bakery

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/