Restaurant: Fratelli Bakery
Last visited: May 28, 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC (Commercial Drive/Grandview)
Address: 1795 Commercial Drive
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 5.5 (based on Saint Honore Cake only)
- Since 1997
- Locally owned operated
- Authentic Italian baking
- Extensive variety of baked goods
- Freshly baked breads
- Famous for Saint Honore Cake
- Local favourite
- Some breakfast items
- Some savoury baked goods
- To-go bakery
- Very limited seating (small bar)
- Tuesday – Saturday 7:30am – 5:30pm
- Sunday 9:00am – 4:00pm
- Closed Mondays
**Recommendations: Saint Honore Cake
I’m honouring the Saint Honore Cake! I’ve never been to Fratelli Bakery before, so I can’t comment on anything else, but this is definitely the must try item here. It’s a small authentic Italian to-go bakery specializing in a large variety of baked goods and Vancouverites do consider it a local favourite. Although the name suggest Italian and they do pride themselves on their Italian baked goods, they do offer lots of French and American baked goods too. From muffins, scones, cakes, cookies, pies, cannolis and even freshly baked bread there’s something for every occasion.
The most famous thing is of course their signature Saint Honore Cake. I find that pretty ironic because a Saint Honore Cake is traditionally a French cake, but it is often seen at both French and Italian bakeries. Actually I’ve even had them more often at Italian restaurants and bakeries than I have French. They’re different in style and everyone has their own version of the Saint Honore Cake, but this is definitely one of the best versions I’ve had, authentic or not. For what it is, it is a must try cake and one of the best Saint Honore Cakes in Vancouver, BC. At least I can’t think of another one that competes with it.
My amazing friend surprised me with this beautiful cake and it was definitely a delicious surprise! It’s a very time consuming cake and it’s a labour of love, so I think it’s totally worth it. Although it looks very gourmet, the Fratelli’s Saint Honore is actually a more “rustic” version compared to some of the traditional ones.
Honestly, just looking at the box gets me excited! However I do feel a double chin already. It’s a dangerously addicting cake because although very rich, it’s not that sweet, so you feel like you can have more… I had two fat slices and it wasn’t the best idea, but I like to show my appreciation and I did love it!
PS: A Follow Me Foodie Tasty Twist is to order a bigger size than you need and freeze the leftovers. You can let it thaw a bit and eat it as a frozen treat 😉
On the table:
- Our famous Saint Honore cake is made with a layer of puff pastry on the bottom, topped with a layer of white sponge cake, Bavarian cream, buttercream, and Vermouth. On top is a delicious combination of whipped cream and Bavarian cream-filled puffs dipped in chocolate.
- This cake can be prepared with or without alcohol.
- 5′ (serves 5) $17, 8′ (serves 10) $27, 11′ (serves 16) $36, 13′ (serves 20) $48
- We had the 8′ for 4 people… oh my god this was a delicious cake!
- It was an extra $1 for the chocolate shavings which I think should be included. They leave it blank in case you want writing.
- It’s a 2.0 version of a cream puff with lots of custard, some cake and chocolate. It’s almost like an eclair but I think better.
- Traditionally the top would have thin sugar strands of caramel and the surrounding profiteroles should be dipped in caramel too, but I was fine with this slightly more “rustic” and American version.
- It’s super rich, and very creamy and much richer in texture than it is in flavour because it’s really not that sweet.
- It’s also mostly cream and Bavarian custard rather than cake and crust so you don’t get full from the carbs either.
- The texture is almost all creamy and although there is some flaky pastry it’s soft and not crunchy or crispy.
- The custard and cream are ultra thick and rich, but because there’s layers of choux pastry (puff pastry) the dessert is still very airy and light.
- This had alcohol but I couldn’t taste any of it. It was Vermouth, but I’ve only had it with Marsala wine, the standard rum and once even with zabaglione.
- It’s vanilla in flavour with some bittersweet hints of chocolate and it’s just so easy to enjoy.
- The top is piped with an almost overwhelming amount of thick and heavy whipped cream.
- It’s a very thick cream, but very lightly sweetened and not greasy in texture. I couldn’t even tell there was any buttercream in this, it just tastes like thick whipped cream.
- The crust should be more of a buttery quiche or pie crust, but this was a flaky soft croissant crust. It wasn’t crispy, but soft and bread like and it tasted the same as the choux pastry used for the cream puffs.
- Usually the bottom crust is different from the choux pastry, but it didn’t bother me.
- The crust and the ring of the crust is filled with a very thick and rich indulgent Bavarian cream custard which keeps it very moist.
- This Bavarian cream is the highlight and it’s one of the best I’ve had. It’s freaking AMAZING. I could eat it plain. It’s so thick and velvety smooth it just coats your mouth. You could probably stick a spoon through it although it’s still creamy.
- The sweetness comes from this Bavarian cream, but it’s still not that sweet, but just very flavourful with some vanilla extract, but no alcohol flavour (which it should have).
- On top of the bottom custard layer is a relatively thin sponge cake which was very moist and it seemed soaked with some sweet syrup, but it wasn’t wet. This could be where the Vermouth came in, but I couldn’t taste it.
- The cake layer gave the Saint Honore some contrasting texture which I loved. I was reminded of flavours from a Boston Cream.
- It has just the right balance of each layer, although I wouldn’t mind a bit less whipped cream.
- It’s very decadent and the first few bites are easy, until the richness sneaks up on you at the end.
- The giant cream puffs were mini versions of the cake, but even more indulgent because of the Bavarian cream! One per person! I had 2 back to back and if I were to do it again I’d give a few hours break in between.
- The cream puffs are amazing because they’re filled with the rich and incredibly thick Bavarian cream that’s scented with vanilla.
- The pastry is a very light and airy choux pastry with big holes and it’s nice and stretchy and not dry at all.
- You bite into these indulgent cream puffs and out oozes this extremely creamy rich Bavarian custard filling which is perfect with the pastry and then you get the crisp shell of bittersweet chocolate too.
- It’s truly a decadent bite of heaven.