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August 17, 2013

review: Ava's Cupcakes.

Have you heard of the Cronut craze? People are going nuts after them ... all thanks to Dominique Ansel, who invented and (I believe) trademarked Cronuts. After hearing so much about it, I decided I needed to know what the hubbaloo was about, despite my aversion to donuts.

Hubbaloo reminds me of The Jungle Book ... I'm too young to say "I'm dating myself" by saying that, but I think I am. 

Anyway, cronuts are donuts that have been made with a croissant-esque (laminated) dough. The result is a very flaky fried treat. At Dominique Ansel's bakery, they fill the cronuts with pastry cream. I looked up the closest place to me where they sell these croissant-donuts, and made it a point to visit.

The place is called Ava's Cupcakes. Click here for the background story, for Ava is a Cupcake Wars (on Food Network) champion! She is basically doing what she loves most for a living -- aka living out my dream. Maybe one day ..

The bakery has all sorts of pastries and baked goods, mainly cupcakes, as the name suggests. The weekend I chose to go was a Harry Potter themed weekend. That meant there was butter beer, pumpkin pasties, Harry's birthday cake a la Hagrid, chocolate wands, and many other similarly themed items. 

I will comment on the items I got, although they all looked delicious!

Chocolate Salted Caramel & Vanilla Salted Caramel Cupcakes 

I think the Vanilla Salted Caramel was actually called Salted Bogey ... or some other themed name, but I don't remember at all. I was mostly just excited to try it, as I love love love salted caramel. 

The cake itself was a little bit dry, but then again, I had come at the very end of the weekend, so much so that I got the butter beer for free. So maybe the cupcakes weren't at their peak, which is understandable. It didn't totally disrupt the cupcake. The salted caramel was thick and firm, not liquidy in the least. It was salted well, and although I would've liked it somewhat less solid, I enjoyed it. There was also a generous amount of it in each cupcake. 

German Chocolate Pecan "Pasties" (typically called Handpies) 

I didn't get the pumpkin ones - it was hot out, and I wasn't feeling such a fall-ish flavor, even though it was more true to the theme. German chocolate frosting is my favorite, so I chose this. The pastry dough was definitely homemade tasting (which it should be). The filling was good, as well. I wasn't enamored, I think because there was chocolate added to the filling, and I was hoping for a pure coconut caramel filling. But the name did say "chocolate," and my brothers/dad loved it. I would recommend this one, if you're a chocolate nut fan. 

Bourbon Vanilla Glazed Dossanut 

On to the croissant-donuts! Here, they are trademarked as Dossanuts. I think each bakery everywhere is trying to formulate a dough and patent the most unique variations of the name that are left. This dossanut had a bourbon vanilla glaze (I could not really detect the bourbon, although bourbon is a strong flavor), and was not filled with anything. The glaze was nice and sweet, the whole thing slightly reminiscent of a glazed French Cruller. The texture was interesting, with the outside actually being quite crunchy, and the inside having those distinct laminated layers. I am not a donut fan, so I wouldn't buy this again, but it was definitely good quality and a good version (in my opinion) of the treat. 

Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Dossanut 

This one had the same texture of the previous, except there was a crumbly brown sugar cinnamon mixture on the outside. It was delicious! I enjoyed this dossanut the most, although when buying them, I thought I'd like the glazed one more. This one is definitely very good, and even though I don't like donuts in any form, I kept nibbling on it. Simple is best, right?

** This was pictured in the very beginning of the post, too.

If you're ever in the area, you should check this place out! I had seen the owner in the store, making sure everything was stocked and going well. Indeed, they start selling dossanuts at 11am. I visited at 6pm. I called right before I left, thinking there were definitely no dossanuts left (the primary purpose of my visit). They informed me they were pulling out a batch literally as we spoke. In the 20 minutes it took to get there, the salted caramel dossanut was sold out. Like, really?! That speaks to the popularity of this place, however. 

The people were nice and answered all my questions about the flavors. I definitely recommend this place, and would go back. 

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