Mom just asked, "What if we made one of the candies with buttermilk? Or how about bourbon?" I think she's really getting into playing with flavors. It got me thinking. What have been some of my favorite flavors?
Let's start with the sweet flavors and save the savory ones for a later post.
1. Crack Pie at Momofuku Milk Bar. This isn't called "crack" for no reason. It's one of the densest pies I've ever eaten. Skillfully cut and packaged into a little cardboard sleeve to protect it and keep it cool. From deep in the pocket of your tote bag it calls to you and you think, "just one bite." Yeah, right. You're standing in place on the sidewalk, eyes wide, and mouth full of this delectable dessert. It's impossible to stop. Sooner than you think it's disappeared and you're tipping the brown package skywards to catch any crumbs with your tongue. It's gone. And just like that, you want more.
2. Royal Milk Tea. I lived in Nagoya, Japan twelve years ago and this flavor still haunts me. I search for it when I'm in New York and I find it on occasion but it's not quite the same. Royal Milk Tea is a drink. You can find it in both the cold and hot vending machines and it's also in the grocery stores as a powdered mix. This was my go-to beverage of choice. It's an Earl Grey tea flavor mixed with the sticky sweetness of condensed milk, but it's not condensed milk. I think it's the Japanese version of condensed milk. It's light and delicious without any heavy aftertaste. It's got the rich Bergamot essence somewhere too. If you can find it, give it a try.
3. Hot Chocolate at City Bakery. If you've had it then you don't need to read any further. You know what I'm going to say. First tip, get a small because unless you're a seasoned foodie with a professional stomach the large will put you in a coma. Middle of winter, probably snowy, this place is like a beacon. The ambiance only adds to the flavor. Big glass picture windows look out onto the street. The tiny cafe tables and turquoise leatherette booths lined up along the walls surrounding a picture-perfect, central serving station. Hands wrapped around the iconic blue and white striped cup. One sip and it's a taste of heaven. Warm, spicy, creamy and almost like a melted Fudgesicle with a kick of cayenne. It's rich. It's so rich I almost can't drink it all, but I do. I feel sick, but it's so worth it. Belly warmed, I can face the cold street again. Order this along with a fresh Pretzel Croissant. The saltiness of the croissant only brings out the sweetness of the rich cocoa.
4. Southern Red Velvet Cake. I was born in the South and like a true representative thereof I am a big fan of Red Velvet Cake. I am also a Georgia Bulldog through and through, therefore I'm also a fan of the color red. The best Red Velvet Cake I ever had was at the now closed Athens Coffee House. A close second is the Red Velvet Torte at Cafe Intermezzo in Atlanta, Georgia. Greatest little European coffee house vibe and excellent eats and treats. This Red Velvet Torte has actual fresh strawberries mixed into the red Devil's Food cake batter and it's pure genius. The best fruity hit to partner with the moist cake and cream cheese frosting.
5. Nutella. Unscrew the top. Peel back the thin silver foil. Dip your spoon in and dinner is served. I can think of more than one occasion that a few teaspoons of this stuff kept me going through the afternoon slump. Hazelnut & milk chocolate. European kids eat it for breakfast. That means it has to be good for you, right? It is. So good.Did I jog your memory? What are a few of your favorite sweets?