Saturday, February 3, 2018

Bakery Review: La Patisserie

La Patisserie - visited January 14, 2018
I've been giving myself a break from baking since the holidays. It's my once-a-year hiatus. Leading up to Christmas, I use up all the baking ingredients I'd been stockpiling and see the bottom of my pantry shelves. So January's larder is rather sparse since I don't replenish my supplies.
It's also a chance for me to eat a little healthier since I'm not taste testing new recipes on a weekly basis. But, it doesn't quite mean I give up sugar entirely. Similar to my perusal of Manresa Bread, I also decided to check out La Patisserie, again before church so I can pick up some baked goods to share later with my parents.

La Patisserie is the kind of bakery that has a lot of fancy-looking desserts in its display cases rather than racks of freshly baked loaves of bread. Which should probably be obvious from its name.

I like the feast for my eyes as I kept snapping pictures on my phone. Not sure how it all tasted though because to keep that kind of well-stocked look, you never know how long the goods have been in the display cases. I like to think they're fairly fresh but I've had bad experiences before where a scrumptious-looking cake turned out to be dry because it's been in the refrigerated cases for too long.

Fortunately, I didn't have that experience here, at least not with what I tried. I decided to try the bear claw, similar to my earlier quest for my coworker to find good bear claws.

I wanted to try a little of the round loaves of pastries, especially some delicious-looking strudel and danishes but alas, the lady behind the counter said they only sold them whole and not by the slice. Bummer.

Instead, in addition to the bear claw, I bought the Hazelnut Bliss. Based on the description, I wondered if the "chocolate praline wafer" would be that light, crunchy, airy texture I'd once had in my friend's wedding cake, which, many years and dozens of wedding cakes consumed at my friends' weddings later, I still remember to this day.

I had the bear claw as that day's breakfast. Sad to say, I was disappointed. I suspect, given the random few pastries in that basket, it was a day-old bear claw. It was dry, not flaky or buttery and not very tasty. The filling was sparse as well. I wouldn't get it again.

Fortunately, the Hazelnut Bliss more than made up for it. It was delicious. Not dry at all and the praline wafer layer was exactly the texture of my friend's well-remembered wedding cake. It was also similar to the layer in the plaisir sucre I enjoyed so much from Laduree. That was worth the trip.

With its praline wafer layer, chocolate cake, white cake and mousse layers, this cake was beautifully made and artfully presented. The whole thing was covered in hazelnut ganache but it was more like a firm fondant. It also wasn't too sweet, which meant, of course, that my parents liked it as well. Although La Patisserie has a lot of offerings, it's hard for me to imagine I'd like anything else better than this cake.

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