Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bonjour Patisserie

If you haven't heard of Bonjour Patisserie, perhaps you know it by its old name, Patisserie Philippe?  Patisserie Philippe got rave reviews back in the day, but the change happened in 2011, and I never experienced the baked goods before the change.  Bonjour Patisserie has the same location, and basically the same menu, but new owner, and, well, no Philippe.

Anyway, Bonjour Patisserie is located down on Townsend street, by Zynga, in an area I bike by regularly, but never stop at.  And, I still haven't actually visited the cafe.  I have however tasted their treats, because, why else would I be writing this?

I attended a brunch catered by Bonjour Patisserie, and couldn't help but try pretty much everything.  You know how much I love baked goods.  I wasn't particularly impressed with anything.
Croissants, Cannelés, Vanilla & Blueberry Pound Cake, Chocolate Madelines, Raspberry Financier.
The setup was fairly simple, with a bunch of baked goods on slightly tacky silver platters.  I'm not sure if the platters were provided by Bonjour Patisserie or the event host.  Almost all of the goods were stacked up on one platter.
Croissants, Apple Strips.
There was a second platter with only two items on it, slightly less jumbled.

The flaky croissants were the fastest moving item, one of Bonjour's signature items.  There were also ham and cheese croissants.
Berries, Jam, Cream Cheese, Brie.
Assorted condiments were also provided.  The jam on the left was really, really good, particularly with brie from the nearby cheese platter.  I have no idea what it was, or if it actually came from Bonjour Patisserie.  It was really delicious though, perfect slathered on the otherwise unremarkable croissants.
Vanilla & Blueberry Pound Cake.
"A muffin sized vanilla pound cake, baked with fresh blueberries."

This was dry and pretty flavorless, although speckled with flecks that I think were almonds?  I couldn't distinguish a particular flavor from them, and the description doesn't mention anything else, so I'm not sure what they were.  The blueberries were plump, but there were just two on top, no more inside.  Dusted with powdered sugar for a bit of sweetness.

I did not like this, unsurprising I guess since I don't generally care for pound cake.  Ojan usually likes blueberry baked goods, and he only took a single bite of one too.
Apple Strip.
"Flaky puff pastry baked with apples and almond cream, topped with caramel."

I had no idea what this was until I looked on the website later to add the description.  It was the best of all the treats.  I had a full slice at the brunch, and then brought another one home, intending to share with Ojan, but uh, he never got a bite.

The crust was a flaky puff pastry, crispy and a bit caramelized.  The next layer was a thick paste, very, very sweet.  I think it was frangipane, although it didn't necessarily taste almond-y (indeed, the description says almond cream).  The baked apples were nicely cooked, soft but not too soft.  There wasn't really any seasoning on them though, they could have used some cinnamon.  And, to top it all off, caramel sauce.  And it was dusted with powdered sugar.

Overall, this was very sweet, almost too sweet.  When I had my first slice, I enjoyed with black coffee, and didn't mind the sweetness too much.  But when I had my second slice a few hours later, it seemed a little much.  Perhaps I'd just had too many sweets by that point!  It had gotten a bit soggy, so I warmed it up in the toaster oven.  And then, since I had a warm dessert ... I just had to add ice cream too.  That helped cut the sweetness a lot, as I paired it with a classic vanilla.

This was the best treat I had from Bonjour, but I wouldn't seek another out.
I have fond memories of the epic cannelé from Keiko à Nob Hill, one of the top meals of my life.  Very few cannelés can possibly compare to those.

This one surprised me, particularly given how much I didn't like the other pastries.  It wasn't nearly as good as the Keiko one, but it wasn't bad.

Slightly crispy exterior, super moist interior, really nice caramelized flavor on the outside.  It didn't hold up at all though.  I had another one just a few hours later, and the exterior turned totally gummy.  I tried heating it up to make it better, but that just made it worse.  Very short shelf life here!

I probably wouldn't get another.
Chocolate Madeline.  Raspberry Financier.
Finally, two petite treats.

The chocolate madeline was dry and totally flavorless, no better than the blueberry pound cake I started with.  Neither the white nor brown parts had any flavor.  I'm guessing it was supposed to be chocolate and vanilla, although they list it just as chocolate on the site.

The platter also had a bunch of the financiers, some were plain, some had a jam filling.  I actually kinda liked the jam filled one I picked, although I struggled to know what it was.  It looked like a mini banana muffin, as it had little flecks in it, but I didn't taste any banana.  Once I looked it up and discovered that it was a financier, I realized the flecks must have been ground almond.  Anyway, it was sweet and moist, and the jam was tasty, just like the jam on the condiments table.  Some of the jam had leaked out, and that bit was crispy.  This was decent, but not remarkable enough to get again.
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