Christmas may be fast approaching but there’s always time (and room) for sweets and desserts, right?
Here’s a look at some possible delectable items either as gifts (if you still haven't completed your gift shopping and are leaving it to the last minute) or for your own seasonal indulgence before, during, or after Christmas (for some people the "or" might be replaced with "and").
(But at this late hour in the season, keep in mind that availability may be limited or some items may have sold out.)
Beaucoup Bakery (2150 Fir Street) launched the Maison Collection, using premium French Valrhona chocolate (six for $15 or 12 for $30), featuring cinnamon scroll, almond croissant, raspberry brioche, cardamom kouign-amann, rosemary chocolate cookie, and chausson aux pommes. In addition, Holiday Cookie Tins (8 pieces for $17.95, 16 pieces for $35) include tonka pecan wreaths, black sesame cigarette russes, and kinako macadamia toffee snowballs.
If your looking for yulelogs, Ganache Pâtisserie’s Bûches de Noël menu this year offers three selections:
- Bûche au Chocolat is a chocolate roulade sponge rolled with a dark chocolate ganache and dark chocolate mousseline filling with cocoa nibs, and finished with chocolate buttercream and a chocolate glaze;
- for coffee-lovers, Bûche au Marron Café rolls a coffee chiffon cake with a Zephyr Caramel coffee ganache, a chestnut mousseline filling, chestnut pieces and vanilla buttercream finish. These two established versions have been updated with chocolate end caps and fans;
- a new addition this year is the Asian-influenced Bûche à l’Hojicha Noisette Coco, featuring a hazelnut chiffon cake rolled in a coconut praline crunch, a hojicha (roasted Japanese green tea) mousseline filling, and hibiscus cranberries. The cake, covered in a hojicha buttercream and dripping coconut glaze, and replete with holiday chocolate décor.
All three cakes are available in three sizes: six-inches (for six to eight people) for $42.95; eight-inches (for eight to 10 people) for $48.95; and 12-inches (for 10 to 12 people) for $64.95.
Kafka’s Coffee doesn’t just have coffee. This shops is also selling Kafka’s Cookie Boxes in two sizes (six cookies for $18 and 12 for $36), featuring snowflake sugar cookies, linzer cookies, ginger chews, chocolate Baileys snowballs, Kafka’s famous chocolate chip, and cranberry oatmeal. (www.kafkascoffee.ca)
More yulelogs are available from Ladurée, which has an array of French-style Bûche de Noël (mini size from $11, from $68 for six people). Flavours include:
- Marie-Antoinette, Ladurée’s signature yule log with a macaron base, rose-infused buttercream, and raspberry and lychee jam;
- La Marquise, with Hazelnut dacquoise biscuit and crunchy hazelnut pieces, Sachertorte sponge, crisp hazelnut wafer, and milk chocolate and hazelnut cream;
- Mademoiselle, with a crunchy almond base, compote with red fruits, almond crémeux, and vanilla and mascarpone mousse;
- La Favourite, with a pistachio macaron base, buttercream infused with roasted Iranian pistachios, and delicately flaked praline.
Also something to note is that Ladurée is selling limited-edition Christmas boxes (from $35 for eight macarons up to $90 for 24 macarons); classic macaron boxes (from $27); and its collection of custom-made luxury hampers (gift boxes from $174), available in various themes and colours, filled with items like macarons, chocolate, nougats, tea, and jam.
Of course, a perennial locally grown holiday source for deliciousness is Purdys. Gift boxes run the range from the six-piece Mandarin (dark chocolate ganache with Sicilian mandarin orange purée, $12), the 10-piece No Sugar Added Hedgehogs ($15) or the 18-piece Milk and Dark Chocolate Creams ($23) to the 98-piece Holiday Classics Gift Box ($100). The sale of every 40-piece Dear Santa Chocolate Gift Boxes ($50), featuring a selection of their bestselling flavours, will contribute $12.50 to your chosen hospital foundation. There are plenty of stocking stuffers and non-food items, including kids socks, aprons, travel mugs, and more.
Another Canadian option is Rocky Mtn Chocolate, which has an extensive array of festive chocolates for the holiday season, some of which can be ordered online and others that are in-store purchases only. There’s "Flake" The Snowman ($45), a handcrafted milk chocolate snowman filled with traditional light caramel popcorn, freshly roasted cashews, pecans, almonds and peanuts. Chocolate Christmas Trees are available in two versions: Golden Night ($40), made of dark chocolate with chocolate stars wrapped in glittering metallic foil; or Holly ($40), a milk chocolate tree with decorative chocolate ornaments, surrounded by foil-wrapped chocolate presents. For bursts of sweetness, consider Holiday Chocolate Bombs ($5 each, $25 for a five-piece box, or $40 for a 10-piece box) with flavours like eggnog, gingerbread, peppermint, and more. There’s far too many items to list so check out their stores or website.
West Vancouver’s Temper Chocolate and Pastry offers two traditional European-inspired cakes for the holiday season: a sugar-dusted Christmas Stollen ($25 for small, $35 for large), which is a German fruitcake made with orange, marzipan, and almonds; and Bûche de Noël ($45), available in three flavours: salted caramel, chestnut, or pear and hazelnut. That’s in addition to its range of gourmet chocolates, truffles, cakes, cookies, and other delectable items.