4 Desserts You Have To Eat Now
If you need a reason to blow your diet, here it is.
Grandonas, left, from Let Them Eat Cupcakes in Chinatown and chocolate-dipped mochi bites studded with Fruity Pebbles from Chocolate + Vanilla Bakery in Kaimukī. These are two of the desserts you need to try now.
Photos: Courtesy of Let Them Eat Cupcakes and Chocolate + Vanilla Bakery
It’s Wednesday and you’re tired of eating another salad. We don’t blame you. While you could use the rat lungworm excuse—we all have!—we’ve got four better reasons to love and hate yourself at the same time.
1. Malafrozada, Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery
The Malafrozada at Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery is a new twist on the popular Portuguese pastry.
Photo: Courtesy of Gayla Young
When Gayla Young, owner of Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery, first told me about this new dessert, I had two thoughts: This is genius and Why hasn’t anyone done this before?
She's combined two of the shop’s signature treats—made-to-order malassadas and ice cream—to create what she’s calling a “malafrozada.” It’s her creamy ice cream—a specially made malassada base that’s pasteurized in house—dotted with chunks of malassadas and caramelized sugar to give it some crunch. The dessert, which debuted on Easter Sunday, sells for $3.50 a scoop or $9 a pint.
“Everyone loves malassadas and, since ice cream is the No. 1 dessert in the country, why not mix the two?” Young says.
What’s interesting, if not totally contradictory, is that malassadas are usually best when served hot out of the oven. This dessert is the opposite. “I wanted to mix it up and do something different,” Young says. “And, with summer coming up, it’s perfect timing. I’m doing a bunch of different things in the malassada world. Perfecting our hot, classic malassada was just the beginning.”
Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery, 3632 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 738-8200, pipelinebakeshop.com
2. Butter Mochi Bites, Chocolate + Vanilla Bakery
Jill Yamashita, who runs the quaint Chocolate + Vanilla Bakery in Kaimukī, decided to do something different for Girls’ Day this year. She topped squares of butter mochi with all sorts of crazy flavors: chocolate with Fruity Pebbles, Nutella and toasted marshmallows, even colorful puffs of cotton candy. These bites cost $7.99 for a pack.
Yamashita, who’s worked as a pastry chef at the Grand Wailea on Maui and at Roy’s Restaurants on O‘ahu, didn’t intend to keep making it after Girls’ Day, but demand remains high for these scrumptious mochi bites. So, she’s launched even more flavors, including bubble gum, matcha, pineapple and ube (purple yam).
What's so special about her mochi? The texture is just right—chewy, sturdy—without being too sticky or cakelike. It’s the closest I’ve found to the butter mochi my mom makes. (Yes, it’s that good.)
And if butter mochi isn’t your thing, she’s got flaky puffs filled with Chantilly, brownie edges and unicorn cupcakes topped with colorful Japanese hard candy.
“I have to be on top of the trends constantly,” she says, laughing. “I’m always on Instagram.”
Chocolate + Vanilla Bakery, 1115 12th Ave., (808) 737-2462
3. Peanut Butter & Jelly Frozen Pie, The Pineapple Room
The frozen PB&J pie from The Pineapple Room is a medley of nostalgic flavors.
Photo: Courtesy of The Pineapple Room
If you haven’t been to The Pineapple Room for a while, keep room for dessert.
The restaurant has recently launched a brand-new menu of sweet endings that are both creative and delicious. There’s a haupia-tapioca halo halo with sweet corn and sweetened azuki beans, a deconstructed lemon meringue pie in a glass topped with blueberries, and several kinds of ice-cream sandwiches.
One of the most interesting desserts is the frozen peanut butter and jelly pie, a nod to that nostalgic combination. Concocted by chef Alan Wong and assistant pastry sous chef Tracy Paulson in August, this is a pie with layers of frozen peanut butter mousse, grape jelly and meringue on a graham-cracker crust, with a side of popcorn drizzled with caramel.
The Pineapple Room, Macy’s, Third Floor, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 945-6573, alanwongs.com/locations/pineapple-room
4. Grandona, Let Them Eat Cupcakes
Grandonas from Let Them Eat Cupcakes are a cross between a malassada and a croissant.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox
Owner Kawehi Haug puts it best: “It’s like the malassada and the croissant had a love child.”
That’s the best way to describe the Grandona, one of the latest desserts on the menu at Let Them Eat Cupcakes in Chinatown. Haug makes only a limited number of them every Friday—and only on Fridays—and they sell out fast.
It’s a fun spin on the traditional Portuguese dessert. These giant puffs of pastry ($4.75) are doughy, flaky, buttery and sugary all at once.
They’re sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting at 11 a.m. You can preorder them if you call at least 24 hours beforehand and order at least six.
Trust me, you’ll want to eat all six.
Let Them Eat Cupcakes, 35 S. Beretania St., (808) 531-2253, cupcakes808.com
READ MORE STORIES BY CATHERINE TOTH FOX