Location: 215 Madison Avenue, Toronto
People: this is not a drill. The chocolate hazelnut croissant at MoRoCo Chocolat is mind-blowing. It’s the best pastry I’ve had in a long, long time, and yes — I’m including my recent ten-day trip to Paris. It’s an all-timer.
Everything about it is amazing: you’ve got the croissant itself, which is buttery and flaky and delicious. There’s the perfectly crispy sweet hazelnut topping, which is basically like the topping of an almond croissant, only with hazelnuts, and which goes perfectly with the rich, chocolately filling.
And the icing on the metaphorical cake? The absolutely astonishing custard, which might have been the best custard I’ve ever had.
And I mean, who expects custard in a croissant like this? It’s weird, right? But good weird. The best weird. It’s what pushed this over the top and made it one of the best damn things I’ve eaten in such a long time. It was creamy and rich, with a flavour that I can only describe as the platonic ideal of custards. It’s the kind of custard that makes all other custards taste like garbage, because it’s so damn perfect.
It took something that was already delicious and made it crazy delicious.
I’m not sure why you’re even still reading this when you should clearly be driving/walking/sprinting to MoRoCo to buy one. Just be warned: after taking a couple of bites and realizing that this was the best thing ever, I promptly went back into the store so I could buy another one or two (or three). But that was it. Apparently they only make one or two a day. So get there early. It’s worth it.
The macarons from Ladurée were delicious. You probably shouldn’t eat them.
I got four of them, and they cost about 15 bucks with tax ($14.92, actually), and seriously: get the hell out of here with those prices. I don’t care if you’re using the highest of high-end ingredients, there’s no way to justify charging $3.73 each for these tiny little things.
They are quite good, though. I tried hazelnut, pistachio, salted caramel and coconut lime.
They were amazing; maybe the best macarons I’ve ever had. The texture was the perfect contrast of crispy, airy, and creamy, and the flavours were uniformly great. Even the coconut lime, which I was kind of skeptical about, was top notch. It had a really satisfying coconut flavour, with a mild zinginess from the lime that never overwhelms.
But those prices? Nope.
Can that be my whole review? Just meh? It’s my blog, so yeah, it can. But fine, I’ll expand on that a little bit.
Nugateau is a fancy eclair place that is (for now, at least) in the Concept section of Yorkdale Mall (they have a permanent location on Queen Street as well).
I tried a pistachio and a salted caramel eclair, and they were both fine, I guess — but if I’m paying six or seven bucks for an eclair the size of a spring roll, I kinda want to be blown away. Nothing about the custardy filling in either of these things particularly stood out in any meaningful way.
Worse, they both tasted like they had been filled way in advance. The pastry was… well, “mushy” might be overstating it, but it had seen better days, that’s for sure.
Location: 190 University Avenue, Toronto
When the much-anticipated Momofuku opened its doors in Toronto a few months back, it was missing one key piece (in my sugar-addled, dessert-craving mind at least): the Milk Bar, where they serve up cookies, pastries, and perhaps most famously, Crack Pie.
That omission has finally been rectified, with all kinds of treats available in a walk-in closet-sized space on Momofuku’s second floor (all baked, oddly enough, in New York and shipped here on a daily basis).
What’s Crack Pie? it’s basically a sugar pie, or a butter tart without the raisins, or a pecan pie without the pecans. It’s nothing you haven’t had many times before, which makes its moniker a bit of an over-sell; it’s good, but I’m not going to be rushing out to have another one. It’s not quite as addictive as its name implies (and whether a small slice is worth six dollars is up for debate).
I will be back, however, to try some of their cookies, which are much more reasonably priced at two bucks each.
My favourite thing about the Crack Pie is probably the crust. Though the filling is quite tasty, if a bit overly sweet, the crust is pretty great. It’s dense and buttery, with a thin, crispy layer of caramelized sugar on the outside. It’s probably the closest thing to crack-like addictiveness in this pie.
Location: 3076 Bloor Street West, Etobicoke
So the carrot cake from Bake Sale bakery? Best store-bought cake I’ve ever had. Seriously. Most store-bought cakes have the same airy, vaguely processed texture that I find somewhat unappealing. Not this cake; this one is dense, moist, and very close to cake perfection.
It has walnuts interspersed throughout, which add a satisfying textural component as well as a vague nuttiness that compliments the cake quite well.
The cream cheese frosting is rich and sweet, but not overly so. It’s also really well proportioned, giving you a perfect amount of cake and frosting in each bite.
It’s raisin-free, which I found delightful. Hey raisins: what’s the point of you? Go home. No one likes you.
Look, it’s a classic carrot cake. They’re not reinventing the wheel here. This isn’t someone’s take on a carrot cake; it is a carrot cake, executed to absolute perfection.