When Krispy Kreme opened their first area location next to the In-n-Out Burger in Daly City, it was always a treat to stop there on Friday to pick up a half dozen for the weekend - and over the next few days we would push our insulin producing capabilities to the limit while we ate the greasy "kream" filled wonders. The problem is that after you've had a few of these gut busting donut bombs, you're sick of them. I had my last Krispy Kreme in 2003, and I'm just fine with that. Since then, aside from a decadent eclair from Miette, no cream filled pastry has crossed these lips.
But now there is a local haven for cream filled pastries, Beard Papa - a direct import from Japan where it has been providing the local population with sugar rushes for a half-century.
A Beard Papa is a Japanese take on a classic french pastry: pate a choux, or cream puffs. Here, they bake a tender, sweet butter and egg dough until it puffs up and fill it with a combination of vanilla custard and whipped cream. For $1.75, you get a fist sized cream puff, filled with this mixture and dusted with powdered sugar.
Compared to most cream puffs, these are much more refined and delicate in nature - which is about par for most french inspired japanese pastries. The power of the papa is in the cream - by combining a rich vanilla custard with whipped cream, you end up with a sweet filling that is rich, but not so rich that you couldn't have a second one. The only saving grace is that the filling will eventually make the cream puff soggy, so in my estimation, getting a couple extra to throw in the fridge for the morning isn't really an option. For some, this might be a bad thing - but for my waistline, it's perfect.
Right now, they are only doing the vanilla puffs, but the chocolate, green tea, milk tea and other flavors are coming soon, as are the cheesecake sticks which have also been given high ratings by Beard Papa fanatics. However, what I am looking forward to are the eclairs - a vanilla or chocolate cream puff dipped quickly in chocolate and served warm. My body's already producing extra insulin in anticipation.