Welcome to Sugar High, a series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.
Chef Russell Ping of Russell's on Macklind (5400 Murdoch Avenue; 314-553-9994) describes his baking style as "homespun gourmet," perfecting nostalgic, American-style family recipes. His toasted coconut cake, a buttermilk pound cake filled and frosted with lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream, is a classic example of his unadulterated, divine desserts.
"I believe that there is a certain art to keeping things simple. We use the highest quality ingredients we can find and try to balance flavors. We strive for product that is rich and decadent, but never overly sweet or complicated," says Ping.
Available since day one at Ping's original location of Russell's Cafe & Bakery (958 Brookwood Center Plaza; Fenton; 636-343-8900) nearly eight years ago, the coconut cake has certainly earned its place in the bakery case.
Two round cakes, after baking and cooling, get split in half to make up the four layers of the finished product. Held together with the delicate topping, each forkful feels as light and fluffy as a cloud -- appropriate considering that the combination of lightly toasted coconut, cool whipped cream and moist crumb is nothing short of heavenly.
Previously on Sugar High: - The Kitchen Sink's Sweet Potato Fries - Giovanni's Kitchen's Panna Cotta Trio - Crepes Etc.'s Crepe Cake - Cafe Ventana's Beignets - Frida's Raspberry-Chocolate Avocado Mousse - India Palace's Gulab Jamun - Melt's "Violet Beauregarde" Waffle - Brevan's Patisserie's "Brendan" - Winslow's Home's Chocolate Cake with Espresso Meringue - La Patisserie Chouquette's Eclair - Black Bear Bakery's Raspberry Oat Bar - Gelateria's London Fog Gelato - 4 Seasons Bakery's German Cheesecake - Libertine's "Candy Bar" - Cleveland-Heath's Old Fashioned Cherry Pie - Schlafly Tap Room and Bottleworks' Sticky Toffee Pudding
We're always looking for some sweet ideas. E-mail the author at email@example.com.