Brownie Overload

Sweets for the Soul - Caramel Bliss As some of you may recall, on my last cupcake recon, I went to Sweets for the Soul in Los Angeles, California. They are best known for their brownies.

They were voted Best of LA 2010 by Los Angeles Magazine and at this year’s Taste LA, their brownies earned praise as well.

I was disappointed in their cupcakes. However, that did not dissuade me from trying their handmade brownies – I believe we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

Before my visit, I reviewed their website enough to glean which flavors I preferred. Sweets for the Soul bakes their brownies with a variety of Valrhona Chocolates, a French luxury chocolate.

They feature unique brownie choices like a “Hotter Shot” – cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, along with “Honey Lavender” – honey, white chocolate and lavender.

I thought I was prepared for my recon. However, upon entering the shop, I felt overwhelmed with Sweets for the Soul’s selection of brownies and dessert bars.

A sizable glass enclosure housed the sweets and an 8.5″ x 11″ poster was positioned atop the counter, detailing each item. Additionally, each dessert had a description card in front of it.

Still, when there are customers behind you, there’s a lot to take in. A handheld menu would’ve been appreciated. Since there were none, I stepped aside to allow the other patrons to order while I reflected.

I may be adventurous when it comes to cupcakes, but I’m more traditional with brownies. Although it piqued my interest, I ruled out those unique flavors I referenced earlier. I also omitted dark chocolates, as I often find it too intense.

I selected a brownie and a dessert bar. Confident in my decision, I left with my purchase.

Little did I know, I should’ve read the fine print carefully.

Once home, I started with their Caramel Bliss. It’s a Valrhona Chocolate brownie, with caramel and toasted pecans.

Sweets for the Soul - Peanut Butter BlissThis was an exceptional brownie! It was moist and chewy, with the perfect amount of pecans. The caramel was rich, thick and generous. I relished every morsel. I only wish the portion was larger for the $3.85 price.

Next I tried their Peanut Butter Bliss. Oh, how I love peanut butter. This dessert bar had shortbread, peanut butter and bittersweet Valrhona Chocolate sprinkled with sea salt.

Wait a minute… Did I say bittersweet chocolate?

Sigh, yes.

In the store, it seems I read too quickly and overlooked bittersweet in the description. At first bite, I knew something was amiss. Honestly, I was only able to get halfway through this dessert bar before waving the white flag.

It was too bitter for my taste. There wasn’t enough peanut butter spread to offset its intensity. The shortbread crust was thick. However, not sweet enough to contrast the chocolate, especially with the sea salt.

Darn that fine print.

This leaves a conundrum. If I factor in the dessert bar, my rating for Sweets for the Soul will be lower. That doesn’t seem fair, as I made the wrong the choice.

Let’s omit the Peanut Butter Bliss from my rating. You get the gist. Besides, those of you who appreciate bittersweet chocolate will likely have a different experience.

Thus, I give Sweets for the Soul 4 out of 5 stars for their brownies. I understand why they receive rave reviews and could see myself returning.

Next time, I’ll just be sure to pay more attention.


2 thoughts on “Brownie Overload

  1. While I too love BROWNIES, I stuck to the more traditional brownie with nuts. Like you I too rushed to their web site to recon their menu for my order. I found the site was not as clear in their descriptions of the brownies as I would have liked. Because of this, I played it safe with just the plain traditional brownie. Upon the first bite, my only thought was good n MOIST, nothing worse than a dry brownie. Although I tried to resist and savor the taste of the brownie, I ate the entire thing within seconds. Yes. I’m aware that I’m a greedy brownie lover! I wished I had another, but sounds like it was a good thing I passed on the DOCTORED flavors.
    Friend of Fanatic


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