The dessert box surprise

I love desserts. I love looking at them, love the way they are made, love their vibrant colours, their varying textures, their enticing aromas, their eye-catching decorations… I love everything about them, except eating them.

You see, desserts and I have a rather difficult relationship. I’m allergic to chocolates and artificial food colouring. Sugar doesn’t give me a high; it gives me acidity. As for nuts and other things that make their way into desserts, let’s not even talk about them, shall we? To put it plainly, I need to keep an anti-allergen or an antacid (and sometimes both) handy, if I plan on eating desserts. :-(

Since, I hate taking medicines more than I love eating desserts, there has to be a very compelling reason for me to have both — the dessert and the anti-allergen /antacid, that is. And last month I was presented with one such compelling and intriguing reason — the Brown Paper Bag Dessert Box, which I first read about here.

The Brown Paper Bag (BPB) Dessert Box is a ‘surprise’ box that contains six different desserts, hand-delivered to you on a designated day of the month, usually in the last week. The surprise is in the contents of the dessert box — one doesn’t know what desserts it contains till it is opened. Each dessert box is priced at Rs.750/- and one has to sign up for a minimum of 3 months.

Now, I love surprises as much as the next person, especially one as intriguing as this. And when I shared this with Neena and AS, my colleagues, they were equally intrigued. We decided to share the cost of signing up for the minimum 3 month-period and for the dessert boxes to be delivered at work. Once the payment was made, all we had to do was to wait for the first box to be delivered. And on 24th September, I got a mail saying that the dessert box would be delivered on the 28th !

A Friday, 28th morning at work began with a lot of excitement and anticipation. It was a very busy morning and by the time we finished lunch, the impending arrival of the dessert box was the last thing on our minds. And at 1.30 pm, with perfect timing, came the delivery man with this gorgeous looking dessert box.

The BPB Dessert Box (Photo: Neena)

The dessert box came with a little white envelope containing the business cards of the bakeries who had supplied the goodies in the box. Neena just about managed to get a couple of photographs of the unopened box before we opened it to see this.

The ‘surprise’ goodies in the BPB Dessert Box

And this is what the box contained (clockwise from top left): red velvet layered cake cup, blueberry layered cake cup, hazelnut and cheesecake brownies (you can just about see them tucked away beside the cake cup), apricot and ginger cookies (tied up with a blue ribbon), passionfruit chocolate tart, and raspberry hibiscus tart.

And this is how we divided the goodies amongst ourselves and also what we thought of them:

Red velvet and blueberry layered cake cups from Country Of Origin: All 3 of us shared this and it was delicious. Not too sweet, it was light and the layering of the red velvet cake with white chocolate mousse was perfect.

Apricot and ginger cookies from Chocolate is my Religion: All 3 of us had this with our afternoon tea, and unanimously declared them to be a good accompaniment for our Assam tea. Just one observation, none of us could taste the ginger.

Hazelnut and cheesecake brownies from Chocolate is my Religion: I took these home for my 18-year old niece who was visiting from Pune. She is notoriously finicky and prefers Indian sweets to desserts. But surprise, surprise she loved both the brownies and was quite disappointed that there were only 2 in the packet !

Raspberry hibiscus tart from Le15 Patisserie: AS had this one and declared them to be great.

Passionfruit chocolate tarts from Le15 Patisserie: Neena took this one home for her son, who was home for the weekend. He loved it and like my niece was quite upset that there was just that one tart !

As a concept, the BPB dessert box is a fun idea and I loved it so much that am already thinking beyond the 3 months that we have signed up for. The BPB dessert box surprise delivered — both the contents and the box itself. The sturdy brown cardboard box that contained the desserts is reusable and can double up as storage for miscellaneous stuff. I got the box this time and it now stores some old photographs.

Neena, AS and I are waiting for the next dessert box, which will be delivered in the last week of October. It can’t come soon enough for us. :-D

Update on 31 October 2012

The October dessert box was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but got delayed and we received it only around 12 noon today. Our anticipation turned to disappointment when we opened the dessert box to a selection that looked most unappealing, and not too fresh.

The disappointment grew when we sampled the desserts.

The Tarte au Chocolat et Citron from EatDrinkDesign promised that this “deep dark chocolate dessert… a spirited creation ‘et citron’ is loaded with Grand Mariner”. None of us could even get a whiff, forget the taste, of the Grand Mariner.

The Marble and Apple Cinnamon Tea Cakes from Sugar Rush were terrible – dry, crumbly and too sweet and we finished it with some difficulty. All 3 of us agreed that we had eaten much better stuff at local bakeries.

The Rasberry Almond Cake and and Chocolate Mousse Cake from The Oberoi Patisserie & Delicatessen was strictly so-so. And again the mousse cake was too sweet.

What happened, Bpb Dessert Box Team? After raising such hopes with the previous box, this one was a real let down all around — delivery, appearance and taste — and had us wondering whether the previous box was a dream.

Suddenly, we are not looking forward to the next box at all :-(

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59 thoughts on “The dessert box surprise

      • I’m not for the same reason I would never join this one; I just prefer to know and buy what I want. I know it’s more adventurous but in the case of wine/beer clubs the “membership” is usually a lot more. Also it depends on the quality. Most such clubs cannot maintain quality after a while. Still with just a 3 month minimum as opposed to a yearly membership for wine/beer clubs and at the price you mentioned, it just might be worth a try… Someday :-)

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  1. wow!!! Sudha, I am reading this just before dinner, and now I want dessert!!!!! this is so awesome! I do remember reading about it some time back, but wasnt very tempted. now i am!!!!! and you can imagine what showing this post to Samhith will mean :D

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    • So, has Samhith seen it yet? Though I can guess, I want to know what his reaction was. :-D It is a good concept and of course a chance to sample desserts from places that one would normally not seek out. It is a little expensive, but for quality goodies and that too delivered home, it’s not a bad deal at all.

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  2. Wow! What a tasty post! :D

    I read about this Surprise desert box- don’t remember where- must say it’s an interesting idea.

    You’re allergic to chocolates? :(

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    • “What a tasty post!” And what an apt description, Manju. It is an interesting, and tasty concept too. :-D And yes, I am allergic to chocolates, among other things :-(

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    • The dessert box actually made our day that day. Yes, it is a little overpriced, but with my collegues sharing the costs, the arrangements work out perfectly. It also helps that the desserts that we had that day were so good ! :-)

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  3. Acidity is my bane as well – but I love desserts more than I hate the acidity :) You have made me drool, Sudha! I shall send my next haberdashery bill to you since I will need to get the next larger size in clothing after this sort of gorging :)

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  4. That is a surprise post which is sure to leave a long lasting aftertaste. I am sorry to learn about your allergies, especially when you are so fond of desserts. My doctors say that the amount of triglycerides pumping through my veins do not allow me to indulge in desserts. Hell, that doesn’t humour the huge sweet tooth I have. I hope I am not tempted by the brilliant representation you’ve put across!

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    • Rachna, consider this an invitation and come over to Mumbai in the last week of November when the dessert box will be delivered. You can have my share and this will also be an opportunity for us to meet. :-)

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  5. You are allergic to Chocolate? I can’t think of any more punishing allergy that allergy to Chocolate. I mean, if I ever develop such a thing, I might just take Sanyas and go live in Himalayas (not that I’m suggesting that to you…) But I’m such a chocoholic that even my key-chain says “I WORSHIP CHOCOLATE” ;)

    The bpb Desert Box sounds like its made for me… and I can’t wait to try it out… :D thanks for sharing it…

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    • Dear chocolate worshipper,

      Yes, I am allergic to chocolate, but I don’t consider it that big a punishment as being allergic to besan as well. I love chaat and can you imagine chaat without sev? Now that is punishment :-(

      Bhel puri, sev puri, etc. lover

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  6. Ithunoondu nyabagam kooda varalaya about this soul sitting on the second floor…wishing you belated tummy ache to Neena, AS and you…

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    • Nyabagam vandithu, Asha but you were not around that day. I think it was the day you were gallivanting with the Swedish delegation or in one of your never ending meetings. As for the tummy ache, been there done that and will be sure to pass on your wishes to AS and Neena. :-P

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  7. Such an awesome idea. I love desserts too, mostly Indian, and this concept is super. I am almost tempted to subscribe but for the solemn promise I make to myself about ‘dieting from tomorrow’ while gulping down that dessert!

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  8. I am a sucker for desserts and though not too fond of cookies, I am partial to mousses and tarts. Do you have a box for December too? I would be there and take care of your chocolate allergy by eating those up for you. How considerate can I get, honestly! Hope you appreciate my concern for you :D

    The box is perfect, but the packet a tad overpriced :(

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  9. It’s a pity you are allergic to desserts-i consider it nothing less than a misfortune.I loved the description in the first para.I gorge on them ,but could not have done justice to their description as you did!

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    • I am not completely off desserts as I eat jaggery-based sweets. And when I feel sorry for myself about missing out on sugary treats, I console myself by saying that jaggery is healthier.

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  10. Sorry about the allergies but go ahead and indulge. There are pills to take care of them. I never had the sweet tooth but that chaat you had without the sev… How did you manage!

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    • Welcome to “My Favourite Things”, Medha and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

      That dessert-loving stomach of yours is going to be very happy with your decision to order a dessert box :-D

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  11. It looks delicious. The idea is unique and interesting. I’ve never heard about this before. But like most of your readers I too believe it’s overpriced. But still sometimes quality helps to keep that money factor out of our minds. I hope it’s one of those rare cases. :)

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    • It is overpriced, but since I’m sharing the cost with two of my colleagues, it’s working out pretty well. But more than anything else, the quality of the desserts has made this a not to be missed experience. :-)

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  12. This sounds like such a delicious idea to liven up workplace blahs. I am going to check out if they have something similar in Bangalore also. So nice to have a surprise delivery like that, and so well packaged too :)

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    • Welcome here, Hish, and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. The dessert box surprise really brightened our office that day. I’m not aware of something like this in Bangalore, but initiatives like this rarely remain confined to a city like this for long. :-)

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  13. Hey, am reading this after lunch and you have me in…craving for dessert….you know how it is when temptation seeps in, especially when it is sweet and more so when it is sinful and banned for me! But I am now yearning for this lovely concept and the contents….I guess I am going to cheat when I get to Mumbai….and I hope it is worth the wait! In the meanwhile, enjoy them and please do think of me!

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