Sunday, January 6, 2008 9comments No tags Permalink 0

pistachio doughnut for breakfast, anyone? ;)

My parents and sister went back to Hawaii a few days ago, but we were lucky enough to dine at a dozen or so restaurants, all which will be blogged…eventually, haha. We stayed in for breakfast the other day, mom scrambled eggs, I made tea. And dad? Well he dash off to Balthazar Bakery away to pick up a baguette. He cannot live without his baguettes. It is ridiculous. Back home, his go-to spot is Saint Germain, but here in the city, he prefers Balthalzar. So he went and he came back with big bags.

He went with the intention of baguettes but came back with much more. Now you know where I get my bakery weakness from!

Sister and I split the pistachio cake doughnut for a pre-breakfast snack. It was so pretty I was heartbroken to snap the poor doughnut in half, but alas, one bite into the moist and crumbly cake and all was forgotten. A thin spread of icing and smatter of crushed pistachios topped it off and made for a great start to our morning meal.

I pulled out the baguette and was not surprise to find the top pulled off and crumbs strewn all over the bottom of the bag. This never fails to happen. A baguette, in my dad’s care, will never make it home without the top torn off. It is comforting in a strange way…as long our baguettes come home topless, all is right with the world.

A high crust to innards ratio, with a lovely shatter effect, it really is an attractive baguette, deep brown in colour with long even slashes. It proved to be perfect with our breakfast of eggs and brie.

There were a few more treats hidden inside the bag, but those were saved for a post-dinner treat. We spent the day shopping, eating, apartment hunting, and wandering around the city. It was a good thing we took advantage of the nice weather cause the next day was freeeezzzing!

When we returned home that night, I eagerly opened up the bakery boxes and was delighted to find a chocolate pignon tart. The buttery cocoa tart crust is just the right thickness, cupping a bounty of deep, dark chocolate ganache. The word ‘velvety’ fails to do it justice, for at room temperature it simply surrenders at the touch of your tongue, leaving you helpless to the whim of chocolate.

The ‘pignon’ portion of this tart’s name is rather deceiving. The only evidence of pignolis are the nine sprinkled on the surface. No evidence of pignolis in the ganache or crust, though I would imagine it would make for lovely textural contrast to have pignolis interspersed within the buttery smooth ganache.

Stashed in the package next to the tart was a bag of granola for my mom. MY MOM LOVES GRANOLA LIKE NO ONE ELSE. She saved this to take back to Hawaii. I thought it was overpriced at nearly $10 a bag…but who knows, it might be amazing granola!

Our second dessert was a Pear Galette, which was AMAZING!!! I was coming down with a cough and sore throat that day, but sheeeesh, even the crisp and flaky crust couldn’t stop me (though my throat did feel like crap afterwards). But oooh, this one was wonderful! A million layers of thin phyllo, each one brushed with butter, base to a filling of frangipane and sweet pear slices. A thin layer of blueberry preserves rested between the frangipane and phyllo.

The galette cut into quarters so nicely, only shedding but a few crumbs. Every bite was a delight, teething sinking though the tender pears, and glorious sweet and nutty cloud of frangipane, just a dabble of blueberry and then a complete change in texture, the phyllo light, sharp and crisp. A trio of raspberries rounded it off, beautiful but completely unnecessary.

And so we started the day with Balthazar Bakery and closed it just the same. In between? Lunch at Boky in Chinatown and dinner at Lombardi’s – you’ll hear about them soon :)

Enjoy your Sunday!

Balthazar Bakery
80 Spring St.
NY, NY 10012
(212) 965-1785

  • K & S
    January 6, 2008

    everything looks delicious! since you mentioned apartment hunting, are you planning to move? hope it all goes smoothly if you are!

  • Robyn
    January 7, 2008

    You have the coolest parents ever. I haven’t been to Balthazar bakery in ages, and …yet…oh, I really want a baguette from there now, THANKS!!! -__- Seriously, now I’m tempted to head down there tomorrow.I hope to hear about our huge Vietnamese feast soon. :)

  • Kathy YL Chan
    January 7, 2008

    Hey Kat!Everything was delicious, hehe! :) We’re thinking to buy an apt…rent is so crazy, may as well put it towards mortgage…but still hunting, have not found anything we love yet (or those we do are too expensive! haha) Robyn!Vietnamese will be up soon! OoOOoo and will send you the names of the dishes, am going to ask my mom the name of that fish one…I don’t even know haha. Have I induced craving? REVENGE! bwhahah :)

  • Monique
    January 7, 2008

    Your dad is certainly the one you should send to the bakery! He knows his stuff! Everything looks so delicious, especially that chocolate tart… I’m salivating!

  • elmomonster
    January 7, 2008

    That story about your dad and the baguette is both heart tugging and funny…I’m laughing and crying.

  • rowena
    January 7, 2008

    Awww…so nice that your folks came for a visit, but that part about your dad pulling off the tops of the baguettes! heehee Whenever I’m with my dad at a bakery, he likes to just take a couple bites out of something to see if it’s good or not, and then he hands me the rest to finish off! And then he goes and tastes something else and repeats it all over again!

  • anonymous
    January 7, 2008

    Hi Kathy, So cute about your dad..I thought I was the only one guilty of that..I cant get home w/o my baguettes getting decapitated either !

  • Kathy YL Chan
    January 7, 2008

    Hey Monique!Hmmm, good point! I should send my dad off to bakeries more often! Both he and mom always return with goodies, and I don’t know whether to be absolutely grateful (which I am!) or fear for the inevitable weight gain that comes with each bakery trip! ;)Hey Elmo!Awww, it’s been nearly five months since I’ve encountered my dad’s topless baguettes, so when I opened the Balthazar bag the other day and found the baguette just the way it should have been, all these good memories came back :)Hey Rowena!Haha, that’s exactly what my mom does! She’ll buy a bunch of stuff and ‘sample’ them all and then pass it all to me, very well knowing that I’ll finish everything! ;)Hey Shar!lol, it’s nice to know we’ve got company! :)

  • Tina
    January 11, 2008

    ZOMG…the pear galette is awesome. It still haunts my memory when you mentioned it in this post. So flaky. So buttery. Sooo tasty. I WANT TO EAT IT AGAIN!

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