When you think of local baked goods, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Giant slices of pecan pie? A heaping mound of Cop Stop ice cream from Amy’s? Or maybe a doughnut sandwich from Gourdough’s tickles your sweet tooth.
Prepare to add something a bit more delicate to that pantheon of delectable Austin treats. By perfecting the under-appreciated and oft maligned meringue, the team at Fluff Meringues & More has filled a niche local foodies didn’t know they needed. These sweet treats are created with impeccable technique, exquisite style, and out of this world flavors.
The Leap of Faith Beginning of Fluff Meringues
When Fluff Meringues & More founder Kristin Collins decided to jump from the world of business to full-time restaurateur, she did so without a parachute.
Growing up, Collins inherited a love for baking from her mother, but it was never intended to be a career. That is, until a two-year stint in England introduced her to the world of meringues and prompted a question in her mind: why don’t we have these in Austin?
At first, she fulfilled catering orders from her home. But she quickly expanded to a commercial kitchen to handle larger accounts. It took longer to secure a brick and mortar space, but after four years of searching, Collins opened Fluff Meringues & More on Burnet Road in September 2018–and hasn’t looked back.
Today, she and a team of culinary artisans create magic on a daily basis in a beautiful, laid-back environment. Fluff Meringues’ interior is a calming yet urbane space filled with cozy pillows, lush hanging topiary, and vibrant wall decoration. Seating is ample yet restrained, which delivers a sense of intimacy vital for the upscale coffee shop vibe.
Mad for Meringues and Everything Between
But what good is a rad space and a few wire whisk pillows without the confections to back them up? Luckily, Fluff Meringues & More delivers flavors and textures unlike anything I’ve tasted in an Austin bakery. The central theme across the menu is bold flavor combinations, executed with beautiful balance.
Fluff’s titular item, the meringue drop, is a bit of culinary wizardry. Before my visit, my meringue experience consisted of store-bought pie topping. Fluff’s take on the dessert was the exact opposite. With a pleasing crisp exterior and a smooth yet airy interior, eating one of Fluff’s meringue drops is like biting into a sugar dusted cloud packed with thunderous flavor.
From the subtle caramel to the kung fu punch of sweet tart blackberry, Fluff’s meringue drops are packed with textures, tastes, and aromas. My favorite of the foursome I tried was the lemon. Bright lemon sweetness with a hint of tart is nicely balances with the base texture of the meringue. Adorned with light paint splatters and brush sweeps, the drops are visually appealing, as well.
But it doesn’t stop with drops. Meringue stands front and center on the elegant tarts. The milk chocolate/passion fruit/kiwi tart is an absolute revelation. The velvety passion fruit meringue bursts with flavor and beautifully blends with the semi-sweet chocolate tart base. Finding the kiwi mousse in the center is like uncovering a treasure. The mousse’s added acidity and brightness set the entire desert into the stratosphere.
And if all of the above sounds foreign to you, don’t sweat it. Before my visit to Fluff, I was a meringue novice. Collins and her hospitality crew made me feel right at home. Education is a big part of what makes Fluff Meringues & More a special place to try new things and experience different flavors.
A Place to Lounge, Learn, and Love
For those looking for more familiar items, Fluff produces outstanding macarons. For this tasting, I tried the lavender honey and spiced mango varieties. The former presents the lavender full and fresh up front, with a honey sweetness sneaking up from behind. Meanwhile, the spiced mango’s surprising mellow flavor profile allows the macaron’s lovely crunchy/creamy texture to shine.
Elsewhere on the menu you’ll find small cakes, French Madeleine (the lemon honey cardamon option is unreal), and traditional pavlova. For those uninitiated, pavlova is a meringue bowl filled with fruit, whipped cream, and anything else your heart desires. Amazingly decadent.
Fluff also features a robust tea program sourced by Tea Palace London and coffee from Austin’s own Cuvee Coffee. Both my at-the-table lemon ginger and to-go Earl Grey teas were outstanding, and complemented my bites to perfection.
With a heart towards providing Austinites a new way to indulge in a setting designed for relaxation, reflection, and good conversation, Collins and the team at Fluff Meringues & More offer a bakery haven filled with tasty treats and good vibes galore. Not bad for a someone who jumped without a parachute and stuck the perfect 10-point landing.
Fluff Meringues & More is located at 4800 Burnet Road #450 in the Rosedale Village Shopping Center. For social media, menu, and catering options, visit fluff-meringues.com.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Where do you go for your Austin bakery fix?
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