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favorite desserts

Well, I am on a (surprisingly successful) diet, and I only get to eat a dessert every week or two (instead of ... well every day, which was my previous diet). I have to be picky. Because I am on this diet for health reasons, not just for vanity (although losing some weight feels nice), I am motivated. I decided that I should use my quota for only the best desserts in town; so I am looking for some kind of round up. Please help this dieting, insulin resistant, pre-diabetic chowhounder to satisfy her sweet tooth without getting into a sugar overdose for no good reason. What are your "i ate it and it was worth the insulin spike" desserts in town? Also, it there are any, what are the guilt free, lower glycemic index desserts in town, except for a perfectly ripe mango, papaya or a pint of July strawberries?

My roundup:

-Prune/phylo dessert with candied oranges and armagnac ice cream at P'tit Plateau: this is the best earthy/winter dessert ever created. Everytime I eat it, I realize how prunes are the most underrated species in the whole chow universe.
-Wavel prune paczki: see any pattern here?
-Premier Moisson lemon tart
-Plain natas from Bela Vista
-Vanilla-lavender cake from Cocoa Locale
-Hot chocolate with piment d'espelette from Festin du Babette.

These are what came to my mind when I want some no nonsense comforting desserts. Anything else?

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  1. Just back from dinner at Bazaar. Didn't notice whether it's still a ridiculous $3 like at the old location but the mignardise plate -- plates actually -- with the world's lightest pistachio halva, a baby baklava and a puddle of pomegranate molasses with a squiggle of tahini and a couple of mini (as in silver dollar-sized) pitas is as delicious as ever, and the cardamom and orange-scented crème caramel was exquisite as well as big enough to be shared by two. Rumi's Afghan pudding (made by Reema of Cocoa Locale) is worth the detour. Some of Au Cinquième Péché's desserts can be weird but fabulous. Haven't had it in its brasserie incarnation but Brunoise's vanilla panna cotta with basil syrup and passion fruit pulp had a cult following (it's also pretty easy to recreate at home). Pop should probably also be on your list.

    1. First of all, congratulations that your diet is going well! Keep up the good work. I think your philosophy of a special treat 1-2 times a week is very smart.

      Secondly, your list is pretty fantastic already. I love all those things, the only one I haven't tried is the prune paczki.

      I'm going to try to focus my list on desserts that are either not bad from a glycemic index point of view, or that come as a small but satisfying quantity that allows you to enjoy and be satisfied, but is not an oversized, excessive dessert that should be shared by 4 people instead of being scoffed down by one.

      - Chocolate covered fresh blueberries by the Peres Trappistes, available in August only. These are actually pretty healthy, as they have no other significant ingredients. And both ingredients are "good for you" - all the antioxidants and such. The only challenge is not eating the entire box in one sitting. I recommend slitting it into small portions. If you sit down with the box, you'll be surprised how many you can eat in one go.

      - Caramel au fleur de sel in a buttercrunch form, covered in dark chocolate at Genevieve Grandbois. They come in a small package, so if you only buy one small bag, you won't overdo it. Fabulous.

      - Caramel au fleur de sel tart with nuts. My favorite ones come from Fous Desserts, and rarely, Martine makes them at Festin de Babette.

      - Any small portion of Havres-aux-glaces. The $2.50 portion is very reasonable in size. I just tried the chai flavour, very yummy. And the nice thing is the amount of variety.

      - A dessert crepe from Jean-Talon market, the creperie near PorcMeilleur. We had a chocolate crepe today, they are great.

      -Chausson aux pommes, Bouchees Gourmand. (or does this count as a breakfast item?) They also do great crepes.

      A nice small piece of runny raw milk cheese (my current faves: Epoisses, or Riopelle) with a single Medjool date. What a great excuse to eat those dates.

      A fresh donut from Samos bakery. (Yeast donuts)

      A cannoli from Alati-casserta or Alati. Both are great.

      I always love a few good pieces of dark chocolate.

      Tiramisu at Da Emma. Light, creamy, perfect.

      1 Reply
      1. re: moh

        I sometimes wonder why they even bother putting expiry dates on the chocolate-covered blueberries...it is truly amazing how fast those things disappear once you get them home...

      2. anything caramel does it for me; I made a sticky date pudding cake for Easter and it was amazing. I rarely bake.

        Iles flottantes is my favorite dessert in restaurants, les 2 Singes and Guy/Dodo have it on their menu at all times, the Ritz also but I never eat there.

        1. Those teeny tiny cookies at Nocochi - and because they're so small (and mostly made with chickpea flour) they can't be as bad for you as white flour, can they???

          1 Reply
          1. re: cherylmtl

            Yes, and they are not too sweet either. Excellent point.

          2. If I could marry a food item it would probably be the pouding chomeur at Au Pied de Cochon. Other delicious and totally worth it desserts I can think of that haven't been mentioned:

            • chocolate covered baklava from a greek bakery called Picadilly (542 avenue Ogilvy)

            • pistachio baklava from Marché Akhavan

            • tire d'érable ice cream at Bilboquet

            • dulce de leche churros from Churros Montreal or from Sabor Latino

            • amazing pistachio gelato from Roberto's

            • caramel et sel de mer noire ice cream from Meu Meu (I am also partial to their passion fruit flavour)

            • macarons from Europea

            I probably have a million more, since I've got such a sweet tooth! I will likely update when I think of more.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mainsqueeze

              If you like chocolate covered baklavas... there is a greek patisserie/chocolaterie in VSL (strip mall on Poirier and Grenet), I believe the name is Chocolats St-Laurent (?), that has several varieties, i.e. pistachio, almond, walnut end even white chocolate!!! They are pure heaven and you can totally portion control. The owner is super nice and always gives you one to try while there.

            2. Arab baklava at Mahrouse (1010 de Liege West near L'Acadie, 514 279-1629) and Amal Bohsali (1420 Sauvé West near Adonis, 514 920-0999).

              Lobster tails from Alati-Caserta (277 Dante, 514 271-3013) and Alati (5265 Jean Talon East, 514 729-2891).

              2 Replies
              1. re: carswell

                How many times approx. have you ventured to Alati? For the longest time, you didn't want to trek that far to check out Alati(5265 Jean Talon East).

                1. re: BLM

                  Not sure what bearing it has on the discussion but approximately once, as documented on this board. No need to schlep out to St-Léonard, however, when you have a friend with wheels who occasionally invites you to dinner and who's a lobster tail pig, er, connoisseur. And I do. Said friend, btw, usually prefers Alati-Caserta's mock crustacean ("usually" because quality is variable; when they're good, though, they're really good).

              2. I believe I've mentioned on other threads that the Saint- Honore cheesecake at Bleu Raisin is just about the best thing I've ever tasted. Unfortunately, I don't think it's the type of place where one could just pop in for desert. Though you could always call and find out.

                1. - Chocolate creme brulee at Pintxo
                  - Sour cherry clafouti at Renoir in the Sofitel
                  - Chef's choice dessert sampler at Zeste de Folie

                  1. My boyfriend got the pain perdu last time we were at Lemeac and it was incredible. Sizeable portion, big scoop of vanilla (or possibly maple) ice cream drizzled with mapley goodness. I couldn't stop eating it, much to his chagrin.

                    I also love going to get cupcakes at Cocoa Locale like nobody's business.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: killedwithkarate

                      Pot-de-crème au chocolat, caramel et sel de Maldon at Laloux

                    2. I know this isn't a fancy place for dessert but you really have to try the hazlenut cake at Commensal, it is so good and there's no flour in it-doesn't keep insulin spikes at bay but it's so worth it. Be warned, if you have never been to Commensal, they're desserts are in an open buffet setting so you can slice a piece from several desserts-can be a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips moment if you're not careful. You also need to try the choco-chai cupcakes & choco-chili brownies at Cocoa Locale.

                      1. The pain dore at Lemeac is absurdly good.