Gluten Free Vegan Pancakes With Berry Mousse

The pastry case at Batches bakery, 401 E. Erie St., holds items including scones, muffins, cookies and layer cake sold by the slice.(Photo: Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

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After years of losing neighborhood bakeries one by one — a heartbreak, really — Milwaukee is in a bakery boom. Miss Molly’s opened on the west side last year; Batches opened in the Third Ward in February. Several more are on the way, in Walker’s Point and Bay View. 

The mere thought is reason enough to smile, but who stops at mere thoughts when it comes to sweets?

Batches is in a small corner shop in the new Domus apartment building on E. Erie St., along the Milwaukee River. It’s just across the street from Dandan restaurant, where Batches proprietor Jaceleen Latin-Kasper also is the pastry chef. 

At Batches, there’s a flash of the fancy little desserts like you’d see at the restaurant. For instance, a little cheesecake-for-one, lately creamy blueberry coconut ($6). Remarkably, it was vegan and gluten-free but with all the creamy joy of dairy cheesecake.

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The Caramel Delight "candy bar" at Batches is a layer of chocolate sponge cake topped with a layer of coconut and tofu-based chocolate mousse. It's vegan and gluten-free. (Photo: Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Another fancy confection is the "candy bar" ($6), an elaborate little layer-cake-like confection. Last month the bars included one with peanut cake, peanut butter nougat, milk chocolate mousse and salted caramel mousse that might remind you of Snickers. Only grander. (The Snickers bar has departed, the Take 5 bar is coming back.) 

Mostly, though, the baked goods are the down-home, everyday cravings sort:

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Jaceleen Latin-Kasper, owner of Batches and pastry chef at Dandan, with a plate of confetti cookies. (Photo: Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Thick cookies ($2.50), usually four kinds, like iced oatmeal, shot through with cinnamon, or rich double-chocolate chip, gluten free;

Brownies ($3), gluten-free and not, enhanced with chocolate chips; the gluten-free was particularly fudgy, almost candy-like;

Scones, such as peach-almond, and muffins, including lemon-blueberry ($3). Each had a light, tender crumb; each was vegan. 

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Pear pie with speculoos cookie topping at Batches bakery in the Third Ward. (Photo: Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Pie and layer cake, sold by the slice (but available whole). Lately, the case has held a three-layer confetti cake frosted with buttercream ($3). A many-layered slice of pear pie is crowned with crunchy speculoos cookie crumbs ($3.50), a smart way to introduce those warm spices without overwhelming the flavor of pear. (Look for seasonal fruit pies in the case in summer.)

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The bakery-cafe has counter seats plus a couple of small tables for customers who want to stay awhile. (Photo: Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The shop brews batch coffee and makes espresso drinks, good for a quick stop on the way to work or class or lingering awhile at one of the nine counter seats or the two small tables. The shop makes its own cold brew regular and decaf coffees, and it will be making its own seasonal syrups for espresso drinks, perhaps lavender, Latin-Kasper said. 

For breakfast, the shop has satisfying little tater-tot casseroles ($3) with egg and sausage on hand that it can heat up for breakfast. Batches on weekdays has a couple of kinds of grab-and-go sandwiches ($7) boxed up with chips, including chicken salad with abundant fresh dill, and a simple spinach salad ($5). On the weekends, Batches brings out some one-day only treats: on Saturdays it’s fresh cinnamon rolls ($3); on Sundays, it’s everything or plain bagels ($2.50) and exceptionally creamy quiche by the slice ($4). 

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Batches makes several kinds of ice cream. Customers can order it by the scoop or as a cookie sandwich, with their choice of cookies. (Photo: Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

With summer on the horizon, it’ll be good to remember that the shop makes a couple of kinds of ice cream and one sorbet ($3 a single scoop, $5 double). The chocolate was deep and rich, as smooth as silk. Batches also makes ice cream sandwiches to order, a scoop between two cookies, any kind ($6). And any day now, it will start making its own waffle cones ($1 extra), Latin-Kasper said. Sounds like something to look forward to, along with summer.

Look for Carol Deptolla’s restaurant news column, Side Dish, in Friday’s Weekend Tap section. Contact her at (414) 224-2841, [email protected] or on Twitter, @mkediner. 

BATCHES

401 E. Erie St., in a first-floor corner shop at the Domus apartments

(414) 239-8980

batchesmke.com

Fare: Baked goods including cookies, cake and pie, some grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, heat-and-eat tater tot casserole

Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Prices: From $2.50 for a cookie to $6 candy-bar cakes

Parking: On street; Dandan lot across the street available Saturday-Sunday

Wheelchair access: Yes, entry and restrooms.

Payment: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Of special note: Vegan and gluten-free items available; nonsmoking warm-weather patio planned; takeout; booster seats coming; catering and special orders; Wi-Fi

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Source : https://www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/dining/carol-deptolla/2018/05/08/savoring-sweets-life-batches-bakery-milwaukees-third-ward/570616002/

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