Sugar Fix is a series profiling desserts in Vancouver. Bakery and café owners divulge the three desserts that are most likely to fly off their shelves, as well as which of their products are their personal favourites. Next up is Cartems Donuterie.
Cartems Donuterie is a take-out shop run by a few friends who share an unwavering love for doughnuts and experimentation. Their passion is showcased in their unique flavor combinations – they are in the midst of unveiling a pulled pork stuffed doughnut! They also serve up vegan and gluten-free options.
Call me crazy, but I have never been much of a doughnut fan. Until now, that is. Admittedly, I was not over-the-moon excited to try Cartems. The allure actually stemmed from curiosity – a gourmet doughnut? The two words refused to trickle seamlessly from my lips.
Upon first bite, however, I knew I had been severely misled. Canada’s darling, Tim Hortons, had swayed me away from the realm of morning doughnuts and coffee and Cartems had effortlessly reeled me back in.
Jordan, one of the owners of the donuterie, gave up his favourites. And I, of course, did the experimental taste testing for you.
This chocolate doughnut is a merging of cake-like density and traditional doughnut texture. Although the East Indian in me was hoping for a little more heat, the smoky mixture of chilies, cumin, coriander, star anise, cinnamon and chocolate was nevertheless amazing. Topped with black sesame seeds, the doughnut is truly indicative of their efforts to combine a myriad of strong, yet complimenting flavours.
One of the main reasons that I love these doughnuts is because the flavours are not masked by copious amounts of sugar as has been the case with many other doughnuts I have tried in the past. It is a sweet, fluffy doughnut, oozing fresh pastry cream and topped with coconut shavings. This generous-sized doughnut requires coffee on hand.
Maker’s Bourbon Bacon
This one keeps with the seemingly never-ending bacon craze. It incorporates the salty taste of bacon incredibly well. The moist cake coupled with smoked house-cured candied bacon is a definite thrill for the taste buds.
I am a self-proclaimed chocolate addict, so naturally my personal favorite is the chocolate-based salted caramel doughnut. It has a stronger chocolate flavor and is more moist in comparison to the Mexican mole. Caramel, chocolate and a dash of coarse sea salt – what’s not to love?
The dessert-loving devil on my left shoulder is nodding approvingly at my newest conquest. Thank you, Cartems, for instigating my new-found doughnut obsession. I’ll most certainly be back.
408 Carrall Street
Monday to Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Written by Sunita Bassra. Connect with Sunita on Twitter at @sunita_bassra.