Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Over the course of 2 weeks, I’ve basically tried everything new on Sugar Philly‘s menu so that I could give a fair and insightful evaluation on its newest desserts:
Mango Rice Pudding:
This dessert is a misnomer because I barely tasted any mango in it aside from a hint of sourness. I assume that this was traditionally Thai based on the description that there was basil syrup and coconut meringue. However, I tasted neither in the chewy wad of rice pudding. There was a faint hint of coconut within the pudding but it was again overpowered by the rice. My favorite part of the mango rice pudding was the nutty, crunchy praline topping.
Vanilla Creme Brulee:
I enjoyed this dessert very much: the hard caramelized shell, the creamy eggy flavor, and the gelatinous pudding-esque properties. The actual cream custard part resembled flan but slightly thicker. There were actual little black vanilla bean dots that gave the brulee a soft French vanilla scent. My main complaint is that the caramel layer was a bit too thick and that the custard itself could be given more dimension.
Creme Fraiche Cheesecake:
The cheesecake had an intense flavor, perfectly paired with crunchy, buttery crumbs of polvoron-like cookies and a tangy fruity blueberry confit. The cheesecake itself was very balanced, not too creamy, not too thin, and definitely home-made. It would have been a marvelous dessert if not for the chunks of unblended cream cheese suspended in the cake. Although the uneven whisking proves that the cheesecake was indeed handmade, it also shows that the chef cannot mass-produce cheesecakes without sacrificing some quality. To blend cream cheese by hand takes time, so I suggest getting a food processor to do the job. If not for the texture issue, this would probably be my favorite dessert, but as of now my favorite is still the panna cotta from fall.
I’ve tried chocolate, milk & honey, and mango, and my opinion on the macarons is that they’re still too sweet and crunchy. There is no clean crispness when biting into the cookie, and the ganache is not strong enough. Most of the macaron’s inherent flavor is masked by overbearing sweetness. The most compromising macaron is the milk & honey since the ganache is a bit buttery and milky, which distracts from the eater from the sweetness of the wafers.