Ohio City Hungarians were so impressed with the napoleons baked by Sandor Farkas and his son Attila, the duo decided to open Farkas Pastry Shoppe back in 1966. The layers of puff pastry, custard and whipped cream still hold strong almost 50 years later says current owner Mike Harrison, who bought the bakery in 2010 and created a chocolate version ($3.50) at the urging of his customers. While most shops make about 2 pounds of puff pastry at a time, Farkas will whip up 40-pound handmade batches for consistency in each bite. That kind of authenticity draws Hungarian-Americans from throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond. Harrison and Attila, who still works Saturdays, have served customers from Pittsburgh and Chicago. "Everything we make with very few exceptions are to-a-tee how they were passed down from Attila's father," says Harrison. "We haven't changed, and we're not going to."
2700 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-281-6200, farkaspastries.com
LOLA'S PASTRY CHEF SUMMER GENETTI has gone cuckoo for cocoa in her latest dessert. The Chocolate Fudge Round ($9), an ode to our favorite guilty pleasure, combines a variety of textures, tastes and temperatures into a single dish. Genetti explains how she built this sugar-filled showstopper.
There's always room at our table (and in our stomachs) for these four fine-dining desserts.
LEMON POLENTA CAKE
"There's a simplicity to it," says chef and owner Zack Bruell. "With Italian, you want to pull things out and simplify. If you don't do things right, it exposes all the flaws in the dish, and this one is one of those very simplistic dishes."
BAKED HOT CHOCOLATE
"It's like eating good, airy, rich chocolate," says executive chef Jonathan Bennett. "We've changed chocolates three times in 16 years, and it took a lot of testing to reproduce the original in terms of texture and flavor."
BUTTERED POPCORN POT DE CREME
The Greenhouse Tavern, $7
"It's one of those knock-you-over-the-head things, like, I can't believe we didn't think of this earlier," says pastry chef Matt Danko. "One day we had popcorn and I thought, Why don't we do that?"
Great Lakes Brewing Co., $8
"The recipe is just one of those things that we made once and somebody said, 'Don't stop' and we haven't ever since," says chef Richard Basich. "A lot of people really like the whiskey butter that goes on it."