Sugar High

If dessert is your favorite part of the meal, then this collection is for you

My return to The Little DOOR Bistro & Bakery (949 Ton That Thiep, D1; www.facebook.com/thelittledoorbymrsimple) had always been imminent, something I greatly looked forward to. This time I return with the privilege of tasting a selection of their desserts and housemade baked goods—each crafted with extreme care, following the philosophy that dessert is something special, a pleasure to be enjoyed piece by piece. Sitting in my royal blue chair, the first few of the decadent sweets varying in colors, textures and styles are placed before me on the glossy white table.

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I pick up my petite spoon and dip it into a tall, slender shot glass of Panna Cotta with Rum (VND45,000). It cuts smoothly into the cream colored concoction, slicing off a rich bite. The thickness and acidity from the alcohol leaves the diner feeling satisfied after a meal, not requiring too much or leaving them overly satiated.

Sharing a plate with the shot glass of panna cotta is a slice of Berry Cheesecake (VND55,000), the mixture of cranberries, raspberries and blackberries is soft in order to complement the firmness of the cream cheese. Made purposefully light, it eases the guilt of over indulging. It is topped with a berry jam that stands out, but doesn’t take away from the cake filling. The cheesecake is set in a delectable crust made of coconut and housemade graham crackers. The outside is then delicately burnt to create variance in flavor without affecting the inside texture.

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I continue on my sweet journey with a sizeable piece of Black Forest Cake (VND55,000). This cake is made specially with only ganache and sponge cake as the filling in order to allow the diner to taste each layer with every delicious bite. The sponge is meticulously made so as to not become too moist, just enough to taste the contrast with the ganache. The cake is finely balanced, and even though it is luxuriant, it has a surprisingly light finish.

Now, I excitedly break my spoon through the glazed sugar topping of a lustrous golden Creme Brûlée (VND60,000). Held within an adorable pink ramekin, it’s freshly torched. Beneath the layers of caramelized sweet and voluminous custard is a layer of cranberries, a fresh take on the classic dessert. The berries are included to give the decadent, fatty flavor some balance of sour and sweet. And, as a person who has more than once uttered the words, “I don’t really like creme brûlée,” I truly love this creme brûlée.

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The dessert tasting is completed with a scoop of housemade chocolate ice cream (VND40,000) and specialty sea salt coffee (VND55,000). The single scoop of chocolate was just enough, its rich and creamy thickness reminiscent of fudge from a vintage American drug store on a hot summer day, sprinkled with mocha shavings. The Little DOOR also offers housemade ice cream in vanilla, matcha and red wine. The sea salt coffee nicely finishes off the extravagant sampling. Upon stirring the sea salt cream from the top down to the bottom, the saltiness and bitterness from the espresso cleanses my palate after indulging in all of that sweetness.

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The panna cotta is my, and the bakery’s Chef Michael’s, favorite. The Little DOOR Bistro & Bakery specialty desserts are unique and exquisite, the only of their kind. The precision with which they are made is due to practice, dedication, and adhering to only the highest of standards. As Chef Michael says, “baking is like golf, you must be concentrated. If anything is wrong, it’s gone. You have to do it again. You have to focus.” And with that perfectionist mentality, the desserts are a genuine treat.

Images Provided by The Little DOOR

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