Tag Archives: dessert

Ladurée Boutique Singapore

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The macaron craze is back. Thanks to the much awaited Laduree which set up operations not long ago in Singapore, of course. Moreover, other than the permanent boutique fixture, there is yet another takeaway counter. To add a cherry  macaron on top of the ice cream, both are conveniently located in the heart of Singapore in Takashimaya shopping centre. The former is at level 2 while the latter is at level 1. Oddly enough, the queues at both counters are of about the same length so I would definitely recommend to peek in at the classier, bigger boutique. 

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It starts off with a wallpapered ceiling of a picturesque sky and classic chandeliers against the backdrop. Then are the rows of shelves of boxes, tote bags, jars of soft caramel and scented candles exclusive to the boutique.

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A minimum of 8 macarons are needed to get you a box to fit them all in, otherwise it’s just a scrawny paper bag. I decided to go ahead with the Singapore Limited Edition box (8 macarons) despite the $38 price tag which can make hearts skip a beat. A macaron costs $3.80 but there are only 8 of them, so essentially you’re paying about $8 for the box. That was hefty but I took it anyway.

The Strawberry Candy Marshmallow was one of my favorites. The marshmallow bit in the filling was a surprise and gave the macaron some different mouth feel compared to usual, creamy fillings.

However, the Chocolate Coconut Marshmallow did not meet my expectations – what I felt was an incompatible taste of chocolate with coconut.

I’ve had tons of really sweet pistachios which I liked a lot. The rendition of Laduree’s Pistachio was not overly sweet yet it did not fail to amaze me.

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The Salted Caramel is another hot favorite. It was more substantial than those from other macaron places.

An interesting macaron would be the Marie-Antoinette Tea. It has a bubblegum feel to it which was refreshing.

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The Liquorice (black) was average.

The Coffee flavor had a lingering aftertaste of – well, coffee.

As aforementioned, macarons here cost $3.8 each. Except for the 24K Gold Chocolate which costs $7.8. Basically it’s a chocolate macaron coated with “24K gold”. You can see that I actually bought it – for the pure reason of curiosity and tempt. Tastewise… yup it’s just a chocolate macaron.

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The overall feeling speaks of classiness and it’s not hard to understand why: simple ganache fillings but made more than ordinary and macaron shells of the right texture (at least for me). What’s next for Laduree in Singapore? A tea salon – coming soon.

 

391 Orchard Road

#02-09 (boutique)

#01-24A (counter)

Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Ngee Ann City

10am – 9.30pm daily

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Smoulder: Mini Molten Mixtures

Craving for lava cakes but you do not have the feeling to dine at a restaurant?

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Now you can takeaway mini lava cakes from Smoulder. Giving themselves the name of  “Softcore Bakers”, the people behind Smoulder aimed to create lava cakes that were convenient, affordable and small. There are currently 9 main flavors of mini lava cakes, together with special flavors on special occasions and even newer flavors in the making.

This would mean a lot to a fan of lava cakes like me. Now, I can have them on any day of the week without much hassle. I like that the cakes were rather moist. Although it was difficult to achieve a flowy lava core after takeaway home, the now creamy core is still as delectable after reheating.

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Intense dark chocolate (top): Despite dark chocolate not being my favorite type of chocolate, I found it alright. Except that it is a tad too intense for dark chocolate.

White chocolate raspberry (middle): This was strawberry shortcake sweet, with even real raspberry bits in it!

White chocolate pistachio (bottom): One of my favorites among the flavors I tried. The pistachio and white chocolate mixture is of consistency with a powering pistachio taste.
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Signature dark chocolate (left): This was my favorite and also their most popular lava cake. It was especially good as a lava cake flavor as the bitterness of the dark chocolate cannot be felt.

White chocolate lemon (right): An exotic flavor for a molten cake. Since the cake was mini, it was rather refreshing as a break between the sweeter ones.

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Milk chocolate rum and raisin: A more neutral flavor is given as the lesser content of chocolate mixes with raisins soaked in rum. Pleasant, but not a very good rendition for rum and raisin.

The Softcore Bakers call their lava cakes “Bite-sized Pleasures”. It is indeed easily finished with 2-5 normal bites, which gives space to try even more flavors together. Yet, they do not come as affordable as expected. A mini cake costs $3.2 and the cakes come at 3 for $9 and 9 for $25. The verdict is that certain flavors excel, while some are just alright. I would not mind trying new flavors though.

 

China Square Food Centre

51 Telok Ayer Street

#01-04

Weekdays 0800 – 2000

Saturdays 1100 – 15o0

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Creamier: Waffles and ice-cream!

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I love how there seem to be ever new trends in the local food scene. Increasingly, small yet comfortable parlors of food are being opened below the blocks of housing estates. Sometimes I can’t stop wishing for a magical row of them to appear at the void deck of my flat and they shall magically change themes every week. But that’s my wishful thinking.

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A single scoop of ice cream comes at $2.9 while a double scoop at $4.9. If you order the premium flavors they’re at $3.9 and $6.5 respectively. I tried both the sea salt gula melaka and banana chocolate flavors on Belgian waffles – the flavors were combinations of my favorite ingredients. Perhaps some would find the sea salt gula melaka really salty but for a sea salt lover like me it was quite something to brag about. Creamier has got a collection of unique flavors that’ll make me tempted again: lime mojito, pineapple chili sorbet, rum and raisin, earl grey lavender and so much more.

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Other sidekicks on the menu would be coffee and light bites like the quiche I had too. Somehow it made a good end after my indulgence of ice cream. It’s pretty nice that the residents in the area can simply takeaway pints of ice cream and waffles back home to enjoy.

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Essentially, the thing about Creamier is the ice cream…. with waffles. Yes, their crispy waffles can steal the show.

Also, I found the space cosy and comforting, especially as I went on a Sunday morning when all you need is a dessert moment.   You’ll find that Creamier draws all kinds of people from the estates with patrons frequently bustling in and out – both young and old, and especially families. Creamier is rather much accessible too – I can see myself dropping by soon.

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Blk 128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1

#01-835

Tuesday – Thursday: 1200 – 2200
Friday – Saturday: 1200 – 2300
Sunday: 1200 – 2200

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Swirls Bake Shop: All-American Cupcakes

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A lovely bakery stands in a quaint corner by the Singapore River off Robertson Quay. Hidden behind Toby’s Estate and Bar Bar Black Sheep cafe is a bake shop specializing in American gourmet cupcakes just opened 5 months ago. Ever since then, they have been featured in the media on several occasions.

I was warmly welcomed by the bakers in action. The shop has an open kitchen concept with friendly staff greeting each and every customer. Danish and his wife, Alia, shared with me their story.
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They started off with a road trip in America to search for the best cupcakes, savoring and taking in everything they have tasted. Danish would opt for the red velvet in every cupcakery they visited while Alia would try out different flavors of cupcakes. Then they brought all of their inspirations to Singapore and perfected 101 cupcake flavors that will be brought out as daily specials every month. Alia who was a fashion stylist had incorporated fashion itself into Swirls which I find amazing.

I love the American concept of the bake shop together with its kaleidoscope of colors. Wondering about the special shape of the cream frosting of the cupcakes, I later found out that the frosting is crafted by use of a palette knife instead of the norm. Other than that, the cupcakes are made 3 to 4 times daily to ensure freshness that is kept.

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Red Velvet

Red Velvet is one of their most, if not the most popular item. It stands out the most too. It was the right degree of fluffiness of a cupcake and a pleasant one to sink your teeth into. Other flavors I tried included the Oh So Cocoa, Strawberry Burst, Nutella, and the Sunday special for this month, Tiramisu. The cupcakes come in two sizes, tiny and regular – which I thought is a great idea especially for those with small appetites who want to try as many flavors as possible. The tiny ones are priced $2.50 to $2.95 while the regular ones are $3.95 to $4.10.

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Foreground: Strawberry Burst; Middleground: Red Velvet; Background: Oh So Cocoa

The strawberry flavored cupcake is another one of my favorite as it takes sweetness to a whole new level. Grinning I was to find even more chocolate hidden in the nutella cupcake. A day before my visit, a new cake was put on sale at Swirls. I was lucky enough to have the last slice nicely savaged by them. It was a slice of chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting and I must say it was a good attempt with whole cakes.
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My glutton-in-crime, Amanda, would like to give a shout out for their refreshing iced lavender tea which was a great break from the sweetness before attacking another cupcake.
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Right: Tiramisu

When asked on future plans for Swirls, the reply was: not for the moment, since they are fresh in the F&B. Yet they still receive words from others to open another outlet and that is my sentiment as well. Cupcakeries are sprouting in Singapore but this is one place to head to for unique beings with a sweet tooth. Swirls’ cupcakes get sold out pretty fast so you wouldn’t want to hesitate. They do make island-wide deliveries too.

A huge thank you to Danish & Alia for inviting me to taste their cupcakes!
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Visit their colorful website at www.swirls.com.sg/ to “meet” more of the cupcakes and place orders.

8 Rodyk Street

#01-08 (off Robertson Quay)

Singapore 238216

Operates 11am – 7pm daily

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The Chocolate Bar – Marina Bay Sands Singapore

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When you feel like having chocolate, eat it.

This started as an impulse, but the thought of a chocolate buffet is simply too irresistible. And hard to push away as well.

The Chocolate Bar operates from 8pm to 10pm daily at The Club at level 57 of the Marina Bay Sands and that’s a winning factor already. It’s location is gorgeous among the Sands Skypark and beside the lusting Infinity Pool. It was fascinating when we were led all the way up, out onto the deck by the pool of the skypark and eventually to the atmosphere of rustic charm.

To be honest, I didn’t know where to start as I stared at the massive array of mini dessert creations – 57 chocolate themed desserts exactly, created by executive pastry chef Alejandro Luna and his team. Seemed a little like heaven to me. Selections were vast, a regret of mine was that I couldn’t get my tastebuds over all of the desserts!

I grabbed some macarons. Three flavors were available: coconut, milk chocolate passion and raspberry. The coconut made an impression on me.

The dark chocolate raspberry mousse (below) was an excellent combination of bitter sweet dark chocolate and the slight sour of raspberry, I felt that it was a unique creation, soft and easily melting.

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Two other items which I still remember distinctly would be chocolate bread pudding (shown below) and banana steamed chocolate, steamed with banana leaves. The former has started to become popular in the local food scene and I realized why. The soft mash of bread with chocolate can nearly melt in my mouth. The latter looked like a chocolate flavored “kueh”, but when bitten into it releases a strong banana accent which is amazing.
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Other creations include glass shooters of tiramisu, alcoholic desserts, dark and milk chocolate cookies, pralines, an assortment of nuts, pistachios, chocolates and macadamias.
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The dining experience was intimate with dimly-lit hues, akin to a candlelight dinner. Step right out and you would be offered a panoramic view of the city lights in Singapore. It was a great time lazing by the infinity pool after the full buffet. Yes, a downside of a full dessert cum chocolate themed buffet would be the heavy lingering of chocolate afterwards that stops sweet cravings for days. But it was an experience worthwhile, a chocolate haven at the top of the city.

The Club at Marina Bay Sands

Sands SkyPark (Level 57, Hotel Tower 2)

Operates 8pm to 12am daily

S$38++ per person ($54++ per person, including a glass of champagne)

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Laurent’s Cafe and Chocolate Bar

I had a pretty good brunch that day at eM by the River. I knew Laurent’s Cafe and Chocolate Bar, or Laurent Bernard’s Chocolatier. From the outside, it is easy to walk past Laurent’s Cafe and Chocolate Bar on a sunny day where your eyes are insensitive to the dull. Already having the initial plan to indulge in chocolate desserts there, I had to walk up and down the street several times before spotting it.

The interior bears a cosy and pretty decor and allows only around 10 patrons to be seated. Alfresco dining is available with comfortable, cushioned seats with unnaturally grown palm trees wafting atop. I find it a little weird that photography of the cafe itself was not permitted, there is even a sign bearing the warning.

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On that fateful day, their specialty – the souffle – was not available as they had just opened for business and so it was only available at later times. Waiting around 30-45 minutes for a souffle would already be a huge sacrifice, a few more hours of waiting time would be a no-no.

I had the Crispy Chocolate Tart ($7.80) which turned out to be dark chocolate. Being a sweet and savoury person, I am not a fan of dark chocolate but it was a different story in this case, in which the tinge of dark chocolate was what made me give it a thumbs up.

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The Profiterole ($12) was atop three large scoops of vanilla bean ice-cream, and I thought that it was a light and refreshing choice in contrast to the chocolate tart. The only loophole was my expectation of the pastry ball to be softer. The icing on the icing would be the miniature teapot of chocolate sauce. Or it shall be called the chocolate pot. You know, everything is better with chocolate.

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80 Mohammad Sultan Road

The Pier @ Robertson Quay

#01-11

Singapore 239013

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Twelve Cupcakes: From Celebrities With Love

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Cupcakes are on the rise, and especially the perfect Best Friend Forever for ladies on a dreamy off day. The reason is quite simple. These sweet things in life are getting prettier and prettier by the day, not to forget by the new bakeries as well.

Twelve Cupcakes was set up by Singapore celebrity couple Daniel Ong and Jaime Teo. Why the number 12, it’s because Daniel Ong loves bowling, and 12 pins down indicates a strike. There are also 12 holes in a baking tray. Jaime mainly comes out with new flavors and bakes the cupcakes as well. The celebrity factor is not the only reason why it has become a hit among locals recently.

I wouldn’t say that the cake part of their cupcakes are anything special, they are just plainly light without much sweetness. The trophy to Twelve Cupcakes would be their cream cheeses on the cupcakes. Their cream is not just any useless, just for display, fattening lump of calories.

I felt that the Peanut Butter cupcake was quite substantial, I especially loved the peanut butter, it was just the right peanut butter for me. Now I wonder if I can get it in a jar to scoop some for every meal…

Meanwhile, the Vanilla Chocolate cupcake was a lighter and plain one, but with a sweeter and cheesier vanilla topping.
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A best seller to try would be the Red Velvet Cupcake which is its most prominent and familiar cupcake you’ll ever hear about. Sweet vanilla cream cheese piled atop a muffin of moist red velvet cake. Sweet and classic.

The Baileys Cupcake was of light milk chocolate cream which was easy to finish off casually.

And finally, the Rum & Raisin was based on a light vanilla cupcake with a tinge of rum in it.
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While the cupcakes may be smaller and a little pricier at $3 each and at $3.50 for special flavors, I barely hear any whining or complaints of overpricing and under-performing. A half dozen of cupcakes comes at $17 while a dozen at $33. Another deal is that you can get customised cupcakes for any event from them too (Only available at Millennia Walk). Be it custom decorations, different colors of cream cheese, printing words or logos on the cupcakes, they’re all available for you to select. The stall at Millennia Walk comes with a small and relaxing dining area to have your cupcakes which I thought was great.

101 Thomson Road

#B1-60 United Square

Singapore 307591

9 Raffles Boulevard

#01-52 Millennia Walk

Singapore 039596

50 Market Street

#01-28B Golden Shoe Carpark

Singapore 048940

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