I arrived home Tuesday night to a fabulous sampler package of gluten-free goodness from the very nice people at Shabtai Gourmet, of New York. The moment I opened the package, I got excited. I haven’t seen bakery packaging like this outside of New York. I knew I was in for a treat. Raspberry Roll, Swiss Chocolate Roll, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Florentine Lace. I couldn’t believe the variety I had just unwrapped.
First a little background about Shabtai Gourmet. Shabtai has been baking for over 30 years. Originally offered as part of his Passover line, his gluten-free goodies were only available for 2 weeks out of the year. His customers asked him to offer his delicious cakes and cookies year round and Shabtai obliged. Not only are these products baked in a dedicated gluten-free facility, they are also; dairy free, peanut free, soy free, lactose free, casein free, corn free, and Kosher.
Requiring a much needed study break, Mark brewed a pot of herbal tea while I arranged the sampler plate. It was like Passover had arrived early this year. Four dessert on one plate. What a treat but where to begin? If you read this blog often, you know I love chocolate so of course I dove into the Swiss Chocolate Roll first. It was like biting into a gourmet gluten-free devil dog. This cake is light, moist and fluffy, spiraled with creamy light, sweet, frosting, wrapped in a creamy cocoa chocolate shell. Often, when you eat a store bought cake, it leaves you wanting more but Shabtai’s Swiss Chocolate Roll is perfection.
Fortunately, Mark and I were splitting this sampler plate, or I’m not sure I would have had room for the next treat. We cleansed our palates with a little Rooibos tea and forged ahead to the cookie portion of our journey. Chocolate Chip Cookies and Florentine Lace. Wow! I usually can’t stand store bought chocolate chip cookies but these are delicious. They are like little tea cookies with hints of cinnamon and nuts dotted with tiny chocolate chips. For those of you who like to dunk your cookies, they pass the dunk-ability test in a cup of tea. The Florentine Lace were out of this world. I was concerned when I opened the package that these were going to be stick to your teeth sweet but they are delicate and delicious. Sweet, cinnamon, nutty lace, with a hint of saltiness adjacent to a rich chocolate layer, how can you go wrong with this! Mark says to describe it as peanut brittle meets a cookie but having never eaten peanut brittle, I don’t know if this is accurate.
Our final destination on the sampler plate was the Raspberry Roll. I must admit I was not so excited for this part of the sampler but felt it was my duty to taste it and give an accurate report. Boy am I glad I tried it. Wow! Once again, I am a chocolate person. I don’t usually eat desserts that don’t have chocolate in them, especially when there is a fruit presence. This Shabtai Raspberry Roll has completely changed my outlook on non-chocolate desserts. It is out of this world fabulous. Citrus and lemon, coconut, and raspberry infused into a light spongy cake. You bite in expecting a dense heavy cake but instead it’s lite and airy like eating a breezy summer afternoon on a cold February winter’s evening. (And remember I hate fruit flavored desserts!)
So thank you to the anonymous gluten-free mommy who passed along this blog to Shabtai and his son, Andrew, and thank you Shabtai Gourmet for sending me this fabulous sampler package. I am so happy to be able to feature Shabtai Gourmet for this week’s Friday Finds. I can’t believe the assortment of textures they are able to pull off in this bakery. If there were a Nobel Prize for baking, Shabtai Gourmet would receive it! I highly recommend Shabtai Gourmet to everyone gluten-free and gluten-full. If you can’t get to New York, don’t worry, Shabtai Gourmet is sold in many locations. Use the Shabtai Store Locator to find a store near you. I look forward to purchasing and eating Shabtai products often.