Treats from Duchess Bake Shop, Handy Bakery & Spinelli’s Bar Italia @ Italian Centre Shop

This post is on treats that I picked up from the following places.

Duchess Bake Shop

Since my last review, I had wanted to try more things from this bakery.  I still wanted to give their macarons another try as well as load up on their pastries.  K and I walked into a very busy bake shop where every single table was occupied (and this was a huge place) and there’s a constant lineup of people! The restaurant was beautifully decorated and oozes elegance.  There’s a huge assortment of baked goodies and it was very hard narrowing down to just a few!

Duchess - Macaron

Macarons – $1.50/pcs

I can’t remember what flavors these were, and the three flavors were the only ones left that day.  After reading their website, I finally understand why the last batch< of macarons I got were so light in color.  Turns out they don’t like to go heavy on the food coloring and prefer to go as natural as possible.  So, how were these? Unfortunately I’m still not a fan.  These ones were too soft and mushy in texture, and the flavors were still quite light.

Duchess - Lemon Cream Tart

Lemon Cream Tart – $6.00

As I absolutely love the taste of lemon, any lemon desserts is a must try for me! This was quite good.  The lemon curd was a bit sweet and a bit tart – very nice balance.  The tart shell was soft, buttery and light.  Almost makes me think this is healthy to eat.

Duchess - Orange Blueberry Macaron Gateau

Orange Blueberry Macaron Gateau – $7.00

I liked this macaron cake a lot more than the little macarons.  The texture of the meringue is much better – soft but still slightly crispy, and with a bite.  The flavors were a lot more prominent in here.  I definitely enjoyed this.

Duchess - Mille Feuille

Mille Feuille – $7.00

The puff pastry layers here were a bit softer than I’d expected, but the pastry cream and berries were fresh and tasty.

Duchess - The Duke

The Duke – $7.50

I really like this simple chocolate cake.  I didn’t find it too dense actually – it was light and not too sweet and very enjoyable to eat.  The only thing is I didn’t taste any of the salted caramel in it.

Duchess - Lemon Meringue Cake

Lemon Meringue Cake – $6.00

K and I were sad when these have ran out, but when I went back to line up for a second time (decided to get some marshmallows) they brought some fresh ones.  The cake itself was quite decent, but the meringue part was quite rubbery and stretchy – to the point where it resembled fondant.

Duchess - Orange Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Orange Lavender Shortbread Cookies – $8.00

Lavender buds are something that I’ve recently started to like, especially in baking.  I love the faint taste yet the strong fragrance of it. The cookies themselves were buttery and crumbly but the orange flavor wasn’t very prominent.

Duchess - Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows – $6.00

I wasn’t planning to get these, but K grabbed a bag and said – fresh marshmallows can be very tasty! Alright, sold.  These were actually really good – soft, fluffy and full of real vanilla flavors.

I also picked up a jar of Salted Caramel sauce ($7) from their store next door, Provisions.  I haven’t decided what to do with it yet…  The store is a great concept – you can buy a variety of baking goods from recipe books to edible gold leaves.  Overall I quite enjoyed the pastries at Duchess with some misses.  Service was very pleasant and efficient and prices are comparable to other patisseries.  I would not hesitate to return the next time I’m in Edmonton.

Duchess Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Handy Bakery

K and I came here specifically for the Portuguese Egg Tarts.

Handy Bakery - Portugese Egg Tart

Portuguese Egg Tarts – $1.15/pcs

Creamy, egg custard in a soft, flaky, buttery shell.  These were tasty but also very sweet – so sweet that I couldn’t get past more than half of one.  I think if the sweetness can be toned down in the custard then it would be perfect!

HB - Sweet Buns

Sweet Bun – $0.50/pcs

I got these for my toddler and I to enjoy.  They are a very normal tasting butter bun with hints of sweetness.

HB - Rice Cake

Rice Cake – $0.85/pcs

This is a Portuguese style cake made with rice flour.  The cake itself was very dense and turned very hard when I left it in the fridge for a few days.  I had to reheat it to a very high temperature before it became soft enough to break apart.  Texture wise, it was very packed and dense – I was expecting it to be light and spongy.  Taste-wise, it was semi-sweet without any distinguishable flavors.  I think if I were to have ate it fresh it may have tasted better.

Service was very pleasant, and prices are fair.  The staff are helpful to answer any questions you may have.

Handy Bakery on Urbanspoon

Spinelli’s Bar Italia @ Italian Centre Shop

K and I love browsing at Gourmet grocery stores and when we found out about this Italian one, we decided it was a must go!

Epic Group Shot

Not-So-Epic Group Shot

Here’s half of the crap I hauled back.  Yes, it’s mostly drinks and sweet pastes/dressings.  The crap that we buy… We spent almost two hours in the store debating how much we should bring home, but my trunk only had so much space! I was quite happy to see a huge selection of the Bonne Mamam products :p My favorite has to be the Chestnut spread! I was also hoping to get some Jamon Iberico from the deli but it didn’t look like they had it.

IS - Tiramisu Cup

Tiramisu Cup – $2.75

I loved this.  I loved how light and creamy the marscapone mixture was.  This tiramisu cup was so light and airy it didn’t feel heavy eating it at all.  Too bad I had to share half with K :p And to be able to get a quality dessert at that price was just awesome!

IS - Pistachio Cannoli C

Pistachio Cannoli ~ $1.50

I’ve never had a cannoli before so I thought it’d be interesting to try one, but I did not like this at all.  This has nothing to do with the bakery – I just didn’t realize that I didn’t like the taste of the ricotta filling.  Also, as it has been refrigerated for so long, the shell itself is no longer crispy so it was just soft and crumbly.  Again, something that may have tasted a lot better if it would’ve been eaten fresh.

Spinelli's Bar Italia on Urbanspoon

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