Seattle, WA – Bakery Nouveau – Special Valentine’s Day Dessert Post (Review 3)

Restaurant: Bakery Nouveau – Special Valentine’s Day Dessert Post (Review 3)
Cuisine: Bakery/Desserts/Sandwiches
Last visited: February 8, 2011
Area: Seattle, WA (West Seattle)
Address: 4737 California Ave SW
Price range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 6
Service: n/a – I wasn’t actually there
Ambiance: n/a
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Pastry chef William Leaman
  • Pastries baked several times daily
  • Famous bakery in Seattle
  • Gourmet bakery
  • Traditional desserts with a gourmet/West Coast twist
  • Breads/Desserts/Pastries/Chocolates/Jam/Lunch
  • Award winning desserts
  • Natural ingredients
  • Seasonal ingredients
  • Gift baskets available
  • Daily/Weekly/Holiday specials
  • Dine in/Take-out
  • Mon-Thurs 6am-7pm
  • Fri 6am-9pm
  • Sat 7am-9pm
  • Sun 7am-7pm
  • Bakery Nouveau – Review 1
  • Bakery Nouveau – Review 2

Recommendation: Blueberry Pistachio Cake, Double Baked Almond Croissant, Pear & Cherry Almond Tart, Peanut Butter and Jelly Macaron, Macarons and their Phoenix Cake (award winning cake)

So my Valentine’s Day posts have started! From Gelato filled Macaronwiches, to chocolates from Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France, and cakes from Giovane Cafe, I think it’s fair to say… screw the flowers and get the cookies, chocolates, cakes and pastries!

A Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of my favourite bakeries, Bakery Nouveau in Seattle. I know! How unfair that I’m posting on a bakery that isn’t even in Vancouver. What a tease I am! But hey, there’s 2 days left before Valentine’s Day so you still have time to make the drive down. However, if you want something in Vancouver, I would highly recommend my favourite bakery Thomas Haas – see my post for his chocolates here and desserts here. Although his pastry collection isn’t as extensive, I actually think they are some of the best I’ve had and can compete with some of the ones from Bakery Nouveau.

Technically I didn’t physically go down to Bakery Nouveau in Seattle myself, but I was lucky enough to have my wonderful friend @iamcece bring me back a massive order of delicious cakes and macarons. Everyone knows how much I love this place. After hearing her describe all their Valentine’s Day cakes I easily decided to try most of them, just so I could make a full Valentine’s Day post from it. So that’s exactly what she helped me do. This is my third post for Bakery Nouveau and I still haven’t been to its actual location. I’m just so lucky to have awesome friends that always bring me back goodies every time they’re down there.

I didn’t notice that almost my entire order was mousse cakes, so by the end of my indulgence I was pretty moussed out. Yes, I had half of all these cakes and macarons all in one night after coming back from dinner, which already included two desserts. Overall everything was good, as it almost always is, but I’ve enjoyed their other desserts more than I did their special Valentine’s Day desserts. So I guess that just saved you the trip if you were intending to go down just for their Valentine’s Day dessert specials. On the other hand, if you’re reading this in Seattle, than here’s a taste of what’s currently going on at Bakery Nouveau.

On the table:

Macaroon for 2 – 3/6

  • Macaron heart shell, dark chocolate mousse, fresh fruit and sugar decor $5
  • I prefer the recently invented Gelato filled Macaronwich from Bella Gelateria in Vancouver, BC.
  • This was another version of a macaron sandwich. It was 2 heart shaped macaron cookies sandwiched with bitter sweet dark chocolate mousse.
  • I would rather have a regular macaron with chocolate ganache filling.
  • I just found this too rich and nothing too special. I know why they say “for 2″, it’s not that big, but it would be way too much of one thing for one person.
  • It did have a raspberry coulis centre, but it wasn’t enough to really make a difference.
  • The macaron was crispy and naturally almond flavoured, but for some reason it was a bit floury tasting as well.
  • The chocolate mousse was more like a truffle and it was very thick and creamy, rather than light and fluffy.
  • I found that the chocolate mousse overpowered the macaron and overall it was pretty to look at, but not too enjoyable to eat.

The Aphrodite – 4/6

  • A delightful alternative to chocolate, featuring a rich and creamy mousse of lemon and fromage blanc enclosing a layer of raspberry gelée and a kirsch infused lemon chiffon. It’s finished with an apricot glaze, delicious miniature Madeline cookies, and a rose petal garnish. Available in both 3″ and 6″ sizes $5
  • This one was actually very good! It was a very mild cheesecake, and I’m not a huge fan of cheesecakes, so I really enjoyed this one because it was very light. This was like the lemon and raspberry version of a tiramisu.
  • The Madeleine cookies were a nice addition and they tasted like lemon flavoured pound cakes that were tangy, spongy, and moist.

  • It was a lighter cake and very “girly” in flavours and style. It was quite tangy more so than sweet with the types of fruits used.
  • It was a great balance of cake, mousse and raspberry gelée and it had a creamy texture that melted in your mouth quite easily.
  • I could taste the subtle cheesiness and the the incorporation of lemon mousse just enhanced it, but it still wasn’t too dense or overpowering.
  • The raspberry gelée added a tangy punch to the creamy lemon mousse and if anything I could have used more cake to give a bit more texture to the dessert. I guess that’s why the Madeleine cookies were there?
  • I didn’t get the flavour of the apricot glaze either, if it’s in the description I usually like to taste it too.

Chocolate Raspberry Dome – 4/6

  • 64% chocolate mousse with raspberry crémeux (a curd) center on a chocolate biscuit (sponge cake) finished with a raspberry glaze $5
  • This isn’t a Valentine’s Day special, but it is red and it is chocolate… so it made it appropriate for this post.
  • The presentation and quality of ingredients were great, but it was just your ordinary raspberry and chocolate mousse dome and I wasn’t very inspired by it. Not really any surprises and it was pretty expected.

  • The milk chocolate mousse was smooth, creamy and sweet with a punch of fresh raspberry puree mixed in (without seeds).
  • It was a nice balance of tang and sweet and the raspberry glaze helped enhance the raspberry in the mousse.
  • It sat on a very thin layer of chocolate cake, but overall it didn’t play much of a role and I don’t think it was supposed to besides giving the dome structure.
  • If I’m going to have a raspberry and chocolate mousse cake, I would much rather have the Mini Ganache, Chocolate, Raspberry Bavarian Cream Cake from Giovane Cafe in Vancouver, BC.
**Phoenix - 5/6
  • This cake scored the highest points in the National Pastry Championship, 2005. It is a triple layer mousse cake with a delicate balance of pear mousse, 70% chocolate mousse, caramel mousse, pecan dacquoise and chocolate sponge cake. All covered with a caramel glaze $5.50
  • I recommend you to try this because it’s one of their famous award winning cakes.
  • I did enjoy it, but I would much rather have their delicious Blueberry & Pistachio Cake. Well it’s a bit comparing apples to oranges because the prior is chocolate and caramel and the later is fruity and nutty.
  • For me the description sounded more exciting than the flavours I could taste.
  • This is a mousse cake and it’s quite sweet. If you love caramel, pecans and chocolate, then you’ll like this. I couldn’t taste the pear mousse at all and it gets very overpowered by the caramel. It was the lightest in flavour, but used almost the least.

  • I would have loved to get some pear texture, but it was just a pear mousse and if I didn’t know I would have never guessed. It’s so delicate in flavour that it just got completely lost with all the stronger flavours.
  • It reminded me of a caramelized chocolate pecan tart wrapped around a thick layer of rich and decadent sweet caramel mousse.
  • I guess the major highlight would be the caramel mousse. It was perfect and I could also taste a hint of liquor in it too.
  • It was a good balance of chocolate and caramel and I did love the nutty crunch of pecans with the creamier mousse, but I think I was just expecting a lot more from it considering the “award winning” hype.

**Pear & Cherry Almond Tart – 5.5/6

  • Cherry and pear fruit layered over frangipan over a thin layer of raspberry jam in a pate sucre crust. It is finished with an apricot glaze and toasted almond slivers $3.85
  • This dessert is more my style.
  • I love all the ingredients in this tart, so naturally I knew I would love it.
  • The only thing is that the cherry and pears are arranged in a patten, so not every bite had some of each. I would have liked more of an incorporation of the flavours and perhaps a bit more of the sour cherry texture since it was more like puree or gelée.

  • I couldn’t taste the apricot glaze and didn’t really see or taste the raspberry jam layer either.
  • It was an incredibly nutty and creamy tart with a nice and thin crispy almond and sugar crust. I love pate de sucree crusts!
  • It was a great balance of fruit and frangipan and together it was all very chewy with a nice crunchy bite from the fruits and almond slivers.
  • I could definitely taste the almonds and the nice crunch of sugar crystals, and the middle layer of frangipan tasted like a walnut and almond butter pate or tart puree. Delicious!

**Parisian Macaroons - 4.5/6

  • These traditional Parisian cookies are light and airy. They are rumored to be the best outside of Paris! Flavor choices vary by day and feature: Café, Passion fruit, Chocolate, Raspberry, Pistachio, Coconut, Caramel, Salt Caramel, Blood Orange and Cassis $1.50 each
  • I’ve tried the macarons here before and I just don’t think I realized just how good they were the first time around. After trying endless macarons over the last 2 years, I have to reevaluate these ones and say they were better than I thought!
  • The only thing is, is that the fillings could get more creative and it would be nice to have a bit of decor on them whether it be lavender leaves for the lavender macaron, or lime zest for the Margarita macaron etc. I’m being a bit picky here, but just a thought.

  • **Margarita5/6
    • Tequila infused white chocolate ganache
    • Yes! I had to try this inventive flavour!
    • This was great! it was tangy and sweet with lime flavour and then a bit of crispy salt as well. It really tasted like a Magarita in macaron form!
    • The tequila taste wasn’t strong, but you knew there was some alcohol in it although it’s very faint.

  • **Peanut Butter & Jelly6/6
    • Peanut butter and raspberry jelly filling
    • How fun is this?! Loved it!
    • This was my favourite macaron! It was heavier on the peanut butter but it’s the classic savoury and sweet combination everyone loves!
    • It was nutty and sweet and the middle had a layer or peanut butter and jelly… better than expected. Although having some real crunchy peanuts on top or inside would be nice as well.
  • Blueberry2.5/6
    • Blueberry white chocolate ganache
    • It was good, but it didn’t taste like blueberry. I would have thought it was plain almond in flavour.
  • **Blood Orange4.5/6
    • Orange caramel ganache
    • I love this one. It wasn’t too citrusy but it had the aroma and sweetness of blood oranges. It’s faint, but it’s there and almost like orange blossom water.
    • It was fresh, fruity and the orange caramel ganache was the perfect balance. I could taste both the orange and caramel, but the caramel a bit more.

    • **Lavender - 5/6
      • White chocolate ganache filling
      • This was also great! It was florally and well infused with lavender flowers. The white chocolate ganache added the perfect sweetness.
      • I love the airiness of his macarons and the perfectly crispy macaron shell. The macarons are chewy and moist and just perfect.
      • I’ve also tried the Coconut Macaron and Passion Fruit Macaron.

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8 Comments

  • Lia says:

    OH MY GOD. These pictures are WOW! I’m hungry just looking at them! They’re so beautiful! I’m loving the macaroons, Phoenix, and Chocolate Raspberry Dome! The Dome looks so gorgeous! I’m so tempted to brave this weather and get one for myself! The only one that doesn’t look as nice to me is The Aphrodite, the madeleines just look out of place to me propped up like that…

  • Mijune says:

    @Lia – you know what?!? I know EXACTLY what you mean by the Aphrodite! At first I thought the same thing “random”… but then after eating it.. I understood how it made sense flavour wise. The dome was pretty perfect though huh? Let me know if you end up going! :)

  • Stephanie W says:

    I didn’t get to try any of them while I was down in Seattle, but I did try the blueberry pistachio cake as I tweeted it to you few days ago. Oh man, that was such a good cake! Just enough sweetness! The sour-y taste of the blueberry definitely complements the subtle pistachio taste. I also had the double baked chocolate croissant which was really good as well! It’s like a thick panier but filled with chocolate. Heavenly, just heavenly. I’m so glad I’ve read your review for the place before coming down there!

  • Mijune says:

    @Stephanie W – You are too cute!!!!! I’m so happy that you experienced the same foodie heaven I did with that cake! It’s truly amazing!! I dream about it… oops… did I say that out loud? *chuckle* it’s so true ;)

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