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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch: Spotting Stripes

9 December 2012

Writer's Note: My sincerest apologies to my faithful, occasional, any and all readers since I have missed the past three weeks with Sunday Brunch articles. Life happens and sometimes the extras need to be set aside in lieu of life's responsibilities so I appreciate your patience and support in my absence.

It's 'Spot Week' for our 101 weeks of Days of the Week articles, but instead of spots, I've been seeing stripes! While actual Dalmatians haven't been seen in the Disney parks since the pre-'Boo to You' Halloween parade, another black and white animal has found permanent residence in the Disney parks. In the Animal Kingdom, the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction added the new Zebra habitat to guests' safari adventure this past November. After spotting the new striped residence, what better way to celebrate than by eating Disney's best striped desserts at the Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Kilimanjaro Safari Zebras

First stop is right in Harambe where guests can enjoy a Zebra cupcake at the Kusafiri Bakery. It is pretty generic, simply a vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting and zebra striped chocolate d'cor. While not quite avant-garde and daring in flavor as other Walt Disney World cupcakes, the Zebra Cupcake's rather basic recipe and design is the perfect cupcake to satiate your sweet tooth. It is worth noting that the chocolate pieces here have a better quality and richness than the imitation chocolate found in other quick service Disney desserts.

Zebra Cupcake in Disney's Animal Kingdom

We escape the wilds of the park into the restful sanctuary of the Animal Kingdom Lodge to spot the next delectable striped treat, the Zebra Dome, among the most popular of the whole Walt Disney World resort. Probably the signature dessert of the Lodge, the Zebra Dome is an Amarula flavored chocolate frozen mousse on a sponge cake enrobed in white chocolate ganache with dark chocolate stripes. In my research I've found that the domes were once flavored with Kahlua and espresso for a mocha flavored dome, but now they have been more inherently African flavored with Amarula. Amarula is a sweet creamy liqueur from South Africa made from the fruits of the Marula tree, which happen to be a popular snack for the African elephant.

Zebra Domes in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

In my experience eating Zebra domes with friends and family, there is a clear divide as half of them thoroughly enjoy them while the other half have no interest in having more than the initial sample. With the flavoring aside, the dessert itself is quite rich, due to the high fat content from the chocolate and egg yolks. The flavor provided by the Amarula is found to be quite strong and powerful from not only in its fruity caramel flavor of the Marula fruit, but in the alcohol content from the liqueur. Usually any food that uses wines, spirits, and liqueurs are cooked and baked so the alcohol component evaporates away leaving the flavor behind. In the case of the Zebra Domes, it does not bake off as the mousse is made and served cold. While the amount of liqueur per dome is minute, the alcoholic flavor is present enough to cause some guests to dislike them. In the name of pastry, I overlook that part and enjoy Zebra Domes for their unique flavor and whimsical and wild design, making the striped dessert worth spotting.

Zebra Domes at The Mara
Due to popular demand, the Zebra Domes may be purchased at the Mara, the resort's quick service location.

Zebra Domes in Boma
Zebra Domes in their natural habitat: the dessert display at Boma,
available during the resort's dinner buffet.


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