Over the last few months, I managed to sample sweets from a few of the stalls at the Calgary Farmers’ Market. I tried a few doughnuts from Jelly Modern Doughnuts, the drinking chocolate from Choklat, the tiramisu from Crazy Pasta, and most recently, a bunch of treats from Orchid Pastry.
Jelly Modern Doughnuts
Even though Jelly Modern has been around for a couple of years now, I still haven’t made it over to their shop on 8 Street SW yet. On one of my trips to the Calgary Farmers’ Market late last year, I decided to stop by the Jelly Modern stall and pick up a few their three bite doughnuts ($1.95 each) to try. The first donut I tried was Red Velvet, which consisted of a red velvet cake doughnut with a cinnamon marscapone frosting and topped with red sprinkles. I found the doughnut itself to be a touch on the dry and dense side. The icing was a bit too sweet for my liking. Overall, I didn’t really think this doughnut had any wow factor.
The second doughnut I tried was the S’mores, which consisted of a raised doughnut with a chocolate ganache glaze and a marshmallow creme center. The doughnut was finished with a dusting of graham cracker crumbs. This doughnut was better but again, didn’t have that wow factor. I really wanted to like Jelly Modern. But compared to the ones from Lucky’s Doughnuts and Cartems Donuterie in Vancouver, I personally prefer the doughnuts from those two places more. Jelly Modern definitely has a following though. Last year, they were featured by John Catucci on Food Network Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here. And recently, Jelly Modern won first prize on Food Network’s Donut Showdown. So they definitely must be doing something right. I’m willing to go back and try some of the other flavours. Perhaps, I’ll find one that I like on my second visit.
Note that as of May 31, 2013, the Choklat stall at the Calgary Farmers’ Market will be closing. You can still get their products at their original Inglewood location as well as at their new Bankers’ Hall location.
A couple of months back, after having a burger at Silver Sage, I convinced my coworker to stop by the Choklat stall with me for some dessert. I’d been eyeing their Drinking Chocolate for some time and finally decided to try it. Choklat offers several varieties of drinking chocolate including some that are flavoured with hazelnut butter, fresh espresso, or spiced with cinnamon, Garam Masala, and cayenne pepper. Being my first experience, I decided to go with the classic OMG ($5.99), which is made with crushed cocoa beans and corn starch and topped with whipped cream. It was rich, velvety and in a league of its own. I’ll never look at hot chocolate or cocoa the same way again. This was literally like drinking liquid chocolate. It was a really decadent dessert in a cup. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to have the Drinking Chocolate after the burger as I was already quite full. The Drinking Chocolate put me over the top. I didn’t even end up eating dinner that night. As a foodie, I sometimes forget to use my brain and instead, I let me food obsession take over. As if the Drinking Chocolate wasn’t rich enough already, I also picked up on of their Chocolate Cupcakes ($3.99 each), which are my favourite cupcakes in Calgary. The cupcake itself is rich, moist, and decadent because instead of using regular butter, cocoa butter is used. The cupcake is topped with whipped chocolate ganache that has the texture of thick whipped cream but with an intense chocolate flavour. I’m normally not even a cupcake person but Choklat’s cupcakes are still the best cupcakes that I’ve ever had, especially when they are fresh. Comparatively, as a dessert, I still think the cupcakes beat out the drinking chocolate although the drinking chocolate is perfect for a cold winter’s day.
More recently, I was back the Calgary Farmers’ Market again for lunch. This time it was to try the naanwiches from Shef’s Fiery Kitchen. For dessert, I was thinking of giving Jelly Modern a second try but as I walked up to the Jelly Modern stall, I noticed the tiramisu from the Crazy Pasta stall, which was located across Jelly Modern at the Calgary Farmers’ Market. In particular, I noticed that Crazy Pasta offered two varieties for tiramisu – the traditional and the Amaretto.
I decided to try a piece of the Amaretto Tiramisu ($3.50). It was delicious and easily one of the better versions of tiramisu that I’ve had. The amaretto flavour gave the tiramisu a tasty unique twist. Relative to the price, I thought the portion was really generous. I also liked that it was not overly sweet. This Amaretto Tiramisu would be a great option if I was craving dessert next time I’m at the farmers’ market.
Last weekend, I was at the Calgary Farmers’ Market again. This time my friend Anna of Anna’s Appetite suggested that we try some treats from Orchid Pastry. Recently, I’d tried a piece of cake made by Orchid Pastry at KOOB‘s birthday party a couple of weeks ago and was really impressed. I was hoping that Orchid would have individual slices of this vanilla cake with strawberry cream filling. Sadly, they didn’t have any but I managed to find other interesting treats to try.
The gentleman at the Orchid counter gave us a piece of Sohan/Saffron Candy ($1.50 each; $5.85 for half dozen; $9.85 per dozen) to try. This was my first time trying Saffron Candy so I wasn’t sure what to expect initially.
Sohan is a traditional Iranian saffron toffee brittle, originally from the city of Qom. It is usually made from wheat sprout, flour, egg yolks, rose-water, sugar, butter or vegetable oil, saffron, cardamom and slivers of almond and pistachio. The saffron and cardamom give the candy a very exotic and complex flavour. I liked that the brittle wasn’t overly hard and not overly sweet either. I totally fell in love with it after the first bite and ended up buying a half dozen.
The gentleman was also nice enough to let us try one of the slices of Zoolbia ($2 each). He explained that the Zoobia is actually a deep-fried pastry made from yogurt, starch, sugar, rose-water, and soaked in honey.
The Zoolbia is actually very similar to the Indian Jalebi except that I found the Zoolbia to be lighter and not as sweet. Overall, the Zoolbia was tasty but my favourite by far was the Sohan/Saffron Candy.
Anna and I each decided to get a piece of Napoleon Pastry/Napeloni ($4.50), which consisted of crunchy layers of baked puff pastry in between layers of vanilla flavoured whipped cream. This classic dessert was so simple and yet so delicious!
I really like that Orchid Pastry has quite an interesting selection of sweets and desserts. If you’re in the mood to try something new, I highly recommend them. I know I definitely will be back for more of the Saffron Candy as well as to try some of their other pastries and sweets.
Calgary Farmers’ Market
510 77th Avenue SE
Jelly Modern Doughnuts
Choklat (Until May 31,2013)