On most occasions when I visit a place, I order what appeals the most to me. There are some places however that have items so popular that I feel I’d be remiss not to try it. Case in point, during my visit to Italia Bakery, I felt that I had to get one of their Sicilian Cannolis, which was probably what they were best known for. They have a number of different flavours; I went with their hazelnut. I also got their Tiramisu, Caramel Sea Salt Puff, Fruit Cheese Cake, Diplomat Slice and Tre Gusti cake.
Sicilian Cannoli, Hazelnut ($4.99):
This was a fresh-made crispy shell filled with nutella-flavoured cream and coated with toasted almonds, as well as some icing sugar. The bottom shell had gone a bit soggy from the filling, but the top part was still crispy, although I did find it to be pretty bland. While it was creamy and did have a hazelnut flavour, I did find it to be quite bland, and a tad bit artificial-tasting (I don’t think they have any real hazelnuts in this, it was all just flavouring). This just wasn’t really my cup of tea.
Tiramisu Slice ($3.50):
This consisted of layers of cake sandwiching coffee-flavoured mousse/cream. The cake was extremely light and lucious, with a great fragrance of coffee and a perfect bittersweet flavour. While I do wish that it could have been soaked in syrup/liquor – I like my tiramisu to be borderline soggy – this was still very moist and absolutely delicious.
Caramel Sea Salt Puff ($3.50):
This was filled with custard and topped with a chocolate glaze as well as a drizzle of caramel and sea salt. The pastry was quite soft, flaky, and melted in my mouth while the custard was smooth, creamy and mildly sweet. The chocolate did not taste waxy, the caramel was thick and gooey, while the sea salt lent a nice contrast to the sweetness. This is definitely one of the better macarons that I’ve had.
2″ Fruit Cheese Cake ($3.50):
This came topped with seasonal fruit; I got blueberries on mine, which were fresh and glazed. This was a N.Y. Style Cheesecake, and was dense and creamy, with a great balance of sweetness and tang. The shortbread crust was also tender, although I did find it to be a tad dry. This was a simple, straightforward dessert that was done well.
Diplomat Slice ($3.50):
This consisted of two layers of puff pastry sandwiching custard, cream and sponge cake. The puff pastry has, of course, gotten quite soggy and was a little gummy. The custard, cream and cake however, were tasty and luscious.
Tre Gusti Slice ($3.50):
This consisted of vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut custards sandwiched in between sponge cake, and was topped with whipped cream and toasted almonds. The cake was soft, and although it was slightly dry, that was offset by the layers of custard. While the custards were tasty: luscious, smooth, and mildly sweet, I could not distinguish between the three types of flavours. I did really enjoy the almonds though, which were fresh and crunchy.
Although Italia Bakery are probably best known for their cannolis, I actually did not care for them at all. On the other hand, I did really enjoy their cream puffs and cakes. Their prices are also fairly reasonable, and the staff I encountered were quite friendly. All in all, I really enjoyed my visit; this is a great place to get some tasty Italian desserts.