulce de leche at the bottom of the pie, which gives the whole thing a rich, caramely flavour — and yet it’s not too sweet.  It’s perfect.

The crust is great too — crispy but not overly crunchy, with a nice buttery flavour and a mild sweetness that works amazingly well with the rest of the pie.  The whole thing is ridiculously good.

Mediocre Doughnuts at Donut Monster

Donut MonsterLocation: 28 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.donutmonster.ca/

Donut Monster is a really acclaimed doughnut joint from Hamilton that recently opened a location in Toronto’s Stackt Market.  I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about their doughnuts for a while now — if they hadn’t opened an outpost in Toronto, taking a long drive to Hamilton might have been in order.

I’m so glad I didn’t drive all the way to Hamilton for this.

Donut Monster

I tried the Cherry Cheesecake Bullseye, which features sour cherry pie filling, cream cheese icing, and a graham cracker crumble.

I know a lot of people are more concerned about a doughnut’s fillings/toppings than anything else, and on that level this was pretty decent — the balance between the tart cherries and the sweet frosting was actually quite good.

Donut Monster

But the doughnut itself was seriously disappointing; it was dense and dry and boring.  It was like Wonder Bread.  There’s nothing to it.  I’m pretty sure the prepacked doughnuts you can get at the supermarket aren’t much worse.

It certainly wasn’t unpleasant, but from a high-end doughnut place it’s a huge let-down.

Sweet Greek Doughnuts at Lukumum

LukumumLocation: 484 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://www.lukumum.com/

The Greek doughnuts (a.k.a. loukoumades) they serve at Lukumum are intensely sweet.  They’re also extremely delicious.

I tried loukoumades at Loukoumania Cafe in Vaughan last year; the ones at Lukumum are twice as sweet.  Three times as sweet?  They’re way sweeter.

Lukumum

I tried a couple of varieties.  I went with the classic, which is soaked through with syrup and topped with honey and cinnamon, and the hazelnut, which is soaked with syrup and topped with Nutella and hazelnuts.

Lukumum

Both were delicious, though I preferred the classic.  Despite being soaked through with syrup, the exterior remains pleasantly crunchy.  The inside is completely suffused with syrup, but it’s not mushy.  It’s great.  The honey adds even more sweetness, and a nice floral note that goes very well with the cinnamon.

The Nutella variety is tasty as well — Nutella makes anything delicious — but the original is more unique.

Pumpkin Butter Tarts at La Casa Dolce

La Casa DolceLocation: 755 Queensway East, Mississauga
Website: https://lacasadolce.ca/

My first time hearing about La Casa Dolce, an Italian bakery in Mississauga that specializes in desserts, was when I recently saw a photo of the Pumpkin Butter Tart on Instagram.

Obviously, I felt an immediate and overwhelming urge to eat it ASAP.  Why?  Look at it, that’s why.

La Casa Dolce

Butter tarts are delicious.  Pumpkin pies are delicious.  Surely when you cram the two desserts together, you must end up with something magical.  Right…?

Well, maybe not.

La Casa Dolce

It’s certainly not bad; it’s one of those things that would be very difficult to completely mess up.  But the one-note sweet butter tart is nothing special, and it completely overwhelms the comparatively subtle pumpkin pie filling.

La Casa Dolce

The crust is the weakest part — it’s soft, doughy, and bland.  The tart is mostly inoffensively tasty, but that crust does its best to bring the whole thing down.  It definitely makes me wary to go back and try some of La Casa Dolce’s other baked goods.

Oh, and that stuff on top that looks like cream?  It’s actually Cool Whip or something similar.  It’s not great.

An Interesting Cinnamon Bun at Fika Cafe

Fika CafeLocation: 28 Kensington Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://www.fika.ca/

I’ve tried to get the cinnamon bun from Fika Cafe a few times, and it’s been sold out every time.

I finally got one.  It was worth the wait.

Fika Cafe

Fika Cafe is a Swedish bakery and coffee shop in Kensington Market; they sell a Swedish-style cinnamon bun, and it’s fantastic.

It’s basically like a cross between a Swedish cardamom bun and a more traditional cinnamon roll, and it’s so damn good.  It tastes more strongly of cinnamon than cardamom, but that slightly floral cardamom taste is definitely there; it’s a delightful balance.

Fika Cafe

Everything else about it is pretty much perfect — it has the perfect amount of sweetness, with a light sugary glaze and additional pops of sweetness and texture from the  pearl sugar on top.  It’s pretty restrained, however, so if you’re expecting a Cinnabon-esque sugar-bomb, look elsewhere.

The pastry itself is dense but not too dense, with a nice chewy texture and just the right amount of fluffiness.  And of course, the aforementioned cinnamon/cardamom balance is just right.  It’s one of the best pastries I’ve had in a while.