Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bakery Review: Hannah's Cafe

Hannah's Cafe - visited June 17, 2017
I’ve been remiss in not blogging about the various bakeries and restaurants I’ve tried out over the past couple of months. I’ve been traveling so I've expanded my reach and it’s a shame not to share my gastronomic indulgences. So I’m going to take the next week (or two) on my blog and catch up on those posts as I share my “foodie crawl” from my neighborhood to San Francisco to Las Vegas to Milan to back home. I ate everywhere.
We’ll start local. One of my coworkers mentioned liking bear claws and how they were hard to find nowadays as so many bakeries just didn’t make them anymore. I ended up taking that as a personal challenge to find one and perused yelp for “best bear claws” in our area. One reviewer mentioned Hannah’s Café so I decided to mosey down there on a Saturday morning to see if the bear claws were really all that. 

Only to arrive and find there were no bear claws in evidence in the display case. I asked the counter person and she looked baffled. As in “what’s a bear claw” baffled. Not a good sign. Someone else behind the counter tried to explain it was “like an almond croissant”. Um, no. Totally different. Croissants are made by layering dough and butter multiple times to achieve their flaky texture. Bear claws are traditionally made with enriched dough like a brioche and have a less flaky texture but still a tender crumb, similar to a brioche or challah. Yes, they’re both stuffed with some kind of almond paste and garnished with almonds but the doughs are different.

Finally, someone who appeared to be the pastry chef for the café said she didn’t have any bear claws. Well, darn. Not that I’m such a big bear claw fan myself but I’d come with a purpose and that purpose was thwarted. Which, of course, only made me want a bear claw for myself. Still, I was flexible. And since I was already there, might as well try something they did have, right?
The café wasn’t very big and there were only a couple of display cases but they still showed a nice assortment of baked goods. I waffled between a pastry-pastry (like a pain au chocolat, my fave) and more of a cakey dessert like an actual cake or cupcake. I finally settled on two mini cakes: a German chocolate and a salted caramel chocolate.
When trying a new bakery, I rarely ask how much anything is, figuring that even if I pay a little more, at least I’m supporting a local small business, right? But I have to admit I blinked when the cashier rang up the two petite cakes and the total was $14. $7 a (little) cake! Eeep. For something the size of a Sprinkles cupcake. But….supporting a local small business means supporting a local small business so I dug for my cash and handed it over. (As an aside, I prefer to pay in cash when shopping at a small business so the small business owner saves on credit card fees.)
German Chocolate Petite Cake

The cakes were nicely presented, wrapped with clear plastic so the outer edges don’t get dry while sitting in a refrigerated display case all day. I thought both cakes were good. In hindsight, I should’ve gotten a different flavor for one of the cakes other than a chocolate-based one since essentially they came from the same cake but were just finished differently, one with the coconut and the other with the salted caramel.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Petite Cake
They must’ve been recently made as they weren’t dry and the flavors were good. I did think it was the kind of cake I could make myself though so I’m not sure I’d pay $7 for one again. I’d still want to support the business so if I go again, I might try something on the pastry side like a croissant or pain au chocolat since I can’t easily make either of those. Too bad about the bear claws though.

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