Some words are just fun to say, like “indubitably”, “couscous”, and “frangipane.” I liked saying “frangipane” long before I actually knew what it was. Frangipane is a delicious almond filling, used in many sweets offered at Frangipane Patisserie. Small and unassuming, Frangipane has been around since 2005 and is owned by pastry chef Claudia Egger. Specializing in tarts, cakes, chocolate and mignardises (assorted cookies, squares and petit fours), it’s Claudia’s signature frangipane tarts that have people seeking her out. “Mignardises” is also a cool word to say if, like me, you have to Google the pronunciation.
Not typically a huge fan of tarts, I take her suggestion and try the famous Sour Cherry and Raspberry Frangipane tart ($5.50 small). My intention was to share the tart with a friend but I ate the entire thing. Sorry, friend; better luck next time. The sweetened almond frangipane filling is lovely with the slightly sour fruit. I am a frangipane fan.
Claudia’s Pecan Walnut Diamonds ($0.99) are her most popular cookies, shortbread covered in caramel and nuts. Regulars know to stock up when they visit. While many pastry shops make French macarons, Frangipane was one of the first in the city to offer the naturally gluten-free Parisian treat. Flavours are inspired by what’s in season, including the rapidly growing chocolate mint in Claudia’s garden. Nuts are toasted and ground at the bakery to ensure the best flavour and freshness.
Beautiful cakes and yes, frangipane tarts fill the display case and one that I must absolutely go back for is the Vanilla Salted Caramel Cake. Just the name alone made me consider buying and eating the cake myself. Sour cream vanilla cake is layered with salted caramel buttercream and sea salt sprinkled between the three layers. A generous caramel drizzle rounds out this dream cake.
If you’ve been looking for something different to impress your dinner guests — besides your liberal use of “frangipane” and “mignardises” in everyday conversation — Claudia offers (by special order) a purple yam cake layered with coconut mousse and passion fruit curd, covered with toasted coconut and Italian meringue. That would boost your patisserie cred up a few notches.