Yesterday, the profiled Midtown Lunch'er, Niko of DessertBuzz.com, wanted to know "If you had to spend the whole ML budget ($10.00) on a dessert or sweet dish, what would you purchase and where?" Unable to come up with something (I still can't), I decided to just go blow $10 of my lunch money in Grand Central Market. Thankfully, I'm fully in the Halloween spirit (I'm going to be a Greek Goddess!)
My first stop was the commuter's bakery, Zaro's, where the pastry case was fully packed with Halloween goodies: candy caskets, spider whoopie pies, very impressive cupcakes, and witch hat and ghost cupcakes. So many options, such little money. I was originally going to go with a ghost cupcake (similar to the above, but a ghost with raised arms), there was one left and the woman behind me wanted one too. I did the good thing, I let her have it and took a witch's hat. It's entirely a dense, moist dark chocolate cake with a small layer of mousse separating the cake and the ganache outside. Very filling, this could easily be split amongst two or three people. The decorations are only held on by frosting so they did fall off; it also didn't help that Zaro's doesn't have any sort of box to put these in. Beware, the decorations are plastic, so don't eat those! These are worth the $3.95 price tag, especially if you're buying it for a kid.
On my way out, I stopped by the Corrado Bread & Bakery counter, with $6 left to spend. They didn't have as many Halloween treat options, but after an agonizing decision, I chose the Halloween Porcupine with candy corn, as opposed to the one with almonds (I did want to share my booty with Brownie.) Finally with a smile on my face, I left and worked my way through the afternoon. Of course, I didn't remember that ganache softens and anything propped up by it is bound to fall down, like, say, candy corn. Around 5:15, I was preparing to meet Brownie, opened my drawer, and exclaimed "Oh nos! My porcupine is bald!" My colleagues laughed, and I knew we would have to fix it for photos. The inside was an airy, soft chocolate mousse; above average and between that and the presentation, definitely worth the $6 price tag. I could have eaten a few of these if given the chance.
Zaro's Locations in Manhattan, Newark, and Parkchester www.zaro.com
Corrado Bread & Bakery Grand Central Market (other locations throughout Manhattan) (212) 599-4321