As far as profiteroles go, the light choux pastry with the delicate custard filling and the chocolate drizzle is the perfect bite.
It has all the notes of the perfect dessert; sweet but not too sweet, creamy and the dough is baked to a crisp airiness that offers a challenge even to the best of bakers.
Harveen Jandu, the founder and director of Tiramisu Bakery says that the trick to the perfect custard is making it with love.
The profiteroles are one of the over 20 dessert options on offer at the bakery in addition to the breads and pastries. “It is one of the recipes that we have had in our store from the beginning. It is quite popular,” she says.
The custard profiteroles sit next to the strawberry, chocolate and mixed fruit tarts.
“Berries are in season so fruit tart would be perfect right now,” she explains. Her bakery has a series of desserts ranging from American to Italian on offer as well as European breads.
Baking from home
Over two decades ago, Harveen was working with her husband Sukhwinder running the grocery chain Zucchini.
The branch at the Village Market in Nairobi had a juice bar and coffee station for customers doing their grocery run.
“We would get clients all the time asking for something to go with their coffee. I started baking from home and bringing them to the store which picked up quite well,” she says.
Management at the Village Market approached her to take up a bakery space that had been vacated.
“I had always wanted a small coffee shop,” she says.
She and her partner, an Italian, combined their expertise to start up Tiramisu.
The name which is a popular Italian dessert, literally translated means ‘Lift me up/ lift up my spirit’.
“It is a joyous name and that is the atmosphere we wanted to create,” she explains.
She started with two bakers but as the demand increased, she had to add more bakers to the current 14. She has two head bakers, one for bread the other for cakes and pastries.
Over the past two to three years, the bakery has opened smaller in store stands at Zucchini to complement the in store experience, however, it maintains its main bakery at Village Market as a standalone.
Her personal favourites are rye breads including Bavarian and Nordic Rye. The Bavarian is 98 per cent rye the rest is sour dough. The rye breads are dense and are considered to be healthier alternatives to wheat loaf.
“We still have wholemeal loaves and golden loaves because they are still very popular in the country,” she says. As part of the bread line, they have salsa rolls, spinach and bacon, sourdough among other variations.
According to Harveen, they are constantly recipe testing and you might find different options week on week like onion and cheese bread, pecan pies, Italian cornetto, and an assortment of mini tarts.
On one of her travels to Venice, she had a hot chocolate that as its name suggests is melted chocolate, thick and lush topped with cream.
“When I tasted this, I knew I had to bring it to Nairobi,” she said. The beverage is available at the Village Market store along with speciality coffees such as mint mochas.