April 21st, 2011
Sarah Goes To Bouchon Bakery (Yountville, CA).
Bouchon Bakery is what Willy Wonka would have branched out to if he wanted to expand his candy empire. On Sunday morning the display was packed with goodies and looked gorgeous. There are breads, pastries, cookies, muffins all before you get to the chilled cases. These house the more delicate lemon tarts, chocolate tarts, lacquered éclairs, palm sized macarons, and many other delights. The smell...mmmm....the smell is wonderful. The petite sales area has a large glass window that gives customers full view of the ovens. This also fills the store with the lovely smell of yeast and toasting bread.
There is no seating in the store, but Sunday was a lovely morning with fog still clinging to the southern part of the valley. Many were taking advantage of the patio seating between the bakery and Bouchon Bistro. Behind the patio area, for the seriously caffeine deficient is a coffee bar that can spare you the wait behind hypnotized pastry hunters. There is almost as much staff behind the counter as there are options to choose from. The line moves quickly. I chose two stand-bys to go with the requisite Sunday morning coffee: a pain au chocolat and a caramel macaron. The croissant was larger than average. Usually this leads to a bready viennoiserie experience. Not the case here. The outer layers crackled, giving way to a slightly sour chewy interior, the perfect foil to the bittersweet chocolate bars.
I managed to save the macaron for later. The caramel confection was worth the wait. Did I mention the macarons are the size of a sand dollar? These are no Laduree nibbles. The almond flour retains enough flavor to act as a foil to the sweetness of the cookie and its smooth buttercream filling. Crunchy, chewy, deliciousness.