🥖🍞🥯 Bread, Bakes & Pastries

🥖🍞🥯 Bread, Bakes & Pastries

I love bread and baked pastries. The cute, the exquisite, the bold and experimental, anything goes!
Chubby Cheeks
Chubby Cheeks

A decent bake from Honolulu and would have been my go-to if not for the fact that the creamy chicken pie, polo egg tart and charsiew polo pau completely outshone this good ol’ traditional favourite.

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I can’t rave enough about the polo egg tart! I was apprehensive when my sister told me she’d bought 9 (yes, 9!) polo egg tarts from Honolulu because they were ‘darn good’. Well, I could only say that it’s true and not at all overrated. The polo dome was buttery and in some ways, flaky and yet solid at the same time - there isn’t too much of a mess when you bite into the egg tart. I like how the buttery polo dome was so aromatic and not too dense. Within the golden dome lies the creamy, custardy egg custard. My mother could stop raving about the egg custard, citing how ‘smooth’ it is. Compared to open-faced egg tarts, the extra creaminess of the egg custard is likely due to the polo dome that ‘sheltered’ the egg custard from the heat during the baking process. This is certainly not the cheapest egg tart around town but definitely worth every penny - just think of the amount of labour that goes into perfecting the dome and baking! This makes the perfect breakfast with a cup of hot milk tea

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Yet another one of the best sellers, this is also a must-try. Best served heated! I popped this into the air fryer for a quick heat-up and the short wait was rewarded with a crusty, golden polo shell. I can’t quite decide to call this a meal, or a post meal dessert. The crusty polo shell was extremely flaky (well, after some heat treatment from the oven) and drops all over with each bite. So eat with caution! I like how the polo bun was not at all dense and in fact, light and fluffy - you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve been disappointed biting into thiccc doughy bread - ‘polo charsiew bread’ from no-fuss, neighbourhood bakeries. I can only say, you pay for what you get! The charsiew here is pretty legit too! Pretty chunky charsiew bits in red hues - some may say that it’s all colouring but oh well - I’m not too fuss about it.

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At $5.50/pc, the portion size did match up to the price tag. Taste wise- there’s nothing much to shout about with respect to the chou pastry. Other than a crisp shell that did an amazing job staying crisp despite the luscious custard that it holds, it tastes rather mainstream and did not bring any aroma that I had expected. For comparison purposes, I think Beard papa’s puff pastry were a lot more aromatic. On the custard filling, they were luscious, smooth and creamy but nothing out of the ordinary as well. Baristart’s pastry wow-ed me more with the oozy consistency and aromatic custard. Pantler’s rendition was more jelly like. The only unique selling point would be the caramelised bits mixed into the custard. Having said that, you’d find this a plus point only if you’re a fan of caramel. Personally, I just felt it’s rather underwhelming that the highlight of the chou pastry is the caramelised crunch, rather than the pastry shell and custardy interior.

Soft spongy layers rolled with fresh cream and strawberry, topped with pistachio crunchy bits. The strawberry bits added tanginess to the overall flavour profile. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any significant pistachio flavour. At $5.80/pc, this is definitely steep for a Swiss roll. Fresh cream wise - it was light, fluffy and good, not too sweet I’d say. Good for a try if you’re a fan of fruity berry flavour and fresh cream.

Earl Grey Swiss roll with yuzu coulis and fresh cream in the centre, this was nothing exceptional to shout about, unfortunately. The earl grey flavour wasn’t prominent, unfortunately. So was the crumbly toppings adorned above - the flavour didn’t come out strong andI couldn’t quite make out what that was. The yuzu coulis did provide some citrusy profile and overall I’d think it was just… a citrusy Swiss roll. Fresh cream wise - it was light, fluffy and good, not too sweet I’d say. Good for a try if you’re a fan of citrusy flavour and fresh cream.

It’s all the craze about croons and I’ve managed to get hold of two! Made it 30mins after 1pm, when the 2nd batch was freshly launched and a queue had already formed. I stood in line under the sun nevertheless, determined to get a croon and some highly-raved abt Swiss rolls. Here’s featuring the Loaded Pistachio croon ($5.80/pc)- a circular croissant piped with pistachio creme and topped with some pistachio bits. Aesthetics wise, this certainly made the mark. I hurriedly plated the croon in the next hour to get some ig shots, then proceeded to savour my pricy pastry. There was a small letdown when the croissant delivered a chewy-doughy mouthfeel instead of a crispy, clean bite that I had expected. There was a lil’ tug-of-war between my teeth and the pastry. I guess it’s best served warm! Pop it into the oven for a quick toast and I guess you can be spared the disappointment.
Tho I feel a hallmark of a good croissant is one that doesn’t turn doughy/ chewy despite being left out at ambient temperature. Eg the likes of those at Tiong Bahru bakery!
Taste wise, the pistachio creme was dense, with subtle nuttiness and wasn’t overly sweet. Portion was pretty generous but could be better if it was piped more evenly throughout the croon (most of it were in the centre).Overall, I’d think this is on par with the pistachio croissant from Alice Boulangerie, at about the same price point and pretty much similar quality?

Fluffy, buttery cinnamon brioche slice that makes a good tea time snack! It’s light in taste, with beautiful cinnamon swirls that isn’t too overpowering. Somehow, the sweet, buttery mix and mild cinnamon fragrance reminds me of speculoos, rather than cinnamon. Relative to the chocolate babka, the cinnamon brioche was less of a ‘wow’ factor but definitely a healthier choice without the custard cream and extra chocolate bits!

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Mad(ly) impressed with the Choco Babka by Mad Roasters. The chocolate brioche was delightful with a good balance of buttery and chocolatey aroma. I liked how the chocolate swirls were so beautifully twirled! Each babka slice is lightly toasted upon order (even if it’s takeaway!), slathered with a thin layer of custard cream and topped with loads of chocolatey bits. The custard cream reminded me of condensed milk, but a less sweet version of it. As decadent as this sounds, it was surprisingly ‘light’ and not at all cloying - perhaps due to the soft, fluffy brioche

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Baker’s brew has ventured into the blackout brownie trend! Featured here are the speculoos blackout brownie (top pic) and the peanut butter brownie (bottom pic). I was quite apprehensive about the peanut butter BB - generally, PB is heavy in flavour and masks out pretty much the ‘base’. Thankfully, it wasn’t what I expected to be (the insides weren’t filled with PB). The only PB on the brownie that you’ll taste is what you see not the brownie itself. Hence, PB-brownie ratio wise, it’s perhaps 1:9. The dense, BB was rich and some might find it too cloying. Flavour profile is intense and heavy, especially with the PB. Only for peanut butter lovers!

The speculoos BB on the other hand, was filled with speculoos on the inside. Speculoos-bronie ratio is easily 4:6. The sweetness and crunchiness of the speculoos provided an added layer of texture and mouthful to the otherwise dense, chewy brownie. Anything speculoos is great isn’t it? The BB was dense and cocoa-rich. There wasn’t any intense, strong bitter taste that I feared (phew) but there wasnt any particularly ‘wow’ factor to the texture nor flavour. In fact, it could be a tad too cloying and dense for some. They’re pretty expensive for a brownie! $24.80 for a box of 4 and certainly more ex if you’re getting it by the piece!)

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Nothing like a good ol’ amazing cream puff with milky goodness. My cousin was worried it might be the thick, cloying whipped cream similar to that of Chateraise’ and of course, she was pleasantly surprised to find the creamy liquid-y version here instead. We loved how the puff pastry is crispy and mildly sweet, complementing the creamy milky custard perfectly. Also, can I just add that the cut through the mega puff was oozylicious and definitely ig-able ?!

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$9.80++ (dine-in), $9.80+ (takeaway)
My favourite dessert and probably the one that I would splurge on again if I were to revisit. The pastry layers reminded me of choux au craquelin - crispy and light. The hazelnut cream tasted similar to what you’d taste in a kinder bueno -but a tad more delightfully nutty and a tad less sweet. The hazelnut aroma lingers in the mouth - it’s a definitely a pleasant treat. While the pastry looks huge in pictures, do manage your expectations - it is really small for a pastry that came with a price tag of $9.80+/+. Tho small, it can be too much for one post-meal. Best to be shared!

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My chubby cheeks speak of my love in uncovering new bites & savouring ‘em all!

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