Monday, May 2, 2016     Volume: 17, Issue: 8
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Santa Maria Sun / Eats

Desserts for every mood: Your ideal sugary fix, however you feel

BRENNA SWANSTON

There’s more than one side to every sweet tooth.

Think about the different desserts your many moods require: Maybe it’s an 85-degree Wednesday and you feel like this week’s never going to end, so screw it—what sugary treat do you crave? Or perhaps your significant other just dumped you and you feel like caving in to the stereotypical post-breakup rituals impressed upon you since childhood by the media—what’s your candy of choice then? Or what about when you just want something sweet, and you want it with an unstoppable and inexplicable fervor—what will give you your fix?

See? There’s a dessert for every mindset. And after some careful research (i.e. stuffing my face with a variety of sugary foods), I’ve pinpointed the best dessert spot for each of my three most common moods—so if you ever find yourself in any of the following personas, I know just the place for you to treat yourself.

Mood: Manic pixie dream girl


CHOCOLATEY GOODNESS
I sampled (and loved) four chocolate truffles from Heart & Sugar: orange, raspberry, 72 percent cacao dark chocolate, and honey cinnamon.
PHOTO BY BRENNA SWANSTON

I’m feeling very cute and oh-so-quirky! I might as well have been dreamed up by some brooding Brooklyn screenwriter who doesn’t understand how human women function and wants to cast Zooey Deschanel to play my character! La la la! Unicorns!

This mood is super fun (as long as it’s short-lived), and when I’m in it, I want a rich dessert with a European touch from a cutesy, brightly colored boutique candy shop. And I’ve found just the place: Heart & Sugar in Orcutt.

Owner Alexandra Thompson is your go-to for beautiful macarons, tasty truffles, and unique loose-leaf teas. (She also has mesmerizing eyes and an awesome Russian accent, so those are added bonuses.) I sampled four chocolate truffles from her place: orange, raspberry, honey cinnamon, and 72 percent cacao dark chocolate. The latter two blew me away, so when you find yourself in a manic pixie dream girl kind of way, make sure to hit up Heart & Sugar.

Mood: Coffeehouse hipster


SOME LIKE IT HAUTE
You’ve probably never had artisan cotton candy, but it’s as close as 6 Degrees coffee shop in Orcutt. Haute Sugar Co. features a classic candy in exotic flavors.
PHOTO BY BRENNA SWANSTON

I spent an obscene amount of money on my outfit to make it look like an ensemble of awesome thrift store finds, and now I’m ready to hit up a coffee shop to listen to Bon Iver and update my poetry blog. Damn it, these thick-rimmed glasses keep falling down my nose … good thing I don’t actually need them to see.

When I’m around Santa Maria and feeling like an afternoon at an excruciatingly hip coffee joint, only one place comes to mind: 6 Degrees in Orcutt. And when my coffeehouse hipster-self is craving sugar, she’s craving a fix that’s unique and artisan. Luckily, 6 Degrees carries just the stuff—cloud puffs by Haute Sugar Co.

Ever had artisan cotton candy? No? Well, if you give it a whirl, make sure to open your mind to flavors like “passion fruit and toasted coconut” or “sea salt and caramel with caramel and chocolate pop rocks” or “spicy mango.” I can genuinely say Haute Sugar’s cloud puffs are unlike any other candy I’ve tasted, and in a good way. The spicy mango in particular kicked my taste buds’ asses and got my eyes watering, because it’s actually legitimately spicy (in the best way possible).

Mood: Sugar-crazed child who doesn’t care about caloric intake yet


TO DIE FOR
La Real Michoacana will satisfy every dessert craving you’ve had your whole life in just one bite of its ridiculously rich ice cream. Trust me.
PHOTO BY BRENNA SWANSTON

Dude, I don’t care what it looks like or where I get it or whether my pants fit right after I’m done eating it. I just want something that tastes awesome, I want it right now, and I want it to get my face and hands all gross and sticky.

Apologies for my poor impression of a kid’s thought process. My creative juices are running low and also I never spend time around children because they’re scary. But my impression matters far less than the massively unhealthy and freaking genius ice cream place I’m about to suggest: La Real Michoacana.

I sampled the tequila and cheesecake flavors before settling on Italian blackberry cheesecake. I couldn’t even finish the one scoop I ordered, and for an hour after eating it, I could feel the creamy film it left behind on the roof of my mouth. If that sounds disgusting to you, it’s because you’re overthinking it. Take a step back and consider the taste: Big. Bold. Awesome. Guilt-inducing. But mostly awesome.

In all honesty, I should have sprung for the cheesecake, because my sampler of it rocked my world. The tequila was also pretty amazing. So when you’ve got your stretchy pants on, a childish mindset, and a few bucks, head over to La Real Michoacana for the perfect dessert experience. 

Indulge
• Heart & Sugar, 125 W. Clark Ave., Old Orcutt
• 6 Degrees Coffehouse & Eatery, 4869 S. Bradley Road, Orcutt
• La Real Michoacana, 1832 N. Broadway, Santa Maria

Brenna Swanston can actually still feel that ice cream film like 24 hours later. Send your favorite mood/dessert combinations to bswanston@santamariasun.com.