It's been a long week. What with the bills and the errands and all the friggin' traffic jams. We know. And what's the best medicine for a packed week? The weekend. And sugar. Luckily for you, Charleston's best bakeries are at the top of their game, making delicious treats that are sure to indulge your sweet tooth come Saturday morning.
Over on Meeting Street, Delish! Bakery & Bistro just opened its Tiffany blue doors for business last month. With the "Create Your Own Cupcake" option, guests can tailor their desserts, picking cake flavor, frosting, fillings, and toppings. For cake flavors, Delish! offers rich chocolate, vanilla, almond, red velvet, or lemon. Frosting choices are chocolate, vanilla, and cream cheese. If you're feeling a little extra naughty, go for the cupcake filling: Bavarian cream, lemon cream, strawberry, or raspberry. And to finish it all off, you'll go dizzy over the 14 different toppings. They've got everything from cereal and cotton candy to bacon and marshmallows.
Keep an eye out for the Dulce Sweet Teas & Treats food truck. They've just come out with their vanilla cheesecake and bacon toffee topping. They use all organic milks, cheese, cream cheese and sugar. First, Dulce owner Ericka Kalinowski makes her own vanilla extract with whole vanilla beans infused with a liter of vodka. She then creams cheese with sugar, adds her vanilla extract, and then adds eggs. Then, she mixes in heavy cream and pours the mixture into ramekins to bake for 45 minutes in a water bath. She makes the bacon toffee topping by first taking bacon and cutting the fat from it, then slicing the bacon into small pieces. The bacon is slow-cooked with brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream, until it foams up at the top and dies down. That's when she knows it's ready. But it's not added to the cheesecake just yet. She lets it sit over night so that the fullness of the bacon flavor comes out. The next day, she spoons the topping over the cheesecake to serve.
If you're looking for a little sour with your sweet, stop by Charleston Bakehouse Bakery & Café for homemade lemon bars. The bars begin with a flaky, poppy shortbread crust. A layer of lemon-flavored cheesecake is then smoothed over the crust and topped off with a lemon curd layer and powdered sugar. The lemon juice used in the bar comes straight from farms around the area, so you can taste the Carolina sunshine in every bite.
At Normandy Farm Artisan Bakery, they're working on the Salted Caramel Blonde Brownie. The butterscotch brownie mix is sprinkled with dark chocolate chips and walnuts. After being baked to perfection, the brownie is then topped with sea salt caramel and a rich layer of chocolate ganache.
You may think you know a tres leche when you see one, but you haven't had one like this. At Wild Flour Pastry, pastry chef Lauren Mitterer makes individual tres leches in mason jars. Mitterer soaks a spiced sponge cake in three milks: condensed milk, heavy cream, and evaporated milk and adds a few splashes of rum. While the traditional tres leche is topped with a meringue, Mitterer uses whatever local fruit she can get her hands on — sometimes blackberries, sometimes peaches — from Ambrose Farms or Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant.