Dirty bread is one of those overly indulgent food trends that we can't help but want to get our hands on.
What is it exactly? It's a bun that's glazed with chocolate ganache, green tea cream (or any other poison you'd like to pick), then dusted with a thick layer of cocoa powder, matcha powder, icing sugar etc. And if that's not enough, the inside is filled with cream or chocolate.
But it is called a dirty bread for good reason. You're bound to dirty your fingers the moment you pick it up, and leave a powdery mess on the plate once you set it back down.
Dirty buns are often very soft and airy - so when you take a bite, the bun folds in on itself and the powdery top tends to press against your nose. So yep, it takes a bit of skill to eat a dirty bun gracefully and mess-free.
We used to wonder why people even bothered with the mess, until we tried them and loved how utterly indulgent they are.
If you haven't tried one before, you should. But not all are that yummy because some bakeries don't get the pastry right or the taste becomes to overwhelmingly wrong.
So here, we rounded up the best dirty breads you should try.
The messy buns at Supertea are a little pricier than most other dirty buns, costing around $4 a piece, as opposed to the usual $2 - 3. Still, we think the Matcha Goody Bun ($4.80) is worth a buy if you're craving a green tea loaded pastry.
The matcha powder doesn't disappoint, with a strong bitter and earthy flavour to compliment the milder and milkier green tea cream that oozes from the middle of the bun.
The bun is at its best when heated up for a couple of seconds to soften it up. The friendly staff will ask if you want it warmed, but if you're taking it home, pop it in the microwave for about ten seconds.
Should you try it? It is pricey for a bun, so maybe grab it only if you're in the area or if you're really craving green tea.
Mess factor: 3/5 | Taste factor: 3.5/5
Supertea is at Millennia Walk, 9 Raffles Blvd.
BreadTalk's probably the most convenient place to get your dirty bread fix. Both the Ultimate Chocolate and Lemon White Chocolate are good ($2.50 for one, $4.50 for two).
It's dusted with icing sugar on the outside and oozes with a pleasantly tart lemon curd once you take a bite. Now since white chocolate is technically chocolate without cocoa beans, don't expect a chocolatey taste -- just a classic sugary flavour from the icing sugar.
The chocolate version, on the other hand, is a mound of cocoa powder, melted chocolate, cream, and a soft bun that all come together to satisfy your cravings.
Should you try it? The dirty buns are good, and we don't see why you shouldn't pick one of these babies up when a craving hits.
Mess factor: 3.5/5 | Taste factor: 3.5/5
BreadTalk has various outlets islandwide.
3. Four Leaves
This Zhang Zhang Bao ('Dirty Dirty Bun' in Chinese) by Four Leaves is smaller than the one at BreadTalk, but boy, it is one dense and chocolatey pastry that's definitely worth the $2.40.
It's essentially a croissant that's coated with chocolate on the outside and the inside. That's right. The many layers of pastry within the croissant are slathered in chocolate.
It's a bundle of melty goodness that is gonna leave your fingers and face all messy. Even the outside is coated with the same chocolate that melts easily, so you can't help but get your fingertips chocolatey just by holding it.
Should you try it? Yes, if you love chocolates, we think you should give this one a go. Just note that the quality of the chocolate is average, so don't place your expectations too high if you're a fan of rich chocolates.
Mess factor: 4/5 | Taste factor: 3.5/5
Four Leaves has various outlets islandwide.
2. Original Cake
Original Cake's Dirty Bom ($3.50) is made from scratch daily, in-house, and is pumped with fresh custard only after you place an order.
This messy bread takes on more of a cream puff consistency with a firmer but airy bun. A generous layer of chocolate ganache sits on the bun, and inside, you'll find layers upon layers of custard and pastry.
It's definitely a lighter tasting bun with the custard to balance it out, but the chocolate ganache still brings that depth and richness to the palate.
Should you try it? The chocolate ganache is yum, and the custard is light while not being too sweet.
Mess factor: 3/5 | Taste factor: 4/5
Original Cake is at Sun Plaza, 30 Sembawang Dr and Westgate, 3 Gateway Dr.
1. Bread Society
Out of all the dirty breads we've tried so far, Bread Society has the nicest tasting and softest buns we've laid our hands on.
We're serious. We couldn't pick up these buns without our fingertips immediately sinking into them and having all the sugar powder and glaze make our hands sticky.
The people at Bread Society were kind enough to include wet wipes with every purchase, but sadly it's not going to cover the mess.
One bite entails puffs of sugar or chocolate powder flying in the air and getting all over your clothes.
The floor of the bun is covered in a thick layer of melted chocolate/sugar glaze (depending on the flavour of your bun). Dollops of chocolate cream/lemon curd are pumped between the layers in small amounts, so you get a bit of melty croissant pastry in one bite, and another bite that's oozing with cream.
Should you try it? Definitely! It's absolutely a delicious mess, and it is not too sweet..
Mess factor: 5/5 | Taste Factor: 5/5
Bread Society is at Ion Orchard Mall, 2 Orchard Turn.
This article was first published on Her World Online