Zach wanted to create a new category of posts dedicated to his formal training in pastries, featuring bakeries! This is our first spotlight on a bakery that exceeds expectations when it comes to freshness, creativity, and authenticity. Bouchon Bakery in Yountville does so in spades, and we were delighted to see their specials for Easter when we drove up yesterday for the afternoon.
The macarons here are giant and delicious. Flavors vary a little depending on the season – for example we selected a malted chocolate robin’s egg – but you can count on the staples like pistachio, caramel, and raspberry to taste just like the names. The robin’s egg, apart from having the flavor of the Easter candy, was even shaped like an egg, mottled turquoise and white, and speckled! The cookie layers had a thin, crisp exterior with a light and chewy interior. The buttercream fillings were all delightfully rich, smooth, and creamy.
The ladybugs were too cute for Zach to resist; he had to get one, even though inside was a real raspberry filling with seeds (he can’t eat unprocessed seeds or nuts). Despite Zach’s assertion that the fondant decorations would be boring sugar, August ate them anyway and thought they were vaguely lemony. The frosting was a simple vanilla buttercream, but appropriately dyed pink for the season and to match the vibrant, sweet, and tart raspberry filling encased in a rich, buttery cake.
Zach’s pick purely for himself was a lemon tart. Lemon is an ideal flavor to welcome the warmer climes. Not everyone loves chocolate, therefore alternative sweets are greatly appreciated by the likes of Zach who is two steps away from being anti-chocolate. The lemon curd was silky in texture and had a nice tartness of lemon flavor without too much sweetness. The meringue was light, airy, and melted instantaneously in the mouth like little clouds. The crust was crisp and slightly flaky, a great texture contrast to the very creamy curd and meringue.
August’s pick purely for herself was a chocolate ganache tart (ganache is a food group in her book). Throughout the tart, the ganache was consistently velvety and rich, a noble representation of this fine class of chocolate. The crust somewhat reminded her of graham cracker, darker in flavor than a typical tart shell. Gold leaf and various egg motifs with bunnies and chicks were super cute adornments.
Yountville, Las Vegas, and New York are lucky to be home to the three members of this bakery family. Breakfast items like muffins and croissants, cookies and macaroons, caramels and toffee, quiche and European-style bread, and even pet treats are abundant and beautiful. The line was particularly long since it was Easter and many others seemed to be thinking like we were, but the line moved quickly and everyone waiting together was in good spirits, anticipating the delicious goodies inside the shop.