Whenever I do a food tasting, it’s usually in a public setting. A small shop on 25th Street, a bustling dining room, or even in a commissary kitchen, surrounded by clouds of flour smoke and blazing ovens. Imagine my surprise when I found myself at the baker’s dining room table, tasting delectable treats for the purposes of this review.
A storefront isn’t necessary to create baked good magic. With a handful of pop-up events on its side and a menu of sensational sweet treats to share, Basilflower Patisserie creates unique takes on classic dishes and across-the-pond culinary delights.
The full tasting for this article was provided compliments of Basilflower Patisserie. All opinions are my own.
Baking Excellence Through Real World Experience
Owner and baker Manisri Sivaraju has had a passion for cooking since she was little. After years of learning on the fly by creating dishes for her family and corporate catering, she decided to focus on baking–specifically the delicate art of French patisserie.
To create the subtle, intricate flavors the style requires, Sivaraju turned to freshness as her main inspiration. Whenever possible, ingredients are sourced from her organic backyard garden, with nothing from a can or pre-ground spice shaker. When a home baker uses real saffron in her confections, you know premium flavor reigns.
And what an array of flavors! While many of Sivaraju’s offerings come from tried-and-true recipes, crazy offshoots like rose/raspberry-flavored Ispahan macarons and Turkish coffee brownies expand the spectrum to exotic places.
Sivaraju also has a heart for those with ingredient allergies and sensitivities. Many of her creations avoid egg products, gluten, and other allergens, and she’s always up for a challenge. Since everything is made to order, she’s more than happy to conjure up delectable creations for those with special dietary needs.
Lineup of Sensational Creations
My tasting began with the most cozy and comfy of all baked goods, the classic cinnamon roll. The first thing I noticed was the rich cinnamon nose, clearly sourced from the spice–not the shaker. Warm and gooey, with just the right amount of subtle icing, the roll provided balanced flavors and the all-around good feeling required.
Next up was the one-of-a-kind Nankhatai, a traditional Indian shortbread biscuit you will have a difficult time finding anywhere else in Austin. Fresh cardamon dominated the palette and burst from the biscuit, exciting my nose before I even got a taste in. With just the right balance of tender and crumble, the Nankhatai was a massive success.
Next up was a spot-on French Madeleine, a classic member of the patisserie family. Keeping it simple and true to form, Sivaraju eschewed sweet fillings for a simple, buttery cake that was a delight to eat.
This was followed up with a dynamite Turkish coffee brownie. Astonishingly balanced, the brownie’s mix of rich chocolate, subtle roasted coffee, cardamon spice, and pistachio nuttiness married to form something luxurious and decadent. A simple layer of chocolate buttercream added an extra hint of sweetness and pleasant texture counterpoint to the pistachio crumble.
And then came the big finale. Touted as Basilflower Patisserie’s most popular item, the maple pecan bar is nothing short of a home run. Essentially designed for those who want the flavor of pecan pie without the eggs, these bars score off the chart for both flavor and inventiveness.
The understated depth of the fresh pecan was elevated by rich maple sweetness and supported by a flaky shortbread crust. It’s been well over a week since my visit, and my wife is still begging me to bring home more.
The Sky Is the Limit for Basilflower Patisserie
While Sivaraju is still taking orders from her kitchen, that doesn’t mean she’s staying home. Basilflower Patisserie has been a fixture at Round Rock Farmers Market since the beginning of this year. Pop-up events have been massive successes, and the company’s Instagram is always updated with mouthwatering photos of the latest creations.
What’s in Store?
Like she does with her baking, Sivaraju is taking her time in regards to expansion. While a storefront is in her long-range plans, she’s currently content with delivering high-quality baked goods with care, love, and attention to detail.
A baker of skill, daring, and creativity to spare, Marisri Sivaraju of Basilflower Patisserie is making her mark in the Cedar Park culinary scene, one macaron at a time.
Similar to discovering an indie band nobody’s heard of, or finding a tiny bar that becomes your local hangout, Basilflower Patisserie is a local treasure waiting to be uncovered and enjoyed. Fancy storefront not required.
For Basilflower Patisserie’s full menu, pricing, and links to exceptional food and garden photography, visit basilflower.org.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Where do you go when you’re craving something sweet?