Posts Tagged ‘Tout de Sweet Bethesda

10
Nov
12

A couple do-it-yourself Trader Joe’s treats

This chocolate-peppermint loaf certainly doesn't taste like it came out of a box.

Around this time of year, my grocery bill at Trader Joe’s usually doubles because there are so many seasonal goodies to try. One of them is this chocolate-peppermint loaf mix, which I may have to stock up on because it’s that good.

This loaf (I wish they’d call it something else) certainly doesn’t taste like anything you’d typically get out of a box. My only disappointment with this mix is that they skimped on the mint-chocolate chips. So I added an additional 3 ounces of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips before baking. The final result is a rich, dark-chocolatey loaf with a pound-cake consistency.

The almond croissants from Trader Joe's take minimal effort--and give many patisseries a run for their money.

These almond croissants were even easier to make than the mix. You lay them out on a baking sheet the night before so they can rise at room temperate into fluffy pillows, then stick them in the oven in the morning. That’s it. These were tastier than many almond croissants I’ve had at bakeries (although nowhere near the gold standard of the genre from Tout de Sweet in downtown Bethesda). Generously filled with almond paste and fresh from the oven, they make a tasty breakfast. Not a healthy one, but might as well eat the rich stuff earlier in the day to kick start your metabolism, right?

You leave these Trader Joe's almond croissants out overnight at room temperature to rise.

From frozen, these almond croissants quadruple in size overnight.

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19
Mar
12

Get a free macaron on March 20

Free cupcakes are a dime a dozen in this town. But free French macarons? Not so easy to come by.

Behold the Early Grey, salted caramel, and coconut macarons from Tout de Sweet, who makes some of the best French pastries in town.

So tomorrow, head over to Tout De Sweet in Bethesda (a few doors down from Tastee Diner). For those of you in the Capitol Hill/Eastern Market area, the Sweet Lobby is giving out free macarons all day until 5 PM. Just mention that you’re celebrating Macaron Day to get your tiny treasure.

I didn’t realize this was an actual holiday, but I’m all for it. Parisian pastry chef Pierre Hermé started the tradition 7 years ago. Not only do you get a freebie, but participating businesses donate a portion of their Macaron Day proceeds to charity.

02
Aug
11

Tout de Sweet and Sweet Lobby’s macarons go mano a mano

The basil-lemon from Tout de Sweet. Photographer & hand model extraordinaire: JDang

JDang bites into the Tout de Sweet basil-lemon macaron after our Sweet Lobby macaron bender. “OMG, Sweet Lobby doesn’t even compare.”

Ms. Cake: “Well, I wouldn’t kick Sweet Lobby’s macarons out of bed.”

JDang: “I would! I’d kick them out!”

Sweet Lobby's macarons. The passionfruit-chocolate flavor you need to try is the yellow one.

By way of explanation, JDang had arrived in DC on the HOTTEST G’DAMN DAY OF THE YEAR, yet that didn’t prevent her from schlepping down to Eastern Market to pick up some Sweet Lobby macarons (tagline: “The ultimate advocate for your sweet tooth”) for us to try. The best part is that she didn’t want them to melt, so she went straight back to the house to get them into the fridge ASAP. Now that kind of dedication, I admire.

While Sweet Lobby had some interesting flavors (Earl Grey, orange ginger, lavender), the quality was all over the map. Some were underbaked, resulting in a cookie-dough consistency; others were overbaked and crispy all the way through.* The exception being the passionfruit chocolate, which was awesomely delicious.

*Ideally the cookie part of a macaron should be crispy on the outside, chewy inside.

Tout de Sweet's macarons > Sweet Lobby's


14
Apr
11

Tout de Sweet, a quick sugar fix

Patisseries are candy stores for adults. Step inside, and the smorgasboard of delights puts you into sensory overdrive. Your first impulse is to take one of everything. After the ringing in your ears stops, you take a visual inventory to narrow down the contenders. You invariably fork over more money than planned, skipping out of the shop with a bag of carefully packaged goodies that gets broken into well before you get home.


That’s exactly what happened after we hit Tout de Sweet last weekend (minus the skipping), which was recently opened in downtown Bethesda by a French chef. We went just before closing and there was still a decent selection of cakes and macarons, although the croissants were sold out. We tried the lemon-basil, pistachio, caramel, vanilla, chocolate peppermint, and chocolate macarons. (Second box of macarons not pictured below.) After paying, we reconsidered the cupcakes, taking home one each of the coconut-pineapple and chocolate-peppermint.

Tout de Sweet is better when it sticks to the French stuff. The peppermint-choc cupcake was tasty (with interesting touches like a flash-fried peppermint leaf); the tropical one was just ok. It’s really all about the macarons here. Our faves were the lemon basil and chocolate-peppermint. Though I still bristle at paying $1.50 for a tiny cookie, these are pretty labor-intensive to make at home. So the price doesn’t look as bad when you factor in that French labor. Believe the Yelp hype when they say that these are the yummiest macarons you’ll find in the area. This definitely merits another visit to test their cakes and other pastries.

Side note: If you need something savory to balance out your sugar high, Hinata Grocery is just around the corner. Its tiny sushi counter is cramped, but here you’ll find some of the most fresh, reasonably priced sushi in the DC area.

***Update, June 19: Multiple subsequent visits have confirmed that this place makes the most perfect almond croissant IN THE WORLD. Perfectly flaky, generously filled with a light almond paste, topped off with freshly toasted almonds, a slightly caramelized coating, and a light dusting that doesn’t make you choke in a sugar cloud. Tout de Sweet pasty chef, please insure the hands that craft these croissants.***




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