Jelly Modern Doughnuts
Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a restful holiday and are ready for another year of eating with me!
Just before 2011 came to a close, my friend Yen Yi and I decided to finally make our way down to Jelly Modern Doughnuts. We were greeted by a bright, modern, white and pink space, accented with bamboo. Their Christmas decorations – including a giant pink-and-white “gingerbread” house – were still up, but because they kept with the colour scheme of the shop, it made the whole café seem more fun and whimsical, rather than weighed down and kitschy. And of course there was the centrepiece, the giant glass case of doughnuts.
The case housed some of their well-known favourites, like the Maple Bacon and Classic Jelly (though I was a little disappointed that they were out of Carrot Cake!), plus some cute red-and-white doughnuts made just for the World Junior Hockey championships.
Yen Yi, who is super-organized, already came with a plan of attack – she would get two of the 3-bite doughnuts ($1.95 each) so we could share and taste more flavours. I decided to follow suit, plus grabbed an extra Maple Bacon ($2.25 for a regular size) to take home to B. Yen Yi chose the Coconut and Skor Bar doughnuts (the latter as recommended by the girl behind the counter) while I went for Nenshi’s Salted Caramel and Peppermint Chocolate (the December Doughnut of the Month).
I loved the eco-friendly wooden utensils and platters – not only does it show Jelly Modern’s commitment to the environment, it also goes very well with the decor
A few quick photos, then it came time to eat and chat. First, we sampled the Coconut:
Even with this first doughnut it was obvious why people love Jelly Modern – their doughnuts are not too sweet and they are pillowy soft. I loved the contrast in texture from the shredded coconut and the coconut creme in the doughnut hole was not too sweet, and nice and thick, so as not to be messy to eat.
Next up – the Skor Bar:
One of the great things about Jelly Modern’s delicate doughnut base is that it really highlights the individual flavours/toppings (which, by the way are often made in-house with local and/or organic ingredients). The Skor Bar is a great example of this; you can really taste the creaminess of the milk chocolate ganache, while the house-made Skor pieces gave just a nice punch of sweetness without being overwhelming. Another awesome thing about the Jelly Modern Skor pieces is that they don’t stick to your teeth like the real ones!
The Peppermint Chocolate doughnut was super-cute with the Christmas sprinkles on top. I was looking for them when I was making gingerbread cookies, but couldn’t find them. Clearly was not looking hard enough.
I liked the darker chocolate on this doughnut compared to the milk chocolate on the Skor Bar. I also liked how the peppermint and chocolate tasted separate – no weird minty chocolate here!
Last but not least, Nenshi’s Salted Caramel:
I really liked the maple-y, buttery caramel flavour of this one, and they weren’t shy about the salt! I am a fan of sweet-savoury things (like kettle corn) so I enjoyed this, but could see some people not liking this.
Yen Yi and I chatted for nearly two hours before it was closing time (holiday hours) and went our separate ways. Later that night, after some “bibimbap” for dinner, B. and I dug into our Maple Bacon doughnut.
This was actually the only doughnut I didn’t really like. The bacon bits just didn’t do it for me, though I loved that hint of smokiness in the maple glaze. I get that the bacon bits are what make it Maple Bacon, but I’d probably end up picking them off if I were to eat this doughnut again!
Overall, I enjoyed the doughnuts from Jelly Modern, but out of all the flavours I tasted there wasn’t one that really stood out as a favourite. After reading some reviews and chatting with friends, I was expecting the doughnuts to be HUGE, but they weren’t intimidating. In retrospect though, I would guess that the three-bite doughnuts were at most just a touch smaller than a regular doughnut elsewhere, if at all, and the regular doughnuts are just less than double the size of the three-bite ones. Yen Yi and I polished off our two minis each with ease, however, probably because they aren’t sickeningly sweet! (How tricky!) I think I would definitely spring for a three-bite doughnut tray (16 for $24.95, tray and tongs included) for my next party (but the full-sized ones would still involve some cutting and sharing.)
Now, this is totally unrelated to the review but I just wanted to get on my soapbox after browsing through their Q&A:
Does Jelly offer any gluten-free, vegan or sugar free doughnuts?
We offer a Gluten free option on Wednesdays. Please note though that the Gluten free doughnuts have come into contact with Gluten and should not be consumed if you have a Gluten allergy that is affected by products being in contact with Gluten.
I was somewhat offended by this statement. I don’t eat gluten-free, but I know people who have celiac disease, and to them this would be a total slap in the face. What is the point of making a “gluten-free” option if it’s going to be cross-contaminated anyway? Instead of treating celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities as the serious conditions that they are, Jelly Modern has essentially stated that gluten-free is just some fad diet and they’re jumping on the bandwagon. If they’d done their research properly, they would’ve known to lump the answer to that question in with their “nut allergy” one – No, sorry. Jelly Modern Doughnuts is NOT a nut-free, gluten-free, vegan or sugar-free kitchen. (Now there’s a business opportunity…) [/end soapbox]
I think I will definitely choose Jelly Modern over a cupcake place any day, and will definitely be back to try one of those cake doughnuts that everyone is raving about. But not today… because they are closed. They will be open again on the 3rd! Hope to see you there soon!
Jelly Modern Doughnuts
100-1414 8 St SW
Calgary AB T2R 1J6
Open Mon-Fri 7 AM-7 PM; Sat 8 AM-6 PM; Sun 9 AM-5 PM. Parking behind building plus street parking on 14 & 15 Aves. Holiday hours in effect until January 7. (Check website!)