Thursday, December 6, 2007

Anatomy of a Dessert Review.

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this post & more!

From time to time you’ll see reviews of desserts I’ve consumed while on the road. To fully understand my ratings on desserts, I thought I should give you a view in to my process for tasting baked goods & what I believe makes a high quality item. Anyone who’s been on a tasting with me can tell you, I move slowly, love to discuss every detail, & often I take notes!

When tasting a dessert, I like to taste each component on its own, be it the cake, frosting, filling, etc. I note the flavor profile, the depth, & texture of each section; I then taste the item as a whole to see how everything works together. In my opinion, the perfect dessert needs to be delicious as separate components, but also work together to be a truly outstanding treat. I find my scrutiny is especially intense with cakes, as many times a portion will be too dry or lacking in flavor, while the other portion is perfectly fine or even good. In baked goods, I like depth of flavor, but not too dense & moistness with a bit of fluffiness. I like rich & decadent, I’m not afraid of triple chocolate or a sugary sweet buttercream. I also enjoy fruit flavors, sharp & tangy, smooth & creamy, although I do tend to gravitate towards a cake versus a pie or a crumble versus a tart!

While in New York City, I had the chance to sample desserts everyday. I plan to review them all over the course of a few posts & have decided to employ a rating system of 1 to 5 stars. Rating systems vary vastly from person to person, so here’s some insight in to mine!

5 stars- Wonderful! Craveable! These are the items my dreams are made of & they dance in my head whenever that sugar craving sets in!
4 stars- Delicious, something I’d recommend to others & would consume again.
3 stars-
A nice dessert item, not spectacular, but solid; I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat this again, but probably wouldn’t turn it down either.
2 stars-
Flawed & lacking in multiple facets, not something I’d consume again & would advise others against.
1 star-
Inedible & just downright BAD. These are the items that make people think vegan food is “weird” or “gross”; they should be outlawed!

I hope you enjoyed a look in to the madness of my mind. Stay tuned for my upcoming New York City dessert reviews, as well as future thoughts on confections around the globe!


the pleasantly plump vegan said...

cool, can't wait

bazu said...

Yes, I remember your exacting dessert standards! Now, every time I see a cake 'standing up' instead of on its side, I think "Melisser would love this!" I look forward to your ratings- I think vegan desserts have come a long way, and can definitely be held to high standards now.

Liz² said...

oh. my. gosh. I cannot wait to hear your descriptions of desserts. just hearing your description of how you like to describe desserts is doing funny things (wonderful, cravey things!) to my sweet tooth. :OOO

Vegan_Noodle said...

Can't wait to see what you've sampled and how you rated them!! I"m guessing I would give that birthday cake you just made 5 stars, at least it looks that good on the computer screen!!

the little one said...

I wish you were around to rate my baked goods! I always want more feedback than, "Oh, yes, it is very yummy." What is yummy about it? What works and what could be better? I don't seem to be able to get that kind of feedback usually. I look forward to reading your reviews.

VeggieGirl said...

Melisser, you're just like me!! As a foodie, I observe the taste, aroma, texture, and even sound (haha) of EVERY SINGLE morsel of food that I sample - this perhaps explains why it takes me over an hour to eat anything ;0)

can't wait for the dessert reviews!! I definitely have a sweet-tooth (as I'm sure you've seen on my blog, since I bake at LEAST every other day, haha).

porcalina said...

Yey - so thorough :)

can't wait to read the reviews.

bjorkedoff said...

considering i might just be a little into dessert or whateyvar,i'm quite excited for these.Vegan Treats reviews?

BitterSweet said...

I'll be on the edge of my seat awaiting your reviews!

springsandwells said...

I can't wait!
what a fabulously precise and exacting dessert taster you are. I love it! Very cool. I didn't realize... we could have had such a specific and delightful time analyzing our froyo! :)

Love the picture of you with the cake.

maybepigscanfly said...

Yay, I can't wait to hear all of your ratings for New York. I know I can trust your opinion, especially when it comes to vegan desert. Nothing but the best for Melisser (as it should be)!

julie hasson said...

Hi Melisser!

I can't wait to read your dessert reviews. How fun to have tasted so many vegan desserts in New York.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

ppvegan, Liz², porcalina, bittersweet, julie- Thank you so much! Part one should be up soon!

bazu- That is so funny! I'm a very visual eater!

vegan_noodle- Thanks so much, I'd give the cake a 4! hahaha.

thelittleone- That's SO true! I love to discuss what something needs more or less of. My husband is so sick of me asking him 200 questions because no one else would give me anything other than, "Mmmm!!!".

veggiegirl- I seem to be eating faster these days, but YES, I savour everything!

Evan- there will be MANY v. treats reviews from good to so-so!

Amey- Thank you! We should totally analyze desserts together sometime! hehe.

Teresa- You know just how crazy I am! hahaha.

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