Tuesday, October 20, 2009

France meets Sonoma.

After our lunch at Healdsburg Bar & Grill, Miriam, Nick, Louisa and I headed down Healdsburg Avenue to Costeaux, a bakery we'd read about in my guide book. I was expecting a tiny little hole-in-the-wall, but Costeaux turned out to be a big, airy, loft-like space with concrete walls, unfinished beams with a long glass display case running along one side.

Our goal had been to collect breakfast pastries for the next morning, but the croissants and brioches had sold out long before we arrived. We were disappointed, but realized this meant we had to take one for the team and sample some desserts to make sure a morning-time return trip wasn't a waste.

We each ordered a little something (including glasses of milk for Miriam and Louisa) and grabbed a table. We had a fairly good haul with us, including a chocolate-dipped macaroon (Miriam), an éclair (Nick), a brown butter blackberry tart (Louisa) and a cream puff (me!).

The cream puff and eclair were both made with the same pâte à choux (a dough that can also be used for savory purposes, such as gougères), but had very different fillings. The cream puff was filled with a combination of pastry cream and whipped cream, heavy on the whipped cream - meaning the filling was very, very light and fluffy.

The éclair, on the other hand, was filled with boozy pastry cream and topped with an obscene schmear of dark chocolate ganache. Big enough to take up most of a dessert-sized plate, the eclair won the day in terms of pure decadence.

Louisa's tart was delicious, too. The crust was flaky and buttery, and the filling was nutty (courtesy of the browned butter) but also fruity and light - almost like a fruit-filled nougat. Really, really good, and pretty to boot.

You're wondering about Miriam's macaroon, aren't you? Well, I can't help you there - she gobbled it up before I had a chance to capture it. She says it was awesome - maybe you just have to go see for yourself!

417 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA


Dolce said...

The setting looks gorgeous and so does the tart. I am a bit sceptic with the choux (it should be filled with pastry cream only and topped with fondant) and same for the eclair, that should have been topped with lustrous fondant only...
But if it was good, that's the most important thing!

Meg Blocker said...

@Dolce: I love how firm you are about proper pastry - and, I have to say, I agree about the eclair. I thought the ganache overwhelmed the pastry a bit. Though, I'll say this: the boozy cream more than stood up to it.

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