Local Treats (Winter Garden Edition): David Ramirez’s Chocolates & Macaroons Review

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Macaroons are everywhere, and they should be. This decadent French treat has been around for centuries and has not lost its *insert trendy French word here to describe anything cope/cool/wavy/sassy, followed by a suffix of -ness*. These petite treats, of so very delicate and challenging to make are competition to many other baked goods, and you can find a variety in the Orlando, Winter Park and Winter Garden Area.

David Ramirez’s chocolates, a Winter Garden Plant Market vendor, has decadent varieties of macaroons. They’re honestly one of the best I’ve ever tasted, amongst my favorite (another favorite being Le Macaroon, in Winter Park). My first time there, I noticed the generous sizes and fun flavors, such as mango raspberry, staple flavors like vanilla, chocolates, strawberries, rose and lavender to fun fall flavors, like pumpkin and apple pie. My first out of three was the birthday cake. The “upper shell” and bottom tasted like a standard macaroon vanilla flavor, but the cream filling was a perfect replica of cake batter with fun sprinkles.The texture was pillowy.

Image may contain: foodThe pumpkin, my favorite, was spicy in terms of fall flavors, with a great combo of sweet and last- the mango raspberry, my favorite, has a perfect balance of mango and tart raspberry. On another visit, I tried bacon and peanut butter. Addicting. I love anything salty and sweet, and found this eccentric pairing a winner. Salted caramel was also memorable. The caramel having a deeply buttery aftertaste to dance with the salt.

 

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The chocolate varieties are a fun and colorful assortment. I decided to give the cinnamon habanero chocolate a try. Perfection. The dark chocolate subtly hugs the cinnamon and the habanero peeks its head out. Not at all overpowering.

 

 

Have you ever tried this chocolatier or the macaroons/gelato? What were your thoughts? Don’t forget to rate, comment and subscribe!

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Chocolate Pretzel Donut

Dunkin Donuts. Hi. Remember that one time our friendship was compromised when you created the vanilla truffle donut? You’ve redeemed yourself when you make the chocolate pretzel, and now, we’re besties again. Yay for forgiveness!

    I’m a sucker for salty and sweet flavor combo in sweets, and it’s an exciting thing. You’ve managed to catch on very well. The donut features a chocolate cake textured donut, fluffy and decadent. Then you guys take it to level 2 with your fancy pretzel bits. But that’s not all. No sir. You guys add caramel. Well played, Dukin Donuts. 

    I love this donut because it has layers of flavors that are both strong and enticing. The chocolate cake almost mimics a dark chocolate depth on the tongue; the caramel is infused with the salt from the pretzels, and the tastebuds comes alive. Thank you. 

    TheTalkingSpoon Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud. (4 and a half stars out of 5). This has become an addiction. That is all. 

    What are your thoughts? Love it? Dislike it? Wanna marry it like me? Do tell! Don’t forget to comment, like and subscribe. ūüėä

    Vanilla Truffle Donut

    Dunkin Donuts new donut sounds fancier than it tastes. The vanilla truffle donut launched a few weeks ago, alongside a salted whipped cream cold brew coffee, grabbing foodies attention everywhere. I gave the truffle donut a try, but wasn’t quite won over. 

    The truffle donut features curled milk and white chocolate shavings atop a bed of milk chocolate glaze. Inside wasn’t a delicate, vanilla Bavarian silken custard as I hoped for. No. Inside was what tasted like a condensed whipped cream filling. Perhaps I expected more (and how could you not with such a sophisticated name), but I wasnt thrilled. I actually gagged a bit. 

    TheTalkingSpoon Yumfactor: 2 tongues, 1 tastebuds (2.5 stars out of 5) The presentation is artful, and I love the shavings. The chocolate on The donut is always enjoyable. The filling was a bit boring to me.
    What are your thoughts?

    Ihop’s Cupcake Pancakes ūüėć

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    If you haven’t tried Ihop’s limited time cupcake pancakes, you’re missing out. Inspired by bakery-themed sweets, this item is part of a trio of treats, including a cinnamon swirl brioche French toast and red velvet crepes. I have yet to try the other two, but the cupcake pancake features a cake-flavored batter, sprinkles and a sprinkled frosting, that is surprisingly appropriately sweet for both children and adults.

    I highly recommend the combo featuring eggs, bacon and sausage (in my case, turkey bacon and sausage) with the red potato hash versus the hash browns. These are cubed potatoes with onions and peppers. Translation, a party on a plate.

    Cupcake Pancake Yumfactor: 4 tongues. Addicting and fun.

    Red Potato Hash Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a taste bud. A great alternative if you’re not into hash browns like me.

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    Must Try Foods: Super Target’s Limited Time S’mores Cupcake.

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    S’mores perfection, but bite sized.

    In honor of summer (which is nearly done) ¬†Target has released their delicious s’mores cupcakes. I have been meaning to do a blog on these delights a few months ago, but was to busy cramming my face with these to blog about them. ūüėÄ These mini desserts are made with a chocolate cake base and a divide of marshmallow creme icing, and chocolate icing. To top it all off you also receive a dash of crumbled graham crackers to add texture, and the authenticity of the classic s’mores flavor.

    I have to say I have enjoyed snacking on these because I love s’mores. The marshmallow icing is delicious, and I can’t resist these. Another benefit is the size as you can control how many calories you intake and control the amount of sugar you consume. The serving size is 3 mini cupcakes, which total out to 330 calories, individually ¬†110 per cupcake. If you are watching your sugar, or trying to practice self-discipline while you snack on sweets, you may like the portion control. As for the rest of us who gobble up things without regards to self-discipline, 3 may not suffice! These are delicious, and the¬†flavors¬†are a fun, well balanced treat perfect not only for summer, but for the entire year. Too bad they won’t be¬†available¬†for that long!

    You get 12 in a pack for $2.50 or $2.99. Yes, I know it’s pretty bad I can’t remember the price, and I cannot find my receipt at the moment :-/ Either way, try them if you can. You won’t be sorry, unless sugar scares you.

    S’mores cupcake Yumfactor:¬†4 tongues and a taste bud. It’s just really good. Only thing is, they may go fast if you love them as much as I do. And I don’t even share these.

    Why Eating Ben & Jerry’s Boston Cream Ice Cream Should Be A Sin.

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    Boston Cream Pie Ice Cream

    First off, I don’t literally mean to imply that this ice cream breeches any¬†sanctimonious¬†rituals of daily life, or acts to be a¬†blasphemous¬†force to be reckoned with. Not to mention the looming feelings of guilt I felt after indulging in this delciousness. I’m simply saying that this luxurious ice cream, is sinfully delicious. When I first tasted a spoonful,¬†I felt gluttonous, and became fully aware that if I continue to eat this, I’d be committing one of the 7 deadly sins on a hardcore level. So I stopped before things got too intense. :-/ ¬†(Yay for self-restraint :-D) . Described on the carton as “Boston Cream” flavored ice cream with fudge flakes, swirls of pastry cream and pieces of cake” this flavor reaches to portray magic in each spoonful. To make sure I describe this¬†accurately without too much¬†exaggerated¬†connotations, I’ll break down each flavor, under-current, and note as I recall.

    Firstly, what exactly *is* Boston Cream Pie flavored ice cream? (I don’t mean including the other added

    The dimensions of delicious.

    stuff like the chocolate flakes, the pieces of cake, and the ribbons of creme, but specifically the ice cream base). Now, think about this- Boston cream pie is NOT just a monotone flavor. One must take into account the chocolate glaze, the cakey foundation, and the gooey, custard rich center that makes it all worthwhile. In the context of this ice cream, what should have read in the product description based on what it actually tastes like is as follows:”Rich custard ice cream meets deep pieces of fudge flakes, dancing with ribbons of pastry creme”. Why? because the base of this ice cream is a plain custard- vanilla base. So if anyone is expecting for there to be more in terms of the ice cream, (such as more chocolate flavor) ¬†there you go. That isn’t to say that the smooth custard doesn’t hold up on its own. No. Quite the contrary. The custard undertone is smooth, and performs well with the bittersweet fudge pieces that don’t get left out in the equation of all this bliss. But just when you thought there wasn’t more, more just arrived. Imagine dense and decadent pieces of vanilla pound cake, which take on the richness of the custard ice cream.

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    Custard, creme and a little flake of fudge.

    Finally, as if that doesn’t wow your tastebuds, there are ribbons of pastry creme to tie it all together. It plays hide and seek, because at one portion of the ice cream pint, you may not get any, but then, when you’re expecting a piece of fudge, or a dollop of cake, BOOM! You’re met with a creamy, velvety goop of pastry cream. This is not for the faint of heart. If this description is too intense for you, then I don’t suggest trying this. But then again, whenever I indulge in something that gives me a guilt complex, I tend to intensify it.I appreciate the uniqueness of this flavor and the attention to detail Ben and Jerry’s have done to provide a nice compliment to the Boston Cream Pie. I’m sure this may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it. My only gripe is that there could have been more pieces of cake, or better yet, bigger chunks of cake. Also, since the custard ice cream is representative of the custard center, the ribbons in this ice cream could have been chocolate instead of more custard. I did feel that there was an abundance of custard and pastry creme that really mirrored the other. So, in other words, custard ice cream, chocolate ribbons, and bigger cake chunks. Other than than, it’s a great ice cream.

    Ben & Jerry’s Boston Cream Pie Ice Cream Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud (4.5 out of 5 stars) This is really rich and delicate, and¬†uniquely fun treat. I’d be curious to try it with chocolate swirls, and more cake chunks. This is what stopped it from being a 5, because the flavors would have been more balanced in my opinion.

    What do you think? Don’t Forget to Rate, comment and subscribe!

    Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake Review!

    ***Disclaimer: This is a cupcake review. Yes, I am aware that baked products like cakes and cupcakes tend to have frostings that are too sweet, which can be spooned off, but let’s remember, I also bake cakes from scratch, including icings, and eat cupcakes monthly. Therefore, my taste for cupcakes may be pretentious and specific. Please bear this in mind before finding the urge to say “cupcakes are supposed to be sweet!” I am a bit of a dessert snob because I have been exposed to quality desserts.:D Thanks.***

    Now, for the review:

    Today I ventured into Barnes and Noble and sampled a new item from the cafe; A strawberry shortcake cupcake. It was unpretentious in appeal- a plain white cupcake liner revealing a rose pink strawberry cupcake, and a mountain of icing that made my teeth cry. Although I might risk getting another cavity, I felt the risk was worth it. I bought one, and on my first bite didn’t think it was unique in flavor. It tasted like a plain strawberry cupcake¬†laden¬†in artificial flavoring, and appeared to have a bit of food coloring. I could tell the cake had an artificial influence, (I know, it’s Barnes and Noble, but I am a cupcake snob, and am sensitive to natural and artificial flavors in cupcakes) but it wasn’t¬†disgusting.

    Cupcakey Gooeyness.

    The cake and center wasn’t too bad, but the scariest thing about this delicacy was the icing. Overly sweet, which is not unique for cupcakes- but way too sugary. I would have recommended perhaps applying less frosting on the cake to the bakers (of course you could spoon it off as well). Then things got better for me. I took another bite, much closer to the center, and bit into a jelly center that tasted like rich, ripe sweet berries. This was the ticket right here. The cupcake had gone from something Little Debbie may sell (which to say that Little Debbie isn’t horrible, however the artificial and slightly processed tastes was present) to a cake that instantly earned a summery richness. The gooey, ripened center gave this cupcake jazz and depth. It went from being something that tastes unoriginal and too sweet to slightly more delicate. Sad news, though. Because of the diabetes flavored frosting, I couldn’t finish the whole cupcake. ūüė¶

    Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake Yumfactor: 3 tongues (3 out of 5 stars) It’s ok, not bad if your teeth and glucose can handle it. Better because of the center, but I’d rather find a recipe online and make these myself from scratch. It’s $2.50 a pop and available at Barnes and Noble.

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