If you still don’t buy into the notion that Deep Ellum is alive and well, it’s about time you made a return visit. Or perhaps you’re like me and feel it was never dead in the first place.This week, I paid a visit to one of the newest residents of this quirky, eclectic neighborhood, Zen Baking Company. Zen was opened by two sisters, Chonnie Richey and Czarina Hounsel, and together they are determined to create the perfect cake ball. I’m pleased to report they may have done just that.
Each of these heavenly little creations are begin with blending together delicious cake and frosting, rolling the resultant mixture into balls, then coating each one with dark or white chocolate. The result is a dense, moist, and sweet ball of cake with a crunch of hardened chocolate candy coating. I picked up a dozen in a variety of flavors, brought them home, and basically spent the better part of an hour savoring each bite, all the while, simultaneously planning out in my mind how I could successfully hide all leftovers from my wife before she got home.
Each flavor was a new adventure in my mouth, like I was the oral Odysseus. My favorites included the “What’s Up Doc,” a scrumptious rendition of carrot cake, the tangy “Blind Lemon,” and strawberry-infused, “Berry Yummy.” Other showstoppers included their red velvet, white chocolate raspberry, and Key lime. But for me, the “Nice Day for a White Wedding” truly took the cake (pun intended). This little beauty is a cinnamon-vanilla cake mixed with vanilla buttercream meringue frosting with a hint of cayenne, dipped it in white chocolate, all coated with crystal sugar and candy pearls. This thing could even bring a tear to Billy Idol’s eye. I took one bite, gave a rebel yell, and cried “More! More! More!”
The sisters also incorporate flavors tied to their Filipino heritage with their caramel-vanilla pastillas de leche and the exotic “Purplicious,” filled with a Filipino purple yam called “ube.”
If you are looking for a guaranteed-to-satisfy gift this week for Mother’s Day, Zen has got you covered. Either way, find an occasion to stuff yourself silly with cake, frosting and chocolate and make your way to Zen Baking Company. Your mouth will thank you forever.
Zen Baking Co.
2805 Main St.
Dallas, TX 75226