I’m pretty sure if you have lived in North Burnaby for any length of time, or even in other parts of the Lower Mainland, you have heard of The Valley Bakery (check out their web-site here). It was even in the locally shot VIFF movie I attended (and reviewed here) called Marrying the Family. If you haven’t though, I’m sorry and I’m here to help.
I’ve been a few times to check it out, and then to indulge in their absolutely yummy pastries, but so far every time I went it was during the day, during the week. It was always very busy but it wasn’t crazy. For the first time, I went on a Saturday. It was crazy. It was your normal November, pouring rain, day but still the place was close to bursting. The Valley Bakery is on Hastings and there isn’t a lot of parking, it’s only street parking, so people have to walk to get there. I had walked two blocks myself & I hate getting wet.
The first thing you should do when you get there is take a number. Then walk around and look at all the treats. If you walk around first then grab a number, you could end up having a long wait. The Valley Bakery does breads, buns, cookies, squares, cupcakes, cakes, and a bunch of things in between.
In the past I have tried cupcakes, tarts, squares, and cake slices. They have such a range of products that I couldn’t possibly tell you about everything but I will tell you about my favourite, which is why I walked the two blocks on this occasion, as well as a Christmas staple I also ended up getting while I was there. I wasn’t disappointed and getting wet was totally worth it. I even took the pictures in my car just in case I couldn’t contain myself and ended up eating something before I got home.
The Tower (I think that is its name)
This little amazingness reminds me of something but I can’t quite remember what it is. The Valley Bakery has this wonderful slice of chocolate cake layered with chocolate cream icing and then they make it even better by coating it in a hard chocolate shell. It really is a shell too. When you bite into it, the taste buds in your mouth end up having a little orgasmic experience because you have dark chocolate breaking off into pieces and landing into your mouth at the same time you realize the moist chocolate cake and soft chocolate cream icing is next. I fell in love with it the first time I tried it. It’s just a small slice but it is enough. There is this base of what is almost cookie like with a thin layer of jam or something like that. I didn’t even notice them before this last time.
You’re probably thinking you can buy a nanaimo bar anywhere you go at this time of year and the one in the picture doesn’t look any different. You are right. One of the differences is, The Valley Bakery uses cream cheese in their filling and they have now just thrown the gauntlet down to all of those other places. I love the nanaimo bar with its crunchy chocolate base, crazy sweet filling and chocolate topping but, oh my gosh, while this one was the same, it was also so different. The chocolate topping was literally melting in my mouth, or more accurately, as I was biting into it. The filling was sweet still but the cream cheese added a whole new unexpected dimension to it. The chocolate crunchy base was different also. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but the crunch was different. Maybe there were nuts in there? I don’t know for sure though.
I’m not an Egg Nog fan, at all, but they also had an Egg Nog slice that looked incredible. It looked like a big giant pastry slice with an Egg Nog whipped filling in the middle. Don’t worry, the bakery still had the other Christmas staples too. There were gingerbread men, shortbread, sugar cookies, speculaas cookies, xmas ring cookies, etc. Every season they have a selection of seasonal cookies for you to choose from.
The Valley Bakery makes everything on-site so don’t forget about them when your special event needs a cake either.