Beautiful Beignets

The food: beautiful Parisian-style beignets from Thobor

Thobor's mini beignet

The story:

I’m currently fiending – that is, loving, craving and rapidly becoming obsessed by – the incredibly delicious, incredibly cheap (only 80 cents each!) mini-beignets from Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Cafe in Toronto, a small French bakery that is open 5 days a week, from Wednesday to Sunday.

At the Thobors shop, the beignets are sold in sizes mini and regular, unfilled or filled (for 20 cents more) with a choice of applesauce, raspberry jam, nutella and some kind of cream.

My favorite way to eat the beignets is filled with something lemony, as I discovered by accident this week, while questing for a lemon meringue tart to enter in round 3 of my lemon meringue tart wars (click here for round one results and here for round two).

On a hot day when I couldn’t muster the energy to drive out to bakeries in Leslieville or the Beach where I suspected a lemon meringue tart worthy of duking it out in round 3 might be found, I rode my bicycle instead to nearby Thobors and bought a luscious looking lemon tart, sans meringue, because I was feeling lazy, okay? And because it looked delicious. While I was in the small shop, comme d’habitude, I picked up a beautifully sugared mini-beignet, unfilled, for later.

The lemon tart, though packaged nicely at the bakery, got a bit roughed up in my bike basket, and looked like this when I got it home:

After I’d sworn – in English – I used my limited food styling skills to try to restore it, without great success:

Then I ate half of it. The lemon curd was exemplary – sweet, eggy, buttery, intensely lemony, and not adulterated by any milk or cream (is there not something scary about making a lemon tart with condensed milk? There is). But the pastry – a no doubt excellent rendition of a pâte sablée – did not amuse me. In fact, I hated its crumbly, cookie-ish texture. I was looking at the second half of the smushed tart and thinking about how I wanted to eat the lemon curd but that it would be a bit gross to spoon it directly into my mouth, when I remembered loving the Italian sfingi donuts served with lemon curd at Enoteca Sociale.

In a matter of moments, I had extracted my beignet from its bag, sliced it open, scooped out the remaining lemon curd from the tart shell and tucked it into the beignet’s cavities.

How did it taste? So fucking amazing that I’m working up the courage to make some homemade lemon curd soon. And until I can come up with the guilt-free fortitude to execute a recipe that calls for 6 eggs, a 1/2 pound of butter, and 1 cup sugar to yield 2 cups of curd, I’m filling my daily (3 days in a row, so far) mini-beignet with some almost as good lemon honey, and loving every bite.


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