Someone replied to my last email and said I'd have trouble choosing five things if I was spending any of the week in San Francisco. They were right! I've eaten so much excellent patisserie here that it dominates the list. Along with a fabulous dessert on Tuesday in London.
- Fried custard (Leche Frita) with lemon curd and creme fraiche ice cream at Barrafina. When I saw this description on the set menu of the first #TasteTuesday dinner by Taste of London I was really disappointed. It turned out to be one of the most delicious desserts I've had in a long time. The ice cream was incredible, along with the curd it provided the perfect balance to the delicate set custard.
- The first proper stop in San Francisco was Tartine Bakery. I bought a gougère, an almond frangipane croissant and a brownie. They were ALL excellent but the highlight might have been the still-warm gougère - a cheesy choux puff ball with a hint of black pepper.
- Later the same day we stopped at b.patisserie. The also still-warm (in the afternoon!) Chocolate Banana Almond Croissant was heavenly. It was hard to choose between this and the raspberry almond one, studded with juicy cooked raspberries. Probably need to go back...
- Saturday brought more patisserie. From Dandelion chocolate shop I (eventually) chose the Dandelime Tart. With a macadamia sable crust, a layer of single-origin ganache and a torched meringue decoration it was perfect.
- The final highlight has to be the white sesame praline vanilla passionfruit patisserie from next door at Craftsman & Wolves. Such a sensational combination of textures and flavours - crunchy praline base and soft and zingy cake with a mousse layer to cover it.
It's not quite Sunday evening here yet, though my internet access means I missed my usual slot. On my way out shortly to get an apparently famous Mission burrito! We'll be heading to Carmel-by-the-Sea later in the week for an overnight stop. Please send any recommendations for down that way!