Last night, B. Patisserie partners Belinda Leong and Michel Suas marked their cafe's first birthday by surprising a small group of invited guests (including die-hard cafe regulars and culinary personalities like Cecilia Chiang and Joanne Weir) to a preview of seasonal pastries and confections that will be available throughout the coming year. Leong explained that she was inspired by the idea of fashion collections and that she challenged herself and her staff to ambitiously create the bulk of a year's worth of ideas all at once. Other possible changes for the coming year: Leong and Suas hope to add tea service and extended evening hours (right now, closing time is at 6 PM). From summer cocktail macarons to winter Mississippi mud pie, peruse a sampling of the seasonal treats that will be served at the cafe in 2014.
Hurry over for a shot at this beautiful Valentine's Day Isaphan, a giant - like, size-of-your-head giant - almond macaron layered with rose buttercream, lychee, raspberry gelée and raspberries.
Leong says that eclairs are the most difficult to perfect, so she's most excited about the new flavors she'll be putting out, including this tribute to the Whatchamacallit candy bar, made with peanut rice feuilletine, lightened chocolate ganache and caramel. Other éclair flavors to look forward to: salted caramel chocolate and citrus vanilla.
The three-layer parfait-style desserts known as verrines are as visually appealing as they are texturally balanced. Fresh editions include the Mont Blanc (meringue, chantilly, chiffon, crème de marron and pear-orange compote), rice pudding (vanilla, granola and caramel chantilly) and Lemon Posset (acai gelée, yogurt mousse, lemon cake croutons and raspberry pearls).
Each summer's "cocktail collection" macaron matches the bright, lively and classic drink that inspires it. There's a Greyhound, Pimm's Cup, Mojito and Kir Royale.
More new seasonal macaron flavors include chocolate/olive oil, chocolate-passionfruit-banana and balsamic cherry.
One of Leong's bestsellers and calling cards is her kouign-amann, an example of fine Viennoiserie made of layers of butter- and sugar-slathered pastry dough baked up into a delicate celebration of caramelization and custard. There will be a slew of new seasonal flavors this year, including chocolate hazelnut, red fruits and lime and a triple threat of pineapple, rum and pink peppercorn that was a star of the preview.
You can start planning your Thanksgiving now: there will be pear cranberry tarts made of pâte sucrée, almond cream, vanilla cream, roasted pears, cranberries and almond streusel.
Thanksgiving will also bring these precious Mississippi Mud tarts (chocolate sucrée, chocolate crémeux, streusel and chantilly cream).