Sugar Rush: Copy Kat from Urban Union

Sugar Rush

Reviews of desserts in Chicago.


[Photograph: Kate Bernot]

There are few things more sweetly addictive than candy and advertising jingles. Combine them and it's a force to be reckoned with, which goes a long way toward explaining why I still have the "Give Me A Break" Kit Kat song stuck in my head. Thankfully, Urban Union's pastry chef Mitsu Nozaki shares my fondness for these candy bars, and has created an elegant dessert that folds all of Kit Kat's flavor and texture into a more mature package. The Copy Kat ($7) is a multilayered hazelnut mousse cake with a light-and-dark chocolate pudding, candied hazelnuts, and Jackson Pollock-like sweeps of chocolate.

As anyone who has broken off a piece of that Kit Kat bar knows, the crunch is what makes this candy. To replicate the wafer snap that portends the chocolate-hazelnut deliciousness ahead, Nozaki constructs the praline and Gianduja chocolate mousse under a layer of feuilletine, which adds a familiar crumbliness. The whole rectangle—which is sensibly sized so that you're enjoying the richness of it, not struggling to finish it all—is draped in dark chocolate ganache that would almost be too soft if not for the supporting nuttiness and added texture of the hazelnuts.

But all this esoteric contemplation is really just to say that the dessert is pleasantly nostalgic. It replicates the flavors and basic texture of the candy bar without crumbling an actual Kit Kat all over the plate. Here's hoping Nozaki takes on some of my other childhood favorites next. Can I get a "second" on some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

Urban Union

1421 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (map)