Monthly Archives: December 2013

Retired Desserts

La Tempesta's Biscotti

La Tempesta’s Biscotti

As it’s the end of the year, I have an excuse to be nostalgic and think about the desserts I’ve enjoyed over the years that are no longer available:

Haagen-Dazs' Logo

Haagen-Dazs’ Logo

Haagen-Dazs’ Carob Ice Cream:  This was available quite a number of years ago, when carob, viewed as a healthy alternative to chocolate, was popular.  A few months ago, I gathered research for another blog posting and contacted Haagen-Dazs.  I slipped in a question about Carob Ice Cream.  Regrettably there are no plans to bring this wonderful flavor back.  Carob powder is available at health food stores and occasionally I think about attempting homemade Carob Ice Cream, but I think I might be better off just with the memory of Haagen-Dazs’ great Carob Ice Cream.

Boncora Biscotti

Boncora Biscotti

La Tempesta’s Chocolate-Dipped Biscotti:  This was a cross between a cookie and a chocolate bar – the best of both worlds.  La Tempesta popularized biscotti in this country.  Bonnie Lynn Tempesta, the founder of La Tempesta (along with her mother), sold the company in 1997.  However, this story has a happy ending.  While La Tempesta’s biscotti are not available, Bonnie started another biscotti company, Boncora Biscotti.  Two flavors of Boncora Biscotti are available: Almond and Chocolate-Dipped.  (I’ve tasted the Chocolate-Dipped and they’re definitely as good as La Tempesta’s biscotti.) When I asked Bonnie about her biscotti flavors, she said in time she would probably introduce other flavors.

Stonewall Kitchen's White Chocolate Orange Sauce

Stonewall Kitchen’s White Chocolate Orange Sauce

Stonewall Kitchen’s White Chocolate Orange Sauce:  White chocolate-orange isn’t a very popular dessert pairing and it’s a shame because the flavors work so well together.  This was my favorite dessert sauce from Stonewall Kitchen and it appears that this product has also been retired.  Hopefully my second favorite Stonewall Kitchen dessert sauce, Coffee Caramel Sauce, will be around for a while.

Premier Issue of Chocolatier Magazine

Premier Issue of Chocolatier Magazine

Chocolatier Magazine:  Though not a dessert, this publication was definitely a treat for us dessert lovers.  The first issue debuted in 1984 and included recipes, profiles of pastry chefs/chocolatiers, information about new products, and dessert highlights of cities and restaurants.  Two of my favorite dessert recipes are from Chocolatier:  a recipe for White Chocolate Blondies and a White Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (with 3/4 of a pound of chocolate!).  In 2008, the publisher announced it was merging Chocolatier with two of its other publications into Dessert Professional — a resource devoted more to pastry professionals.

A very happy and healthy 2014 to all!  May it be a year of wonderful desserts!

Tagged , , , , , , ,


Available from Harry & David, the Cheesecake Factory's White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

Available online from Harry & David, the Cheesecake Factory’s White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

Cheesecake — that classic, rich, comfort food dessert has been fancied up and tweaked, although plain cheesecake is still very much available.  (I’m defining “plain cheesecake” as unadorned New York style cheesecake, rich with cream cheese and usually also heavy cream or sour cream.)

New York Cheesecake from Bovella's Pastry Shoppe

New York Cheesecake from Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe

Cheesecake purists have a lot of company.  Ralph Bencivenga, of Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe in Westfield, New Jersey, said that his New York Cheesecake is his best-selling cheesecake and Pure Cheesecakes in Los Angeles indicates that its Original Cheesecake is one of the top 10 flavors that get ordered equally on a regular basis.

Red Velvet Cheesecake from Pure Cheesecakes

Red Velvet Cheesecake from Pure Cheesecakes

But how has cheesecake been livened up?  Interesting flavors, to start.  Ralph of Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe has been noticing that his Red Velvet Cheesecake is becoming more popular.  Red Velvet Cheesecake is also on Pure Cheesecakes’ Top 10 Flavors list.  Other unusual flavors on this list: Caramelized Pear; Pistachio; Chocolate Truffle; S’mores; and Pumpkin.  Strawberry Balsamic Cheesecake — an elevated version of a traditional flavor — is Brooklyn-based Biteme Cheesecake’s best-selling flavor.

A box of Biteme Cheesecakes

A box of Biteme Cheesecakes

And interesting sizes and shapes.  To prevent their customers from suffering from massive guilt after wolfing down too much cheesecake (I can identify with this!), and also because they’re cute and festive, some cheesecake purveyors are offering mini-cheesecakes.  In fact, Biteme Cheesecakes are only available in mini sizes.  While Pure Cheesecakes offers cheesecakes in full sizes, this bakery specializes in small cheesecakes.  Pure Cheesecakes also sells Cheesecake Pops and Cheesecake Bars.  When I asked about these Cheesecake Pops, Patricia of Pure Cheesecakes said: “Our Pops have been very popular for the last five years…especially for parties and events.”

New Skete's Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake

New Skete’s Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake

Unlike delicate pastries, cheesecakes can be frozen so they can be shipped long distances, opening up interesting sales opportunities.  If you don’t live near a Cheesecake Factory, fear not.  You can order a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake from Harry & David.   And earlier this year, The New York Times described a monastic order in upstate New York that supports itself from sales of its cheesecakes, which are shipped direct to consumers.  These New Skete Cheesecakes are available in 13 different flavors.

I’m dreaming of cheesecake!

Tagged , , , , , ,