For a while after its opening, Le Baker’s cake display cabinet was rather bereft of cakes. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Now you can drool over their superb range of fresh hand-made cakes. Choose from cheesecake, tiramisu, black forest gateaux, chocolate cake, fresh fruit cake, a chocolate or honey roll or lemon tart.
If one slice just isn’t enough, most of their cakes and tarts can be purchased whole to take away. If you need one for a birthday or some other celebration, they are happy to decorate with wording of your choice. Prices range from RMB 28-42 per slice or for a small individual tart, with whole cakes and large tarts RMB 160-290.
The lemon tart is the best I’ve tasted in Beijing. The pastry is thin and incredibly crisp and the filling is deep and wonderfully sharp. It’s big though, so a good option for sharing. The cheesecake is light and creamy with a hint of subtle vanilla. The biscuit layer is crumbly, buttery, but not too thick, exactly how a cheesecake should be. Devour it there and then, or take it home and serve with a raspberry coulis for a delicious dessert.
A new addition to their range is a chocolate praline éclair. The choux pastry is crisp, light and filled with a beautifully rich chocolate and praline cream. Decorated with a scattering of chopped hazelnuts, this is one perfect pastry.
Le Baker has a wonderful selection of traditional and artisan breads and pastries. Small dishes filled with samples sit next to many of the products, so you can try before you buy. Breads include country loaves, olive ciabatta and focaccia. They have a range of sliced loaves, which are great for toasting. Their bacon bread makes the perfect accompaniment to a chunk of cheese and a glass of red. The bagels are dense and very chewy, which may not suit everyone’s taste. They come in a range of flavors, including a raisin and walnut version which is a filling breakfast option.
The croissants (¥14-18) are a delight, crisp, flaky and with the right amount of butter. Variations include a white chocolate croissant and there’s an almond one too. Both are very sweet, so if you prefer, you can stick with the more traditional pain au chocolat.
For the kids, there are some cute animal shaped biscuits, crisp gingerbread men cookies, and light and fluffy madeleines. You can also stock up on olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey.
The café is a lovely space to sit and unwind, catch up on e-mails and enjoy lunch. They serve a small selection of sandwiches and salads, to accompany their range of coffees, (the Caramel Macchiato is a real treat) and teas, which include Rice Green Tea, Ceylon and Oolong, but no English Breakfast Tea.
Le Baker for me is far superior to other bakeries in Beijing and I’m so happy it doesn’t involve a trek to the city to enjoy it.
Le Baker, Cathay View Plaza, No 2A Xiang Jiang Bei Lu (8430 8602 / 1820 100 5999) 香江北路甲2号观唐广场内
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos by Sally Wilson