Sweet Dreams: La Gourmandine Bakery’s Chouquettes
If we were all given the grace to plan our last bite on Earth, this might be it.
A detour after taking my daughter to school one morning during a rainstorm resulted in my being stopped at a light on Butler Street in Lawrenceville — right alongside the exquisite French pâtisserie/boulangerie, La Gourmandine Bakery. A quick dash inside revealed heaven in the form of beautiful baguettes, croissants, and chouquettes. The latter, priced at 35¢ each or $6 for a bag of 24, wooed me. A tiny puff pastry made of choux dough, (which translates to “cabbage” dough because of its resemblance post-baking), and sprinkled with pearl sugar, the bite-size treat is light, airy, and sweetly memorable. Stopping at the bakery has become a favorite morning ritual. The bag I brought into the office quickly disappeared, and we could barely contain ourselves to save these last three for this photo.
The pastry chef extraordinaire is Fabien Moreau, who studied at the highly esteemed Parisian professional pastry school, Le Nôtre on des Champs-Élysées. His wife, Lisanne, runs the front of the shop, speaking with the light lilt of a French accent. She laughs when I come in to pick up the pastries on the morning of our photo shoot. “How do you do it all?” she asks.
“How do you?” I respond. Again, she laughs as she hands over the white paper bag. “We did everything here this morning.” C’est si bon!