At first glance, customers at Be Sweet may be hard-pressed to guess that the gorgeous Törtchen on offer aren’t French classics concocted by some maître pâtissier, but are instead all-vegan novelties engineered by a trained industrial designer. After being diagnosed as lactose intolerant, Stuttgarterin Inés Arau Mussons became so engrossed with the challenge of baking without the use of animal products that she ditched her nifty engineering job and moved to the European capital of all things vegan to bring 10 years of culinary experiments to the next stage – a cake shop! Since June, she and her puppy Georges have been welcoming a mixed crowd of dessert lovers and vegan-converts to the tiny coffee-shop on Kollwitzstraße, where the colours, textures and flavours on offer belie traditional notions of vegan food. The classic Black Forest has been reinvented as an elaborate dark-chocolate sphere enclosing layers of soy-based cream, chocolate cake and cherries. There’s also an irresistible poppy-apricot tart mounted with a delicious white-chocolate blob (Mohn liebt Aprikosen, €4.95) and a berry dome (cashew-cream base, Beeren Blüte €5.50) that’s delightfully pretty with its handcrafted rose sculpture atop, and so fruity it has to sit in its own glass case to avoid oxidising. Just as fruity is the vegan and gluten-free Lemon Prince (€6.50), a lemon juice-and-zestbomb containing lime-avocado cream on a date-and-almond base. The coffee is also great and affordable (€1.90 espresso!). Final verdict? We can’t wait for the small café to extend its opening hours!
Be Sweet | Kollwitzstr. 37, Prenzlauer Berg, Fri-Sun 12-19