You’ll never go back to vanilla ice cream for dessert again after seeing and tasting these creative concoctions from local bakers and “ice cream chefs”.
1. Pop’s Espresso Bar Donellas and Dannollis
Pop’s was not even supposed to be an espresso bar, but in the last 19 months since it opened, the small New Rochelle shop has evolved from coffee spot to a more refined espresso bar that called for delicate and decadent pastries. And then, luckily for us, the dannoli and donella (pictured above) were born.
“The pastries came about by accident being that we are a coffee shop,” owner Giovanni Cucullo says. Pop’s now serves these amazing donut-cannoli hybrids that have become a hit. They offer a dannoli, a Nutella-glazed donut with cannoli cream and chocolate, and the ridiculously good looking strawberry donella (“the dannoli’s sexy sister,” according to Cucullo), a donut filled with cannoli cream and strawberries marinated in strawberry purée, topped with more cannoli cream and strawberries, and dusted with powdered sugar.
2. Madison Kitchen’s Bona Bona Ice Cream Shakes
Inspired by New York City’s Black Tap’s milkshakes, which became the latest dessert craze earlier this year, and equipped with his own homemade Bona Bona Ice Cream, Madison Kitchen Chef Nick Di Bona started playing around with ridiculous looking milkshakes and posting his creations on Instagram a few months ago. The virtual reactions were more than enthusiastic, with instagrammers leaving demanding messages that they “need one now.” So, Di Bona stuck with the trend.
Di Bona and his out-of-this-world milkshakes, including the Italian Campfire milkshake (left) made with Nutella S’mores Ice Cream, whipped cream, rimmed with Nutella, salted graham crackers, and toasted marshmallows.
The milkshakes are made with Bona Bona Ice Cream combined with your favorite childhood cookies and ingredients: Oreos, Twinkies, rainbow cookies, Nutella, toasted marshmallows, and more. They go for $10 and are available at Madison Kitchen in Larchmont.
“I wanted to use Bona Bona ice cream to create something that looks awesome and that people could have fun eating,” says Di Bona. “I loved the idea of milkshakes because they evoke a sense of nostalgia for customers. Plus, they are a perfect way to introduce people to my homemade ice cream mixed with fun ingredients.”
3. Riviera Bakehouse Tilted Birthday Cakes
Plenty of Westchester bakeries offer incredible custom-made cakes for any occasion, but Riviera’s birthday cake is a regular offering that turns heads whenever it makes an appearance. I can personally attest to this, because my mother has been buying these birthday cakes for the last 15 years. Almost every time we have it in public, a diner at the table next to us stops us to ask from where they came.
We call them the “Alice in Wonderland” cakes because they make you feel like you are at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. It’s available in a variety of vibrant colors and it’s tilted, which just makes it more fun (although more difficult to transport). Edible chocolate “candles” are sunk deep into the chocolate butter cake, which is filled with Oreo-whipped cream and then decorated with vanilla buttercream. They are available in four or six inch rounds. The four-inch round feeds five to six people and costs $14, and the six-inch serves eight to ten people and costs $29.
4. The Dessertist Cake Shooters
Photo Courtesy of The Dessertist
Lemon Sweet Cream, Carrot Cake, Chocolate
These little cups of heaven are served at the new The Dessertist (dessert + art), a new bakery on the scene in Croton-on-Hudson. Chef Samantha Eichenberg layers bite-sized pieces of cake with fillings and frosting, parfait-style, to create colorful cup-fulls of cake that offer the full flavor of a piece of cake, but without the full serving of guilt. Each $3 cup is equivalent to a few bites of a cake. They’re fun to eat and are available in more than 100 different flavors.
Related: 19 Delicious, Decadent Desserts