How Sweet It Is…to Love Their Pastries!
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, this is going to be about the Lower East Side bakery, How Sweet It Is.
I’ve read about this tiny, charming place from the NY Times’ Dining section from Wednesday’s paper. Since I love bakeries, I might as well check the place out on Thursday when my class schedule is more flexible.
I first arrived there about 9:15 AM, when the day was dreary, cold, and wet. As I entered the door to this warm, adorable, inviting bakery, I was welcomed by three women: two of them were the co-owners, Ellen and Beth, who were setting up their display case preparing for the morning rush.
What Beth told me, they are technically in “soft opening mode” since they just had their Friends & Family event last night and after the press they have received from the aforementioned Times article, they decided to open up the shop earlier.
After standing in front of the counter for five minutes, I was perplexed in what the heck to eat for breakfast. Beth probably read my mind, she chimed in and guided me what’s available for the morning, which consisted of four different muffins (lemon blueberry, blueberry, cranberry, and another flavor that is blanking at the moment, sorry), the Lemony Cheesepuffs, four kinds of danishes, chocolate chip coffeecakes, sticky buns, rugelach, scones, and a whole plethora of other goodies that would boggle your mind! …Or at least mine.
After digesting what was said, recommended, and seen, I ended up getting myself a sticky bun and a Lemony Cheesepuff accompanied with a small cup of their Counter Culture coffee.
The sticky bun was tasty. It’s like biting off a buttery, tender, sugar glazed cloud that’s densely swirled with currants, pecans, and chopped walnuts, that every bite a currant or nut rains. It’s sweet (but not terribly) and quite sticky. It’s very different from Balthazar and Bouchon’s sticky buns, which I find very dense compared to this. The size is just right for breakfast where you don’t feel like you’re eating a really indulgent pastry for the morning.
But since me, being me, I went an extra mile of decadence and eaten the dainty lemony cheesepuff. Despite of it’s petite size, it packs a wallop in terms of flavors and textures. It is light since it is a puff, and it each little crevices are filled with creamy, light, and lemony cream cheese. Wow. I would have gotten a couple of more of these but since my conscience is kicking in preventing me to do so, since I have already damaged my entire day’s diet and have to work out an extra hour to two to compensate what I’ve eaten.
I almost forgotten to mention their coffee. It’s lighter than what I normally would love to drink. But it is nicely balanced and has a slightly acidic tone at the end. It’s a good accompaniment to their pastries, rather than dominating it.
After eating my breakfast, I’ve asked the ladies if I could take a couple of photos of this place. They don’t mind but they wanted me to wait a while since they’re putting up the last pastries for the morning. So, here’s a couple of photos of what I’ve taken during the morning.
After taken the photos (a lot more than displayed), I said goodbye to them with lingering thoughts of coming back later in the afternoon right after my government midterm. Oh yes, tests induces me to eat a ton o’ sugar! It’s weird but that’s what happens every time.
Right after my lunch at Prem-On Thai, I walked over to this bakery. Beth and another employee welcomed me back, and I explained my repeated visit to Beth that I wanted their Devil’s Food and Chocolate Mousse cupcake. I’m a sucker for tiny cakes or tiny anything that is edible and pretty. After ordering the cupcake and perusing their refrigerated case, I noticed that they have rotated a few things out and noticed an intriguing looking dessert that looks like a cheesecake topped with kumquats and it’s sitting on top of a nest. I asked, “What is it?” Beth explained that it’s a goat cheesecake with candied kumquats with a kataifi nest. It sounded so good and different that I told them, “I’ll have that, too.”
I’ve had one too many cupcakes in my life where cupcakes were bone-dry, tasteless, and terribly sweet that my teeth aches in pain from the frosting. But this doesn’t have any of those aforementioned characteristics. The Devil’ Food cupcake is very light, ridiculously moist (in a good way), chocolatey, and filled with the creamiest chocolate mousse I’ve ever tasted in a cupcake; all topped with light, airy, vanilla buttercream. The most surprising thing to me is that the entire cupcake wasn’t cloyingly sweet (especially the frosting), and the cake is very tender and light. This is the closest to the best cupcake I’ve eaten so far.
Then I moved to my last sweet of the day, the goat cheesecake. First of all, I felt kind of bad eating this aesthetically attractive dessert. I haven’t seen any bakery decorate cheesecakes like this nor put kumquats in anything, unless I’m eating in a restaurant.
Once I took a bite of this cake, this was heaven. The goat cheesecake was very smooth and creamy. The goat cheese was very mild that the candied kumquat just took over and imparted its sweet, tart, citrusy tones emanating on my palate. The kataifi (which is shredded phyllo dough) nest was an interesting take on the typical graham cracker cookie crust. It’s very delicate and gave the cheesecake an ethereal brittleness, if you will, to the cake. If anything and everything I’ve tried from this bakery, this is my favorite by far.
Here’s more dessert photos that is different from the morning’s…
I’m in love with this bakery: the wonderful, friendly people who work here, the unique pastries and desserts, and the shop itself is so cute and welcoming! This is a great bakery and it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood. It’s truly a gem. I just wish I lived closer…well, maybe not, before exercising is an afterthought.
How Sweet It Is
157 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002