An Essential Chocolate Dessert Adventure

Essential Chocolate Desserts - Ding Dongs“Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is.” 

What do you consider essential in your life? Is it food, shelter, family, money? No doubt several things come to mind. But is one of them chocolate?

By definition, essential means extremely important and necessary. Thus, a visit to Essential Chocolate Desserts in Culver City, California seemed an amusing adventure.

What began as a wholesale bakery has evolved into a shop to meet the needs of chocoholics and dessert lovers; serving cakes, brownies, cookies, bars, and more.

I arrived on a weekend. Their small display area already had a couple of customers, so it took a little maneuvering to see the day’s assortment. 

Offered in three varieties, the Gourmet “Ding Dongs” were visible in the left case. I knew this was a must-try.

However, I almost missed their cupcakes.

Camouflaged above the fine chocolates, they looked like none I had seen before. Studded with toppings, these weren’t dainty cakes, but formidable foods. Indeed, one had chocolate chunks so big I gulped in fear – instinct said I couldn’t handle it.

Settling upon a more reasonable choice, I completed my order and departed Essential Chocolate Desserts.

That night, I began with my practical Snickers Cupcake. It’s a chocolate cake, topped with peanut butter buttercream, dipped in chocolate, and then garnished with peanuts and toffee chips.

The first nibble was all cake. Both moisture and depth of flavor were average. I was a little disappointed, but not surprised. For some reason, chocolate cake proves challenging for many bakers.

I included a generous forkful of frosting on my next bite. What a difference.

Essential Chocolate Desserts - CupcakesThe peanut butter flavor was obvious, yet not overstated. Its pale color and smooth consistency were lighter than expected. The thin, chocolate ganache enhanced its richness, while the peanuts and toffee added a crunchy contrast.

At $3.85, this large cupcake from Essential Chocolate Desserts did satisfy.

After a day’s rest for my stomach, I was ready for the “Ding Dong”. Nearly 9 sq inches in size, the original features chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream.

I sliced it in half. The chocolate coating made every bite ideal. Hence, I picked a side and started.

Thick and decadent, the chocolate shell was delightful on its own. The chocolate cake was like that in the cupcake. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it more because of its chocolaty companion.

Now, let’s talk about the vanilla buttercream. I’m not sure what made it so indulgent, but I longed to linger with its sweet cream taste and whipped texture.  

Although greed goaded me to do otherwise, I saved the other half for another time. At $5.25, it was worth the splurge.

I give Essential Chocolate Desserts 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Had I been more impressed with their cake, the rating would’ve been higher. Even so, their chocolate and buttercream embellishments did not disappoint.

I still can’t say chocolate is essential. However, it’s intrinsic for this shop and defined this adventure.

Perhaps, it’s all a matter of perspective.


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