Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Susina Bakery & Cafe - Los Angeles, CA

Susina Bakery & Cafe is one of my favorite bakeries in LA. I fortuitously discovered their Bear Blossom Cake a few years ago and have been a devoted fan since.

I almost forgot Halloween was coming up until I stepped into this place. They did a great job decorating.
I especially love the black birds on the lamps. We were here on a Friday night and there were a few couples and other smaller groups of people there but it wasn't crowded at all. We each got a dessert and tea to share. My friend got a slice of the Bear Blossom Cake and a pot of the White Coconut Creme tea and I got the banana cream pie and a pot of Apricot Escape. I loved that they had interesting decaffeinated teas selections besides the usual chamomile.
Here's a pic of the individual sized banana cream pie. I'm not sure how one person can polish this off by him or herself, but this made for an excellent breakfast treat the next day. =)
I've always stuck with the tried and true, but since my friend got the cake, I finally got to try something new. It consisted of a shortbread cookie crust, coated with a thin layer of chocolate. The pie had a thin layer of banana pudding, packed with sliced bananas and a thin smear of whipped cream with chocolate shavings on top. From the picture you can see the slices of banana peeking out at you.

You know how most banana pies are basically 2 layers - one thick layer of banana pudding, maybe a banana here and there, if you are lucky, and an equally thick layer of whipped cream? This pie is one of the few banana cream pies out there with more bananas than filing in it. That said, you really have to be in the banana mood for this pie, otherwise it's banana overload. Pretty much every bite you take consists of a slice of banana with some trimmings on them. The banana definitely takes center stage in this pie.
Next for my all time favorite, the Bear Blossom Cake. I have no clue why it's called a Bear Blossom, but it's three layers of vanilla sponge cake goodness brushed with orange liqueur, filled with white chocolate mousse and fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. What puts this cake over the top for me is the crumbled meringue and white chocolate shavings on the side and top of the cakes. It's light and fluffy without being overly sweet. It literally melts in your mouth.

I know people are big fans of Sweet Lady Jane's Triple Berry Cake. SLJ's TBC has been the family go to cake for all special occasions in the past, but I never quite enjoyed it as much as some other people. I loved the concept of fresh berries in a cake, like strawberry shortcake, but SLJ's always tasted a bit heavy for me. The yellow butter cake, which is the base of the cake also has a tendency to taste dry from time to time. But that's why Susina's Bear Blossom Cake is so perfect because it's a sponge cake that has been brushed with orange liqueur so the cake stays moist. The mousse filling is also lighter than the whipped cream that is used in SLJ's. The combination of the moist cake, the lighter mousse and the melt in your mouth flecks of broken meringue on the outside makes for a perfect cake. I'm a little peeved, I never thought of this myself. hahaha.

I seriously will make any excuse to go to Susina and eat this cake, or any dessert for that matter. Anyone in the mood for cake?

Susina Bakery & Cafe
7122 Beverly Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90036

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