Archive for December, 2012

La Toscanella

December 24, 2012

Charged with the task of bringing dessert to a dinner party (and limited on time), I stopped by La Toscanella in South Lake Union. The space inside was pretty big, modern, and sleek, despite the fact that this is not a “corporate” establishment. There was a wide variety of goods to choose from, plus breakfast and some pre-packaged goods.

inside

The place wasn’t very crowded, and the girl at the counter was pretty patient, so I took my time to look everything over. It being an Italian bakery, I had to try the Tiramisu and the Chocolate Mousse:

tiramisu

I personally thought the Tiramisu was a little dry – I prefer a more pudding-like consistency with strong rum and coffee flavors. This was more cake and cream.  The chocolate mousse was similarly light and a little bland for my taste (not to mention difficult to eat because of the hard chocolate shell.

mousse

I will say that the folks at dinner were impressed by both, so this might be a case of personal preference (or me being picky). At any rate, it’s a bakery worth checking out.

 

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Crumble and Flake

December 3, 2012

Finally. It seems I’ve been waiting so long to see what all the fuss was about (lines out the door, selling out early, people waiting outside at 7 AM…).  We got there around 10 and although we had to wait in line for about 20 minutes, there was still plenty to eat (they open at 9 instead of 7 on the weekends).

outside

When we got to the front of the line, I had to make some quick decisions (luckily I had researched beforehand), and I went with a plain croissant, kouign amann, cinnamon roll, and a “Cheweo.”  Perhaps it’s necessary to pause for a definition of terms. A kouign amann (pronounced kween a-mon) is like a small round croissant, but with a caramelized exterior and (how is it possible?) an even more buttery inside.  A Cheweo is their version of an Oreo, with a soft cookie.

treats

It should be obvious just from looking at the picture that everything was superb. The cinnamon rolls are not as sugary as others, with way less icing. The croissant was done right, and certainly flaked (rather than crumbled). The Cheweo could have been more intensely chocolate. Everything, however, paled in comparison to the kouign amann, which is  butter and flour in perfect harmony. The outside was crispy; the inside melted in your mouth and the whole thing was over far too soon. Worth getting there early to get these before they sell out.