I’d known about these elusive donuts for awhile. I just never managed to get to Bouchon Bakery in Yountville early enough to snag any.
Until last Sunday.
You see, in addition to the usual variety of baguettes, nutter butter cookie sandwiches, and flaky-beyond-belief croissants, the bakery makes a limited quantity of donuts only on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It amounts to a mere couple dozen of each type of donut offered each day.
They are made in the fryer at next-door Bouchon Bistro before it opens for lunch. Once the doors to the bistro open, the fryer is tied up with orders of irresistible frites instead.
When I arrived at the bakery about 9:40 a.m. last Sunday, there were already about half a dozen people in line, and another half dozen sitting at outside tables, sipping coffee and noshing on brioche and macaroons.
As I inched my way through the doorway, I spotted them — three different types of donuts on the wooden back shelf where all the bread was. There were only about nine donuts left. My heart sank, thinking the people in front of me might buy them all.
But when I got to the front of the line, they were still there, so I ordered one of each of the three kinds available: raspberry jelly, apple butter, and chocolate. Then, I raced home with my rare loot.
At $3 each, these are probably the most expensive donuts I’ve ever bought. My first impression was the texture — not fluffy and airy like so many standard donut shops’ versions, but heavier, butterier, richer, almost like brioche.
The raspberry jelly was not cloyingly sweet, but rather tasted of jammy berries. The apple butter one was autumn in a donut. The apple butter itself tasted like exceptional homemade applesauce. You could really taste the winey-flavor of fresh apples. This donut also reminded me a little of coffee cake with its crown of cinnamon sugar.
It was the chocolate one that sent me over the top, though. Oh my, a ganache-like filling, and a shmear of thick dark chocolate on top plus a shower of tiny dark-chocolate rice krispie-like balls. As my hubby said, it was like a gourmet Nestle’s Crunch Bar.
Definitely the poshest donuts around. And definitely worth getting in line for on an early weekend morning.