[a.k.a. I’m still around, just really bad at posting on a regular schedule]
This weekend was The Coast’s Holiday Dough Ball. The Coast is a free alternative weekly newspaper with news, opinions, entertainment listings, horoscopes (among other things); and the Dough Ball is a delicious, magical delight.
Do you not know what a Dough Ball is?
The Dough Ball is “a dessert lover’s dream”. It is a gathering of foodies who want to sample desserts from local bakeries. It is heaven.
Tickets for the Holiday Dough Ball sold out mere hours after they went on sale. I bought one as soon as I heard that they were ½ sold, despite the fact that I didn’t know anyone else going. I was going to get desserts, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me!
The day of the dough ball I had breakfast around 10am and then did a lot of walking (visited Hfx Crafter’s Fair and grocery shopped), so I didn’t have time for lunch. Even then, I didn’t eat too much of what was in front of me at the 1:45pm tasting (although I did practically inhale a carrot-cake pop). A friend of mine had recommended bringing Tupperware, which I forgot to do, but she was totally right. You could purchase aluminium take-away container ($3) or use the cardboard tray they give you at the door with your card, and a couple places had bags, but you can’t really bag a cupcake, so Tupperware would be your best option for transporting the goodies home.
I went alone, so there wasn’t much mingling. There also wasn’t much room for mingling or even sitting. So I got my treats, looked around awkwardly for a bit, and then went home to revel in my gluttony.
It was glorious.
Many booths had choices for their desserts, which was great. There’s no way I’d want an entire full-size Eggnog-cupcake, but I’ll dive into a mini one to see what it tastes like.
Pete’s Fine Foods: Passionfruit macaroon
The macaroon base was light and smooshy (yup, that’s how I describe desserts), but the filling seemed to be a combination of chocolate/caramel, which detracted from the passionfruit taste. Either I grabbed the wrong macaroon or they should go with buttercream instead.
Smith’s Bakery: Cream soda meringue
There was a bottle of cream soda next to the plate, so A+ for presentation. It had a great taste, not too overpowering, and managed to be chewy and crunchy (like a great meringue).
Humani-T Café: Carrot cake pop dipped in white chocolate
Carrot cake pops are a great idea. Not too dense, not too sweet, with carrots and nuts and spices. You can almost pretend that you’re eating something healthy. The white chocolate was a great, complimentary choice.
The Baking Brit: Sticky toffee pudding
I had to bring this one home to eat because I didn’t have a fork (I couldn’t see if they had any at the table). I think the cold wind on the walk home thickened the toffee, which was a bonus. The toffee was so good, and the pudding was nice and simple and cakey.
Susie’s Shortbreads: Eggnog cupcake
Sweet and good, but there’s no way I’d want to eat a full normal-sized one. Bite-sized, however, these cupcakes make an excellent eggnoggy treat.
Tina Colada’s: Classic chocolate cake balls dipped in chocolate
Dense and moist and rich. I wouldn’t be able to eat too many of these, but damn that cake in the middle… Also, I once tried to make cake balls and mine were in no way as good as this.
Sweet & Savary: Classic Bom
A light doughnut-like treat, cream filling and rolled in sugar. Not sure if the cream froze during the walk home and thawed, but it was a bit runny by the time I bit in. Still good, though.
Honey & Butter: Funfetti cookies with cotton candy cream filling
Holy giant cookies, Batman! Such a big treat that I had to take a break. Reminded me of my childhood desserts, in the best way possible.
Humble Pie Kitchen: Vanilla custard with flaky pastry, topped with vanilla & coconut icing
Probably the lightest option on the docket. Custard, vanilla, coconut, and flaky pastry are all winners in my book – especially all together.
Binky’s Donuts: chocolate cake donut with L’Acadie passito wine glaze & marinated figs
Puts other doughnuts to shame. Just the right amount of glaze and the figs are a nice touch.
It would have been great to go with a friend so that we could pretend to be experts on the desserts and talk about them pretentiously, as if we were food critics, but in all it’s a fun way to try different desserts from local bakeries.
I should disclose that when I entered the room, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I got some wine and joined the anti-clockwise line instead of the clockwise line. I followed my little line until about 2/3 of the way through the tables until that line suddenly ended and only the clockwise line remained. However, I didn’t want to join the end of that line (it had gotten quite big and slow), so I found places where the tables weren’t busy (people had gotten their sweets and were waiting for the line to move to the next table), ducked in, got my treat, got my card marked, and ducked out. It was probably a jerk move, but I cannot be responsible for what I do when people are standing between me and desserts. At least next time I’ll know better.
I also recommend show up a few minutes early to get in line, or at least showing up on time. Some tables have limited numbers of their offerings (especially if they have multiple flavours), so get there early and get the best selection.