by Mabel Suen
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.
Since rolling out its artisanal doughnuts in November 2013, Vincent Van Doughnut has made tracks all over town, offering its from-scratch treats on the streets, at Straub's Markets and even paired with ice cream for breakfast. On March 14, the food truck set roots in Clayton with its first brick-and-mortar storefront at 40 North Central Avenue in Clayton.
On any given day, visitors can look forward to a rotating set of around a dozen offerings including one of chef-owner Vincent Marsden's ongoing series of creations: "Mini Vinnies," or doughnut holes with decadent fillings or dips.
Marsden, now in his twenty-fourth year of working in restaurants, devoted many years to perfecting his product. Previous iterations of the fried delicacies he developed in years past include churros at his former restaurant, Mirasol, as well as an Amish potato-based doughnut. The majority of the items in Vincent Van Doughnut's pastry case today begin with a yeast-based recipe he's tweaked over time.
The eight-ingredient foundation is simple but essential to each doughnut's success: milk, butter, egg, yeast, salt, sugar, flour and water. Typical fillings and toppings for the light, fluffy end product can include everything from lemon curd and fresh-fruit jelly to chocolate and bacon-topped glazes.
In the case of Marsden's "Mini Vinnies," expect options including pretzel-like bites served with caramel or cinnamon-butter dipping sauces, a take on the classic Twinkie with a creamy filling and a gooey-butter injected doughnut hole completely dipped in chocolate and topped with a squiggle of ganache. The serving might seem smaller, but the flavors within receive the life-size quality treatment that makes Vincent Van Doughnut one of the best sweet spots around.
Previously on Sugar High: - Piccione Pastry's Sfogliatella Riccia - The Feasting Fox's Warm Apple Strudel - I Scream Cake's "I Scream Sammys" - LuciAnna's Pastries' Chocolate-Mousse Cheesecake - Spoon Baking Company's Spoon Cookie - Insomnia Cookies' S'mores Deluxe Cookie - Living Room's Peanut-Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookie - Stimulus Baking Company's Pad-Thai Cupcake - La Bonne Bouchée's Strawberry-Mousseline Cake - Pie Oh My's Pumpkin-Maple Pecan Pie - Annie Moons' Banana-Split Muffins - Cyrano's Carrot Cake - Whitebox Eatery's Cheese Pastry - Comet Coffee's Mousse Cakes - Whisk's Apple-Cinnamon "Pop Tartlets" - The London Tea Room's Blueberry-Lemon Cake - Corner 17's Fluffy Ice - The Fountain on Locust's "Banana Bourbon" Sundae - Vinnie's Pinwheel Baklava - Red Fox Baking & Catering's Lemon Tart - Sugarfire Smokehouse's Crack Pie - Russell on Macklind's Coconut Cake - 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 firstname.lastname@example.org