Monday, December 09, 2013

Housemade Desserts from Munchery

Last Monday, I reviewed the Thanksgiving feast we ordered on Munchery.  But I skipped my favorite subject: the desserts!

Why?  Because one was so spectacular, it deserved its own review.  Since you've read all about Munchery many times by now, I'll let you just browse those past reviews for the general details, and I'll talk only about the desserts here.

For our Thanksgiving meal, we obviously needed dessert.  My family is very traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving desserts - we always have pies: pumpkin, pecan, apple, and butterscotch at a minimum.  But I'd already had pumpkin, pecan, and apple pie (and lots of leftovers) the week before when we did a Thanksgiving feast at work.  And I'd had a bunch of other pumpkin desserts recently, since it was "pumpkin spice" season.  Still, desserts were needed.  When I saw a bread pudding offered on the Thanksgiving menu, I jumped on it.  Something different to end my feast!  And I threw on a cheesecake too, you know, "just in case" ...

I continue to recommend Munchery, and if you want $20 off your first order, I encourage you to sign up with my invite link.

Cranberry Croissant Bread Pudding: White Chocolate, Creamsicle Chantilly Cream.  $4.95.
"Croissant soaked in rich spiced custard and baked with whole cranberries and white chocolate chips. This bread pudding is served with a delish orange scented whipped cream."
You may know that I adore bread pudding.  Seriously, one of my absolute favorites.  Sweet or savory. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Anytime.  Love it.  So I obviously ordered a bread pudding, from Chef Matthew Urban.

I was a little surprised when I got the package, as it was packed up in a full size meal box, yet occupied a tiny fraction of it.  The portion actually looked pretty small to me, but maybe that was just because of the box size?  I think it was smaller than what you'd get in a restaurant, and was clearly sized for a single person, not for sharing.

Now, I know white chocolate doesn't have the best reputation.  I think that is just because of the name.  No, it isn't chocolate.  But it is sweet and can be tasty.  I expected it to be strewn through the bread pudding, but there were just 2 chips on top.  Sadness.  I wanted more pops of sweet throughout.

I'm not super into cranberries, but this was seasonally appropriate.  I really liked that they were provided whole, as they maintained a lot of moisture, and nicely popped in your mouth, giving a burst of tartness.

The base was croissants, which clearly is a great choice for bread pudding.  It crisped up nicely in the toaster oven, but was fairly standard.  I eat a lot of bread puddings, since I order them whenever I find them, and this was just average.  Nothing wowed me.

The creamsicle chantilly cream was fluffy and flavorful, and Ojan liked it.  I don't love citrus in dessert, but I do think it paired well with the cranberry.  Since I love hot desserts with cold ice cream, so I paired mine with vanilla ice cream.

Overall, good, but not spectacular, and actually a kinda small portion for $4.95.  I appreciated that they provided a flavored whipped cream with it!
Pumpkin Pie Cheeescake with organic roasted pumpkin pie swirls.  $5.50.

"A very traditional creamy cheesecake with Philly cream cheese, organic sugar, cage free eggs and Madagascar vanilla beans, then make pumpkin pie filling using organic pumpkin, spices and cage free eggs, then swirl them together. You get a nice strong bite of cheesecake, then a nice strong bite of perfect pumpkin pie. This is all on a buttery and sweet ginger-nutmeg graham cracker crust."

Since I'm a serious dessert girl, I couldn't settle for just ordering one dessert.  What if it wasn't good?  What if I needed more?

So, we also went for the pumpkin pie cheesecake from Chef Jennifer Bratko.  First, I had to laugh as I read the ingredients.  Organic sugar, cage free eggs, Madagascar vanilla ... all quality ingredients.  And then, Philly cream cheese?  But, it is a classic for a reason!

I also need to admit that I had a pumpkin pie cheesecake just two days prior, so I was actually not that excited for this.  The one I had a few days earlier was a graham cracker crust, topped with cheesecake, topped with a thin layer of pumpkin pie, topped with whipped cream, finished with a candied pecan.  That one was all out of balance ... there was far too much crust, which overwhelmed everything, the pumpkin layer was too thin to taste, and the whipped cream on top was excessive.  I really didn't care for it, and it left me less than excited about this one.

But, Chef Bratko delivered!  This was nothing like the one I had a few days prior.

The graham cracker crust was thin, just added some texture and was not overwhelming, and I loved the additional flavor from the nutmeg in it.  The cheesecake was super creamy and had that classic Philly cream cheese flavor.  But what I really loved was the pumpkin filling.  Even creamier than the cheesecake, super flavorful, just perfect.  It really was a cheesecake and a pumpkin pie all in one.  Every bite did indeed have a perfect mix of cheesecake and pumpkin pie, just as promised.  Chef Bratko absolutely nailed this.

The only negative things I have to say is that I didn't care for the packaging.  It came in a cardboard takeout-style box.  I know they have all sorts of other packaging available, since all my other meals have arrived in different packaging.  I'm not sure what it was exactly that I didn't like about the box, but it was ugly!  The cheesecake was also fairly small for the $5.50 price.  Again, it was a great size for one person, and I think I'm just used to restaurants serving huge portions of desserts that are sized for two.  Now that I know Munchery dessert sizes, I'm happy to adjust my expectations.  It also didn't have any additional topping; I think I wanted a little whipped cream, or perhaps candied pumpkin seeds or something to top.  Not a big deal, but I wanted that finishing touch.

But I'm just being picky, I loved this, it was not only the highlight of my meal, but the tastiest thing I've gotten from Munchery so far.  I'd totally order another.  Right now!
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