It seemed wrong to write up a single baked good as a blog post – that would be the ultimate “puff piece”! So, I went out, dear readers, and had more baked goods just for you 🙂
When I texted an offer to pick up a “bonchaz” for my friend on the way to a meeting, I laughed out loud when he replied “a what?!” 🙂
Clearly he hadn’t heard the hype in the city about this new baked, puffy sweet bun which is named Bonchaz. I had taken advantage of one of the coupons they readily hand out during my visit, but did buy an iced coffee; the regular price for a Bonchaz is pretty inexpensive at $1.25 a piece (or up to $1.75 for the filled ones). Coffee prices are very reasonable too.
The Bonchaz was very crisp on the outside with a sweetness that came both from the powdered sugar sprinkled on it, but also the dough itself. It was very light and airy, with a giant air gap inside the pastry itself. I did really like that the bottom was crisp in complement with the crisp top (had it been soft or chewy, I think it would have been pretty gross). The results of all this crispiness was flakes and crumbs all over the place!
A similar treat can be found at a variety of the Beard Papa outlets across the city.
I had never had one of their cream puffs before, so I picked a pretty standard Chocolate Beard Papa.
The “chef” at Beard Papa was very friendly and made me feel less guilty about my 10 AM treat by saying that in France, a chocolate eclair was a very standard breakfast item 🙂
The cream puff pastry was very airy, slightly warm, and a bit sweet. The powdered sugar on top of the pastry was actually chocolate flavoured. Inside the pastry was a substantial amount of cold chocolate cream. It wasn’t overly sweet, but it did have quite a pronounced chocolate flavour. I was surprised by how well this went together – it wasn’t overly wet, and somehow the cream helped keep the crumbly pastry together better. It was still a little hard to eat, but pretty amazing tasting.
Of the two, I’d say that Beard Papa was the one I preferred. I missed out on trying the Banana flavoured one, but they are currently featuring a Dulce de Leche one right now that sounds pretty great. 🙂