Travel to Paris through your tastebuds with Beaucoup Bakery's fresh lineup of decadent delights
Ever since it opened in winter 2012, Beaucoup Bakery, a small, 16-seat café and bakery tucked into a little building on Fir and 6th in Vancouver, has received critical acclaim for producing some of the most inventive and luxurious homestyle and classic French treats in the city.
Owner and baker Jackie Ellis trained in Paris to master the fine art of pastry, and was inspired this spring after a return visit to create a collection of six new desserts that echo the fresh styles she spied on Paris' fashion runways.
The Spring 2013 Dessert Collection is comprised of Cassis Blackberry Lemon Cake, Black Sesame Religieuse, Raspberry Pistachio Macaron Frais, Fresh Berry Tart, Chocolate Passion Fruit Bar, and Vanilla Mille Feuille. Each dessert is like a gorgeous designer dress.
Cassis Blackberry Lemon Cake
I am not ashamed to say I ate at least one of everything. I started with the dessert I was most attracted to: the Cassis Blackberry Lemon Cake. Fresh edible violets, some crusted with sugar and lightly dusted with silver leaf atop a multi-layered cake stole my focus immediately.
This cake features chilled violet cream sandwiched between layers of cake in cassis syrup and topped with a blackberry glaze. The chilled cream added texture to the fruity flavours of the cassis and blackberry. It was a great warm up, and I was ready for round two.
Black Sesame Religieuse
I moved to the Black Sesame Religieuse, which is a choux (a very light eclair-like pastry) filled with black sesame cream and topped with fondant and a wafer of nougatine.
Surprisingly fresh tasting and the most savoury of the offerings, it's also the lightest, making it deceptively easy to down two or three before you realize what you're doing.
Raspberry Pistachio Macaron Frais and Fresh Berry Tart
Fresh blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are highlighted in the Raspberry Pistachio Macaron Frais and the Fresh Berry Tart.
A classic French macaron is filled with Sicilian pistachio cream, raspberry gelee and fresh raspberries, topped with edible flowers and silver leaf. Light and airy at first bite, it reminded me of something that would have been served to Marie Antoinette and her ladies. For Mother's Day, Beaucoup Bakery will feature the Macaron Frais in a 10" size, perfect for sharing.
The Fresh Berry Tart is a collection of summer berries atop a frangipane orange cream that actually changes the way it tastes as you chew it. Starting fresh and ending with a creamy finish, the Berry Tart was my personal favourite.
Chocolate Passion Fruit Bar
A rich Chocolate Passion Fruit Bar with a crispy hazelnet base, passionfruit chocolate topping and struesel hazelnut apricot garnish is the richest of the offerings, but the fuzziness of the sharp apricot flavour balances the rich chocolate beautifully.
Croissants and Pain au Chocolat
Jackie's signature croissants and pain au chocolat were offered in addition to the spring treats, both impossibly rich with an authentic crunch to the many layers. A real, true croissant should look like honeycomb when you bite into it; something I'm not used to, having experienced croissants as the greasy boxed 6-packs that come from the supermarket.
I left the bakery inspired and full to the brim with decadent delights, and remained full for hours afterward. These little treats are surprisingly satiating; a little is all you need to enjoy the rich flavours and fresh delights of spring in Paris.