Friday, February 29, 2008

Sorrento European Bakery

Occasionally, after a lunch at Pho Viet Cali, we like to walk next door to Sorrento European Bakery for pate choux and other pastries.

Pate choux is a French-influenced Vietnamese pastry. Actual choux dough doesn't resemble this delicious bun at all. The Vietnamese version is a puff pastry bun with a meatball in the middle. The meatball is seasoned with peppercorns and onions. Chief likes to clean out their supply for the day.

They have a variety of Western-style pastries along with pate choux and banh mi. The owner told Chief that he trained in Sweden. I suppose that's why princess cake is a specialty of the house. I took pictures of the two refrigerated cases, but missed the princess cake on the top shelf. It was to the left of the cake in the top left corner. A slice was cut out of it to show the cross-section and it looked lovely with the pale green fondant, white sponge cake, and berry filling.

The other case holds more pastries than cakes.

I love their meringues, although I prefer the sweetened ones over the flavored ones. The flavored ones tend to have too much extract added, leading to a cloying burst of flavor. I had a meringue with chocolate streaked into it.

Cross-section of the meringue. It's perfectly crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.

I also had the rum wafflor (I think that's a typo), which is a crispy and sugared flaky pastry with rum buttercream sandwiched in the middle. There's a bit too much shortening in the pastry, making it slightly greasy, but it's very crisp and flaky.

The cream filling is very good.

I picked up a banana eclair for D. He commented that it was ok. Not quite an eclair, but the banana cream in the middle was all right.

The business is family-run and everyone's really nice. I enjoy our visits there and we'll keep trying everything in the case.

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