dessert

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream neon sign

museum of ice cream los angeles: a pastel, treat-filled wonderland

When I heard the Museum of Ice Cream was coming to Los Angeles, I knew I HAD to go. I bought tickets the second they went on sale, to go with some good friends on my birthday in May.

But then my husband got tickets for the opening day! Since he’s out of town during my birthday, he got tickets for just us to go. And after going through it, I am definitely happy to go see it again with my friends.

The Museum of Ice Cream is totally Instagram bait, with all the pink and other bright pastel colors. It’s not really an educational or historical museum; it’s more like a set up of various ice cream-themed art installations. So don’t expect to learn about the history of ice cream or the science behind making frozen treats.

hanhgry.com: museum of ice cream entrance

There’s the ubiquitous “millennial pink,” but it fits with the nostalgic, whimsical feeling of the museum. There were several themed rooms but I didn’t feel rushed at all to go through them. The museum lets you spend as much time as you like in each room (except the sprinkle room, which has a time limit). Many of the rooms have some sort of ice cream sample or sweet treat to try, which is a nice bonus.

museum of ice cream: LA roomPastels and palm trees, in the Los Angeles-themed room

hanhgry.com: museum of ice cream venice cream backdropAn homage to the famous hanging Venice sign

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream banana room

Banana swing room (a great Boomerang opportunity!)

hanhgry.com: museum of ice cream mint chip grown roommint chip grow room

I totally need this sign, as I have so many mint colored clothing items.

Real mint plants, planted in crushed cacao shells

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream rainbow sherbet room

Rainbow sherbet room

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream behind a rainbow in the sherbet room

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream ross in front of the pink lemonade wall

Ross in front of the pink lemonade wall in the rainbow sherbet room

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream popsicle room

popsicle room

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream artwork by Abel Bentin

artwork by Abel Bentin. Each cone is unique!

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream sprinkle pool

The famous rainbow sprinkle pool!

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream sprinkle pool

An explosion of sprinkles. I basically had sprinkles everywhere and had to shake them off me. When I got home later I realized that a bunch had gone down my bra, haha.

hanhgry.com | museum of ice cream neon sign

Neon sign at the end of the museum.

There is also a gift shop by the museum exit and there are a lot of cute ice cream themed knick knacks and clothing.

I didn’t post photos of all the rooms in the Museum of Ice Cream as I’d like to keep some element of surprise for people who have yet to go. But I definitely recommend it if you love cute, quirky interesting artwork. And of course if you love ice cream. Not sure if this museum will travel to other cities, but it’s already been in New York and LA now, so who knows?

Unfortunately, tickets for the Museum of Ice Cream Los Angeles are completely sold out until July. However, more tickets may be released, so keep checking the website or sign up for their mailing list to be notified when additional tickets may be available.

Museum of Ice Cream
2018 E 7th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Tickets: $29, plus additional service charge

hanhgry.com: close up of box of ponchik pastries from Papillion

sweet treats review: ponchik from Papillon International Bakery

hanhgry.com: close up of box of ponchik pastries from PapillionYou know what everyone loves? Fried dough. I’m pretty sure every nationality or culture has its own version of doughnuts/beignets/etc, usually covered in sugar or stuffed with sweet, creamy filling. And I am totally happy to try them all.

There is no shortage of various fried goodies here from different cuisines. The LA area has a large Armenian population and clustered in Little Armenia near Hollywood and in the LA suburb of Glendale there are lots of Armenian bakeries. Some are well known for making ponchik, which are basically Armenian filled doughnuts. Ponchik are made with a yeast based dough fried in oil and typically filled with custard cream, although there are lots of other fillings like Nutella and different fruit jams.

Ross and I went to the North Hollywood location of Papillon International Bakery, an Armenian bakery well regarded for its ponchik. This location is in a small strip mall. They have two tables inside but it’s mostly a take-out or pre-order and pick up type place.

hanhgry.com: menu of ponchik filling flavorsThe ponchik flavor menu displayed in the bakery

We ordered four pieces: two custard, one dulce de leche and one strawberry. The lady told us it would take about 10 minutes, since they make them to order, so they are fresh. They sell a variety of other baked goods as well as the usual cakes but we were there for the ponchik! After waiting a few minutes, she called my name and showed me the box of freshly fried pastries, and I was surprised at how big they were. Each was about the size of my palm. They smelled AMAZING. Just imagine being surrounded by the smell of fried dough/batter with sugar everywhere. She suggested eating some right then and there since they just came out of the fryer, so she gave us some plates and we took one of the two tables in the store.

I took my first bite and it was sooooooo good. Steam billowed out since it was still so hot. The ponchik is hollow, as you can see in the picture below, and filled with custard.  While an American-style doughnut is denser and filled the whole way through with dough, the ponchik has a thin outer layer that is slightly chewy and fluffy.


hanhgry.com: eating a ponchik from Papillion

hanhgry.com: close up of ponchik pastry

I only took a photo of the custard filled ponchik, but that was probably my favorite filling. I enjoyed the dulce de leche with its sweet caramel flavor. The strawberry tasted ok, but I probably wouldn’t order it again. I don’t really like jam filled doughnuts so it makes sense I didn’t love the strawberry ponchik. I preferred the creamy, thicker fillings like the custard and dulce de leche.

If you’re ever in the area and want to try some ponchik, I definitely recommend going to Papillon! At only $1.75 each, it was a delicious, inexpensive treat. Because it is fried to order, your ponchik will always be super fresh and warm. (However, I saved two of them to eat several hours later and even at room temperature they were still pretty tasty. I recommend eating them within the same day though; I think they would get too hard or stale after a day.)

 

Info:

Ponchik, various flavors: $1.75 – $2.00 each

Papillon International Bakery
2904 Victory Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Other locations here

Full shot of unicorn milkshake from Creme and Sugar

sweet treats review: Creme and Sugar unicorn milkshake, cake and cookie

Full shot of unicorn milkshake from Creme and Sugar

The famous unicorn mikshake

If you’ve been on Instagram in the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen a dessert that went viral. The unicorn hot chocolate (and its frozen counterpart, the unicorn milkshake) is from a cafe called Creme and Sugar. I love anything sweet and pastel colored and luckily, Creme and Sugar is in nearby Anaheim.

Last week some friends and I went to check out their “secret” unicorn menu. Parking was easy in a giant surface lot. We got there around noon and the cafe itself is small on the inside, but there were couple tables and a coffee table/sofa area. When we came in, there were only two people ahead of us in the ordering line. That was just lucky on our part, as the line got crazy long a little after we ordered.

Creme and Sugar cafe, interior wall with unicorn chalk mural

This is the chalkboard mural that’s by the front entrance.

Creme and Sugar has the usual stuff you would find in a cafe, such as hot/iced coffee drinks, tea, and assorted pastries. Also, they also serve ice cream from Fosselman’s, which they use for their milkshakes. The decor is vintage inspired/shabby chic. They have a cute chalkboard drawing of a unicorn by the front door.

I got a unicorn milkshake, slice of unicorn cake and a unicorn sugar cookie.

Unicorn milkshake, 32 oz: $10

Close up of unicorn milkshake from Creme and Sugar

Creme and Sugar makes their unicorn shake with cotton candy flavored ice cream, giving the shake its pastel lavender color. They top it with whipped cream, a special blend of sprinkles (jimmies, colored sugar, sugar pearls), marshmallows, a rainbow swirl lollipop (for the unicorn “horn”) and a candy bracelet, with a metallic gold striped paper straw. I noticed some other people’s milkshakes came with a rainbow sour belt but mine didn’t. They serve it on a plate to catch the dripping ice cream and random sprinkles/marshmallows that spilled off the shake. The presentation is quite cute and pretty much made for Instagram/social media.

The shake came in one of those 32 ounce glass mason jars, and let me tell you- it is tough to finish a milkshake that big. I recommend sharing with friends, but I had this all to myself as one friend got her own milkshake and another only got cake. The cotton candy ice cream was not super sweet at first like I thought it would be, but a third of the way through the milkshake I had to stop and ask for a to-go cup. It was just too much liquid and way too much sugar, especially since I just came from a full meal at brunch. I took the rest of it home and finished it later. I would have preferred a smaller amount (like 12 or 16 oz) but that probably wouldn’t have looked as impressive.

Would I order it again? Yes, but I would share it with a few people!

Unicorn cake, slice: $8

close up of unicorn cake slice from Creme and SugarContinuing with the pastel unicorn theme, the unicorn cake is made of layers of white cake dyed to be light pink, sky blue and pastel purple. There was light yellow buttercream between the cake layers. The unicorn cake is covered with a thick, very sweet, pure white American-style buttercream frosting. The sweetness of the frosting was a little overwhelming and I didn’t eat all of it, as I’m particular about my frosting not being too sweet. I did eat all of the cake part. It was moist and fluffy, with a tender crumb. Not dry at all.

Because I got only a slice and not an entire cake, there was less of the special sprinkle blend on the frosting. It was still really cute though. It reminded me of the sprinkle blends from Sweetapolita, with the varying textures and sizes of the different sprinkles. The shimmery sky blue large sugar pearls are so pretty!

Unicorn cookie: $6

Close up of decorated unicorn sugar cookie

This was a typical rolled sugar cookie decorated with royal icing. The cookie was chewy, which is my favorite consistency for cookies (I’m not a fan of crisp or thin cookies). The royal icing decorating was flawless, with no bumps or bubbles. The horn was decorated in a shimmery gold icing, which was a nice touch.

Additionally, Creme and Sugar also serves unicorn hot chocolate and unicorn candy bark. Of the three items I tried, I liked the cake the best. I may have to go back and try the unicorn hot chocolate! What do you guys think about desserts like these? Does the spectacle of all the over-the-top decoration make the desserts seem more enticing to you?

Creme and Sugar
6312 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd
Anaheim, CA 92807
http://www.cremensugar.com/

wanderlust creamery: ice cream inspired by travel

hanhgry.com | Wanderlust Creamery storefront

hanhgry.com | Wanderlust Creamery ice cream case

Ross and I are always up for trying new ice cream. We recently went to a new gourmet ice cream place way up in the Valley (in Tarzana, to be precise) called Wanderlust Creamery. I found them through their Instagram account and their unique ice cream flavors based on different regions of the world sounded really delicious. Also, they’re one of the few places I’ve seen that offers different flavored waffle cones besides the traditional waffle cones most places have. Green tea waffle cone?! Sounds great.

The parking lot was crowded but there is plenty of street parking as well. The line was long but it had only been open a few weeks when we went. I think this part of LA doesn’t have many upscale, gourmet ice cream/dessert shops compared to say, central or West LA so a place like this is in very much in demand in the Valley.

You can see the menu on their website and they rotate flavors. They also have a ton of different toppings that they make in house. It’s not just sprinkles and whipped cream. They have honey boba, homemade strawberry shortcake crumble, pandan flavored rice crispies, and so much more.

I got two scoops, one of Pretzel + Rúgbrauð and one scoop of Sticky Rice + Mango, in a brown butter vanilla waffle cone, with strawberry shortcake crumble.

hanhgry.com | Wanderlust Creamery - sticky rice+mango and pretzel+rugbrauo scoops

Pretzel + Rúgbrauð (bottom scoop): This was incredibly good, with a satisfying mix of textures. I am a big fan of ice cream with chunks or mix-ins (cookie dough, fruit chunks, you get the idea). It was reminded me of a salted caramel pretzel flavor I’ve had from other ice cream shops. The ice cream base itself was smooth and creamy, with liberal amounts of salty, crunchy pretzel bits. It also had caramelized crumbles of rúgbrauð, which is a type of Icelandic rye bread. The rúgbrauð crumble was really good and makes me want to try eating the actual bread. The ice cream base was not too sweet, but had a subtle saltiness that was accented by the pretzels and bread pieces.

Sticky Rice + Mango (vegan, top scoop): This was more straight forward. It’s based on a dessert you can get in almost any Thai restaurant. There was a mango swirl in the ice cream and it tasted like fresh mango puree, but I wish it had more mango in it instead of being mostly sweet cream with a few mango swirls. It was still really tasty though.

The waffle cone was freshly made (I watched them make the cones!) and it had a stronger depth of vanilla flavor than regular waffle cones. The strawberry shortcake crumble tasted just like the coating from the classic Good Humor strawberry shortcake ice cream bars (which I LOVE).

While Wanderlust Creamery is too far for me to indulge in regularly (it was about a 35 minute drive with no traffic), if I’m ever up in that part of the Valley, I would definitely come back again.

Prices: $4 single scoop, $6 double scoop. Toppings $1 each

Wanderlust Creamery
18511 Ventura Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91356

Phone: (818) 774 – 9888

Hours:
Sun – Thurs: 12PM to 11PM
Fri – Sat: 12PM to 12AM

Honey & Butter: adorable and delicious macarons

I enjoy baking and consider myself to be pretty good at it. Not an expert by any means, but I can make a decent batch of cookies/cake/brownies, etc. from scratch. One baked good that has eluded me for quite some time is the finicky French macaron. I’ve attempted them several times and only once did I make a good batch with the perfect little feet, rounded dome and chewy interior.

I remember seeing them for the first time a couple years ago when I moved to LA and ate at Bottega Louie, a French/American restaurant with a gorgeous patisserie section. (A review on BL coming up eventually in the blog). Bottega Louie displays them in a giant rainbow of colors, and it’s tempting to get every single flavor. Their macarons are probably the most Instagram-ed food item in Los Angeles. Since then I’ve tried macarons from quite a few places, some of which were disappointing and others that are amazing.

There’s a macaron shop called Honey & Butter that is well known for their creatively decorated macarons. I’ve been following their Instagram account for a while now and am in awe of their decorating skills because regular macarons are hard enough to make, but to make them in different shapes and to look like characters from various TV shows and movies?! Their character macarons are insanely popular and usually sell out within an hour of opening. But they also sell regular macarons as well.

They’re located in Costa Mesa in a small shopping center called The Lab, which is about an hour away. I so rarely go down to Orange County, but I decided I absolutely had to go when they announced one of their themes was Sailor Moon, a Japanese cartoon show dubbed into English that I loved as a kid.

hanhgry.com | Honey & Butter macarons

Ross and I got there 30 minutes before opening and there were already about a dozen people in line ahead of us. Did I mention it was also 90 degrees outside? I really hoped the macarons tasted as good as they looked.

hanhgry.com | Honey & Butter macarons

They had so many flavors! There’s another whole shelf below the ones pictured above with more flavors and it was so hard to decide which ones to try, but I got a pack of 6 in a gift box and 5 Sailor Moon-themed macarons.

hanhgry.com | Honey & Butter macarons on a plate

hanhgry.com | Honey & Butter macarons on a plate

Look how smooth the shells are! They use really high quality, finely ground almond flour.

What I loved about these macarons was the consistency in the texture. All the flavors had the right chewy, soft texture for the shells. No hollows or holes. And they lasted several days! I bought the macarons on Sunday and stored them in the fridge. I ate the last of them on Thursday and it was still nice and chewy. I’ve tried other macarons that get really dry and hollow the day after I buy them.

Verdict: I highly recommend Honey & Butter macarons; these are some of the best I’ve had and I’ve even tried the gold standard (Laduree) but what I love is the creativity of their designs and the unique flavors!

 

Flavor reviews:

Strawberry Lemonade (pink and yellow shells): I could taste real strawberries in the filling. It tasted true to the flavor name; the buttercream had a nice balance of tart from the lemon and sweet from the strawberries.

Churro (white and pink shells): Top shell was sprinkled with cinnamon sugar mixture. Buttercream filling had cinnamon sugar flavor to it. Tasted like churros, but not like cinnamon buns– cinnamon bun/roll flavored stuff tends to taste really cinnamon-y and creamy, but this tasted like straight cinnamon sugar, so more true to churros.

Milk and honey (pure white): a light vanilla taste with a hint of honey. Not too sweet.

Matcha (white shells): The matcha green tea buttercream was perfect– it wasn’t bitter the way matcha can be sometimes and had a light floral note to it.

Sea salt caramel (robin’s egg blue shells): So some places that do a salted caramel macaron have a caramel buttercream, others do a caramel filling. H&B uses a salted caramel buttercream and it was sooo good.

French Toast Crunch (white and robin’s egg blue shells): This was so cute with the French Toast Crunch cereal pieces, I had to get it. It tasted kind of similar to the churro macaron, but not as strong a cinnamon flavor.

hanhgry.com | Sailor Moon themed macarons from Honey & Butter

Luna (chocolate cat): Rich chocolate ganache filling, almost fudge-like in consistency. I don’t love chocolate, I like it but usually prefer other flavors but this was really, really good. I wanted another one.

Artemis (white cat): This had a taro buttercream filling. Taro is a very common ingredient used in Asian desserts; it’s a root vegetable similar to a potato or yam. This tasted like straight up pureed taro in buttercream.

Sailor Pluto: I honestly don’t remember what flavor the filling was but I did wolf it down, so I must have liked it!

Sailor Uranus: Enchanted Berries (raspberry and strawberry). I really enjoyed the filling for this macaron because I don’t really like raspberry on its own, but combining it with strawberry

Sailor Saturn: Vanilla buttercream was smooth and sweet.

hanhgry.com | me at Honey & Butter macarons

Me sitting in front of the Airstream trailer where Honey & Butter is located!
Shirt: American Eagle Outfitters
Skirt: old, Modcloth
Shoes: old, Bait Footwear

 

Honey & Butter
2930 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Sunday: 12PM- until SOLD OUT

Prices:
Regular: $2
Character: $2.50-$3

hanhgry.com | soft serve cone with sprinkles from Dilly's Corner

small town & good eats: doylestown

My husband and I both grew up on the East Coast (suburbs of Philadelphia for him, suburbs of Washington, DC for me). We live in Los Angeles now but go back home several times a year. We’re at the age now where everyone we know is getting married, so the visits home have been more frequent the past few years for all the weddings.

A few weekends ago we flew back to Ross’s hometown of Doylestown, a sleepy and picturesque suburb of Philadelphia, for his friend’s wedding. Doylestown is very idyllic and much more rural than from where I grew up. It’s a very old town with beautiful homes (some from the 18th and 19th centuries), with a cute downtown area with lots of restaurants.

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outfit: butterflies, birds, and churros

hanhgry.com | by the lake hanhgry.com | by the lake hanhgry.com | churro vendor at the lake hanhgry.com | fresh churros

hanhgry.com | fresh churros being friedhanhgry.com | churros with LA skyline

 

hanhgry.com | eating freshly fried churros!

One of the things I love most about my adopted city is street food. Street vending is technically illegal in Los Angeles, but you wouldn’t know it walking around Echo Park. There are many food vendors at the lake, especially on the weekends when lots of people are around. There are vendors selling elote (Mexican corn on the cob), pupusas, bacon wrapped hot dogs, and CHURROS.

There used to be a churro truck parked a block away from our apartment called Salinas Churros. The truck was there nearly every day, frying up fresh churros and funnel cakes, and other fast, cheap eats like nachos or the slightly healthier fresas con crema (strawberries with a heavy hand of whipped cream topping). You could get 8 churros for $3 and the scent of sugary fried dough was intoxicating when you walked past the truck.

Unfortunately, the truck disappeared one day about 2 years ago and I haven’t seen it since. I miss seeing it around and getting a bag of piping hot churros on my way home from work. I thought my ultra-local source for churros was gone. But…

There’s a new churro cart at the lake! Ross and I were taking a some outfit photos and were walking to find a spot with good lighting when we saw the Churros Calientitos cart. What I liked was that they had a giant vat of oil frying up fresh churros. There have been other vendors that sold churros that were fried off-site and brought to the park, which isn’t as good because who wants to eat cold churros? Not me.

The churros are 3 for $1. We watched the churro vendor rotate the dough press and drop long pieces of batter into the oil. His partner then took the churros from the oil and rolled them a pan of cinnamon-sugar mixture and placed them in a bag for us. It was sooo good and after we ate the three, I wanted to get another order!

Shirt: old, Anthropologie
Skirt: old, ModCloth
Belt: old, ModCloth
Shoes: old, Nordstrom

Frances Bakery: macarons and cronuts

hanhgry.com | macarons from Frances Bakery

Every so often, a few former co-workers and I go on hikes (these are pretty short hikes, just a couple miles). It’s great to exercise and all, but the best part is going out to eat afterward. And then sometimes we get dessert. So many options around for dessert. Baked goods or pastries? Bubble tea? Ice cream? It all depends on your mood.

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bon appetea, ice cream, and polka dots on polka dots

hanhgry.com | jumping in front of the Fosselman's sign

Ross had some free time before he had to go to set for the last day of shooting on the film, so we went to a few places I love in the San Gabriel Valley.

The SGV is a region in Los Angeles County that is known for its Asian population and concentration of good and affordable Asian restaurants. You can find restaurants representing the different cuisines of China, Vietnam, Korea, and so on. But the SGV has a LOT of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants, so much so that there are restaurants specializing in specific regional cuisine such as Sichuan, Cantonese, or the typical Americanized Chinese food.

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streusel-topped zucchini bread and being unemployed

hanhgry.com | zucchini bread slices on cake stand

I was laid off from my job about three months ago. I knew it was coming, as the company I worked for was shutting down and every week there was another round of layoffs. Those last couple of weeks at work were…interesting, as everyone was kind of on edge even though we all knew we had the same fate. The day I got laid off, I wasn’t sad or surprised. It was more of a “oh well, time to move on” feeling. I think what I missed most of all was the routine, and my awesome co-workers.

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