Is your sweet tooth aching for some dessert? Go to the bakery. Feeling snack-ish? Go to the bakery. Want to procrastinate your work? Go to the bakery. There are many places to grab a sweet treat such as CTB, Mango Mango, Ithaca bakery and the newly relocated Rashida Sawyer Bakery.
Rashida Sawyer Bakery desserts are based on the recipes created by Loraine Rashida Sawyer, a Cornell Hotel School alumnus. You can find the bakery in the Ithaca Commons on West Green Street, a little bit past Urban Outfitters. It’s a cute little store that houses a variety of cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, tarts and other baked goodies including a gluten and dairy free honey-banana chocolate bar.
In my recent visit, I had the pleasure of trying their fruit tart, chocolate swirl cheesecake and their chocolate cupcake with fudgy chocolate cream cheese frosting.
My favorite out of all of those desserts was the fruit tart with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and oranges. The best part of the tart was definitely the crust. It was surprisingly light, not too crumbly, not too dense and easily cut with a fork. The crust even carried a subtle sweetness that did well to add to the understated sweetness of the cream without overpowering the overall sweetness of the dessert. The texture of the cream was heavenly, very even, gliding smoothly across the tongue. The seedy texture of the berries, paired with the slight crumbliness of the crust, contrasted the smoothness of the cream and added another dimension to the dish. The tartness of the berries balanced the dessert very well when coupled with the sweetness of the cream. Especially on a hot summer day, the fruit tart provided a nice relief due to the fresh and cool juiciness of the fruits.
The next dessert I tried was the chocolate swirl cheesecake, which I found to be a nice break from the usual heaviness of most cheesecakes. It was completely light and creamy with a subtle hint of chocolate. Originally, I expected the cheesecake to be more chocolatey and heavy like most chocolate cheesecakes; nevertheless, the delicate chocolate flavor was a smart move as it helped maintain the lightness of the overall dish while still keeping chocolate lovers interested. My main complaint with this dessert was the crust. While I thought the slight salty flavor contrasted the sweetness of the dish well, I found it too dense, almost like a hard crumbly cookie. I really had to dig my fork in to break a piece of it.
The last dessert I tried was my least favorite, and to be honest I was slightly disappointed with it as I expected more coming from the previous desserts. While the fudgy chocolate cream cheese frosting of the chocolate cupcake is a chocolate lover’s paradise, the actual cake was very dense. Because the frosting is very heavy, rich and fudgy, the density of the cake seemed to weigh the dish down even more, and made it harder to swallow. The cake in combination with the frosting seemed to smother my taste buds and I got the urge to chase the dessert with a glass of milk. In general the taste was average. In fact, it reminded me more of a brownie than a cupcake.
Overall, while I found the desserts pleasurable, nothing special stood out to me. I definitely recommend stopping by if you’re in the area and I myself also plan on dropping in again to try some of the other baked goods. At the end of the day, if you’re craving something sweet, you now have another place to add to your list.
Isha Vaish is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].