Best Desserts


Carolyn Downs, owner and pastry chef at the popular Webster Groves café Cyrano's, doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. Her desserts are classics, perfected: The key lime pie is as velvety as the richest cheesecake and sings with key lime's signature balance of sweet and tart. Carrot cake is perfectly moist, the flavor rounded out by toasted coconut atop the cream cheese icing. And the caramel brioche bread pudding, drizzled with icing, is divine. There are flourishes, such as panna cotta infused with lavender or, this past summer, with the flavor of that childhood treat, the creamsicle. Speaking of childhood treats: Yes, there is ice cream — decadent sundaes, even an éclair. For those who truly want to indulge in Downs' desserts, there are flambées (strawberry, cherry, banana). These are meant for two, but if you mean to finish one off yourself, we won't tell.

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