#AtoZChallenge | Q is for Quince Sorbet and getting our Sugar Rush on at Gross Confection Bar.

The Netflix algorithm that recommends shows based on your previous viewing history notifies me the millisecond a new dessert cooking show is available. I have my niche. Repeated viewings of the Great British Bake-Off, Sugar Rush and Zumbo’s Just Desserts make me a pseudo expert on anything sugar based.

When my husband and I were out for dinner recently at Chaval, a local Portland restaurant, the waiter mentioned that their Morcilla Puff appetizer was made with choux pastry. My husband looked at me and said, “Honey, it’s choux pastry” and we promptly ordered two to try. He’s been sucked into my candy colored world too. The appetizer was delicious. The chef might have even gotten a handshake from Paul Hollywood if they had baked it under a tent on the grounds of a beautiful rural estate in England.

When my oldest was home for college break over January, we streamed the latest season of Zumbo’s Just Desserts. We enjoyed seeing all the amazing creations these not-so-amateur chef’s came up with during each of the challenges.

When we were done our binge, it left us with a craving for fancy desserts. It can be challenging to see all the amazing creations but never get to taste them.

Fortunately, I knew just the place. We headed to Gross Confection Bar located on Middle Street in Portland. It had been on my list to check out for a while. They opened slightly over a year ago and are a dessert-focused restaurant and bar.

The dessert fairies were on our side. We headed into Portland and scored a nearby parking space almost immediately. As we walked down into the basement space, which has beautiful exposed brick and is full of charm, we opted for seats at a small side bar. The lighting was a little brighter.

It was happy hour, so their dessert tasting board was discounted. The board gives you a taste of each of the six desserts from The Taste section of the menu. The day we visited the dessert board included:

banana, chocolate and coffee | banana rum mousse, fudge brownie, chocolate micro cake, lightly smoked graham crumb and coffee cremeux.

brown butter carrot cake | dried fruit-roasted fig compote, espresso tuile, spiced cider caramel, brown sugar crumb, goat cheese ice cream

honey vanilla pots de creme | apple compote, cardamom crumb, star anise shortbread

coconut macaroon | brown butter, caraibe, passionfruit, vanilla, apricot

brown butter panna cotta | pineapple, jasmine, rice crack, rum, yuzu, lime

camus profiterole | camus mousse, apple butter, penuche, candied walnuts, caramel agrodolce, maple ice cream.

We each added an additional scoop of ice cream. I stuck to my go to flavor of salted caramel, while my daughter opted to try the quince sorbet. (This really is a Q post!)

The dessert flavors were complex with beautifully complimentary flavors. Every single one was delicious. Even flavors I don’t typically enjoy, like coconut and coffee, when mixed with the other ingredients resulted in a luscious creation that was easy to devour.

While they are a full service bar, I stuck to water and my daughter tried one of their no booze drinks made with rose chaga tonic and lime. It was refreshing.

We couldn’t finish everything on the tasting board although we sampled a little of each dish. Even for a dessert devotee like myself, you can eventually have too much of a good thing.

I’m working my way through an elimination diet right now so I’m not eating sugar but once I’m done, I’m heading back to Gross Confection Bar to sample more of their amazing desserts.

Why does this bring me bliss? While I’m on a self-care push of eating better, moving more and making healthier choices overall, I believe that in life moderation is key and that sometimes you just need to eat dessert. I also appreciate the talent that goes into creating a fancy dessert. After all, I’ve put my ten thousand hours of viewing in to qualify me as an expert.

Do you have have a favorite dessert or treat?


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I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2020. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Bliss. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

24 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | Q is for Quince Sorbet and getting our Sugar Rush on at Gross Confection Bar.

  1. Tamara says:

    Hahaha, I like your epilog! Hours of watching baking shows make you an expert – I like to think so, too! I have a recent FB quiz to prove it!! Plus, in a way, showing your appreciation for the talent that goes into creating these treats, is actually supporting a cultural art project, right?

    Now have you tried to recreate one of these desserts from the Gross Confection Bar, or will you do so once you’re done eliminating sugar?

    Once you’re weaned off sugar, everything will taste so much more intense: fruit, berries…

    Happy Monday!

    My Q is for Switzerland as a diverse, quadrilingual country.
    https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-z-2020-switzerland-quadrilingual.html

    Liked by 2 people

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      I haven’t been doing so well with my sugar ban during the pandemic but I am going to keep trying. I would definitely love to recreate one of these desserts but I’m not sure I would have much success. It really is an art form.

      Like

  2. Alexandra Heep says:

    I don’t know one person who knows what quince is! I grew up in Germany, and my mom used to make quince jam. I never have had quince again. I guess going on 40 years now. I have never seen it locally, but I frequent the low rent districts! I am sure the good restaurants here have it.

    Like

  3. Crackerberries says:

    I have really been trying to eat better too but now that I’ve read and seen these delectable desserts and pics, I’ve gotta craving… so many choices to think about…. just a chocolate brownie would suffice I’m quite sure of it. And chocolate coconut coffee…. oh it’s my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      Me too! I’m trying to eliminate or reduce sugar intake as much as possible but every now and then a treat is worth it. It’s all about balance although I am still struggling to find that balance!

      Like

  4. Mikaela D'Eigh says:

    What an amazing place! I’m more of a salt gal myself and I gave up sugar back in December (causes inflammation in all my joints, sigh). But I would mind a taste of the goat cheese ice cream!

    Like

  5. Arti says:

    I’m rooting for you Karen–the ‘ten thousand hours input” must amount to something.
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your delicious post today. Only trouble is, apart from some chocolate in the fridge, there is no dessert and no willingness to create any dessert after I finish writing this comment.
    So, I will have to make do with drooling over your pics I think.
    And your mantra of moderation–I’m in your camp with that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      That is the dilemma now that we’re stuck at home. We have to actually cook the yummy desserts ourselves although Gross Confection Bar just started doing curb side pickup so I might have to check that out!

      Like

  6. mollyscanopy says:

    Quince sorbet sounds as lovely as that dessert board looks! I have actually thinking I should pick up some desserts during my bi-monthly grocery shopping. I have been focusing on essentials — but right now, these seem essential, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. slfinnell says:

    Only one time has my mother had a request for quince jam at our craft show booth. That is 20 years worth of shows. I still haven’t tried that fruit. But only because of my landlocked location 😉 I’ll put it down on my to do list!

    Liked by 1 person

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