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Pastry Here, Pastry There

September 13, 2013

Today I’m running a little late. But I’ve been late with everything all day. The worst thing was being late for lunch and now I have to wait until my next Paris trip to eat at A La Biche Au Bois.

But I had no room for lunch anyway since today was all about butterfat and only tangentially about food. Tonight I’m visiting some friends for dinner and will continue my butterfat binge with a special stop at a special cheese store beforehand.

If my mom is reading, she shouldn’t worry. I’m walking it all off. So far today I’ve taken over 20,000 steps. Thank you pedometer. I promise to fill you in on the most important details once I get back to the US. Maybe I can do some writing on the plane.

As for now, I’ve got pastry on the mind. So the timing of the below news is serendipitous.

Pine Flavored Macarons, S’mores & “Pop-Tarts” All Made In-House

TROY, N.Y. (09/11/13) — The Lucas Confectionery has hired a full-time pastry chef to offer a slate of adventurous plated desserts and confections.

Rachel “Starla” Bradshaw, 35, started her new position in August after serving two years as pastry chef for Daniel Darves-Bornoz’s restaurants Milano, Provence and Milano North (located in Loudonville, Guilderland and Lake Placid, N.Y.).

“I’m used to making desserts by the thousands,” Bradshaw said. “Now, at Lucas Confectionery, I’m able to focus my efforts on small batches of intensely flavored treats.”

Bradshaw specializes in unusual flavor profile combinations to provide patrons with a true confectionery adventure. Last week she created a “Four Elements” flight of French macarons featuring the following unusual flavors: Pine (ground pine needles and sugar), representing “Earth;” Bee Pollen, representing “Air;” Charcoal & Smoked Vanilla Bean, representing “Fire;” and Spirulina — a form of blue-green algae — for “Water.”

The other three items on her plated dessert menu include: handmade Strawberry toaster pastries (a.k.a. “Pop-Tarts”); a blackberry bottomed key lime & Mascarpone cheese cake; and a chocolate, tequila & cayenne Diablo bombe (cake).

Coming soon will be “S’mores” with house-made graham crackers and marsh mallows.

Bradshaw never buys from suppliers what she can make herself. She makes all her corn syrup, graham crackers, sprinkles, vanilla extract and marsh mallows in-house. She also uses a fraction of the amount of sugar that typically goes into factory-baked goods.

“I tend not to make super sweet stuff because I want people to taste what’s actually in what I make, not just a mouth full of sugar,” she said.

Though the offerings will change regularly, the plated dessert menu will feature only four items at a time. In the near future, patrons can expect exotic gelato and sorbet flavors, like White Chocolate/ Blood Orange, and Beet.

In addition to plated desserts, Bradshaw will bake scones, biscotti, cookies and oatmeal pies. Previously those items at Lucas Confectionery were supplied by local bakers, including: X’s to O’s Vegan Bakery and Placid Baker, both in Troy, and Bake For You and Crisan Bakery, both of Albany.

The Confectionery will continue to carry truffles from Sweet Sue’s of Troy.

Confectionery Co-owners Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine said they are very grateful to all of their previous suppliers of local baked goods and confections, but they are also thrilled to be producing those items on-site.

“Charles F. Lucas started a confectionery in this building 150 years ago, in 1863,” said Christopher. “Now that we’re producing confections here, we’ve come full circle. Now we’re really a confectionery.”

Born in California, Rachel “Starla” Bradshaw, 35, moved to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska at age 12. In 1996, she earned a Culinary Arts Certificate from the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward, Alaska. Before heading to the East Coast to bake, Bradshaw worked as a line cook and sous chef throughout Alaska and Hawaii. She also spent seven years homesteading in Alaska without running water. (She had to fill up and carry jugs of water for cooking, coffee and drinking.)

Troy is the first city she’s lived in. And though she had one serious encounter with a grizzly bear in Alaska, she was more afraid of living in a city when she first moved to Troy three years ago. Now she says she’s fallen in love with the downtown Troy buildings and passionate people who live here. She first moved to the Capital Region in 2011 to work as a pastry chef at Yono’s /DP Brasserie in downtown Albany.

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Well, this is truly exciting news. She makes her owns sprinkles? Brava! And the pine, bee pollen and smoked vanilla bean macarons? Holy cow!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cheyenne permalink
    September 13, 2013 5:36 pm

    Nice ad for the Confectionery.

  2. llcwine permalink
    September 13, 2013 5:38 pm

    tough news…..indeed, wishing you an easy fast, and a sweet new year…

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