Sugar High: 50+ Decadent Desserts
According to Merriam-Webster, dessert is a “sweet course or dish (as of pastry or ice cream) usually served at the end of a meal." While we don’t disagree with the dictionary, we’re here to tell you that when it comes to sweets, rules are meant to, and should, be broken. Whether that means eating dessert for dinner, adding a savory touch to a recipe, or indulging in a liquid—and liquored up—confection, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth. Read on for our region’s most mouthwatering treats, the best local chocolatiers, baking secrets from the pros, and much more.
Pick your poison with one of these ridiculously good sweet treats
Maybe it’s the booze, maybe it’s the fun atmosphere, but the Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping (previous page) always tastes great at Bar 101 Eats and Drinks. Their cheesecake is fantastic on its own, but that sweet blueberry jam takes it to another level. There’s no feeling blue with this treat on your plate. 101 Main Street, Roseville, 916-774-0505, bar101roseville.com
Zeppole is an Italian pastry that consists of deep-fried, bite-sized pieces of dough tossed in powdered sugar that’s crispy, soft, warm, and sumptuous. Rosati’s pairs this sinful treat with a generous helping of rich Nutella hazelnut spread. What’s better than a poppable dessert? Nothing, that’s what. 5140 Foothills Boulevard, Suite 110, Roseville, 916-797-7492, myrosatis.com/roseville
Vaiano Trattoria offers a taste of Tuscany with their Cannolo alla Siciliana—cannoli shells filled with sweet ricotta and crushed pieces of chocolate, with the ends dipped in chopped pistachios. Sweet, tart, and overall delicious, this dessert is hard to pass up. 7160 Douglas Boulevard, Granite Bay, 916-780-0888, vaianotrattoria.com
Cracking into the hard, caramel layer of the Crème Brûlée at House of Oliver is a treat in itself—isn’t that everyone’s favorite part? Digging into the dense, subtly sweet custard inside is even better. Add to it a pop of freshness from the raspberry garnish and we have ourselves a winner of a dessert. 3992 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 140, Roseville, 916-773-9463, houseofoliver.com
(Gluten-Free!) The Flourless Chocolate Cake from Farmhaus is dark, dense, rich, and probably high in calories but oh-so good. Made with heavy cream, eggs, and chocolate, it’s topped with fresh berries and chocolate sauce. Yes, please…and thank you. 8230 Auburn Folsom Road, Granite Bay, 916-772-3276, farmhausfresh.com
Cinnamon and Sugar Brioche Beignets with Salted Caramel tastes as fantastic as it sounds. Hawks makes this wonder of a dessert that ensures a perfect ending to any meal. Dunk a soft, warm beignet into that golden caramel and let the magic happen in your mouth. 5530 Douglas Boulevard, Granite Bay, 916-791-6200, hawksrestaurant.com
The Kunefe at Turkish restaurant Anatolian Table is a treat you must try at least once in your lifetime. The sinfully sweet-savory dessert consists of shredded filo pastry covering mozzarella cheese that’s baked until crisp on the outside, then doused in house-made syrup and pistachios. It’s basically cheese for dessert. 6504 Lonetree Boulevard, Rocklin, 916-772-3020, anatoliantable.com
(Vegan/Gluten-Free!) Many go loco for the Coconut Almond Rice Pudding at Zest Kitchen. Featuring organic brown rice simmered in fresh coconut milk (not canned), with pure vanilla, a little raw organic coconut sugar, and topped with toasted coconut, almonds, and raisins, the gluten-free, vegan dessert is served chilled and absolutely wholesome, nutritious, and indulgent. 2620 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1, Rocklin, 916-824-1688, zestvegankitchen.com
The Chocolate Lava Cake from Land Ocean takes decadence to another level. This chocolate ganache, crushed Heath Bar almond toffee, chocolate and caramel sauce delicacy is served hot and makes for an especially sublime experience with cold vanilla bean ice cream. 1151 Galleria Boulevard, Suite 241, Roseville, 916-407-5640, landoceanrestaurants.com
Here’s a wild idea—how about we take some mochi ice cream, wrap it in pound cake, lightly tempura fry the whole thing, and top it off with raspberry sauce and powdered sugar? Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? The Sweet Dream dessert at Mikuni is exactly that. It’s a favorite for a reason—the reason being it’s so good. 2565 Eureka Road, Suite 1A, Roseville, 916-797-2112; 1017 Galleria Boulevard, Suite 160, 916-780-2119, mikunisushi.com
SWEET SECRETS Submitted by Ettore Ravazzolo, executive pastry chef and owner of Ettore’s Bakery and Café, 390 North Sunrise Avenue, Roseville, 916-822-2190, ettores.com
Tips and tricks from local bakers
“America knows the best way to eat chocolate chip cookies is shortly after they come out of the oven and are still slightly warm. When making chocolate chip cookies at home, don’t bake the batter [right away]. After making it, scoop [dollops of batter] onto a sheet pan covered with baking paper and put it in the freezer. After they’re frozen, transfer into a container; cover and store in the freezer. Whenever you want to make cookies, take out the amount you want to bake, put on a sheet pan, and let defrost (30 minutes to an hour), and then bake. Voila(!)—fresh chocolate chip cookies every time.”
Q: What’s your favorite sweet treat to bake?
A: Our fruit tart—a staple since we started the bakery in ’85.
Submitted by Katelyn Tiuseco, owner of Bad Bakers, 1420 East Roseville Parkway, Suite 180, Roseville, 916-883-2253, badbakers.com
“Always bake from your heart; don’t be afraid to use ingredients that sound outrageous together; taste as you bake (your taste buds know best); and if it looks good, it tastes good—presentation is key!”
Q: What’s your favorite sweet treat to bake?
A: Our movie time donut. On my own movie date nights, I would always order popcorn and throw a whole box of Whoppers in them, so this donut helps us relive the fun.
Karen Holmes, owner of Karen’s Bakery and Café, 705 Gold Lake Drive, Folsom, 916-985-2665, karensbakery.com
“When making caramel, add a pinch of cream of tartar or a few drops of lemon juice; this inhibits the formation of crystals, which will make your caramel gritty, or cause it to seize up altogether.”
Q: What’s your favorite sweet treat to bake?
A: Almond polenta pound cake. It’s the wallflower of our shop (everyone looks over it), but I think it’s the most delicious and most versatile thing we make. I have one in my home for every holiday.
THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE BOX
Best local chocolatiers
Mona Keady, of Raffiné in Newcastle, makes the finest chocolates that are pleasurable to the eyes and the palate. Her artisanal chocolates combine flavors and textures to bring Old World European chocolate making to life. Fresh fruit purées, spices, and natural flavors make up perfectly balanced dark, milk, and white solid chocolates; silky caramels (fleur de sel, butter-vanilla), fruit creams (black currant, passion fruit); infused cream ganaches (green tea, rum and raisin); and pralines. She even makes giandujas, an Italian specialty of molded chocolates featuring soft, semi-liquid ground hazelnut centers. Packaged in elegant gift boxes or trays, these carefully crafted chocolates do not disappoint. 661 Newcastle Road, Suite B, Newcastle, 916-663-9617, raffinechocolates.com
Snooks Chocolate Factory is operated by Jim and Renee Snook and has been in Historic Folsom since 1985. Three generations of candymakers have been at the helm of this store and take their chocolate calling very seriously. All their candy is made from scratch and some of their signature products, like fresh caramel, have been fine-tuned over the years, making for a tender and flavorful candy. Their popular peanut brittle consists of fresh raw Spanish peanuts cooked into caramel that’s hand stretched on an original marble table acquired in 1963. Smooth, distinct truffles like the mango habanero and cherry bomb are also popular, as is their butter toffee, fudge, and their own oven-roasted nuts. 731 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-985-0620, snookscandies.com
Becki L. De Koning Tyner is the brain behind The Chocolate Architect. Her trademarked and aptly named chocolate silk is a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth confection that has been perfected from the Old World European style of chocolate making. Similar in texture to the center of a truffle, this indulgence carries many exotic flavors (most of which are gluten-free, some of which are sugar-free and vegan). At all times, you’ll find 20-25 of their 75-plus flavors—anything from toffee chip silk and white raspberry silk, to smokin’ bacon silk, and hot chili lime bite silk. Their offerings extend to creatively constructed chocolate gifts as well (Becki is, after all, a licensed architect) that include chocolate keepsakes and wine pairing boxes—making these nuggets the perfect gift for any and all occasions. 250 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1335, Folsom, 916-966-9006, chocsilk.com
LIQUID DESSERTSDouble Shot Espresso Martini (360 organic vodka, Bailey's Irish cream, Kahlúa Especial, fresh-brewed espresso), $10 at The Independent, 629 Main Street, Placerville, 530-344-7645, independentplacerville.com
Boozy, Buzzworthy confections guaranteed to please
Yatsuhashi (cinnamon-infused Old Forester bourbon, Zaya rum, house horchata), $13 at Aji Japanese Bistro, 4361 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 111, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-9181, ajibistroedh.com
Regal Apple Crisp (Crown Royal Regal Apple, Johnnie Walker Black Label, fresh lemon juice, house-made honey syrup, Creme de Grand Marnier, shaved chocolate, graham cracker rim), $8 at Paul Martin’s American Grill, 1455 Eureka Road, Roseville, 916-783-3600, paulmartinsamericangrill.com/locations/roseville-restaurant
Vanilla Orange Creamsicle (Fruitlab organic orange liqueur, TRU organic vanilla vodka, muddled orange, citrus essence, soda, candied orange peel), $11 at Back Bistro, 25075 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 150, Folsom, 916-986-9100, backbistro.com
*Sammy's Drunken Island (Zaya rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, sugar, garnished with a pineapple popsicle), $10 at The Monk's Cellar, 240 Vernon Street, Roseville, 916-786-6665, monkscellar.com
*Note: Limited number available each day
Black Forest Cake Martini (Ciroc Amaretto vodka, Bailey’s Irish cream, Godiva chocolate liqueur, white crème de cacao, chocolate drizzle, garnished with a filthy black cherry), $11 at Scott’s Seafood, 9611 Greenback Lane, Folsom, 916-989-6711, scottsseafood.net
EYE ON THE PIE
Prized pies to slice into right now
Fat’s Asia Bistro’s Banana Cream Pie is legendary. Why? Because nowhere else will you get such a generous helping of fresh bananas layered in a rich egg custard, sitting in a flaky crust, topped with a mountain of freshly whipped cream. This made-from-scratch pie is so light and refreshing you’ll scarf it down in no time. 1500 Eureka Road, Roseville, 917-787-3287, fatsasiabistro.com
Grandpa’s Cellar makes an extensive list of “pure old-fashioned apple delights” containing fruit from our very own Apple Hill. Their Traditional Apple Pie can be found at Heyday Café and boasts the finest of fruit that’s carefully prepared and packed into a classic handmade pie that’s both yummy and filling. Heyday Café serves it with caramel sauce, taking it over the edge. 325 Main Street, Placerville, 530-626-9700, heydaycafe.com
Ah…the good ol’ Olallieberry Pie at Sweetie Pie’s in Placerville—tart, yet sweet, the modest olallieberry lends itself beautifully to this comforting pie that’s all fruit and no filler, making sure you taste these precious deep purple jewels. Accompanied by a well-tended-to crust, one slice of this pie will leave you berry happy indeed. 577 Main Street, Placerville, 530-642-0128, sweetiepies.biz
For something slightly unconventional, try the Berry Sour Cream Pie at A Slice of Goodness in Roseville. This beauty takes the humble pie to another level—one of sophistication and indulgence. Each mouthful makes for a multitude of flavors that satisfy and impress. Slightly sour, lots of sweet, you’ll want to take bite after bite…after bite. 924 Douglas Boulevard, Suite A, Roseville, 916-781-3727
An Honest Pie is a food truck from Grass Valley that spreads pie fairy dust all over Placer and Sacramento Counties, and beyond. Their Brenda Sue’s Peach Pie is made from scratch, with no processed ingredients and only whole ingredients. It tastes like a warm, sunny day and is one pie you won’t soon forget. 530-990-1303, anhonestpie.com
Buttercup Pantry Restaurant in Placerville is the epitome of country comfort food. Their Southern Pecan Pie is a classic recipe that’s been perfected to a tee. Sink your teeth into buttery pecans in thick custard on a classic crust and slip slowly—and willingly—into pie coma. 222 Main Street, Placerville, 530-621-1320, facebook.com/thebuttercupplacerville
Ikeda’s California Country Market in Auburn starts baking every day at 4 a.m. and dishes out pies by the dozens. They make all kinds, but our favorite is the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie that combines tart rhubarb with sweet, ripe strawberries to orchestrate a wonderful symphony of flavors. The fruit is grown on their farm, making sure the freshest produce is delivered straight from the branch to your belly. 13500 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-885-4243, ikedas.com
CREATIVE ICE CREAM CONCOCTIONS
Clever icy combinations sprinkled throughout the region
Premium Sweet Crepe at T-Crepes, 1870 Prairie City Road, Suite 300, Folsom, 916-597-2787, t-crepes.com
At T-Crepes, originality is encouraged. Their offerings include a variety of ice creams, and an even greater selection of toppings, including fruit, sauces, cereal, candy, and more. Choose your ice cream (chocolate) and toppings (strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream), and they’ll roll it up into a tasty crepe for easy eating.
The Works at The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs, 1490 Eureka Road, Suite 170, Roseville, 916-781-7833, theparloricecream.com
Imagine a milkshake in your flavor of choice topped with a Nutella-filled donut, limitless toppings, and whip, and you have one of the sweetest, most sinful, ice cream treats around: The Works.
Salted Caramel Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at Fishology Poke Bar, 2784 East Bidwell Street, Suite 400, Folsom, 916-587-1899, fishologypokebar.com
After you've polished off a bowl of delicious poke, don't forget to treat yourself to one of Fishology's giant ice cream sandwiches, made with Gunther’s ice cream and Bon Mange macarons. They’re served in a multitude of flavors and a rainbow of colors—all guaranteed to satisfy any and all taste buds.
Ponchik at Sugar + Cream, 1151 Galleria Boulevard, Suite 9203, Roseville, 916-771-0263, facebook.com/sugarpluscream
At Sugar + Cream you can enjoy ice cream, shakes, macarons, and more in an array of funky flavors. We suggest the ponchik (essentially an Armenian donut; only available on weekends) with taro ice cream.
Cereal ‘n’ Milk Sweet Cone at Sweet Dozen Cones, 807 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-358-9832, sweetdozen.com
You’ll never skip breakfast again once you pick up a Cereal ‘n’ Milk Sweet Cone from Sweet Dozen Cones. Inside their infamous sweet, crisp cone is vanilla soft serve topped with your choice of cereal—Fruity Pebbles, Corn Flakes, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. If you make it all the way through the monstrous cone, you’ll be surprised with a donut hole at the bottom.
Goliath Funnel Cake at Fancy Funnel Cakes, 4800 Granite Drive, Suite B-11, Rocklin, 916-259-2482, fancyfunnelcakes.com
If you thought funnel cakes were only served at fairs then think again. Fancy Funnel Cakes takes it a step above by adding ice cream, whipped cream, and toppings (we’re fans of keeping it simple with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup).
Gelati at Rita’s Italian Ice, 2230 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 340, Rocklin, 916-367-4878; 960 Sunrise Avenue, Suite 105, Roseville, 916-367-4693, ritasice.com
Rita's offers almost any frozen treat you can imagine: Italian ice, frozen custard, milkshakes, and more. Try your hand at Gelati—Italian ice topped with frozen custard. Flavor options rotate, so the possibilities are truly endless, but we recommend wild black cherry Italian ice and vanilla frozen custard.
S'mores Shaved Snow at Vampire Penguin, 4060 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 102, Granite Bay, 916-912-3076, vampirepenguin.com
Vampire Penguin specializes in shaved snow—a frozen block of ice cream that’s shaved into ribbons making for a creamy yet fluffy treat. Their combos are sure to satisfy every sweet tooth and include dulce de leche, Twix, green tea, and s'mores—the latter features cookies and cream shaved snow, crushed graham crackers, Oreos, marshmallows, and chocolate syrup.
Deep Dish Delight at Chicago Fire Pizza, 500 North Sunrise Avenue, Roseville, 916-771-2020, chicagofire.com
One of the classic desserts in our area is Chicago Fire's Deep Dish Delight. Three layers of chocolate chip cookies are topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry. They say it serves two to three people, but we won't judge if you finish one on your own.
ICE CREAM EXPLAINED
A guide to what's what in the land of frozen delights:
Ice Cream: Frozen blend of milk, cream, and sugar, with optional flavorings
Frozen Yogurt: Ice cream with added yogurt
Soft Serve: Ice cream with added air for a smooth texture
Frozen Custard: Ice cream with added egg yolk
Gelato: A lower fat ice cream that’s churned more during production
Sherbet: Frozen blend of fruit, sugar, and milk or cream
Sorbet: Frozen blend of fruit, sugar, and water
By Tara Mendanha and Emily Peter