Baked Expectations: Sweet and Stellar
Baked Expectations old fashioned chocolate cake is a temptress with dense, moist, not-too sweet morsels of cocoa.
In the past year or so, I've come to embrace a truth. I love sweets—delivered any way I can get them.
Whether it be an apple-laced compote served with a generous slab of pork tenderloin or a double chocolate cupcake, a sweet touch is just that.
It's clear I'm not alone in my adoration, especially in Winnipeg where bakeries, dessert-focused eateries and cupcake shops do booming business.
Baked Expectations, one of the forerunners in Winnipeg's sweet-stuff restaurant niche, has been baking up tortes, cakes, pies and pavlovas for nearly 30 years.
Located in Osborne Village, the café serves sandwiches, burgers and fries, pastas and entrée-sized salads. But they're all a warm-up to the main event—epic desserts for any sweet tooth. The vast dessert menu includes 11 cheesecakes, four pies, 16 cakes, tortes and the like. They also do special orders for cupcakes and cakes for any occasion.
The café's retro-chic, diner-deluxe decor includes a red, white and black colour scheme, two massive dessert cases right over the threshold and wall-to-wall chalkboard menus.
Urban-hip design only goes so far—if you don't serve good food, customers won't be coming back. At Baked Expectations, that's not a problem. The problem is deciding which craving to satisfy.
Chocolate and cherry won the battle on a recent visit.
A piece of old-fashioned chocolate cake was an instant eye-closing, slow-savouring delight. The sky-high, double-layer slab was iced with restraint and didn't send anyone into a chocolate coma. Indeed, the moist cake was easy on the sugar and heavy on dark, semi-sweet cocoa. A layer of mashed bananas between the slabs added extra flair.
For cheesecake lovers, try the cherry version. Cliché alert: it was heavenly. This seriously smooth and creamy cake was anchored with a graham-cracker crust with hints of nutmeg or perhaps cinnamon. Whatever the spice, the buttery crust was the perfect foil for the sweet tang of stewed cherries slathered above. If you don't have time to sit down for a bite, take a dessert to go at the counter.