A short trip to Edmonton would not be complete without going to the Duchess Bake Shop. To tell you the truth, I did not hear about this place until last minute. Little did I know until I came back to Calgary (shortly after) that it was named on Buzzfeed’s international bakery list! See link
When I got there at 10:15am, I noticed a HUGE queue (and it only opened at 10am!). Then I thought “ahhhhh…okay, this is the ONLY bakery in Edmonton; that’s why!!”. I later met a woman from Montreal and we were both discussing that there should be more bakeries in Edmonton!
My initial plan of sitting down disappeared when I saw that no seating was available. There were about 7-8 tables with lovely sofas and chairs.
Now let’s get to the food!
- Savoury Brioche: Fresh, soft, buttery brioche (perfect) topped up with sweet potato and feta cheese
- Gateau Gabriele: Cake layers consisting of passionfruit, coconut and raspberry. This was so light and refreshing!
- Key Lime Tart: Graham cracker crust filled with freshly squeezed lemon juice/sweetened condensed milk filling. This was probably the best thing I’ve had! Such a smooth, refreshing filling and the crust was moist (not dry)
- Pain au Chocolat: There’s a choice of milk or dark chocolate ones. I chose the dark one of course. I’ve never had a croissant that was so buttery, flaky, soft and light as this! Definitely, this was the best pain au chocolat that I’ve ever had!
- Meringue: I had the dark chocolate meringue! Living in Canada, from my experience, I found meringues to be very hard and thick. This, on the other hand, was light, soft inside (i.e. “biteable!” and had some dark chocolate chips. It was not overly sweet as most meringues are.
- Macarons: I tried the vanilla bean macaron – infused with real vanilla bean. Perfect and no complaints.
OKAY TO HAVE’s:
- Brioche Pepin: Brioche with vanilla pastry cream and milk chocolate
- The Duke Cake: Intensely moist chocolate cake with salted caramel layers and buttercream topped up with Valrhona chocolate ganache. Usually I opt for chocolate cakes. This was rich indeed, but I personally am not a fan of salted caramel so that’s why I considered this an “Okay” item. If you like chocolate however, this is a must try.
- Milk Orange Scones: This was more like rock cake (i.e. in between a biscuit and a cake) rather than the British style of soft scones.
- Hot chocolate: We tried the hot chocolate (made from Valrhona chocolate), but it had some kind of weird taste to it that I couldn’t figure out – so for me, it was a “no-no”.
- Latte: reasonable, but not one of the best.
This was the best “all-round” bakery I’ve ever been to. What I meant by “all-round” is that it is not a typical French bakery. It has American style cookies, British kind of meringues, tarts and of course French pastries. For sure there is something for everyone. If you ever visit Edmonton, you must visit this bake shop.
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