Yann Haute Patisserie, CalgaryIt’s impossible not to fall in love with Yann Haute Patisserie. First of all, it’s in a cute yellow house in Mission. Then you walk in and are transported to a small piece of France with the smell of fresh croissants and a warm greeting from Jéraldine Blanchard.

She and her husband/pastry chef, Yann, run the bakery on the main floor. They live upstairs with their three children, and the pastry kitchen is downstairs. Talk about a labour of love!

You cannot be rushed at Yann’s. The morning I visited, Jéraldine and two customers were trading child-rearing stories. That’s part of the charm of this patisserie. You actually TALK to each other here. Weird, eh?

The macarons — touted as the new dessert darling; move over cupcakes — are a staple here. Not to be confused with macaroons, macarons are delicate cookies made with meringue and sandwiched around a sweet filling.

At $1.85 each, they may seem pricey for such a small concoction. But when you bite into the slightly crunchy outside, reach the chewy meringue and revel in the sweet filling melting in your mouth, it’s $1.85 well-spent.

Yann has a rotation of about 15 macaron flavours which it promotes on its Twitter and Facebook pages.

Bliss and Company, CalgaryOn this day, I had the:

  • tarte tatin: salted butter, apple and cinnamon
  • blackcurrent and violet: WOWZA!
  • rose and lychee: “heavenly,” said my co-worker.
  • lemon.

Hey, I was doing research for the Homestretch. I *needed* to sample all the different flavours.

To another bakery… I’ve written about my favoured cupcakes at Bliss & Co. before, but didn’t want you to forget that they also make sublime cakes, pies and special occasion treats.

One of the few nut-free bakeries in town, Bliss & Co. sticks to all-natural ingredients as much as possible.

The banana-chocolate cream pie (four inch for $4.95) is three-quarters freshly whipped cream (hubba, hubba) and then slices of real banana with custard, chocolate and a crunchy crust. I’m guessing this is meant to be a “personal size” pie, but is more than enough to share.

Bliss & Co. has a small walk-in storefront, but focuses on catering to the downtown corporate towers. Phone or email ahead if you’ve got an order from their menu in mind. Also check for special features on holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Christmas etc.

Yann Haute Patisserie, 329-23rd Ave. SW, Calgary, (403) 244-8091. Open Wednesday to Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 9:30 a.m. -2 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Yann Haute Pattiserie on Urbanspoon

Bliss & Co. Cupcakes and Desserts, 108-3rd Ave. SW, lower level, Calgary, (403) 281-8821. Open Tuesday to Friday 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., weekends 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Bliss & Co. Cupcakes and Desserts on Urbanspoon