3201 Louisiana St. Suite 100
Houston, Texas 77006
Since Rihanna’s Birthday Cake is our all time favorite song in spin class, I thought it would be fitting to take the gym gays with me to Dolce Delights cake tasting. So, this review will not be in the typical he8she8 style, but instead will just be my own darling voice (the gays didn’t say much, they were too busy tasting!).
After a sweaty spin class, the gym gays and I took a brisk two-minute walk down the stairs into the airy and bright cafe. We were immediately greeted by the lovely owner, Candace Chang. I could barely concentrate shaking Candace’s hand, as I was too busy gushing over the beautiful dome cakes. Candace generously allowed us to try almost all of their flavors and bringing over a plate of macarons as well.
Like many from my generation, Candace switched careers early in her life. She started in the fashion field but quickly learned she didn’t like it one bit. She decided to do something with her love for food and eating. She noticed that there aren’t many dessert places in Houston, which didn’t have overly sweet desserts. She wanted to serve desserts she would actually like to eat. As much as I love cakes and cookies, I yearn for a fancy cafe where I could eat something without having frosting coming out of my pores (although let’s not get crazy, I am still counting down until that cupcake ATM gets in town! Did anyone else watch last week’s Bunheads where they drive to L.A. for the 24-hour cupcake ATM?! No? Just me? ok.) A Sprinkles cupcake rings in at about 500 calories, where one of Dolce Delight’s dome cakes (which might I add are larger than those cupcakes) registers at 170 to 280 calories. Come to mama!
Candace decided butter creams and fondants were not for her and went home to Hong Kong to learn Asian and European baking techniques. Her cakes mostly consist of a cake bottom, a creamy or fruity filling, topped by a dome of light and smooth mousse. We were treated to an array of beautiful cakes (did I mention how swoon worthy these cakes look? Yes? Ok fine I’ll stop harping on that) along with a plate of macarons:
Rum Raisin Truffle Cake:
My absolute favorite was the rum raisin truffle cake, which had chocolate mousse wrapped around a mixture of crème brulee filling and rum raisins on top of a layer of chocolate cake. It was all I could do to stop myself from picking up the cake and licking off the rich chocolate syrup. The cake was not cloyingly rich, and it had all three of my favorite desserts in one: chocolate, rum raisin (oh I would die for a pint of Haagen-Dazs rum raisin ice cream right now!) and crème brulee. I wish there was less chocolate mousse, more raisins (which were very rummy). Still, overall it was one of the most unique desserts I’ve had. I could have eaten the entire thing by myself and not feel disgusting (or that I need something savory to compensate for the sweetness as I almost always have to have, and then you’re really full and do not actually WANT to eat something salty. #firstworldproblems). Win win win win win!
Raspberry Rose Lychee Dome Cake:
I love that Dolce Delight experiments in less typical flavors. Their raspberry rose lychee dome cake has an almond sponge cake base and did not, I repeat did not taste like perfume as I thought it might. Personally I love anything rose flavored: rose infused champagne at Philippe’s, rose petal tea, you name it, I eat/drink it. I know a lot of people are averse to flowery foods though but this dessert is really worth trying.
The lemon-blueberry basil (a tart lemon mousse with a basil creme brulee center on top of blueberry compote with an almond sponge base) tasted like a summer cocktail in cake form. It had a paper-thin white chocolate crunch dome. The blueberry compote was a pleasant surprise and the subtle sweetness of the almond sponge cake nicely offset the tartness of the rest of the dessert.
Dark Chocolate with Brandied Cherries
This is one of Candace’s favorite cakes. I’m not usually a fan of dark chocolate, but this cake was not too bitter and god knows I love a good brandied cherry—too bad one of the gym gays stole it before I could taste it! I think they need to pout more cherries in this cake. I do love that the cherries are whole and not chopped up.
Strawberry White Chocolate:
They really should highlight the fact that there’s DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE in this! Ok, other than the most delicious cake in the world, this dessert also has white chocolate mousse with layers of strawberry gelee and fresh strawberry pieces. It’s somehow refreshing and decadent at the same time.
You can tell that Candace pours her heart and soul into these creations. Every cake has a special design, and even the macarons took her many tries to get it just right (for example, you should never make macarons when it’s raining. Who knew?). Being a macaron lover, I’ve tried almost all the macarons around town and I always make an effort to try macarons when I travel. I think Candace’s can match up to my favorite macarons from Francois Payard Bakery in New York. My favorite was the peanut butter and jelly macaron. Candace used peanut flour, which really captured the essence of peanut butter flavor. The cookie parts of the macarons were perfectly soft with just the right amount of crunch.
Even though their coffee program plays second fiddle to the desserts, Dolce Delights offer many unique choices in addition to the usual drinks you find at other coffee shops. Their yuzu hot tea soothed my throat; their azuki (Japanese red bean) drinks, maple tea lattes and Thai iced tea with coffee jelly piqued my interest. Due to popular demand, they also offer croissants and sandwiches. AND Candace is going to start letting people bring booze in! How perfect would it be to have an afternoon of champagne and macarons, or maybe some port and cakes after dinner? I can’t wait!
tl; dr: skip the cupcakes and have some unique fancy cakes!