In the nights before Christmas, you and your loved ones may well have “visions of sugar-plums” dancing in your heads. Part of the delight of the holidays is the chance to indulge in decadent sweets and desserts, as well as gift them to friends and family.
Richmond is home to some amazing boutiques and patisseries that are bound to satisfy everyone on Santa’s nice list— read on for details.
Dominique and Cindy Duby are the ultimate Christmas elves, busily coming up with innovative ways to transform ordinary chocolates and cakes into innovative works of art. Wild Sweets® (2145 – 12191 Hammersmith Way) has just released some new chocolate tasting gift sets, which consist of three, four, or five tiers of their cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate collections.
One of the tiers is their new Crispy Praline & Ganache ‘arOma’ Collection, with each chocolate featuring crunchy nut butter praline, and soft ganache infused or made with aromatic flavours, such as fresh ginger and coriander. Also recently launched is the Cocoa Bean-To-Bar ‘Tasting + Pairing’ Collection, with infusions like triple ale and Okanagan Valley merlot.
The Dubys have created a new chocolate bûche de Noël cake called Tanzania Intensely Chocolate, with double chocolate brownie layers, crispy crêpes hazelnut milk chocolate praline cream, soft dark chocolate and vanilla ganache, crème brûlée dark chocolate cream, dark chocolate sabayon mousse, and cocoa gelée. Pre-ordering is required. And if you’re looking for something calorie-free, they’re also selling FoodArt canvases: chocolate-themed artwork that you can hang on your walls or give as a gift.
Little Fox Bakehouse
This charming bakery located in President’s Plaza (#1180 – 8181 Cambie Road) is run by Eric Ho, who creates an array of cakes and pastries that evidence expert French technique and high-quality ingredients. Regular menu items include sago pudding double baked croissants, milk tea cream puffs, and espresso white chocolate mousse with caramel crémeux. And their holiday offerings are delicious and whimsical, such as macaron Christmas trees with peppermint buttercream filling and edible baubles for decoration.
If you’re planning on having company over for the holidays, consider pre-ordering one of their Christmas cakes. Their take on a bûche de Noël consists of hazelnut sponge cake and orange milk chocolate cream. Also available is a gluten free mont blanc opera cake with chestnut mousse, dark chocolate, and almond sponge; as well as a shortcake sponge cake with vanilla Bavarian mousse, and strawberry pieces. Their stollen has an almost cake-like texture and contains candied fruit, raisins, sliced almonds, and almond cream.
Sinfully the Best
Prepare to be overwhelmed in a good way when you visit Sinfully the Best (#13 – 3993 Chatham Street). You’ll find a chocolate paradise, with tons of options that range from small stocking stuffers to lavish chocolate display pieces.
Particularly beautiful are their wooden advent calendars with doors or drawers that can be filled with wonderful chocolate surprises. Other chocolate items include lollipops, small plaques with Christmas messages on them, white chocolate igloos with the cutest milk chocolate seals, and large snowmen and reindeer.
In addition, they’re selling a range of decorated sugar cookies, such as those in the form of Christmas trees, angels, and gingerbread men. You’ll almost feel badly eating them—they’re decorated so painstakingly.
Meanwhile, visit their sister store, Sinfully Too (3531 Bayview Street), for chocolates and additional temptations like macarons, cupcakes, and other cakes. Starting the weekend before Christmas, they’ll be featuring candy cane cupcakes, as well as two bûches de Noël: a white chocolate cranberry orange one, and a spiced apple gingerbread chocolate log. Pre-ordering is highly recommended.
The Sweet Spot
Also in Steveston, The Sweet Spot (#110 – 12000 First Avenue) is a small space that produces European-style pastries, cakes, and other savoury baked goods. The bakery has cultivated a loyal following for good reason: their offerings are impeccably made.
The white chocolate mousse with passion fruit mousse and vanilla chiffon is a delicate confection, evoking a pristine snow dome. Meanwhile, their pumpkin spice cake with walnut streusel and cream cheese icing is a comforting treat for wintry temperatures.
Other desserts in the display case that would be ideal for holiday entertaining include a quince frangipane tart, as well as a rich dark chocolate mousse with blackout cake. The Sweet Spot will be shortly releasing their Christmas specials for pre-ordering.
One thing is for sure: you won’t be at a loss to find decadent seasonal desserts in Richmond!