This month’s solobaker shoutout is to Taeko of Gugu Fine Dessert, because afternoon tea sets make the world a better place. Read on for the details!
Taeko runs her single person Japanese-style bakery out of the Cookspace Kitchen in Lower Queen Anne, and can do deliveries or pickups. (Based on the order I made, I’d assume it’s much easier to schedule a pickup.) You order via phone or email, and Taeko is great about taking requests. Like her original menu had tomato-olive madeleines, and she switched them out for zucchini and parmesan to meet my sensitivities.
Also, it’s cash or check only. Plan accordingly.
What you care about: the food
While this is a first impression piece, I got to try six items thanks to buying the afternoon tea set. The minimum order is $45 for three sets, and it’s worth it. Each piece is huge for what you’re getting, and honestly I was content eating three pieces as a set. Get a group in and have a party.
I mean, imagine the looks on people’s faces when they open the box and see this.
Also, I really appreciate that it has both sweet and savory options. Sometimes you just don’t want to fill up on sweets. (I know, I know, it’s hard to imagine.)
Here’s what I tried:
Strawberry shortcake cups: Super cute – and well designed! Each had two layers of shortcake, two layers of whipped cream, and a middle layer of super sweet strawberries. And it’s one of the better sponge cakes I’ve had recently to boot, light and fluffy. (Closest recent contender would be Fumie’s Gold.)
Green tea mille feuille: I really liked this one, though getting green tea + red bean anything that’s not from Tokara, Bambu, or Fuji Bakery is kind of hard, so I was already excited. Even ignoring my initial glee, we’re talking green tea custard, chunky red beans, and whipped cream in between layers of flaky puff pastry. It’s not super sweet, opting instead for this gorgeous blend of earthy notes alternating with butter and cream.
A note: this is very much a Japanese style bake. The puff pastry layers are very light, with minimal caramelization. It’s good, just French style purists are going to ask what’s going on.
Orange jelly with almond jelly: Such a childhood treat! Bright and cheerful orange jelly on top, with mellow almond jelly underneath.
Bacon, cheddar, and green onion scone: Super cute! Excellent portion size, nice fluffy crumb, and the bacon and green onion shine. I may have to order these by the dozen.
Chocolate brownie: My least favorite of the bunch. Good chocolate flavor, but not very fudgy. (It’s listed in the original menu as being rum raisin, but I tasted a dense straight-up chocolate brownie. No complaints; rum raisin’s not my thing.)
Zucchini and parmesan madeleine: Good flavor, with cheese as the main flavor and zucchini at the end. It was a touch dry, though I wonder if that’s because it’s not the usual recipe, or because zucchinis can really mess with moisture content.
Will I try them again? Oh heck yes. I’ve already got a group working on a tea party order, we just need to plan the date.
Have you tried Gugu yet? I’d love to hear how it went!