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 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.
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 !
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.
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