The whole street knows if Miriam Staffhorst and her pâtisseries are working on something delicious. If you feel the wonderful aromas of cinnamon, chocolate, other ingredients and the freshly baked cakes, you cannot resist to stop by. We visited them on a special day when they were making 80 Christmas breads on one day. At the same time we watched how the city wakes up.
I dare to say that Urban Bakery in Rotterdam is the best pastry and cake shop in the city! Miriam started 3 years ago by herself, almost as a hobby and now sometimes they hardly can fit all the orders. This year they extended the shop, redoubled the kitchen and the café space and the place still has not lost a bit of it's charm.
When we first arrived to Holland in 2012 we struggled a lot with getting our car registered and arranging a parking spot for it. One day we were quite upset about the difficulties with administration and suddenly we recognised the cake shop. We could smell the cinnamon and vanille, so we followed the delicious aromas. We stepped in and bureaucracy was not an issue any more.
Our favourites are the cupcake with passion fruit icing, the lemon square, the cheesecake with goat cheese, the cranberry bar with nuts and white chocolate. Before, I didn't like carrot cakes and neither dates. Miriam actualy made me like these with her Carrot - date cake. As the team of Urban Bakery got bigger the menu got richer with more and more specialities. Hommade recipies and cakes made with professionalism.
Ok so it's Christmas time. Dutch eat this bread both at Christmas and Easter time. What's in it? Heaps of almond, pistachios, nuts, cashews, raisins and different sorts of dried fruits.
A good friend of Miriam, Frank van Venrooy use to help her makes these breads and he likes to stick to start at six early in the morning. Bakers used to and still start fresh and early so people can by they pastries and breads fresh at the opening.
While Miriam made the portions Frank mixed the dough and stuffed it with almond pasta. This is a sort of marzipan, but not as thick and has more almonds in it. Typically used for cakes and pastries to bake with.
After the breads were baked for an hour and rested for a little while they got dipped in to vanilla sugar. Standing there following this proces really felt like to be at the best place on Earth. The atmosphere of the bakery and the aromas!
It's a typically story for succes showing that passion and enthusiasm can really make things going. If we have guests we always grab and take them here, sometimes we also feel like that returning friends are coming more for Miriams Urban Bakery then to us.