Wednesday, May 11

So Bad... Yet So Good

It's time to chat about Calgary's new dessert scene. It seems like just yesterday Crave was king (or queen) if you wanted something a little more interesting for dessert, but now it seems like every day a new dsesert place is popping up. Granted, some are closing (most notable being Nectar) but overall, things are looking up for dessert addicts in our city.

Recently I reviewed Yann's, and now it's time to explore a couple more options - Jelly Modern Donuts and Cruffs, The House of Cream Puffs.

Jelly Modern Donuts: ***
This brand new place is located on 8th street a few blocks off 17th avenue, in the first floor of a relatively unattractive office building. The interior is very minimalistic & modern, and the focal point is, of course, the donuts. There's quite the variety of flavours, from PB&J to carrot cake, and they come in 2 sizes - regular, which is definitely larger than what I'm used to, and mini, which is slightly smaller than what you would expect at, say, Tim Horton's, but actually happens to be just the right size. I got: maple bacon, Valrhona chocolate, and s'more.

Before I get into it any further, I must say that in reality, I am not a huge fan of donuts. I like Boston cream because of the filling and walnut crunch because its texture is more like a cake and I will definitely eat donuts if you put them in front of me, but I don't necessarily seek them out. When I first (and last) tried a Krispy Kreme, I ate a couple bites and never touched it again. Too much donut, not enough chocolate. Moving on...

The maple bacon was a really good maple donut (I enjoyed the dough) with a touch of savoury flavour to it. I would have preferred for it to have a more pronounced bacon flavour, but it was not bad. The s'more had a marshmallow topping, but in my opinion chocolate flavour got lost between the dough and the marshmallow. The Valrhona chocolate was the best one, with a rich chocolaty topping and chocolate shavings on top. Mmm!

In the end, I think Jelly will have a bright future satisfying people's donut cravings - just probably not mine. I really need to be blown away by a donut to truly love it, and I wasn't.

Jelly Modern Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

Cruffs, The House of Cream Puffs: ***Cruffs opened last year to little fanfare (as far as I noticed, anyway) on 4th street, right by Vin Room. It's a tiny, tiny shop that gets inexplicably hot when sun is hitting the windows - then again, you probably don't go there to hang out. You go there to buy cream puffs!

First of all, let's discuss the name - Cruffs. I see what they're trying to accomplish here, but (and maybe I'm alone here) the name is just incredibly unappetizing. I can't quite put my finger on as to why, but it is what it is. And it does not sound tasty.

So, of course, I had to find out if it tastes tasty. I'm happy to report that it does! Cruffs offers 2 product options - panekoek (essentially stuffed crepes, which I did not try this time, but I intend to) and, of course, the cream puffs themselves. Cream puffs come in 2 sizes (as with Jelly Donuts, I recommend you go for mini), and then you get to choose from a variety of shells - plain, dipped in chocolate, etc. - and filling flavours - from Chantilly to banana. I opted for: white chocolate dipped shell filled with vanilla filling, Skor topped shell with vanilla again and a plan shell with hazelnut chocolate filling. I really enjoyed all of them, especially the Skor and (surprise!) hazelnut chocolate filling.

The cream puffs are delicious, sure, but let's be honest - you can likely make them at this quality (minimum) at home. The difference that going to Cruffs makes is that you can get a variety of fillings and, of course, it saves you time. And no mess! I will likely go back to Cruffs - at a minimum, to try the panekoek selection, and also if I ever need desserts last minute.

Cruffs, The House of Cream Puffs on Urbanspoon

Overall? I think I prefer Cruffs, actually, but that might be because of my undying love for cream puffs (as witnessed by me going back to Centini for those profiteroles time and time again). Both of the places are good - just not quite my cup of tea.

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