It’s a good thing I don’t live close to the new B. Patisserie in San Francisco’s lower Pacific Heights neighborhood — or I’d be 300 pounds.
If I lived within walking distance, it would be a far, far dangerous thing.
That’s because these are pastries worth every single calorie.
Pastry Chef Belinda Leong and business partner Michel Suas have created a very special place.
That’s because Suas, founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute, is a master of bread, which star in the bakery-cafe’s open-faced tartine sandwiches. And Leong knows her way with butter, having trained in Paris with Pierre Hermé, and staged at Fauchon in New York. She’s also headed the dessert side of the kitchen at Manresa and Gary Danko restaurants.
The result is the perfect neighborhood bakery that feels like a slice of Paris.
Recently while running some errands in the city, I had a chance to stop into b. patisserie to buy a few treats to take home.
By now, you’ve probably heard of the much-touted kouign-amann (pronounced queen ah-mahn). A classic treat from Brittany, it’s like a croissant that’s been folded in upon itself with plenty of caramelized sugar throughout. It shatters, giving way to just enough sweetness and an airy, tender interior. It may be $4, but I’d easily save my pennies to buy half a dozen the next time I’m there again. Just don’t tell my husband.
The croissants boast an impossible number of gossamer layers. The apple brown butter coffee cake is like a sophisticated muffin loaded with tender apples and plenty of rich butter.
I like passion fruit, but don’t necessarily go out of my way for it. For Leong’s bostock, though, I would. It’s brioche baked in a can, then cut into thick slices that are drenched in passion fruit almond syrup. The texture is moist like almond cake, coupled with a lovely fruity tang.
Speaking of almond, there’s also a classic almond cake that’s gluten-free.
Make a beeline to a bakery well worth seeking out.
Winner of the Santé Nuts Contest:
Friday, I asked you to tell me what fun, nutty food-related memory you have about your Dad. The winner will receive a “Dad’s Day 4-Pack” of two large bags of Santé Garlic Almonds and Chipotle Almonds.
Edwin Chua, who wrote, “My dad and I love Black Forest cake. This one time, we brought one to my Grandma’s. We were both looking forward to having a nice slice of it, but being that it was time for lunch we placed it in the refrigerator. My Grandma is a great cook, so we had an awesome meal as always. After lunch, my dad asked me to get the cake out of the fridge. We grabbed the knife and open the box. What happened next, I’ll never forget! There it was, Black Forest cake in all it’s glory…sans all the maraschino cherries! My dad and I looked at each other and we both had this look of ‘What the heck?’ Everyone was silent for a second, trying to wrap our head around what is happening. That’s when my grandma burst out laughing. Turns out she grabbed all the cherries to set aside to decorate her almond, fruit cocktail jelly dessert. Too funny! Oh, and my Dad and I enjoyed our slices just the same—especially knowing that later there’s also Almond Jelly dessert…topped with our Black Forest cherries!”