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Cocoa Locale


carswell
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  • 2 weeks later...

it's in my neighbourhood, so i ended up popping in on the opening day. i tried a sample miniature cupcake. i'm not a huge fan of cupcakes, since normally i find them rather bland, but this one was pretty good. the cake was soft and moist while the icing was simple and subtly sweet. (cupcakes, after all, are all about the icing.)

a few days later i stopped by to try a brownie. rather overpriced -- $3 including tax -- but interesting. definitely isn't a conventional brownie: it's gooey, triangular, spiced and spicy. the hot pepper was not really hot at all, but it gave it a very nice kick at the end. take this for what it's worth, though; i don't have a very sophisticated palate.

the owner, reema singh, is really friendly, and it looks like she's doing all the baking herself, in her tiny kitchen. the space is small, sunny and very cute, but selection is relatively limited, with some cakes, cupcakes and a few sweets that change from day to day. cupcakes are $3 each or $20 (if i'm not mistaken) per dozen.

Edited by kilgoretrout (log)
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Cupcakes, brownies and one person doing all the baking. Doesn't sound too top flight to me. :hmmm:

Why oh why can't we get a decent pastry shop in this city!? (actually I know the answer to my question, but I'm just frustrated that things are not evloving).

Meanwhile, a chic-but-shitty chocolate shop just opened on St-Denis St. It's called Studio 88 and whoever opened it doesn't know a thing about chocolates. I hear even the hot chocolate is bad. Who knew you could screw up hot chocolate?

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i don't think anybody has claimed (nor should they) that cocoa locale is "top flight." it's definitely, as the name suggests, a local, low-key kind of place.

Well, actually, kilgore, I raised the possibility at the start of this thread. Perhaps I was reading too much into the referred-to blogger's comments:

As you can well imagine, a good part of our San Francisco vacation was spent walking to and from various pastry and chocolate shops in order to find "the best of the Bay." I am notoriously picky when it comes to pastries. Since becoming a professional, I've become even pickier. [Case in point: I have no favourite pastry shop in Montreal. There really aren't any worth speaking of. Thankfully, this will soon change: see note below.]

In any case, a quality cake shop is a welcome arrival. Here's ...an endless banquet's short report with a couple of pics.

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Cupcakes, brownies and one person doing all the baking. Doesn't sound too top flight to me.  :hmmm:

Why oh why can't we get a decent pastry shop in this city!? (actually I know the answer to my question, but I'm just frustrated that things are not evloving).

Meanwhile, a chic-but-shitty chocolate shop just opened on St-Denis St. It's called Studio 88 and whoever opened it doesn't know a thing about chocolates. I hear even the hot chocolate is bad. Who knew you could screw up hot chocolate?

Do I detect a similarity between this response and Tom's negative assessment of Toque? At least he ate there first.

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OK, oceanfish whoever you are, I'll defend my comment.

I happen to be a professional pastry chef and chocolatier with two degrees from the ITHQ to prove it. Cupcakes and brownies do not a top-flight pastry shop make. I'll stand by that statement any day.

As for that new chocolate shop, I called it chic but shitty, yes. The quality of the chocolates is frightening. Perhaps I should not use the word shitty -- granted. But for me, calling the food at Toque! (arguably Montreal's best restaurant) is a massive exaggeration, whereas calling this new chocolate shop shitty is not far from the truth. Normand Laprise is a skilled professional. The people who make the chocolates at that new place are amateurs at best.

So, I'll play your little game whoever you are Mr. Anonymous.

I regret using the word shitty.

The word I should have used is UNPROFESSIONAL.

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Cocoa Locale is just a few minutes from my place and I tried an olive oil lemon bundt cake last week. It was absolutely delicious.

I don't think it should be considered a "first flight" place in the way Lesley describes what that should be, it's more like a homey traditionnal place that has nailed the basics, with some interesting twists. In short, my favorite kind of place.

The owner is wonderful and very eager to please - she opened up the place for us even though it was supposed to be closed (she was still up preparing for the next day).

It's pretty much al baked goods with no pastry whatsoever: cupcakes (small ones and huge ones), brownies, baked cakes...

I recommend it wholeheartedly, it's sure to please everyone.

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Cocoa Locale is just a few minutes from my place and I tried an olive oil lemon bundt cake last week. It was absolutely delicious.

I don't think it should be considered a "first flight" place in the way Lesley describes what that should be, it's more like a homey traditionnal place that has nailed the basics, with some interesting twists. In short, my favorite kind of place.

The owner is wonderful and very eager to please - she opened up the place for us even though it was supposed to be closed (she was still up preparing for the next day).

It's pretty much al baked goods with no pastry whatsoever: cupcakes (small ones and huge ones), brownies, baked cakes...

I recommend it wholeheartedly, it's sure to please everyone.

I didn't plan to post my comments about Cocoa Locale. I visited Cocoa Locale for the first time earlier tonight, just after 6pm(unfortunately I don't have time to go earlier in the day). It was open, despite being supppose to close at 5pm on Sundays(the owner Reema was there). After I got home, & saw Alex's comments here. I concur with what Alex said. It's homey desserts, that Cocoa Locale owner Reema is making(only saw baked goods, including some cookies). Got about 6 items, & everything I've tried so far(4 things) has been very good(but I haven't tried the brownies that I got yet), but that's just my opinion. Interested in getting more feedback, of any others who have tried Cocoa Locale. As the owner told me(after I relayed to her, some of the negative comments about her bake shop already), she never claimed to be 'top flight' bake shop. And she also described her bakery items as homey.

-Steve

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the reports, folks.

I dropped by last weekend in the hopes of finding a tarte Tatin or other apple pie, which our celebrant had requested for his birthday dinner. I didn't expect they'd have one (I was getting desperate after trips to several other pastry shops, including Pâtisserie de Gascogne, whose TT looked like something from Provigo), and sure enough they didn't. In fact, the self-styled boutique gâteau doesn't carry any tarts except a lemon-ginger number from time to time. That said, the cakes, cupcakes and cookies looked delightful. As I recall, the cakes were all Bundt style [edit: The Mirror article linked to below says only the large cakes are Bundts]. All were frosted and some were beautifully decorated with flower petals. Flavours ranged from traditional (chocolate) to unusual (olive oil and lemon).

Taking a leaf out of Mr. Trout's book (I won't say which), I sampled a brownie — usually $3 but Reema knocked off a buck because it was small. Incredibly moist, gooily frosted, richly flavoured and with a peppery kick, just like Kilgore describes. The furthest thing from commercial: homey, yes, but like only-in-the-movies homey.

Reema is a real sweetie. She says business has been very good. It deserves to be. You can tell Cocoa Locale is a labour of love. And what the world needs now is love, sweet love.

Edited by carswell (log)
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I went a week ago. The owner is a lovely lady very very sweet and excited about her new store. I think she will be very successfful.

I bought 6 cupcakes ($15) and 1 oatmeal raisin cookie and 1 brownie. Very homestyle good ingredients. A little expensive but this is an indulgence!

I found the cupcakes a bit sweet but like Carswell said each was like a small piece of cake art, very very nicely done with lots of love and affection.

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