Thomas Keller is the man. So are my two fabulous colleagues (and friends) who surprised me with not one, but TWO boxes of assorted Bouchon Bakery treats when I arrived at work on my special day. And no, contrary to what a partner asked me, this is not the big 3-0.
The tasting party took place in my office at 2:15 pm (between my 1-2 pm video conference with London...how awkward to have to attempt to adjust your very short skirt when you realize it is showing a bit much to the wider audience...and a 2:45 meeting where I was told that I should time my (very far in the future) pregnancies so that I give birth in June and am back at work by the start of the 4th financial quarter). The attendance was only the three of us because the rest of the office is a bunch of vultures. The items sampled were as follows:
* A "forget about it" (to be pronounced as if you are a cast member on The Sopranos) - it looks like a chocolate coated Oreo cookie but wait, inside is crispy puffed rice covered in a layer of caramel!
* A "TKO" - the Bouchon Bakery standout (besides the Bouchon, of course) - this really is an Oreo reinvented (word on the street is that Keller loves the old school Nabisco variety)...chocolate sable dough with a white chocolate ganache cream.
* A "Nutter Butter" - Are you sensing a theme here? Two soft, yummy peanut butter cookies with light peanut butter filling. It tasted like the real thing, but better.
* A "Bouchon Ho Ho" - No, that is not what the boys at work call me. This looks exactly like its name, but has a lovely foil wrapper and ingredients a step above the boxed variety.
* A "the best thing they serve" - Apparently the salesperson did not know the name. This slightly disturbing log looks kinda like a napoleon covered in chocolate, but when you cut in, it is thin pastry layers surrounding a liquor flavored chocolate mousse!
Now, I can't even attempt to pick a clear winner, but my vote is leaning toward the Nutter Butter. The other members of the tasting committee felt that the chocolate that shall not be named took the literal cake though. Fortunately for me, that is not the end of my birthday baked good extravaganza. In addition to the taste test candidates, the Mary Poppins bag of bakery boxes also includes a fruit tart (I can vouch for the perfection of a runaway raspberry and blackberry), a red velvet cupcake, another TKO, a double chocolate cookie, a chocolate walnut cookie and a chocolate tart!
While this does sound like enough to last me about 12 hours, I might be forced to freeze one or two...I may be 28, but I think I'm a little young to have to wear a mu-mu.