Special thanks to Mike for checking out Dolce Delights!

“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” or “let them eat cake” is a phrase often misattributed to Marie Antoinette, when told that the peasants had no bread to eat. That phrase came to mind recently when sampling some of the delicacies at Dolce Delights in Houston’s Midtown neighborhood.

Opened recently by Candace Chang, Dolce Delights focuses on seasonal and farm fresh ingredients, incorporating natural fruit purees to reduce sugar while still maintaining the flavor and integrity of the dishes. The menu is creative and ever-changing, and since there’s a focus on the healthy side, you won’t leave feeling like you just ate a sack full of sugar and shortening.

Upon meeting Chang, I was struck by how passionate she is about what she does. You can feel the energy and vigor radiating from her as she describes what she does and why she believes in it. The mantra seems to be seasonal, simple and fresh. To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed when trying to decide what to order, so I put myself in her capable hands and asked for suggestions.

Lemon Basil Blueberry

I ended up with four different offerings – two dome cakes (Rose with Lychee & Lemon Basil Blueberry) and two regular cakes (Espresso Cheesecake and Roasted Banana with Chocolate). All portions are single serve which also lends itself to not feeling like a glutton when you’re finished. The best part about our choices? All four cakes totaled roughly 1,000 calories. Not bad when you consider that a slice of cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory can run anywhere from 700-1300 calories. So we had that going for us, which was nice.

First up was the Lemon Basil Blueberry. Chang encouraged me to go right for the middle of the cakes, to better experience all the flavors. Since she created these, I figured it wise to heed her advice. The first thing I noticed was how fresh and vibrant the flavors were. Some may be thrown off by the basil, but it meshed perfectly with the lemon and blueberry. The cake was moist, refreshing and extremely satisfying…perfect for a summer day.

Rose with Lychee

I moved on to the Rose with Lychee next. Again, it was very fresh and surprisingly sweet considering the fact that Chang doesn’t use excess sugar when baking these tiny pieces of perfection. It would take roughly eight of her cakes to equal the sugar in one can of regular soda. That floored me. Getting back to the cake, I’ve realized I’m a big fan of the, in my opinion, underused lychee.

Next up was the Espresso Cheesecake, which I decided upon ordering would most likely be my favorite. While delicious, I was wrong. When you cut into one of these things, you’re expecting to be overwhelmed by sugar and frosting, but they’re so light and almost delicate that you don’t realize you’re eating cheesecake. The only downside, and I realize it may not be a downside to most, was that I felt like the espresso was a little overpowering. That may be welcome for some, but I’d prefer it a little more complementary instead of primary. I know, I know…splitting hairs.

Roasted Banana with Chocolate

Finally, we came to the Roasted Banana with Chocolate cake. Good gosh almighty, where has this been all my life? The roasted banana brought so much flavor and complemented the chocolate perfectly. The cake was moist and had a great balance, not too sweet. I would eat this cake every day if I could. And I guess it wouldn’t be too bad since it tops out at around 320 calories.

Overall, Dolce Delights has a bright future ahead. The pricing is solid and compares favorably to other places ($5.25 for domes, $6.50 for regular). They do catering and will bake special order cakes up to 10”. They also feature panini and homemade croissants, in addition to an extensive coffee and tea menu.

It’s a perfect place to relax after work or on the weekends, grab some cake and coffee or tea, and just enjoy the vibe.

*Please note the food for this piece was complimentary, but the writer’s opinions are his own.