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4:30 p.m. Wednesday: Best Pastry Shop 

Masse's Pastries

The late afternoon hump-day slump is a killer. You've got no energy, and you're supposed to bring a chocolate almond "opera" cake to dinner tonight. You know, the dinner where you and your beau are planning to tell your future mother-in-law that her baby boy is about to become your husband. You can't bake if your life depends on it, and it's way past late already. Fortunately you decide to stop at Masse's Pastry Shop to get a cappuccino and a cappuccine, or maybe a fresh fruit tart or one of their pastry filled cannelloni, just to perk up your energy level. When you see another one of their incredible bridal cakes leaving the shop, you know you've made the right decision. Paul and Marsha Masse make cakes for every occasion. Recently they baked a cake with spun-sugar Corvettes for Chevrolet's fiftieth anniversary of the car. For a UC neurologist's celebration, they made a cake that looked like a human brain. And of course they make wedding cakes -- the Masses' favorite was a three-dimensional pirate ship with billowing sails. Traditional wedding cakes are actually la spécialité de la maison, but why limit yourself? Forget the groom and order a special cake to celebrate your decision to remain single.

Readers' Pick for Best Bakery: La Farine

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