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Just Desserts at Dolce Delights

The cakes dazzled like jewels -- bright, plump and enticingly delectable. Delicately placed on sheets of gold, the pastries radiated sweetness. Invited to select any and all that my little heart desired, I stared, licking my lips and feeling like Marie Antoinette in front of my queen's feast of confections. But the little patisserie in Midtown doesn't look like Versailles; instead, it's built with sleek, sparse modernism.

Wearing my imaginary tiara, I sat in Dolce Delights and selected five scintillating sweets.

My first bite was into the soft, hot-pink Raspberry & Pistachio cake topped with a ladybug-like edible silver accessory. Layered with vibrant raspberry mousse, the almond sponge cake gave off only a light hint of pistachio, with no neon-green in sight. This was a glorious start.

Next came the glowing, orange tartness of the Mango Lava cake, oozing all-natural mango chunks immersed in mango fruit puree. Here, owner Candace Chang deftly displays her Asian-inspired influences while avoiding fiercely sugared artificial tastes.

Moving on, I daintily cut into the Strawberry White Chocolate cake, elegantly sculpted around devil's food cake, shimmering strawberry gelee and bits of red, luscious berries. Without slowing down, I tried the Lemon Blueberry Basil cake and, surprisingly, enjoyed its gentle citrus taste, akin to key lime pie. Finally came the pièce de résistance, the Dark Forest Chocolate cake -- mousse sitting atop the cake, with a hazelnut crunch center.

Candace Chang's delicate hand with farm-fresh ingredients and soft, fluffy cakes puts her treats among Houston's finest confections. To those who dare step between me and a Dolce Delight...well...just let me eat cake!


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