Happiest place on earth: Doña Clara, Casa de Reposteria

14 Jul

Doña ClaraI told myself I wouldn’t do it. I promised that this weekend I would hold myself back. That I wouldn’t spend another beautiful, sunny weekend inside, happily chained to the oven, covered in flour and listening to punk music. My complexion has been getting paler and paler, that I almost have a strange, transparent gleam in my face. Ok. So I’ll get outside, some fresh air, a bit of sunshine. But what do pastry chefs do when they’re not baking??

They go to the pastry porn shop aka the casa de reposteria de Doña Clara, which has just about anything you could possibly want, no matter how you like it. The shelves are lined with everything you could possibly fantasize about: pastry tips of all shapes and sizes, hard to find ingredients like glucose and fondant, they’ve even got miniature nativity scenes made out of hardened sugar (hey, if that’s your thing).

Casa de reposteria en Buenos AiresThe place is absolutey packed on the weekends, so grab a number and start checking out the walls, which are filled with crazy gadgets and every and any pie/cake tin you may ever need (drool…) This is the place where any professional or home baker comes to get their tools. Sure. there are quite a few casas de repostería in Capital, my pastry professor recommends a few on Calle Jujuy, but Doña Clara is only a few steps from the line B subte, so it’s the one I choose.

Casa de repostería

The setup may be a bit frustrating at first, it’s a long narrow space with the walls lined top-to-bottom with products, but you’re not allowed to touch anything.  Just grab a number and wait until one of the salespeople call you. The people that work there, by the way, are genuises, they know absolutely everything about baking, candy-making and decorating, not to mention that they are totally patient with foreigners who’s ahem, pastry vocabulary isn’t this best: “Do you have the thing that is like white chocolate, but it’s not white and it doesn’t have chocolate in it??” Baño de repostería? SI!

The best part of shopping here is definitely the grandpa who gives you your order at the end, always with a free recipe, which he always secretly pushes into your hand and grumbles a barely audible “receta de regalo.”

Doña Clara

My recommendations on what to buy:

– chocolate by the kilo, it’s way cheaper buying a huge block, and it lasts up to a year stored in a cool, dry place. Fénix is a good brand, but there are cheaper ones…they also sell unsweetened chocolate!

– any and every size of mini-pie tins, they are SO cute!

– real vanilla extract and good black sugar (it’s not too strong like the stuff in Barrio Chino)

– assorted jimmies and sprinkles

What not to buy:

– nuts, they’re too expensive here

– the bags of cupcake mix, or just-add-water to make whipped cream…ew.

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3 Responses to “Happiest place on earth: Doña Clara, Casa de Reposteria”

  1. Yanqui Mike July 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Spices! When they open the jars for a customer …you can smell it all the way to the front door.

  2. Katie September 10, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    I visited that shop once when I went to BsAs, and I bought a tart pan that I use all the time. I could have spent a million pesos in that place. 😀

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. There’s No Substitute for Good Chocolate. Or Is There? « One Day Cafe - July 19, 2012

    […] plan to check out Fénix products soon, as well as casa de repostería Doña Clara based on this rave review from Kelly Volman. Though if I were basing my judgement solely on the cultural sensitivity of Doña Clara’s […]

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