Vegan desserts are...a gamble. Yes, they can be delicious--but sometimes only if the baker knows their way around agave nectar, and xanthan gum, and ingredients so unusual that you can't even buy them at specialty stores without knowing the owner personally. Which means that vegan desserts not baked by the pros are not guaranteed to be good, the way that even a non-vegan mediocre cupcake is still pretty decent. Besides: isn't it hard to entrust a rich, luscious dessert to someone who, won't be using cream, or butter, or eggs?
Such were my thoughts as I approached Cocoa V, Groupon in hand. I had to walk right by Billy's Bakery, which probably would have lured me inside, were my $20 for $10 deal not about to expire. Focus.
Yet Cocoa V is actually a really sweet place, with sweets that are actually really good. You can order items to go, or sit down with a plate of cake, chocolates, or fondue. When I went to Cocoa V it was pouring rain outside, and I have to say, it was really nice to be able to sit down with a slice of cake on an actual plate and relax. Anyone else notice that a lot of bakeries these days don't offer seating and they practically push you out the door once you've paid?
I opted for the chocolate layer cake, which was just as decadent and chocolatey as any non-vegan variety. Every time I started to think that maybe the icing to cake ratio was too high, I relented, because that icing was really good. It tasted just like buttercream, the kind with a little bit of a bite to it. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, indeed.
Cocoa V also offers chocolates, and while I didn't purchase any of the filled ones, I did buy a homemade butterfinger bar. They really got the peanut butter-toffee flavor down for this gourmet upgrade:
My final purchase was a bag of chocolate covered edamame. The edamame was an interesting alternative to one of my favorite "protein" snacks: chocolate covered almonds (humor me...they're a good energy boost). However, the edamame had touches of lime and cayenne, which was a little funky for my taste.
My one gripe with Cocoa V is not the one I expected to have: it's a small place, and the offerings don't change much. They also sell chocolates and cupcakes, but I could cover everything I want to try in 1-2 more visits.
174 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
New York, NY 10011