It's big, it's green and, apparently, it's furious. But I found that hard to believe when I tasted the Hulk, an idiosyncratic but seemingly placid cake at Midtown's Dolce Delights by Candace Chang. The thick layer of mousse on top is flavored with green tea—and what's more relaxing than an antioxidant-rich cuppa?
But I get it, the airy mousse gives way to a fluffy devil's food cake that rests on a layer of crunchy hazelnut crust. That final element breaks into shards with each bite sort of like this.
But the crackle and crunch isn't the most dramatic part of the dessert. It's the well-developed green tea flavor. What could be bitter or fake, or is sometimes simply too subtle in desserts of the same flavor, is creamy, rich and unmistakably tea-like in Chang's hands.
In fact, I liked the mousse so much, I tried another dessert that featured it.
The Cherry Blossom also uses a combination of chocolate and green tea as its basis, to very different effect. That's partly due to the chewy brownie resting beneath the pair of mousses. But the powerful tartness of the Technicolor cherry mousse that separates chocolate from green tea is the biggest difference maker. Its zip is almost comparable to a citrus dessert.
At nearly $7 apiece, each of the cakes cost more than my lunch preceding dessert at Cali Sandwich nearby. But unlike that banh mi, each will last several days of sampling, and for a special treat, every Hulking bite is worth it.