One of the pastries in Boston that had been mentioned as being particularly worthy was the Hazlenut Dacquoise at Flour.
I just ate one this afternoon. It was sweet and tasty. And probably in the top 20 in Boston desserts, outside of a restaurant, but I won't be in any hurry to mistake it for world class patisserie.
For starters there was almost no dacquoise in that dacquoise. The dacquoise layer was an eigth or so of the height of the 1.50" high cake. The rest was sort of classic Boston: 1/2" of thick, way to dense coffee hazlenut butter cream, and about the same amount of way to dense and thick dark chocolate mousse, then dark chocolate glaze/frosting.
Delicious I won't deny, but about half way through my feeling was that I was sucking down an entire stick of butter. None of the light ethereal blending of textures and flavors that constitute really fine patisserie. I honestly could not eat the whole thing, the last third ended it's life in the trash on Washington Street.
It was just too much. Two hours later I still feel like I swallowed a whale, kind of a gurgly, high butterfat whale. I don't really need to eat that again. Okay, I might share one with two other people some other time, only if washed down with a double epresso. But if I never eat it again that's just fine.
Oh, and the staffing, did I mention the staffing. Line out the door. Not moving at all.
20 people working behind the counter (seriously) mostly staring at each other, looking lost, and making idle chitchat. I was stunned. With 6 competent people and one good manager you could do three times the volume.
The person who served me appeared to be some kind of manager and between chatting with another customer, then the staff, then fiddling with the espresso machine, took 10+ minutes to slice and box one piece of cake.
After that there was ANOTHER line to pay that was 6 people deep and not particularly moving. I finally gave up, threw my $5 on the counter, and told them to keep the change.
I had crossed Flour off my list a long way back. Trying the dacquoise was the only temptation to return. I guess I should stick to my guns.
Flour Bakery + Cafe
1595 Washington St, Boston, MA