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New Treats at TC Bakery

November 2, 2012

It wasn’t that long that I wrote about the French macarons at TC Bakery on Colvin Street in Albany for All Over Albany. While it’s run by a team of friends who all share a common bond for their love of really great food, my schedule keeps on putting me in contact with Chef Paul.

He recently got back in touch with me to let me know that he and the team at the bakery had been working up some new recipes. And he wanted to invite me into the kitchen to taste their expanded line.

So late last week Albany Jane and I went back to this gem of a patisserie that’s hiding in plain sight inside the Chocolate Gecko. The good news is that they have some more signage. But there are still folks who don’t know they exist. I’m hoping you can help me spread the word. Because this isn’t the kind of thing we should be keeping a secret.

Especially after you hear this.

First, they have managed to source something that I’ve only previously found at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, and that is Badoit sparkling water  direct from France. It’s silly expensive, even in the lighter by freight plastic bottle. But if you are a fan or a Francophile you will be overjoyed to find it in Albany of all places.

But this tenacious sourcing of ingredients is a hallmark of TC Bakery.

The bakers are driven to make the best things they can with the tastiest ingredients they can find, regardless of price. Once a new recipe is perfected the item is priced so it can be profitable. And if it turns out it is too expensive and doesn’t move, instead of trying to figure out a way to make it cheaper by cutting corners, they simply ax it from the production line. I love this.

My two favorite products from their new line are the crème brûlée and the rustic fruit tart.

If there is something that I know, it’s my custards. That was my entry point to cooking, and I’ve made more than my fair share. Sadly I know exactly how bad they are for you. But that just means if you are going to enjoy one, you should make it count. This was delicious. So rich and silky, filled with vanilla flavor. With a gorgeous burnt sugar crust that’s formed to order. Each of these comes in its own ceramic bowl.

Here’s the bad news. Apparently their supply of these cups is running low, and there is a possibility of these custards falling off the menu. Call ahead to make sure they have one if you plan to make a special trip.

On the topic that good food doesn’t have to be fancy, meet the rustic fruit tart. It’s a crisp flat rectangle of pastry, covered with thinly sliced fruit, and topped with sugar. But when it’s baked, the fruit softens and caramelizes. The flour in the crust toasts. And you get something that is filled with complex and contrasting flavors and textures. Right now they are made with apple. Later they will be available with pear. These fruit tarts may be the ugly ducklings compared to the colorful and diminutive macarons that TC Bakery has built its name upon. But I may like these more rough hewn tarts the best.

It’s hard to say, especially as they are evolving the macarons too. Based on a customer request, TC Bakery filled a rose macaron with a chocolate ganache. And that’s seriously good. The bitter complexity marries remarkably well with the intensely floral elements of the rose.

Oh, and as the holidays roll around the bakers are going to be working on perfecting their vision of a Bûche de Noël.

Talking with Chef Paul made me really think that he and Eric Paul should really spend some good quality time together. Although maybe it’s too dangerous to have both of these tastemakers in the same place at the same time. I just think it’s terribly exciting to see places like this, The Cheese Traveler, and The Charles F. Lucas Confectionery and Wine Bar opening in the region.

If this isn’t a sign that things are getting better on the food front, I don’t know what is.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2012 9:39 am

    Hey Dan,

    We were happy to help Chef Paul bring in Badoit. I’m glad to hear it’s going over so well!

  2. November 2, 2012 10:36 am

    Definitely stopping in today to grab croissants. They are my kids’ favorites!

  3. -R. permalink
    November 2, 2012 10:51 am

    Colvin Ave., not street.

  4. November 2, 2012 1:34 pm

    Just lost 20#’s on a low carb diet…and this sounds like the perfect place to endulge in some high quality delicious CARBS!!!! Creme Brulee….rustic fruit tarts…inside the chocolate Gecko?!?!?! Forget about it!!! you had me at macaron !!!! anybody have a spare insulin shot? my blood sugar is rising just thinking about this ;)

    • November 2, 2012 5:32 pm

      Update:
      Noshing on a rustic apple tart as I type this…First rate all the way!!! Daughter got the first of the Macarons….but I have plenty stashed where she and her brother can’t reach!!! And the chocolate frogs have a spicy kick to their fine finish….AWESOME. These folks really do a great job with everything they make!! **round of applause** for them!

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