One of my favorite things about the holidays are the desserts. Pretty cookies. Gorgeous cakes. I want it all regardless of the caloric cost in the end.
In San Diego, one of the best places that fulfills all the requirements above is Extraordinary Desserts. From the time I started appreciating food, I knew that Extraordinary Desserts was the place to go to impress someone. I’ve been there to celebrate birthdays, impress out-of-town guests, etc.
This season, Extraordinary Desserts is offering a selection of seasonal pastries for a limited time until New Year’s Day: chocolate linzer torte, dulce de leche cheesecake, gateau noel and my favorite — a yule log.
The yule log was especially alluring based on their ingredients. According to the description, this wasn’t an ordinary yule log. The dessert was meant to be a table centerpiece when purchased as a full cake. Festooned with roses, chocolate shavings, strawberries and edible 23 3/4 karat gold foil, it weighs in at a exorbitant $58 (serving 12-14 guests). But a single slice is available at $11.95. Or $13 with tax.
The $13 slice of yule log is quite unassuming — a thick slab of chocolate cake with surrounded with rose petals, half a strawberry and a side of cherry-infused sauce. By Extraordinary Desserts standards, it’s pretty plain-looking. In retrospect, the first sign of impending disappointment came from the counter guy, who had no idea what a yule log was.
The cake was dense as I initially noted. But after one forkful, it revealed itself as a dry, earth-clay cake that no amount of beverage could help move down the gullet. The cherries throughout the cake didn’t help either, only adding to the difficulty of eating this monster. The chocolate was bland, both in the cake and the truffle topping.
After a few bites, even Paul (whose eyes almost popped out of his head at the $13 price tag) pushed the plate away from not wanting to help me finish it. I was suddenly the bad kid forced to sit at the table until I had cleaned my plate. I finally managed to get the dessert down, leaving only a quarter of the original piece left on the plate (which I was hesitant to do, since that was about $3 of wasted food).
My opinion would be different if the dessert was delicious (it was not), and even Extraordinary Desserts’ description of a “dense brownie and chocolate souffle” did not help this cake with its texture problems. The raspberry tea-soaked cherries didn’t make this dessert a one note chocolate extravaganza and lack of sweetness of the chocolate was another reason for the downfall of this dish.
While I would still recommend Extraordinary Desserts for special occasions, their yule log is an extraordinary disappointment. Not all holiday desserts are joyful.
It does look like earthen clay. I wonder if you let it sit out in the San Diego sun, you can then use it to build houses and chimneys for Santa. I like ED too, but will skip this one!
It was hard to take a photo to accurately depict the yule log slice but glad you noticed!
That’s just sad. Sad yule log “cake”.
I don’t go there much anymore. In the early 00’s, the desserts were full of complex flavors and gorgeous decorations. Now, they’re all dense and too sweet. And the service is horrible.
I think Extraordinary Desserts was around when no other places around San Diego existed that were like it. It seems a bit outdated with the beautiful garnishes.
Well, that is just sad. Maybe they were trying to replicate the dense thickness of a real log?
That sux! Next time, try the Passionfruit Ricotta Torte (my all time fave!) 🙂
I love Passionfruit. I’ll try to get over this recent experience to check it out.
The passionfruit ricotta torte is DELICIOUS. I had it with my cake-loving friend last spring and it was an absolute delight. Highly recommended!
And have you tried San Diego Desserts by any chance? It’s in the College Area, but I’m yet to try it. I’ve heard nothing but good reviews so far. Maybe I need to stop by during my short break from work in a couple of weeks…
San Diego Desserts is on my list. I’ve heard good things about it as well and need to try it out before my New Year’s Resolution kicks in!
What a disappointment! I’ve personally never really liked their chocolate inspired desserts. Will have to make sure to avoid this one.
Wow – sounds like the rare miss from Extraordinary
Desserts. We got the Blood Orange Ricotta Torte, which was perfect
for our Thanksgiving with its cranberries and raspberries. It was
the opposite of your Yule (Be Sorry) Log; tangy, light, sweet, and
refreshing. Here’s the silver lining: Your post’s title is
I really wanted to love this dessert but expectations were high especially $13 total a slice. I’ll still visit Extraordinary Desserts but go with a trustworthy desserts.
Thanks for kudos on the post title.