Formerly the pastry chef at high caliber restaurants Fiola and Poste, Chef Jason Gehring is now helping lead the doughnuts and fried chicken madness sweeping the District at the aptly named Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken. You don't make the Twinknut (that'd be a doughnut that plays homage to the Twinkie) without having a sweet tooth, so it's no surprise that Gehring knows a thing or two about sweets in town. Here are his picks for DC.
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Cupcake: Baked & Wired. The chocolate peanut butter cupcake or the German chocolate cupcake and iced coffee—I dream about these.
Croissant: Le Caprice. A friend of mine introduced me to this place. Every time she has brunch at her place she buys a bunch and serves them with Amish butter and her own boozy raspberry jam. It's heaven.
Brownie: Ted's Bulletin. The last time I had the malted brownie sundae I was seated at the bar. The bartender recommended a drizzle of Kahlua Midnight; when I tasted it I almost fainted.
Gelato: Dolcezza. Every flavor is excellent and the consistency is perfect. The lemon opal basil sorbetto is one of the best things I've ever eaten.
Crème Brûlée: Mintwood Place. I rarely order crème brûlée in a restaurant, mainly because it's usually either over or under-baked. This one is simply beautiful. Smooth as silk with lovely notes of vanilla. Classic.
Candy Bar: Chuao Firecracker Bar (Bed Bath & Beyond). I realize that this isn't indicative of DC, but this candy bar is one of the most interesting things I've ever eaten (and until recently I had to trek out to Wegman's in Virginia to stock up on them). Dark chocolate bar with sea salt, smoky chipotle, and Pop Rocks. It's like a party in your mouth!
Overall Desserts: Zaytinya & Fiola. I'm a little biased on Fiola, but Tom Wellings is a genius so it's justified. I order every dessert on the menu when I go to Zaytinya. Most of them I'll share, but not the Turkish Delight.