Crunch : 75th Birthday Showdown!

By Tsz on March 30, 2013

Gastrophoria is celebrating Crunch bar’s 75th Birthday Showdown!

To celebrate its momentous birthday, Nestlé Crunch is hosting a sugar-filled bakery face-off, where 15 top bakeries compete by creating sugary concoctions featuring Crunch bars. I was graciously invited to scope out LA’s contenders, which meant an afternoon of chocolate, butter, and sugar! Imagine a kid after eating a full-sized candy bar. Now times that by 10 and that was me!

Here’s a sneak peak of what to expect:

Crumbs’s Crumbs Crunch Cupcake
This is not something you can enjoy in skinny jeans, or any jeans period. This boulder of chocolate goodness includes a blondie base covered with chunks of Crunch that’s baked inside a chocolate cake. Add an inch of chocolate buttercream, a chocolate chip cookie and a whole crunch bar and you’ve got yourself a chocolate buffet.

Sweet E’s Nestlé PB Crunch Brownie
This is like the Two-Face of desserts. Not that it’s evil, but there’s two distinctive desserts going on for the price of one: chocolate chip brownie and PB fudge imbedded with Crunch bits. I ended up splitting them in half to enjoy each on its own.

Casey’s Chocolate Royalty Cupcake
You know the saying how dog owners resemble their dogs? Well, one thing I’ve learned is that same goes for baked goods and their creators! Casey is bubbly and glam and her creation embodies all of it. Her concoction is a devil’s food cake infused with Crunch bar pieces, more Crunch in its creamy filling and then topped with milk chocolate icing, two full bars and a edible glitter party!

Coolhaus’s Candied Bacon Ice Cream Cookie
One of the more austere desserts in appearance but it makes up for it in flavor and texture. There’s brown butter ice cream mixed in with bits of Crunch bar and candied bacon, which is then sandwiched between a chewy double chocolate sea salt cookie and a snack food chip cookie. It was like an ever changing Gobstopper: sweet, then salty; cold, then warm; soft, then crunchy. Though the other desserts all put up a good fight, this stole my heart and is the champion in my eyes.

All these treats are available at their receptive bakeries from now till April 21, 2013. Give them a try and visit Crunch’s Facebook Page to vote for your favorite. You may be a winner of a full-sized Crunch Bar!

Bonus tip: all the recipes for the contenders are available too in case you want to replicate at the comfort of your kitchen. I know I will be making that brown butter bacon Crunch ice cream…

Happy sugar rush!


West Elm + Heirloom LA : Eye Candy

By Tsz on March 5, 2013

Gastrophoria are baked sweets from Heirloom LA combined with eye candy from West Elm.

On certain days, I just want to let my girly flag fly high. Not sure I can speak for all females, but there are times that calls for—nay, scream for—frothy dresses, sugary desserts and being immersed amongst beautiful things. Am I the only one?

Last Saturday was one of those days and thus I invited (dragged) my partner-in-flavor to West Elm’s Etsy Pop-Up. Curated by Emily Henderson of HGTV, the pop up featured unique art and home goods from local Etsy crafters. Some of my favorites were:

Dominik : handcrafted cutting boards inspired by guitar picks!
Jikits: custom ice cream mobiles
Twpottery : glazed planters in deep blues and neutrals
Sass + Peril : geometric animal printed goods

As a added bonus, Heirloom LA served an array of sugary delights: chocolate dipped lemon passion fruit bars, coconut snow balls and toasted marshmallow s’mores. While the s’more trump in appearance with its swirly marshmallow top hat, the lemon passion fruit bar stole the show in taste. With the addition of a chocolate layer and passion fruit, it elevated the simple (and often times too tart) lemon bar to delicious heights.

Extra eye candy was provided by West Elm. It was a treat to my eyes to see how well they combine colors and textures to create vignettes—if only I could live in the store! I did the next best thing and fantasy shopped instead.

It was an afternoon well spent.

Sidenote: if you find someone who not only tolerates but celebrates your passions and all those girly outbursts, hold them close cause they’re special.

West Elm Los Angeles
8366 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (323) 782–9672

*Next Pop Up will be held at West Elm Philadelphia this Saturday, March 9! Check their Facebook event page for more info.*

Heirloom LA
4120 Verdugo Road
Los Angeles, CA 90065
Phone: (855) 456–6652