Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe

Restaurant: Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe
Cuisine: Bakery/Desserts/Pastries
Last visited: December 17, 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC (Fairview)
Address: 2150 Fir Street
Transit: WB w Cloverleaf FS Granville St
Phone: (778) 689-4221
Price Range: $10 or less, $10-20

1Poor 2OK 3Good 4Very good 5Excellent 6FMF Must Try!

Food: 5 (based on following items)
Service: n/a
Ambiance: n/a
Value: 4
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Owner/Home baker Jackie Ellis
  • Pastries/desserts
  • Made from scratch
  • High quality ingredients
  • Parisian baked goods
  • American baked goods
  • Limited premade savoury sandwiches
  • Local favourite
  • Popular items sell out
  • Casual/chic
  • Coffee/tea
  • Limited seating
  • Gifts to go
  • Eat in/Take out
  • Monday – Friday 7am-6pm
  • Saturday & Sunday 8am-6pm

**Recommendations: Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie, Marcona Almond Bar

Here it is! The box that is filled with delightful childhood baked goods and sophisticated grown up treats! I listed this box in my Top 10 Edible Gift Ideas & “Must Haves” for the Local (BC) Foodie & Gourmet and here are the details. This box is only available for Christmas so if you miss out you’ll have to catch her at the local Farmer’s Markets or at her store front when it opens.

Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe is one of the most anticipated cafe and bakery openings this year let alone this season. People have been sampling her baked goods at Farmer’s Markets and so far the general consensus is not even great, it’s excellent.

The baker/owner is Jackie Ellis who was inspired to open her bakery after traveling to France and enrolling in pastry school in Paris. Fast forward a couple years later and she’s finally decided to pursue her passion and open Beaucoup Bakery.

It’s a bit of a coincidence but it turns out Jackie and I have mutual friends and I had heard about her talent a couple years ago from a close friend. Long story short I met up with Jackie and she gave me one of her Christmas boxes to try. She was looking for honest feedback and is constantly working to improve her recipes; so let this post be more or less an introduction to Beaucoup Bakery’s long road ahead. The store has not even opened yet, but I predict it will be here for the long run.

As soon as I opened the box I was taken away by the aroma of freshly baked goods, butter, sugar and chocolate. It smelled like Grandma’s baking (well not my grandma because Asian grandma’s don’t bake… but you get the point).

To be honest I was very sceptical of her desserts and I didn’t want to just buy into the hype around it. All the positive comments from trusted palates just made me raise the bar even higher. I’m already quite particular with my desserts and pastries and now I was going in with super high expectations. I had to keep reminding myself to be neutral and remember that Jackie is somewhat of a home baker (she doesn’t prefer to be called a pastry chef), opening her first bakery and cafe, and here I was ready to scrutinize everything. Yes it seems totally unfair, but after talking to Jackie about my biases, she was completely ready for honest feedback and only wants to bring better.

Having said all that, I was pretty blown away and impressed with these baked goods. Most of the items were American favourites and everything was made with very high quality ingredients and French techniques. They were professional, sophisticated and generally well executed with no short cuts.

The store will feature both American childhood baked goods and traditional French pastries which reminds me of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. Although not as grande as Bouchon Bakery it takes on the characteristic of being indulgent, rich, sweet and full of buttery goodness.

For a Vancouver reference it was a more polished Butter Baked Goods  but not as refined as Thomas Haas (naming big players in the dessert scene), but give her a few years and she’s certainly one to watch out for if she can keep consistent. She’s not doing anything really revolutionary in terms of flavours or menu items, but everything I tried was just very well executed with an honest commitment to quality. Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe will be a quickly rising local favourite and I’m cheering it on.

On the table:

Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe (4)Beaucoup Bakery Christmas Gift Box

  • $52.50 (E-mail Jackie Ellis at jackie(at)beaucoupbakery(dot)com to order)
  • This box was filled with 2 Marcona Almond Caramel Bars, 2 Valrhona Chocolate Brownies, 2 Salted Caramel Blondies (with walnuts), 4 Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, and 4 Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  • The box is excellent value and everything in it will keep for at least a few days if not a week since they are bars and cookies.
  • The ingredients are fresh, but nothing has to be refrigerated.

Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookie – 3/6 (Good)

  • $2
  • These didn’t look too exciting and everyone can make a chocolate chip cookie (or at least knows where to get a good one), so I find it a hard item to impress with.
  • On the other hand I treat it like “the fries” at a good American restaurant or French Bistro.
  • It’s such a standard item with few ingredients and it can tell you a lot about the restaurant and/or chef.
  • The chocolate chip cookie was good, but it wasn’t something I would order again and it seemed underwhelming especially after trying everything else.
  • This is a recipe Jackie is going to revisit so it might change and I would not judge her stuff on this alone.
  • It was a very flat and thin cookie with very crispy to crunchy edges and it was bordering on over baked.
  • It had a soft chewy centre, but because they were so thin there was not much chew to them and it didn’t leave an impact in texture.
  • The best part was that she used chunks of bittersweet Valrhona chocolate as the “chips” which is pretty much one of the highest quality chocolates you can use.
  • Valrhona has more depth of flavour than Cocoa Barry, Callebaut, Guittard, and Michel Cluizel just to name a few. It is a premium chocolate.
  • They have caramelized bottoms and they weren’t burnt, but they were baked to the point of having a nuttiness to them even though there are no nuts.
  • Unless the flat and thin cookie is intended, I think they could benefit from some height because they lost their chew.
  • These cookies will be risky because they will be sensitive to baking temperature and time.
  • They were likely flat from over creaming the butter and sugar, or the oven not being hot enough. Chilling the dough before baking would help as well.
  • I’m not sure if the average person would value the chocolate in this and therefore I’m not sure if the cookie has “wow” factor.
  • I worry about consistency for these and how good they will be after 1 day… unless they are baked fresh daily.
  • I tried another one a couple days later and it was almost the same.
**Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie – 6/6 (FMF Must Try!)
  • $3.75
  • At first I thought “c’mon it’s just a peanut butter cookie. Butter Baked Goods has a pretty epic one… everyone makes these. What’s so special?”
  • It also reminded me of Bouchon Bakery’s famous Nutter Butter cookies, but I haven’t tried those yet.
  • These bakeries take the peanut butter cookie to another level.
  • It is likely you’ll discover a new love for it if you were only neutral to peanut butter before.
  • I missed the peanut shell fork design on the cookies for easthetics, but it doesn’t affect the flavour so it wasn’t a big deal.
  • I like peanut butter a lot, but it’s not my favourite thing ever and this totally caught me off guard. These are freaking amazing!
  • I took a bite and it took me a while before I realized I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t stop eating this.
  • It was quite rich and dense, but not too sweet and the texture was simply irresistible.
  • It had crispy edges and the cookie itself had more height and they were good even without the filling.
  • They were super soft and tender cookies with lots of soft peanut butter chips throughout.
  • It was super moist and melt in your mouth tender with a crumbly moist crumb and a caster sugar sprinkle for added crunch.
  • I barely had to bite these and they crumbled in my mouth they were so tender.
  • It was more oily than the chocolate chip cookie, but not a greasy cookie.
  • I would have loved some crunchy peanut pieces mixed with the peanut butter chips in the actual cookie, but I might be in the minority.
  • It was the perfect ratio of cookie and filling and the filling wasn’t cheap icing.
  • It was creamy smooth non greasy peanut butter filling (or peanut butter buttercream) that was not grainy or sugary.
  • It was likely butter, peanut butter, icing sugar and cream to smooth it out and make it less thick and rich.
  • The filling was mildly salted and there was a good balance of sweet and salty.
  • The peanut butter buttercream oozes a bit and is much lighter than the cookie.
  • It was a bit fluffy and quite airy light and not icing sugar grainy or hurt your teeth sweet at all.
  • It wasn’t stick to your throat peanut buttery, but it was still very peanutty.
  • These looked intense, but they were actually not as sweet or rich as the brownies.
  • This peanut butter sandwich cookie was so good and I thought I would only be able to eat half, but a whole one was quite easy.
Butter Baked Goods Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie - 4/6 (Very good)
  • $2.75
  • I had to do the comparison with the famous Butter Baked Goods Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie, so I bought one at Whole Foods Market.
  • Keep in mind I’m not sure how fresh they were since it was from one of their many retailers and not from their actual bakery.
  • The expiry date was Dec. 21 and I ate it on Dec. 17. I find they taste better at the actual Butter Baked Goods bakery which is not really a surprise.
  • I haven’t had this cookie in a couple years, but I used to think they were excellent.
  • It was still a very good peanut butter sandwich cookie, but next to Beaucoup Bakery’s it wasn’t leaving an impact.
  • The cookie was much heavier, denser, and larger in size.
  • It also carried a butter flavour more than a peanut butter flavour and the frosting was not as light or fluffy.
  • The two sandwich cookies had a similar sweetness, but the textures were very different.
  • It was still a soft chewy cookie, but Beaucoup Bakery’s was much more tender and melt in your mouth.
  • Butter Baked Good‘s had no peanut butter chips so it was less sweet, but Beaucoup Bakery’s just tasted fresher and more peanutty.
  • This back to back comparison certainly changed the way I feel about the Butter Baked Goods Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie which I used to think was a must try.
  • It’s not a bad cookie and I wouldn’t turn it down, but Beaucoup Bakery just took it to another level I never knew existed.

Salted Caramel Blondie – 4.5/6 (Very good-Excellent)

  • $4.50
  • Blondies are the white chocolate versions of a traditional chocolate brownie.
  • This tasted like an English Bay White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie 2.0 (and with walnuts instead of macadamia nuts and made into a bar).
  • This was the size of a good sized granola bar and honestly I couldn’t have more than a couple bites.
  • It was a hybrid of cookie, bar, candy bar, brownie and fudge, and it was very decadent and sweet.
  • It was super tender, very rich and very soft yet crumbly and crispy on the exterior.
  • The inside was molten and almost creamy like cookie batter or brownie batter.
  • It was certainly fudgy and super moist and the texture could be acquired since people could possibly think it was under baked.
  • It was so moist that I could hear the bubbles pop and it was super buttery and squishy soft and tender inside.
  • It was a bit chewy and very sugary and it had an intensity of brown butter, light brown sugar, and toffee like characteristics.
  • There were also white chocolate chunks throughout and again they were Valrhona and excellent quality.
  • The exterior had a good sprinkle of fleur de del and a nice caramel topping with crunchy walnut pieces on top.
  • It had crispy edges which I find are the best part of brownies so I loved that part.
  • I love desserts, but don’t like things too sweet and I found these almost hurt your teeth sweet.
  • They have that “get to your throat sweet” and I needed milk, water or tea with it.
  • I think the batter cold be less sweet since the white chocolate chunks just made it sweeter.
  • The sweetness overpowered the flavour of the walnuts so it became a bit pointless to have walnuts except that they added texture.
  • I also really wish these had vanilla beans in them and it would have added a nicer fragrance and highlighted all the flavours.
  • If you like brown butter tarts you would like the sweetness of these.
  • The garnish was a caramelized piece of white chocolate so it was crispy from all the sugars crusting on the outside.
  • It was an interesting technique since it didn’t melt, but it was sugar on sugar and it didn’t add flavour to the bar.
  • I prefer a whole walnut or just a Valrhona Caramelia milk chocolate garnish. Those are amazing!
  • There was also a gold dust which I thought was pretty and it was an elegant blondie.
  • Most people like sweet things so this I could see being a house favourite, but I just found it too sweet and couldn’t have more than a couple bites.
Valrhona Brownie – 5/6 (Excellent)
  • $4.50
  • It was another American childhood favourite.
  • Again it is super hard to impress with since a lot of people make brownies or know where to find an excellent one.
  • If you’re a real chocolate lover, like real dark chocolate lover, than this will satisfy you at your most decadent stage.
  • I loved how she uses Valrhona chocolate here and that’s just a sign of quality.
  • I’ll say it again, but Valrhona has more depth of flavour than Cocoa Barry, Callebaut, Guittard, and Michel Cluizel just to name a few. It is a premium chocolate.
  • With a chocolate brownie I think the most important ingredient to showcase is the chocolate and this committed to that theory.
  • It was super tender, ultra rich and creamy smooth with lots of chocolate depth and an intense bitterness, but it was not overwhelming.
  • It was very soft and buttery and it melted in my mouth that I barely had to bite it.
  • It was not a chewy brownie, but a molten one.
  • It was dense and fudgey and almost creamy like a flourless cake and intense with chocolate flavour.
  • I think there were more egg yolks to make it rich and moist, but not greasy like it would be if there was too much butter.
  • It was melted chocolate and possibly cocoa powder and a nice amount of espresso to bring out that chocolaty goodness.
  • There was an earthy chocolate flavour and the chocolate flavour extended with a long finish like beautiful big red wine.
  • It was sweet at first and then velvety smooth and then bitter and I could breath that chocolate flavour.
  • It coats your mouth with chocolate and it’s probably 65-68% chocolate, but the coffee makes it closer to 68%.
  • It was not acidic chocolate, but almondy in flavour and there were Valrhona chocolate chunks on top with good clean snaps giving the brownie a slight crunch.
  • It was not an ooey gooey brownie and it was a very sophisticated brownie that was catered towards adults.
  • I missed the crispy edges though and it was again a bit rich and sweet for me and I couldn’t have more than a couple bites.
  • The garnish were crystallized violets, but they tasted like candy and a bit like artificial berry in flavour.
  • They were pretty, but again I wish they added to the flavour of the brownie.
  • I am very much a texture person so I am biased because I like something with texture.
  • I would prefer cocoa nibs as garnish or crispy chocolate pearls (Valrhona has them) for texture and I hope she does a walnut or pecan version.
  • I need texture, but I would not hold this against the brownie as a nut free brownie.
  • Instead of pecan or walnut, I would be interested in a pistachio chocolate version just because it’s different.
  • It would be hard to get the pistachio and nuts to shine under this intense use of chocolate though.
  • As a nut free brownie she did a wonderful job showcasing what good quality chocolate should taste like.
**Marcona Almond Bar – 6/6 (FMF Must try!)
  • $4.50
  • Oh gosh! These were my favourite and I would highly recommend them if you love almonds.
  • Marcona almonds are delicately sweeter and almost more floral than regular almonds.
  • They are a bit softer in crunch and not as nutty, but they work beautifully in desserts.
  • It was certainly committed to the almond flavour and she was so generous with the almonds I was impressed just by looking at it.
  • I love almonds and nuts so I loved this. The more nuts the better.
  • It was a glorified granola bar, but still very much a dessert.
  • It was a very dense, rich and buttery, crunchy and crumbly gourmet “granola bar”.
  • It was chewiest out of all the desserts but not tiresome to chew.
  • My favourite part was the whole Macrona almonds and it was like a soft almond brittle.
  • There was a good balance of crunch and chew and since I’m a texture person I loved it.
  • It was an ooey gooey stringy buttery rich caramel cooked so that it had caramel flavour and not just the flavour of melted sugar.
  • I think it needed a bit more fleur de sel and it could be cooked a little bit longer to deepen the caramel flavour, but it was not necessary.
  • The caramel seemed to be made with just butter and no cream and it was not grainy or sugary caramel.
  • She melted the sugar crystals to the right temperature so the caramel was properly made, but just missing a bit more salt.
  • On the other hand it was also a sticky caramel that sticks to your teeth which I’m not keen on.
  • I also questioned if there was corn syrup which I’m also not keen on, but I discovered it was actually honey, but I couldn’t tell at all.
  • I wish there was vanilla bean in the caramel and that would be amazing.
  • The bottom layer was a shortbread crust which was very dense, very buttery and tender with a very fine and tender crumb.
  • It was a soft, floury, and powdery fine crumb shortbread and it was dryer, but had absorbed the moisture from the heavier layers it was carrying. Therefore it became dense, but still soft in texture.
  • There was lots of caramel and it stands out in flavour, but the almonds stood out just as much and they should.
  • This was not almond extract either, but the real deal. She took no short cuts.
  • This was not as oily and not as sweet as the brownies and it was quite well balanced but could use a hint more fleur de del.
  • There was a gold leaf garnish which was again pretty and it was beautiful to look at and eat.
  • Marie Antoinette would be impressed and I hope her almond croissants are as excellent as this.

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Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

13 Comments

  • tiffany says:

    you said her store is not open yet so what is this address – 2150 Fir Street? is that the farmers market? where can i buy these cookies?

  • mimihui says:

    I was very good………Good gifts for X’mas & New Year.

  • Mijune says:

    @tiffany – you have to go to her website and e-mail her to order right now. I just added the info at the top where I pictured her box. Her store will be at that location, but it hasn’t opened yet :) As I mentioned in the intro she’s at Farmer’s Markets right now, but the box has to be pre-ordered! Great gift! Just send her an e-mail and she’ll be happy to hear from you!

    @mimihui – yes!

  • LotusRapper says:

    Wow that PB sandwich cookie looks amazing. And I’m a huge PB fan (but these days I really refrain from buying a lot of baked goods, pastries, etc). But these I have to go check out. When does this store open ?

    On sidenote, if you’re in Fairhaven District of Bellingham, I suggest checking out the Peanut Butter Pie at The Colophon Cafe, another PB indulgence for the nutty folks like me:

    http://www.colophoncafe.com/menu_dessert.php

    Their other foods are ok, nothing spectacular (esp. with price hikes in recently years), but all of their homemade desserts and pies are worthy.

  • holly says:

    Everything looks and sounds yummy, but the steep prices stop me in my tracks.

    I’m sure it tastes as heavenly as you say, but I think I’ll have to save up for my trip to Beaucoup. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and baked items are one of my weaknesses.

    I’ll either have to have lots of patience or perhaps you’ll have a draw for the next box of complementary goodies? (A person can always hope.)

  • Linda says:

    yay this place is finally open and the one thing i’ll definitley order are the peanut butter cookies… the other items seem a bit steep pricewise but i’ll definitely try the marcona bar because i LUV almonds :)

  • LotusRapper says:

    Dropped by there last week. Parking was somewhat elusive, had to park a block away. I was actually just hoping for a plain croissant, but they were out of ‘em (I was in around 10:20). I didn’t feel like a pain au chocolat, so I settled for a chausson aux pommes (apple turnover) and a petit brioche as its companion.

    Place was packed with no seating for my lonesome tummy (small space, somewhat awkward layout in a narrow “L” shape), and the seating don’t look all that comfy. So I went right home to savour with my obligatory earl grey tea.

    The chausson was very flaky and very crispy, even the layers deep in. About as good as the ones I had at St. Honore in Portland, if maybe a bit “too crunchy”, because I like my puff pastries with a soft almost moist interior. But the apple ….. more like a teaspoon’s worth of purple-ish sauce that tasted tart, almost like a rhubarb sauce. No chunks of apple in sight. That was the disappointment.

    The petite brioche …. was a let-down. Rather dry inside & out. Any other person might have thought this was a day-old brioche. I could only eat 1/2 of it and felt the rest wasn’t worthwhile.

    Service …… fairly friendly but lacked the alacrity required for such a busy place.

    Overall, based on what I ate and on my brief moment in the store, and value for money, I give them a 5.75/10. I will try again later to see how things might evolve.

  • Desiree says:

    Your descriptions are literally food porn – I love your comments and comparisons! Great blog Mijune!

  • Mijune says:

    @Desiree – awww thank you!!!! Hope you come visit again!! So happy you enjoy the blog.

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