I don’t know why I don’t order croissants more often. No, actually, I do know why: I love cakes and tend to favour them over croissants and any other goods. But I really should eat more croissants (and donuts, and pies, and other sweet goods) in order to branch out. In Vancouver, there are several popular places for croissants. My favourites so far have been Beaucoup, Small Victory and the infamous Thomas Haas.
Outside of Vancouver, Chez Christophe is another bakery that has gotten quite a bit of buzz for their pastries. I’ve finally had a chance to visit them this weekend, after a >1 hour commute by bus, mostly due to the goddman No 20 bus, which took >30 minutes to come (and of course when it did finally show up, there were 3 of them in a row). For my visit, I got a Double Baked Almond and Chocolate Croissant and a Chocolate Tart.
Double Baked Almond and Chocolate Croissant ($4.65):
This is definitely one of the best croissants that I’ve had. It was crispy, flaky and buttery, and melted in my mouth. It was filled with a generous amount of almond paste, which lent a nice fragrance, as well as two small bars of good quality dark chocolate, which provided a great bittersweet flavour. My greatest regret is not getting two or more.
Chocolate Tart ($5.90):
First off all, this looks nothing like a traditional tart. Instead of having a shell crust filled with chocolate, this consisted of a milk chocolate mousse that has been shaped into a rectangle, and surrounded by four chocolate biscuits. The chocolate biscuits were unfortunately not very good at all: they were soft and soggy and flavourless. I guess they are supposed to be eaten with the mousse, but that is impossible given how the tart was designed. Fortunately, the chocolate mousse itself was quite good – silky, smooth and rich – and I did still enjoy this dessert. It was a bit of a letdown though, considering how great their croissant was.
The visit to Chez Christophe just reminded me how fantastic a well-made croissant can be. I only wish that this bakery was located closer to my house; I’d certainly visit them much more often if that was the case.