White chocolate coconut cake. Almond fleur de sel toffee. Crème fraîche scones with kumquat marmalade. If just reading this is making you hungry, you can only imagine the sheer torture I endured on a recent visit to the new Valerie Confections Bakery and Tea Shop in Los Angeles. Because in a city that more than holds its own on the sugar front, no one does dessert like Valerie!
Valerie Confections has been a mainstay in LA’s sweets scene for a decade. Her chocolates have even made an appearance at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party! But in the past year she’s really fired up the ovens with two new brick-and-mortar locations, a rapidly expanding product line, and a cookbook—remember my take on her butternut squash bread? Valerie’s Echo Park neighborhood outpost is a must-stop for breakfast, lunch, tea or a snack. (And by snack I of course mean a whole pie to yourself.)
For all her tasty talents, the thing I adore most about Valerie is her commitment to reviving vintage treats, thereby making history sweeter one slice at a time. She undertakes an exhaustive research and development process to recreate desserts that our grandparents enjoyed but whose recipes have since been lost. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. And if Valerie ever needs volunteer taste testers, we could probably provide her with a few, huh?