As Valentine’s Day approaches, bakeries and restaurants will put together multi-course meals (hopefully lacking molten-chocolate cakes) and bakeries will display heart-shaped and pink-frosted sweet goods.
Bisous Bisous Patisserie in Uptown will abide with red and pink cookies shaped like hearts, lips and Xs and Os, white chocolate-strawberry cream puffs and heart-shaped brownies.
Cute. But more interesting is a purple cake: passion fruit-milk chocolate cake.
“I really just wanted to do something that’s not the same old heart-shaped cuties,” says Bisous owner and chef Andrea Meyer. “It still has a cute aesthetic. I wanted something with a little more elevated flavor this year. I really want to do more flavor combinations. I want the staff to think that way.”
It’s a beauty of a thing, whether you get a 10-inch cake ($109) or a 4-inch ($45), which Meyer notes is basically a generous single serving. Layers of chocolate cake bring together a smooth chocolate buttercream and a gentle passion fruit curd. Because it’s Bisous, macarons top the cake, chocolate and passion fruit in flavor.
Meyer has appreciated the passion fruit-chocolate combination for years, having had it in Paris.
“It might’ve been the first time I ever had passion fruit, to be honest. I never did anything with it, no reason why other than just being distracted by other flavors,” she says. “… I wanted to do something with those two flavors, and I had someone on my team who was really interested in flavor development and working on a product.”
So she took the idea to employee Pau Gwynn, who then considered the “building blocks” Bisous has, such as a buttercream recipe.
“She loves any kind of tropical fruit,” says Meyer, who went back and forth with Gwynn in the development of the cake. “It’s not necessarily what our customers are looking for, but if we never put this stuff out there, we’re never going to train those palates.”
If they want to experiment with tempting the masses with guava, we’d fully endorse that endeavor.
If the price makes your eyes widen, know these are not your grocery store cakes, nor are they as expensive as other cakes in town. You’ll taste the quality: The cakes are made to order without cake softeners, additives or preservatives, they use 100% butter (no shortening) and every cake includes French macarons (which are not the quickest, easiest treats to make). Meyer also pays above average for trained staff to execute pastries. All of this adds up for the business, but it also creates a superior sweet good for customers.
If you need another reason to visit the bakery, Jan. 30 is National Croissant Day (Bisous has a wonderful almond croissant) and the shop celebrates six years of business on Feb. 6, offering customers a free birthday macaron and a cup of coffee from Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters.
Bisous Bisous Patisserie, 3700 McKinney Ave., No. 150. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.