Thursday, April 07, 2016

Baked Goods from Tout Sweet

Last week, I reviewed the cookies from Tout Sweet.  I dubbed the "Naughty Peanut" one of the best cookies I've ever had, and even deemed it breakfast appropriate.

But, it turns out, Tout Sweet does offer some slightly-more-acceptable-for-breakfast baked goods, so I've tried those too.  I didn't love any though, and would rather just have that cookie for breakfast.
Gougère:  Fresh thyme, chive & gruyere cheese.  $3.25.
Hmm.  Eggy, and light, but not cheesy.  How was this not cheesy?

I got a bunch of these for my co-workers, not really thinking I'd love them, but wanting a savory option for those who don't like sweets first thing in the morning.  I cut them in half, and every person took only a half of one, and not a single one of us even finished our halves.  We even tried warming them up to make them a bit more exciting, but they really fell flat.  Would not recommend, and will not try again.

Sadly, I somehow lost the rest of my notes and reasoning on this, so, I don't have much to say except that they were a fail, all around.
Hazelnut Crumble Coffee Cake. $3.50
For those of us who like sweets, I opted for the classic coffee pairing ... coffee cake.  The woman taking my order said it was one of her favorite items.

I wasn't overly impressed at first.  The back crust was almost burnt and very dry.  The cake itself was fairly moist, but not very spiced.  It all seemed fairly unremarkable.  But as I dug in more, I found a lot of subtlety to it that surprised me.  It did have a nice level of sweetness, due to the fruit and the streusel, but wasn't overly sweetened otherwise.  Often coffee cake can be way too sweet, but this wasn't.  The chunks of apple? (pear? ) were surprisingly my favorite part.  They were the perfect texture, not too soft and mushy, but not too crisp.  They seemed to be concentrated as a layer on top, right under the crumble, leaving the rest of the cake fairly plain.  Speaking of the crumble, that is where the woman taking my order sold me.  She sorta swooned over it.  It was made from hazelnuts, and was somehow a bit bitter.  Yet sweet like a streusel.  I'm not sure if the bitter and sweet play was intentional, or if perhaps the hazelnuts had gotten a bit over-toasted.  A few bites also had a tiny hint of salt to them, which really amped up those bites.  A nice touch.  I think a little bit more salt in the crumble would take this up a notch.

The crumble and the fruit were both good in this, and perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for coffee cake, because even though I appreciated those elements, I didn't love the coffee cake.  Maybe it was just slightly over-cooked, as I said, the back crust really did seem burnt.  I also think the proportions were just a bit off.  The fruit was good, but only existed in the very top and very bottom.  The crumble was good, but was obviously just on top.  Since the cake was so tall, this left a very large center that was a bit boring. I think just making it less tall, although less impressive looking, would have actually made it tastier, as you'd get more flavors in every bite.  Or, throwing in a streusel layer or more fruit inside.

The slice was absolutely massive for $3.50.  It was massive in height, and in width.  The photo above is after I'd already taken a huge chunk out of it.  My family always served pie slices according to the "one pie is 6 slices" rule.  I always thought this was a totally normal serving for a single person.  And of course it should have a scoop or two of ice cream with it.  And maybe some whipped cream too.  Since that is how my family served it, and whenever I went out that is how restaurants served it, it really wasn't until the past few years that I've realized that not everyone eats pie in such size slices on a regular basis.  When I go out to restaurants, people, gasp, suggest SHARING a single dessert.  They say things about "restaurant portion sizes" being crazy large.  Or I go to dinner parties and they carve up their cakes and pies into slices meant for children.  I always thought they were being stingy.  Turns out, this is what normal people do?  My friends now refer to the slices I (or my family) serve as "Parent Family Slices".  When I'm serving pies or cakes, people now specify things in those terms.  "I'd like a slice of the pecan pie, 1/3 of a Parent Family Slice please".  Anyway, rambly story short, this was totally a Parent Family Slice.  And definitely splitable.
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