Monday, April 8, 2013

Best Desserts in Utah (chocolate cake, mousse, creme brulee, etc)

Best Desserts in Utah
- revised 4 March 2015

Check out Best Ice Cream in Utah, Best Pies in Utah, Best Peach Cobbler in Utah, and our OTHER FOOD REVIEWS at 

Best chocolate decadent (flourless) cake - our favorites!

1. Zoom, Park City. A+ (with cherry compote: A+). Callie Varner, the Pastry chef, has done an amazing job there.

2. P. F. Chang, national chain. A

3. Madison Gastropub, Provo A-/A

4.. Windy Ridge Cafe, Park City. A-/A

5. Chef's Table, Orem (not serving this dessert in fall 2014). A- 

6. Snake Creek Grill, Heber City. A-

7. Red Butte Grill, SLC. B+/A-

8.. Mamacita's, Provo. B+

9. Whole Foods Market, SLC, various locations.(national chain) B+

10. Windy Ridge Bakery, Park City, orange flavored "chocolate torte" B+ 

11. Riverhorse, Park City (not serving in fall 2014),  with oreo crust. B+

12. Snake Creek Grill, Heber City, a second type: one layer of their black bottom banana cream pie - the pie filling is a C but the flourless chocolate cake it rests upon, different than the regular flourless cake, is a B+

13. Red Butte Grill, SLC. "Truffle Aztec Tart.." Has truffle-like choc filling, dusted with cocoa and cinnamon, overed in bittersweet choc glaze and toasted almonds.. B

14. Shabu, Park City. B-

15. Cafe Rio (various locations) chocolate flan (some similarities to flourless chocolate cake). C

16. Trader Joe's, national chain, in SLC. C-

Note: Sundance was also a contender for one of the top spots, but pastry chef Jessica left in mid 2013.

Best chocolate raspberry flour cake 

1, Burgers & Bourbon, Park City, Montage at Deer Creek, "Ginormous Cake." Cake alone: A-; with raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries, and whipped cream: A alone. A+ with their fresh raspberries and whipped cream. Note that they drench the sauce over the cake before serving - or so it seems, as the second and third times we've ordered it they provided a side of sauce for us to pour over it. Important note: in October 2014 when we had it a third time they used raspberry jam of sorts - at least not FRESH RASPBERRIES - and the jam was a D -. That made the cake-with-jam a C- so it was best to leave off the jam, as the cake itself rates a B/B+.

This may be the most expensive slice of cake in Utah (but fairly large) at $14. 

2. Z's Chophouse, Midway A- / A 
(their cake alone: B)

3. Red Butte Cafe, SLC. "Chocolate Aztec Tart" (we got it with raspberry jam; at rare times they serve it with fresh raspberries. With jam: B+++

4. Seigfried's Deli, downtown SLC B/B+ 
(Note that there are 2 other decent cakes of their cakes listed in the last section below. We've had all of their's, but these are in our opinion the best.)

5. Special order note: If you requested a full cake from The Chocolate in Orem, they would custom make you a raspberry chocolate cake. In so doing, request milk chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting. It would be an A.

6. Gloria's Little Italy: Fragosa chocolate cake with raspberry filling and Italian cream. B

Best regular chocolate cake

4 A's:
1. Billy Blanco's, Park City A
2. The Chocolate, Orem - only the "Brooklyn Blackout," with dark chocolate ganache frosting A-
3. Whole Foods Market, national chain and SLC locations, "Rubicon" brand.A-
4. Bangkok Thai, Park City - molten cake. A-

The rest are Bs and Cs:
5. Burgers and Bourbon, Park City, Ginormous cake (minus the raspberry jam) B
6. The Chocolate, Orem - "Cherib" - milk chocolate cake milk with chocolate frosting B
7. The Chocolate, Orem - The Husband - yellow cake with chocolate frosting B+ (not a true choc cake)
8. Gloria's Little Italy. They offer 4 chocolate cakes (we tested them all) of their many cake varieties; their best is "Duomo Cioccolato: B/B_
9. Ditto: "Turtle," also an B/B+
10. P. F. chang. alone: B/B+. With added fruit and mediocre raspberry syrup. B+
10. Gloria's. 3rd best: moist, but needs stronger chocolate flavor. B- 
11. Gloria's 4th best: tarfuto? good if warmed (not good unless warmed). B-
12. Gloria's 5th best choco and  strawberry B-
13. Gloria's 6th best: choc nutella B-
14. French Bakery, Provo B/B+ (cale alone C)
15. Cheesecake Factory tower truffle B+ (cake alone C)
16. Cheesecake Factory Linda's Fudge Cake B - - (cake alone C)
17. Cheesecake Factory Black out cake B - -
18. (not in this category, but also at Cheesecake Factory is our fave cheesecake there: Godiva cheesecake B+)

Honorable mentions (B's):

Harvest, Thanksgiving Point
Iggy's tower cake
LaJolla Groves, Provo bundt cake
Numerous others in Utah we tried are B-minuses and Cs.

Best Misc. cakes:

1. Orange Chocolate Mousse Cake, Red Butte Cafe, A+ 

2. carrot cake - Black Sheep, Provo A+ (at least before mid 2013: it may be different now. Their chocolate mousse before then was the best in the state, but has slipped way down.)

3. carrot cake - Archibald's, South Jordan A-

4  beet cake, weird but gets an A from Pago, SLC A

5. strawberry poppy seed cake (they use seasonal fruits). Red Butte Cafe, SLC A-

6. carrot cake - Red Butte Cafe, SLC B/B+ (Amazingly, this is the lowest grade of all their wonderful cakes.) For Carrot cake, see better offerings above.

7. "Husband," yellow cake with milk chocolate fudge frosting. The Chocolate, Orem. B

8. black forest cake - Siegfried's Deli, Salt Lake City B-/B

9. German chocolate cake - Siegfried's Deli, Salt Lake City B-

10. Gloria's Little Italy - Strawberry white cake with Italian cream and chocolate covered strawberries on top

Note: Little Italy Cakes are good - but most rate a B - of their 11 that we tried. (The higher rated ones are in various categories above.) 

11. ditto. Lemon-raspberry white cake 

12. ditto. tiramisu

Best chocolate cheesecake

1. Godiva chocolate cheesecake, Cheesecake Factory
Note: We tested most of their 30+ cheesecakes and all their chocolate ones. This is the best by far. Second best is:
2. Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake, Cheesecake Factory 

Best Chocolate Mousse in Utah

Note: Although Pago's version is a "panna cotta" and thus has no egg whites in it like mousse has, if you like chocolate mousse, we recommend Pago for the best-tasting version of this, which is technically not mousse.

1. Olive Garden, national chain B+
2. Mimi's Cafe - petite chocolate mousse B+
3 Tiburon, Sandy - chocolate almond B+
4. Black Sheep, Provo - chocolate B (it used to be the only A in the state until mid 2013)
5. LaJolla Groves, Provo - triple chocolate B-
6. Talisker, Park City - Valrona choc mousse with pistachio flavor. B-
7. Bistro 412, Park City - liquor mint choc mousse. B-

8. Enliten, Provo - chocolate C+ (but their fruit tarts rate an A. Great cream filling) (They have strawberry and mango mousse as well, both rating Cs.)
9. Appleby's. D

Historical note:  Best ever was at Black Sheep before mid 2013: it was the only A. Also good: Spark, Provo went out of business June 2013. 

Best other-flavored Mousse in Utah
a. Lavender mousse: Purple Sage, Park City: A - (with berries: A)

Best Chocolate Pudding in Utah 
1. Copper Onion, downtown SLC, dark, A
2. Cafe Terigo, Park City: A (they call it "chocolate creme brule" but it's like a great pudding; should be eaten same day - not as good next day!). A
3.  Ruth's Diner, Emigration Canyon, SLC, light, A -
4. Trader Joe's (buy in container), dark, B+
5. Kozy Korner (in containers at many grocery stores), light, C (best of the store-bought brands by far)

Best Panna Cotta in Utah 
(From northern Italy, this dish (when rarely made right, such as the Top 2 places below do) is made from cream, milk and sugar, with some amount of gelatin. (El cheapo versions, which most are, go heavy on the gelatin and light or non-existent on the cream, using milk probably.)

1. Pago, SLC. Chocolate (VERY similar tasting to chocolate mousse, but, as stated above under chocolate mousse, panna cotta has no egg whites in it) A

WARNING: THIS one from Pago IS THE ONLY DESSERT IN THIS SECTION THAT MUST BE EATEN WHEN SERVED - It DOES NOT last  - at least if it is out of the fridge for long and then refrigerated and eaten the next day -  because it collapses and a bad texture.

2. Pizzaria 712, Orem (tangy but yummy, with an amazing thin, real fruit sauce). A

3. Harvest, Alpine, buttermilk panna cotta withberries: alone: A - -. with berries: A

Enliten, Provo: C-

HISTORICAL NOTE: The best ever was at Spark, Provo, but out of business since June 2013.

Best Creme Brulee in Utah 
1. Cafe Terigo, Park City, chocolate creme brulee
2. Wahso Asian Grill, Park City, coconut creme brulee
3. Sundance, Provo Canyon: vanilla: A- (in 2013, but these places change pastry chefs and go up and own in quality)
4. Chef's Table, Orem: cinemmon: B+
5. Sweet and Savory, Orem: vanilla: B+
6. Harvest Restaurant, Lehi (Point of the Mountain): vanilla: B
7. LaJolla Groves, Provo: tangerene:  B-
8. Snake Creek Grill (like pudding, not creamy enough): B-

Historical note: Best item in the Creme Brule family we found was the Creme Brule Cheesecake at Spark Restaurant, Provo; but out of business since June 2013.

 Best cinnamon buns in Utah
1. Marley's Sliders - house made (sometimes only on Saturdays - so call first) A
2. BYU Creamery A-
3. Hruskie's Kolaches, Provo. B+
4. Cinnabon. too sweet for some of us. B+

Best tasting chocolate chip cookies in Utah
We've tested them at nearly every cafe, grocery store, and many convenience stores in Utah, as well as bakeries. This is a subjective list because some like them crunchy, others chewy. One key is to get them made with real butter, not margarine, which filters out 95% on the market. These are our favorite 4:
1. Daly's Pub in Park City A-
2. Brent and Sam's organic - health food stores such as Good Earth
3. Sam's Choice - WalMart
4. Brent and Sam's regular grocery store version
5. Chili's (giant, warm chocolate chip cookie - in a skillet with chocolate sauce): B/B+

Other Best DESSERTS in Utah

1. beet cake, Pago, SLC 

2. dessert crepe with strawberries, ice cream, chocolate sauce drizzle - Sweet and Savory, Orem: A

3. Bananas foster, Sweet and Savory, Orem - A

4. Sweet Potato cheesecake - Sundance: A-

5. lime-filled cupcaeks: B++ at Sean's Smokehouse, Saratoga Springs (heavy, European style cake with decent lime filling)

6praline pecan cookie - Kaiser's BBQ, Salt Lake City

7. Lemon meringue tart, Red Butte Cafe, SLC B/B+ (could be in "pies" category)

8. vanilla creme brulee B-/B, Harvest at Thanksgiving Point

9. chocolate cake with raspberry chocolate truffle filling B, at ditto

10. dark chocolate strawberry ganache tart, at ditto (sour cream ganache, strawberry, pecat tart shell, with caramel sauce) B-

Misc chocolate desserts from Whole Foods Market, SLC
a. n/a
b. Rubicon chocoalte cake A-
c. triple chocolate mousse cake B+/A-
(chocolate mousse part: A-/A)
d. eruption cake: total: C (chocolate cakecenter: B-/B)
e. bestever chocolate explosion slice C+/B-
f. cheesecake part C+/B-
g. choc mousse C+/B-
h. choc cake B-
i. apple pie B-
j. pecan pie B-

 - check out our ratings on the Best Pies, Cobblers, and Ice Cream in Utah!

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