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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Salé Sucré: Maadi Sweets and Treats
Sweet shop Salé Sucré has many venues in Cairo, including Mohandiseen and Roxy. Maadi’s side street branch is aesthetically pleasing while offering a range of delectable cookies, cakes and oriental sweets. With large glass windows displaying sleek cases of tantalising sweets, you can’t go wrong.
While Cairo suffers no shortage of good bakeries full of tempting cakes and yummy biscuits, Salé Sucré has something of a neighbourhood cult following. Upon entering, the smell of freshly baked sweets rushes to meet you as you browse through the wonderland of baked goods. There is a wide variety of cakes in the left-hand side display case, from rich black forest cakes with decorative cherries and chocolate shavings to creamy cheese cakes with brightly coloured berry glazes, in addition to fruit and chocolate concoctions. Prices range between 50LE and upwards of 200LE for a special occasion cake.
The central display case carries every cookie, petit-four and tartlet that you could dream of in a variety of bright colours. You can buy chocolate and walnut petit-fours, date cake or berry tartlets by the kilo, which should cost around 60LE to 100LE. You can either hand-pick the selection yourself or choose a ready-made selection of flaky biscuits, chocolaty petit-fours or fruit and custard tartlets.
While the shop is dominated by miniature sweets, large cakes and sweet breads, a section of the counter is also stocked with savoury pastries, cheese and mini-deli sandwiches. These are also sold by the kilo, with an average of 60LE per kilo.
With Ramadan upon us, patrons can find all their favourite Ramadan desserts here, starting from a 1/4 kilo box. The oriental sweets are artfully arranged on tall silver platters, including the basbousa, which is the perfect blend of sweetness, konafa of every kind, and sticky pastries with both nuts and cream.
The prices are quite reasonable: a kilo of petit-fours and mini-cakes starting at about 80LE, and 1/4 kilo oriental sweets starting at 35LE. For the divine taste and sugar rush that Sale Sucré induces; this is not a bad deal. The service is great; the staff are spot on with orders and eager to help you choose from the baked delicacies on display.
The all-American, deep-fried, sugary dessert that is the donut isn't exactly common in Egypt, but sometimes you find yourself yearning for its satisfying taste. Dixie Cream may not be the first or only place to offer them in Cairo, but the American franchise comes with quite a reputation.
Sitting pretty in Downtown Katameya Mall, the shop looks like your traditional colourful donut joint with a bright yellow, white and blue theme. It offers an adequate outdoor seating area for those who want to enjoy their treat at the venue. We, however, wanted to take ours to go and so we went in to take our pick.
The donuts were placed in a large display behind the cashier’s booth which, at the time of our visit, was sadly mostly empty with only a few donuts to flaunt. Our server, however, was quite helpful and cheery, telling us that a fresh-out-the-oven batch was available.
The place offers a variety of appetizing options, including icing, powdered sugar, glazing and stuffing. They also serve cinnamon buns, apple fritters, and brownies.
We opted for three donuts; one with vanilla icing & sprinkles, another with chocolate icing with sprinkles and a chocolate-stuffed donut (all for 13LE each). The waiter immediately aligned them in a to-go box for us and we were on our way, only to discover later that the donuts were stacked over each other making their toppings stick to one another.
The donuts all tasted fresh, sweet and predictably heavy. We thought, however, that they were rather ordinary with no distinctive flavour. The icing, whilst looking pretty, needed a bit of a kick in the taste department; a stronger vanilla flavour and a more unique chocolate flavour would have definitely set them apart. The donuts were still, in the end, quite tasty.
To wrap up, Dixie Cream did definitely satisfy our donut cravings. The donuts were not, however, unique in taste and lacked an element of creativity. In a city where the cupcake still very much rules, Dixie Donuts won't break that particular dessert-monopoly any time soon.