The Casual Runner

Best Desserts: 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Casual Runners know that while running is a part of our lives, it is not our entire lives. Better yet, as Casual Running allows us to be healthier and live more active lifestyles, it allows us to experience new and wonderful adventures. In this special series, we will look at fun Casual Adventurers that our Team takes on when we are away from our training, even if its only for a day or two!  Check out other installments in this series by clicking here.

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The Casual Runner team will be heading to Walt Disney World the first weekend of November for the 2016 runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. EVERY FRIDAY Leading up to this we will be bringing you our favorite dishes and drinks from Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. We already kicked off our series by sharing our selections for the Festival’s best drinks, now we are turning our eager attention to desserts!

As you know, the members of Team Casual Runner are big fans of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival (and all of its assorted fun and frivolity). For this Casual Adventurer series we decided to call in some backup and enlisted the help of our good friends Laura and Jason from Disney Good Eats.

Make sure you check out our Must Dos at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival 2016.

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Candace, Tracy, Jennifer, Jake, Laura, Jason, and Mike all took on the tough challenge of sampling their way around the various kiosks located in World Showcase, and they all had some very opinionated opinions about the various Festival offerings. So, without further ado we bring you the best desserts of the 2016 Food and Wine Festival.

If you want more insider information on all that is fit to eat & sip at all the various Disney theme parks, be sure to check out Disney Good Eats by following them on InstagramTwitter.

The Dessert: Ghirardelli® Chocolate Raspberry Torte $4.00
Kiosk: Chocolate Studio
Notable: Laura’s Pick for Best in Show

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Laura: “The raspberry Torte! A crispy shell with dark chocolate ganache with a fresh raspberry center. It was devine to look at and eat.”

The Dessert: Freshly Baked Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing $3.75
Kiosk: Hops and Barley
Notable: Candace’s Pick for Best in Show

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Candace: “Carrot cake is not my go to dessert by any means, I am definitely a chocoholic.  That being said, it is saying a lot that this is my favorite dessert at Food and Wine Festival.  The carrot cake is served warm which makes it a nice moist cake plus has a lot of cinnamon flavor to it.  However, the best part of this dessert is the cream cheese Icing!  The icing is absolutely to die for and it definitely plentiful.”  

Insider Festival Tip: Candace adds this note regarding desserts at Food and Wine Festival… “Make sure you do NOT use a voucher from the Tasting Sampler when trying desserts at the festival because there is not a dessert that costs more than the break-even for the vouchers.”

The Dessert: Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream $3.75
Kiosk: Belgium
Notable: Tracy’s (Second) Pick for Best in Show

Tracy: “This waffle was out of control!  Hard to even explain.  It was 10000x yummier than a regular Belgium waffle.”

Jennifer: “It’s kind of an “eh” for me. I mean I’ll eat it and it’s decent, but it’s not a destination food for me.

Jake also put this chocolate’y dessert in his top picks, and Candace and Mike added it to their, “must try” list in November!

The Dessert: Brazilian Cheese Bread $3.75
Kiosk: Brazil
Notable: Jennifer’s (Second) Pick for Best in Show

Jennifer: “I’d like to make an argument for the Brazilian cheese bread in the dessert category as an alternative to the super-sweet desserts.  It was one my favorite foods of any category:  it’s a good palate-cleanser, provides a nice counterpoint to the rich sauce-heavy entrees, and is great for people who prefer something little salty rather than super sweet.

Jake: “I have to have Jennifer’s back on the Brazilian cheese bread. So Good.”

The Dessert: Chocolate Caramel Creme Brûlée ($4.25) & the Peanut Butter White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle from The Chew Collective ($3.25)
Kiosk: France & The Chew Collective
Notable: Jason’s (Second) Pick for Best in Show

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Jason: “The caramel and chocolate desserts are calling my name! It’s a toss up between the Chocolate Caramel Creme Brûlée in France and the Peanut Butter White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle from The Chew Collective booth. This years caramel twist to a traditional favorite took the creme brûlée from tasty to amazing! The Chews shot size mixture of sweet delights was definitely and impressive improvement over last years Vanilla Panna Cotta. It was delicious!”

The Dessert: Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard $3.75
Kiosk: Ireland
Notable: Jake’s, Tracy’s, Jason’s, and Jennifer’s Pick for Best in Show and everyone else’s second pick

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Jake: “You may see a trend in my top picks… apparently, my weakness is Bailey’s Irish Cream. The ‘warm chocolate pudding’ was actually more like a lava cake, which was delicious, but nothing groundbreaking.. The Bailey’s is what really elevated this dessert. The combination of flavors took this dish from ordinary to the next level.”

Tracy: “I agree with Jake. That was by far my favorite dessert. The combo of flavors was excellent, and I’m a sucker for a warm chocolate cake.”

Jason: It’s more like a perfectly moist chocolate cake than pudding and the custard topping is delicious! None of the flavors are overpowering.”

Jennifer: “Ireland’s Warm Chocolate Pudding is amazing. It’s ooey-gooey chocolate heaven. I eat this every time I visit the festival”

Every single one of us agrees that this dessert is a top pick!

The Dessert: School Bread $3.49
Kiosk: Norway (Kringla Bakeri og Cafe, not actually a kiosk)
Notable: Mike’s Pick for Best in Show

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Mike: “OK, I am throwing down here. You see, School Bread is hands down the best dessert in Epcot, regardless of the time of year. While the Food and Wine Fest purists will fight me on this one because it is not a festival item, for the cost of most dessert items at any of the kiosks, you can secure a larger portion size of dessert amazingness. I cannot quite describe it: think of a tasty donut with custard filling, fresh coconut, and enough sugar to put you into a diabetic coma. Yeah, its one of the things I look forward to on every Disney trip.”

Insider Festival Tip: The voucher Candace is referring to is a booklet of coupons referred to as the Tasting Sampler that can be purchased at the Food and Wine Festival Center, both Bridge Kiosk locations, Canada Festival Emporium, and the Festival Boutique Kiosk.  You can either purchase 8 vouchers (coupons) for $59 plus tax or 16 vouchers for $109 plus tax.  The 16 voucher pack is the better deal as each voucher is worth around $7.25.  So it is best to use these coupons to pay for items that cost over $7.25.  Disney DOES charge tax when you buy these vouchers.  In contrast, the food and drink item prices at booths are the tax-included prices. So, when you are doing the math to see if this is a good deal for you, make sure you take note of this. Essentially, if you are using your vouchers for items that cost $7.25 or more and pay cash for everything else, it is a good deal!

These vouchers do not have to be used on the day of purchase and can be used on both food and beverages. There are a few items that the vouchers cannot be used on, so make sure to read the fine print!  Also with your purchase you receive a collectible Food and Wine Festival pin.  There is no passholder discount available for this purchase.

BONUS Insider Festival Tip: The various menu boards will tell you which items are eligible for purchase with Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits. This is a much better (and much more delicious) value than using those credits on bottled waters or Coke products.

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Honorable Mentions

We never want to lead our readers astray. While Laura and Jason initially submitted their picks for Best In Show, as we like to say…NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! You see, on a return visit to the Festival this year prior to publication, they revisited the earlier picks they submitted. This means the following recommendations are pretty fabulous, but, upon further review, are not quite fabulous enough to retain the top spots on their Big Boards.

The Dessert: Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce $3.75
Kiosk: Germany
Notable: Laura’s No-longer Pick for Best in Show

Laura: “For $3.75 the Apple Strudel is definitely worth the price.  It is a crispy pastry full of flavorful apple slices and covered in Vanilla Drizzle.  It’s the same strudel you can get in Biergarten.  Ask for more drizzle if you can!”

The Dessert: Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel $4.50
Kiosk: Chocolate Studio
Notable: Jason’s (Second, Third, or Fourth?) Pick for Best in Show

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Jason: “The part of what I loved about it was that it was so unique, but still within the limits of my ‘selective’ pallette!  What’s not to love about milk, chocolate, almonds, caramel, and dry ice?!?!”

Jennifer also put this in her top picks stating: “The Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel was at the Chew last year but seems to be at the Chocolate Studio this year.  That was fantastic and I think was fun to watch them make since they use molecular gastronomy.”

 

Hopefully this gives all of our readers a great place to start sifting through the many tasty drink offerings at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year.  Make sure to check back next Friday (October 14th) as we bring you our favorite desserts of the festival!  Thanks to our friends at Disney Good Eats for helping us out this week, make sure to follow Disney Good Eats on Instagram and on Twitter!

We hope you enjoyed the list of our favorites, and remember, ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!

Check out other installments in our Casual Adventurer Series by clicking here.

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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