Happy weekend! Time for another sweet recommendation in San Francisco. The current golden age for bakeries in the town shows no signs of ending, to my sweet tooth’s delight. My latest discovery is this very small, but very sweet little shop dedicated to one of my favorite French pastries, the cream puff.
Photo courtesy of Choux Bakery
Choux Bakery brings a delightful little slice to France to the Lower Haight. When you step inside, everything is pretty, delectable-looking, and perfectly arranged, just like the patisseries in Paris. As the name implies, Choux specializes in choux puffs, or cream puffs as they are better known here. However, these are far from the craggy, rustically-imperfect puffs you find elsewhere.
Choux Bakery’s puffs are specimens of symmetry and precision. Each one perfectly formed and identical to its neighbor. Owner and head pastry chef Laura spent considerable time perfecting her technique. If you look carefully at the puffs, you’ll see they have a crackly top: Laura puts a crunchy cookie layer called craquelin on top which serves the dual purpose of helping them bake into a uniform shape and adding a crisp, tasty topping to the puff.
The flavors range from classic to fanciful: rum caramel, chocolate hazelnut, lemon curd. There are seasonal flavors as well – I was particularly taken with the s’mores puff. Another cute, personal touch is that all the flavors are named after her friends who have helped and supported her in creating this bakery. How sweet to have a choux puff named after you!
photo courtesy of Choux Bakery
Choux Bakery is the culmination of Laura’s long-standing dream to open a bakery in San Francisco. A native of France, she grew up loving pastries and was inspired to study it professionally at Ecole Lenotre and Atelier Alain Ducasse in Paris. When she decided she wanted to start her own shop, she focused on her favorite pastry, le choux à la crème – or the cream puff. Her instincts are right on – these beautifully crafted little bites are pretty enough and tasty enough to be the next macaron.
I love all the French stylings of the shop, including these little bag of meringue kisses in a perfectly rustic-vintage display.
All the packaging and logo design was done by Laura, who has a degree in architecture and design. It’s all light and feminine and very, very chic.
A shot of the interior of the cleverly designed six-puff box that holds them securely in place. I love the hidden messages underneath each puff. It’s these little touches that make Choux Bakery such a pleasure to experience.
Choux Bakery received an enthusiastic thumbs up from my little taste tester, who probably enjoyed the child-friendly size of the puffs. Now that cupcakes and macarons have had their day in the spotlight, I love that Choux Bakery is giving the classic cream puff its turn.
248 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
[…] for making the cookie-like topping and covering the dough with it is very, very similar to the craquelin technique used by French patissiers. Interesting coincidence? The topping serves the same purpose […]