Friday, March 22, 2013

Duchess Bake Shop- Edmonton, AB

Searching for good baked desserts in Edmonton can be a difficult task. Delectable sweet delights are my Achilles heel, my weakness if you will. I am just unable to resist them. I love cakes, pies, chocolates, macarons, pastries and everything in between. So when my sweet tooth is aching for something delicious and sugary, I need to find a place to satisfy this urge.
Duchess Bake Shop is located at 10720 124 St. NW in downtown Edmonton. I've visited a few times and tasted some of what they have to offer. Duchess Bake Shop sells a multitude of French macarons, cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, scones, as well as breakfast pastries and sandwiches to go along with your morning tea and coffee.

Best known for their signature cakes and macarons, Duchess features a rotating menu of macarons that includes their classic salted caramel, dark chocolate, rose, lemon, grapefruit and pistachio flavors. A macaron is a almond flour based meringue cookie with sweet ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched in between.

On my most recent visit, I decided to pick up a few macarons and some baked goods. Biting into these macarons, I noticed they were quite moist and almost melted away as they touched my lips. The flavors of each macaron really shone through. Each macaron sells for $1.50 and is similarly sized to other pastry shops I've been to.

On previous visits, I've also tried some of their individual cakes. These cakes come in four inch (which serves 1-2 people) and eight inch (which serves 8-10 people) sizes. I like the individual sizes as they allow me to taste a variety of different cakes; although a bit more expensive, I think it's well worth the price. Duchess prepares a variety of flavors, including Lemon Meringue, The Duchess, and The Duke.

Top row (left to right): The Duke, The Duchess
Bottom row (left to right): Lemon Meringue, Passionfruit
and Raspberry tart 
After trying a few of these cakes, my favorite has to be the namesake cake, The Duchess. This is a fondant and vanilla bean cream covered chiffon cake with cream and raspberry filling. The colored marzipan shell was soft and added some nice texture to the cake. It wasn't as sweet as I imagined it to be, which was a good thing as I first thought it would make the cake too sugary.

For the chocolate lovers out there, the Duke is what you are looking for. This is a chocolate cake with layers of salted caramel and ganache filling. The rich tasting ganache really allows the Valrhora chocolate (basically high grade luxury chocolate) to shine through.

The most beautiful cake I saw had to be the lemon meringue cake, composed of toasted meringue encircling a soft lemon chiffon cake. To me, this cake tasted a bit like artificial lemon. But all the cakes did have one thing in common: they had very well made, moist cake layers. The passionfruit and raspberry tart was my least favorite pie. Although it looked so elegant and well made, the flavors were quite forgettable.
Whenever I have been to Duchess (usually during the afternoon and on the weekends), it has been very busy with families and friends having lively conversations while eating their sandwiches, drinking their hot beverages, or munching on their sweet treats. The decor is simple and classic, and everything is pristine clean with ivory white granite counters and wood floors.
For special occasions, a lunchtime meal, or even just to satisfy that sweet urge you sometimes get, Duchess Bake Shop can accommodate your every need. However, the prices are average to above average compared to other bakeries. It just depends on how much you value the quality of their goods. I will definitely return for more delicious treats and pastries, as Duchess is one of my go-to bakeries in Edmonton.

A helpful tip:
Duchess only makes a certain amount of cakes and pies for the day, so call ahead and have them reserve your order to ensure you have something to bring home!


4/5 Erics

Duchess Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

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