I cooked a turkey-day feast for upwards of 20 uber-hungry foodies, and as such, decided that justified a cheat-fest on the desert. I chose Boule as my bakery - and prayed to the sugar gods that my guests would not be let down.
I have dined at Sona and had incredibly fond memories of the desert courses, so I waltzed into the store front without fear. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and they still had quite a bit of delicious options on display. I picked up 2 whole tarts, a smattering of their famous macaroons in 8 various flavors, several Tiger's Eye mini-cakes (info below) and a few carrot cake samplings as well. Here's the skinny --
Pumpkin mousse tart with roasted marshmellow garnish -Texture wise, this puppy was aces, and the marshmellow squares (browned to perfection) were an unexpectedly divine addition. But this just didn't taste pumpkin-y enough for my squashy tastes. Overall, it rocked and rolled, but it won't be a repeat performer.
Cranberry and pear tart on an almondine crust - A home run (just shy of a grand slam). Very subtle flavors, no over-powering sweetness, and the tart cranberries just sent the sensation over the top. With a dollup of genuine fresh-as-can-be whipped cream, this was fantastic.
Macaroons - we had pumpkin, toasted coconut, venetian chocolate, pistachio, passion fruit, and several other varieties - maybe I expected too much, but these were just so-so. Again, great texture, but way too sweet in the middle, and they just fill apart after the very first minute nibble. No cheers from moi.
Tiger's Eye mini-cakes - These single-serving gems consisted of a hazelnut and chocolate cake with a rich dab of chocolatey goodness in the center. A-MAZ-ING. The look, feel, and taste of these guys elicited endless ooouuuss and ahhhhs.
Carrot mini-cakes - The same size/structure as the Tiger's Eye, and equally heavenly - a deep, multi-layered spicey + carroty taste that I can still fondly recall, with a perfect cream cheese center. Another big thumbs up.
So, on the whole, Boule did not disappoint. Everyone was super-pleased, myself included. This hasn't suddenly become my must-have bakery though - I'm still open to exploring the Susinas and Sweet Lady Janes of the world more closely. Thank heavens, however, that the post gobble-gobble won raves.
Ciao, 'Hounds -