La Bella Torte

The finalists have just been announced for the 2011 Vendy Awards in the Best Dessert category by the Daily News.  They are as follows:

La Bella Torte, who we trekked out to Hoboken to try over the summer, but you can now sample at the Lot on 30th St.  Joe’s cannolis were excellent, and his rosemary olive oil cake was a delicious surprise too.

fresh filled cannoli from La Bella torte

The second finalist we know is Cupcake Crew.  We really loved Frankie’s blackout cupcake, which took us back to our childhood of eating blackout cake from Ebinger’s in Brooklyn.  The picture below was taken after a rough subway ride downtown, so some of the toppings are a little beat up, but they were wonderful to eat.

blackout and other cupcakes from Cupcake Crew

The third dessert finalist, Wooly’s, serves Hawaiian and Taiwanese inspired shaved ices.  They infuse ice with flavors like strawberry and green tea before shredding them into paper-thin wafers with a Hawaiian shaver that leaves the ice as light and fluffy as snow.   They then top their concoctions with fresh fruits and syrup. We haven’t tried Wooly’s yet, but it sounds delicious.

Wooly’s Ices (photo: Daily News)

Another dessert finalist is our friend, Chrissy a.k.a. Miss Softee.  Chrissy takes regular Mister Softee ice cream to another level with toppings such as crushed potato chips, oatmeal cookies, cinnamon buns, and our favorite, “fried” ice cream, made with honey and crushed corn flakes.  Chrissy even trained a whole new crew of Mister Softee vendors this year, dubbing them the Rolling Cones.

Miss Softee with her “fried” ice cream

The final dessert category finalist is Fany Gerson a.k.a. La Newyorkina, who has been doling out handmade gourmet Mexican paletas (ice pops) in several locations, including the High Line, since the beginning of the summer.  Her pops play with flavors and textures, like cucumber lime, pineapple jalapeno or mango chili, which include thin slices of fresh fruit.  We haven’t had the pleasure of trying her pops yet, but we can’t wait.

The Vendy Awards take place on Governor’s Island on Sept 24th.  Early Bird and General Admission tickets to the Vendy Awards have already out, but all-you-can-eat, all-you-can drink Early Entry tix are available for $145 at streetvendor.org/vendys. The proceeds benefit the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project, which protects the rights of street chefs and other sidewalk vendors.