Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mr. Holmes for the Holidays

For the longest time I didn't know what the small place at 1042 Larkin was because it always happened to be closed but I knew that I enjoyed the pink neon lights that lit up the white tiled wall that read: I Got Baked in San Francisco. A bakery? A cafe? An art studio?  

Inside Mr Holmes Bakehouse @ 1042 Larkin Street in San Francisco
Photo by Nikki DeMartini
One fateful day as I was walking by I got super excited when I saw that the doors to the store front were open and I practically ran inside. Low and behold I found out it's a bakery, or a bake house rather, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse to be exact. The thick aroma of sweet buttery deliciousness consumed me once inside the tiny store. I wanted some of whatever it was that I smelled. It was the middle of the afternoon so there were only a few fancy looking "jelly" donuts in the display case. I was able to tell that they were two different flavors by the colorful filling spilling out of them.  The staff were happy to let me know what the flavors are as there's no menu or signage displayed. I made the difficult decision to treat myself on a different day and to go in the morning when everything was fresh and there was more choices.  

Intrigued, I did a little research: they offer sweet and savory danishes, croissants, a gourmet pop-tart called an Ube Tart, cookies, Donuts, some other really yummy looking french style puffs and the famous Mr. Holmes confection creation, the Cruffin. Think of a Cruffin as the West Coast cousin of the Cronut: the Donut/Croissant hybrid pastry made famous in New York. A Cruffin is part muffin part Croissant filled with a scrumptious custard. Like the donuts, the flavor of the Cruffin varies everyday. Their hours are 7am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday and 8am to  3:30pm on the weekend. Fresh baked Cruffins are available at 9am everyday until they run out! I was on my way to work on a Friday morning when I returned to Mr. Homes Bakehouse and I had decided not only was I going to treat myself to a Cruffin but I was going to treat my co-workers to gourmet donuts, cause who wouldn't want a gourmet donut?

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Donuts
Photo by Nikki DeMartini

 It was just past 9:00am when I got in line which wasn't very long and moved pretty quickly.  As we inched inside I could hardly believe my eyes! The display case was full of an array of so many gourmet pastries! My stomach instantly gbigger than my eyes and I started to second guess what I was going to get. But I stuck to my plan. I got two of each flavored donut, there was three that day: Mango Citrus, Vanilla Bean Raspberry, and Blood Orange and they were all curds or custard filling not jelly. I also impulsively got a Chocolate-Chip Walnut cookie for everyone to share.

And of course there were the Cruffins. Chocolate toffee was the flavor of the prized pastry's filling that day! One of the workers emerged from the back (where all f the magic happens) with a huge sheet of fresh Cruffins. As she placed them in the display case she explained inquiring on-lookers that they bake three times as many Cruffins than any other pastry there and they sell completely out within hours every single day.

 With 6 donuts and a cookie in one adorable white and gold box and a separate bag for my Cruffin, I merrily skipped out the door and made my way to work as my mouth watered.
The way my co-worker's eyes lit up and seeing their bright smiles when I walked into work with the box of donuts gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I love making someone's day. I explained to them that they would have to share because I couldn't afford to get everyone their own donut and before they could find a knife to cut the donuts in half the cookie was broken into pieces and devoured.
They had so many questions: What's this place called? Where is it? What are the flavors? Why did you bring these for us?

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Chocolate Toffee Cruffins
Photo by Nikki DeMartini

As they enjoyed their treats it was time for me to enjoy mine. The way the custard spills out and sits on top of the Cruffin makes it look like a cupcake in a way. That and it's muffin shape, a shape which is the same as that of a cupcake, I decided to review it because it's close enough to being a cupcake! Covered in a thin layer of granulated white sugar the flaky dough was baked to perfection. On the outside it was a toasty shade of brown with a little bit of crunch and on the inside it was layers of golden yeast-leavened, butter dough.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Chocolate Toffee Cruffin 
Photo by Nikki DeMartini

The chocolate custard was thick and creamy and it's chocolate flavor didn't take away from the pastry that surrounded it. The sprinkle of toffee flakes on top were a smart way to incorporate that flavor without over doing it. It was a little awkward to bite into because of it's size and shape so I ended up tearing it in half and eating it that way. It didn't look as appetizing but I was able to get the best of both worlds, some custard and pastry in every bite!

Cruffins are definitely more Croissant than they are Muffin and though they are not the most nutritious breakfast (1 regular Croissant = 231 calories, 12 grams of fat and 26 grams of carbs. 1 serving of regular custard = 234 calories, 8 grams of fat and 26 grams of carbs) they are one of the more delicious breakfasts! At $3.00 and $3.50 a pop the Cruffins and Donuts from Mr. Holmes Bakehouse are pricey but worth the monetary and caloric splurge!

Be the star of your next Holiday party by bringing a box of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse goods!

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