Cartems Donuterie (Pop-Up Shop): Killer Chocolate Vegan and Rich Carrot Cake Donuts
408 Carrall Street, Gastown, Vancouver
Diana (Foodology) and I had our Homer Simpson moment today when we feasted on a dozen donuts. We call it research for our blogs, normal people would just call it pigging out.
If there are two things I love, it’s pop-up shops and donuts! Cartems Donuterie has staked out a small corner in Gastown as their pop-up shop. I have to admit that I didn’t visit. We ordered these donuts to be delivered. And good thing too! I heard they sell out fast! Pre-order is a must! The order form is on their website: http://cartems.com/.
The donut that I was dying to try was the Earl Grey. I was hoping that it would be as tasty as it was gorgeous with its pale icing and pretty pink and purple flowers. It was! I love the subtle citrus tang of the Earl Grey tea flavour and the speckled ground tea leaves found throughout the donut. The actual donut texture was light and airy and the classic Eary Grey flavour infused throughout the little treat was perfect!
Cartems donuts are smaller than regular ‘industrial-sized’ Tim Horton’s donuts. Diana and I also loved that the donuts are not uniform in shape, each one, like a snowflake is an original shape, just like their cool, unique flavours!
For donut lovers allergic to gluten, there’s a gluten-free donut, aptly named ‘the flourless bouquet.’ It was lighter and fluffier than the other donuts with an amazingly delectable glaze.
Next up, ‘sweet snow,’ a coconut covered cake donut. The coconut is organic and not as sweet as I would like. Diana loved the not-overly sweet coconut shavings though. I am the one with the sweet tooth, I guess.
The ‘breakfast donut’ is basically the donut version of a bran muffin. As soon as I heard ‘breakfast,’ I was obviously expecting bacon but not in this donut! It’s whole wheat, baked, and filled with goodies like flax seed, honey and raisins. I have to admit it’s not my favourite of the bunch but I did feel a little bit healthier eating it. I did appreciate the spices in this donut (I wish the carrot cake donut had more of this). This donut is not as sweet as the others, and the whole wheat flour gives the donut a bit of heft, making it a little denser.
Next is my second favourite donut: the carrot cake, topped with carrots and oats. The carrots are toasted to such a golden brown on top of the donut that we didn’t even notice them though. We had no idea which flavour this was until we bit in, and we were pleasantly surprised! The donut was sweet from the carrots and also moist and rich. It could have used more cinnamon and nutmeg though!
Our all-time favourite donut in the box was (surprisingly) the chocolate vegan donut named “no animals? no problem!” It was covered with vegan chocolate ganache and callebaut sprinkles. I wasn’t expecting to like this donut so much, let alone have it rise to the top of the list as my fave. As you can tell, I’m not big on the vegan desserts but this donut has changed my mind, it was rich, dense, moist to the max and so decadent, it was like a piece of chocolate cake. And the gooey, sticky ganache just topped it off. What a treat!
The actual triple chocolate threat donut was not as rich and dense as the chocolate vegan. It was lighter and fluffier. I loved the crunchy callebaut chocolate pearls though and the deep chocolate flavour was definitely still there.
The third chocolate donut we tried was called ‘sweet heat,’ a chocolate cake donut mixed in with cinnamon and spicy chilies. I was a little apprehensive, I’m a spice wimp! But to my delight, this donut is not that spicy. The spice hits way after you swallow making your lips and the tip of your tongue tingling. It’s totally manageable. My biggest fear is having my eyes water up like a wimp after I swallow spicy food. This did not happen. Thank goodness!
One of our uniquely shaped donuts was the cinnamon sugar one, it’s shaped like a diamond ring in this picture (or maybe I just have bling on the mind). It was sweet, nutty spicy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle. Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices and Cartems uses it wonderfully in this donut.
Last but certainly not least is the fluffy, cloud-like classic donut, made of a yeast dough and covered with organic vanilla bean icing. I love yeast donuts and this one was no exception.
We were missing ‘the bee sting’ donut from the bunch and I’ve heard a rumor that Cartems makes a sick bacon bourbon donut. I can’t wait to try those!