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Fancy desserts in Berkeley and Oakland

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Hello, former pastry chef here pursuing desserts...
Looking for flavor, visuals, structure, interesting different things...

more like those in restaurants than gelato, bakeries, etc,
BUT ALL SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME!

Sure would like to know where to go...

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  1. haven't been there in a while, but A Cote on College (Rockridge) has always had unusual and exceptionally tasty desserts. Their cocktails are also yum. I seem to recall a dessert of chocolate toffee ice cream bon bons with caramel sauce that made my friend and i gasp. they change their menu often, so maybe there are some new surprises.

    1. Masse's on Shattuck, above Vine.

      1. Okay, it's a bakery/pastry shop but Masse's is, IMO, the best in the East Bay.

        Masse's
        1469 Shattuck Ave.
        Berkeley

        In the same complex with Black Oak Books and Saul's.

        1. here's a recent thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. Crixa in Berkeley

            also, in Berkeley (top part of Solano Ave.) there's a nice bakery/pastry shop on Solano near Colusa -- forget the name though.

            1. Oliveto's my favorite restaurant for desserts. Anything featuring seasonal fruit, particularly the frangipane tart (currently off, maybe because of the hot weather).

              http://www.oliveto.com/dessertmenu.pdf

              1. Chez Panisse Cafe consistently has outstanding seasonal fruit tarts.

                My go to place for desserts of all sorts is Sketch Ice Cream. In addition to great ice cream they have superb cookies, cakes and candies. The chocolate pudding cake and salt toffee are not to be missed.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                  morton, do they always have the salted toffee and the pudding cake (is the cake an individual size and how much does it cost?) also, what flavors of their "ice cream" are on offer on a daily basis? Is vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and strawberry always available and also what are the prices on the scoops? thanks, and lastly do they pack up pints also?

                  1. re: kevin

                    They always have the pudding cake at the start of the day but it will sell out. I'm also fond of the lemoon cake and the chocolate chip cookie. The toffee is usually available on weekends but not always on the weekdays and sometimes when it's really hot outside they don't make it. My absolute favorite candies are the chocolate caramels but they don't make them in the Summer. The caramel corn is also excellent.

                    Their standard flavors are: chocolate (sometimes cocoa nib), vanilla, coffee, burnt caramel and Strauss yogurt. They usually have several seasonal fruit flavors in both ice cream and sorbet (too late for strawberry but they've recently had blackberry and peach), one nut flavor (pistachio, almond, hazelnut or walnut) and one herb flavor, (usually sorbet - basil, mint, lavender, lemon verbana.) They usually have two or three granitas - coffee and one or two fruit flavors. They don't have cones.

                    Scoops are $3.50/single, $4.50/double, $5.50/triple - about 50 cents more than you'd pay at most gelato shops and worth every penny. Ice cream is available by the pint ($8), although I've found that the texture is never as good on the second day (though my freezer sucks). They keep it at an ideal temperature and spin everything fresh daily so it's always best straight from their cooler.

                    1. re: Morton the Mousse

                      thanks very helpful info, i'll stay away from the pints. and just get a triple and some of the toffee and of course that chocolate pudding cake.

                      last question, is there summer hours also limited like in the winter, or are they now open into the late evening? thanks again.

                      1. re: kevin

                        Hours are Sun-Tuhr 12-6, Fri and Sat 12-9.
                        They often sell out an hour before closing in the Summer.

                        1. re: kevin

                          I think it's just your freezer. A Sketch-addict friend bought a whole bunch of pints before they closed for vacation, and they were fine.

                  2. Crixa has some really great pastries. Their unique Hungarian and Russian specialties are excellent. Check their website or swing by the store and you'll find that they have a pretty extensive list of daily specials as welll. Since it's the peak of Summer fruit, there are a whole bunch of peach, plum and cherry pastries on the list.

                    http://www.crixacakes.com/

                    Welcome to the neighborhood!

                    a sante,
                    Curtis