Writing about Duchess Bake Shop just seems like the correct celebratory way to start off my new digiwebsinternets journal! (The word blog is just so…blaawwwgggish)
Robert, my delightful husband, and I, walked over to our long-time favourite provider of coma-inducing baked lovelies. You have to know the treats are of astronomical quality if Robert will agree to wait in a long line of elbows poking and toddler limbs flailing only to have to sit within 1.784 dm of neighbouring YELLY lady who could not seem to communicate any of her points to her luncheon partners without YELLING repeatedly and with gusto. I think he repeated his mantra, “There are wayyyyyy too many people in this world” about 5 times.
But, I digress. (How ODD for me.)
As is our wont, we ordered too much, with Robert telling the server, “We aren’t going to eat all of this HERE, for goodness sake. Of COURSE, we are taking most of it home.” This truly is our intention, every time. We are such innocents.
I started with my usual question: “Is there any chocolate bread pudding left?” Nope. Will I ever get my arse out of bed in time to catch the limited production run of my absolutefavourite? Must make it a weekend goal at some point. To soothe my chagrined soul, I ordered the small pumpkin pie, the savoury mushroom brioche, and a German gingerbread tea. I’ll blame the rest on Robert – the everything danish, the Hummingbird loaf, 4 macarons (rose, caramel apple, Mexican hot chocolate and salted caramel), brioche pepin and a latte. Poor Robert was so depressed when he realized he had neglected to order his beloved tartiflette!
If you’ve never had the pumpkin pie from Duchess, and you are a pumpkin pie lover, you have erred mightily and you have only until the end of October to right your wrong! This pie is a weighty beast full of heavy cream and smacking of molasses. I can never finish a small pie, and that is truly saying something. SO GOOD.
The two savoury goods we well, savoured, were both so yummy, but so different. The mushroom brioche was subtle with cream cheese and a mushroom jam, and then some lovely mixed mushrooms. What I loved best was getting a snippet of thyme with my bite of mushroom. Felt like we were eating the brioche on a blanket at a picnic in a French forest. The everything danish really grabbed Robert. (those cheeky Danes!) The flavours were stronger and the leeks tasted so fresh. Robert marveled at the flakiness of the pastry – a Duchess signature!
The hummingbird loaf is an adorable-sized loaf of a nutty banana bread with cream cheese icing. Cream cheese icing is basically my kryptonite. And let me tell you, cream cheese icing can be done WRONG (as a certain orange-hued presidential candidate might say). This icing is a great balance of sweet and cream cheese. The only thing to improve is to quadruple the amount. (kidding. not kidding. at all.)
Robert loves his macarons and is a big fan of saying the word correctly. His all time favourite is salted caramel, but every month, he likes to try the new offerings. (Robert’s observations: Mexican hot chocolate was amazing, salted caramel please marry me, rose was smooshy but yummy, and caramel apple tasted like caramel apple.)
The brioche pepin was also a Robert favourite, and he said that it tasted better than ever! I have to agree. Maybe because we haven’t eaten it for a few months, but the vanilla bean creaminess and the chocolateyness melded together in its superbuttery bed of brioche just perfectly today. Yum!
I might also note that when we go to Duchess, I don’t just notice the baked delights. Without fail, there are always interesting fashion/hair/makeup/general look aesthetics going on, whether from customers or employees. Girl with long brown hair in ponytail with red lipstick, I LOVED your striped dress with speckled brown wool tights. You are an inspiration! I also envied the carefree bun of the blonde haired server there who, unlike me when I do a casual bun, did not look she was harbouring a bushy-tailed animal in her coif. And mesmerized I was by the realllly high nude stilettos of girlwithenormousdiamondring who, I might add, did not wobble one bit as she walked back and forth to fetch her latte and spoon and so on. Well done!
Yes, well done, all. We finished ALMOST all of our baked goods and had two rounds of our latte and tea. Thank you again, Duchess, for a lovely Sunday outing!