Tucked inside an industrial complex hides the home of a fantastic local chocolate and pastry shop – BETA5 Chocolates. Do not let their small, unassuming storefront fool you though, this shop has been gaining international recognition through their chocolate work. With stunning designs, complex taste, and ethical cacao sources, BETA5 easily tops my list for best chocolaterie in Vancouver.
Since January, BETA5 has been offering a limited, unique menu of specialty croissant flavours for their experimental Brunch Menu. The event wrapped up this past weekend, and we have some favourites to share with you as a look back on their most memorable creations.
Let’s begin with my favourite brunch item – their Pane al Cioccolato Tiramisu. This was part of their Italian brunch menu last weekend, and features a delectable chocolate tiramisu croissant that is beyond delicious.
There was ample sweetness overall, and the filling was bursting out of its seams as I bit down. I loved how rich and creamy the mascarpone custard is, which was carefully balanced by the espresso dusting on top, the dark chocolate pieces inside, and the hint of marsala wine. The croissant, itself, was so crispy, flakey, and easy to eat without fatigue, despite being so rich. This was possibly one of the best chocolate croissants that I have ever had! It was simply divine, and I wish I could have one every day.
My second favourite is another chocolate creation called the King of Spades Pain au Chocolate, with dark chocolate cremeux, espresso meringue, and a 66% dark chocolate shard that rests above.
I love how much chocolate flavour is jammed into this! It had a more airy texture, but the flavours are stronger and more assertive. The chocolate cremeux is buttery smooth, which pairs perfectly with the toothsome pieces of dark chocolate stuffed inside. The bitterness of the dark chocolate and espresso and airiness of the dough really help minimize the richness of the almost-overwhelming amount of chocolate. On top, the speckled meringue feels more like a sticky marshmallow frosting. There is a light coffee flavour, which is pleasant, and the shard of dark chocolate melts quickly in my mouth. If you like dark chocolate or coffee, you would be a fan of this one!
Next up is a true crowd-pleaser – the Strawberry Frosted Flake Croissant. This one features a cornmeal frangipane, strawberry jelly, corn flakes, freeze-fried strawberries, and a vanilla glaze.
This croissant was a lot sweeter than the others, simply because of the vanilla glaze, which dries hard instead of staying gooey when served (like a sugar-glazed donut). There was ample texture in this one; you have the crunch from the cereal and sugar glaze, the slight chewy of the bread, and the ooey-gooey from the jelly and frangipane filling. This is best suited with a tea or coffee in-hand, as to best counter its sweetness.
Lastly, there is the Dulce de Leche Kouign Amann, which is an airy and crispy Breton cake, stuffed with house-made dulce de leche.
If you’ve never tasted dulce de leche, it’s really similar to the taste, texture, and appearance of melted caramel. It’s made in two ways – either by slowly heating up sweetened condensed milk or reducing milk and sugar. The difference between these methods is the amount of work that goes into it, so its common for it to be made using condensed milk.
The kouign amann is crusty, doughy, and buttery. I haven’t had much experience eating these, but it was delicious and the textures of the cake paired very well with the thick, gooey dulce de leche.
Judging from the first two croissants, and from my other visits here, I feel like chocolate is still their forte. While their baked goods are good, their chocolate combinations are definitely their best ones.
Service has always been friendly and very helpful, and the prices are more than fair for the amount of time and work to ensure that we get a delicious end-product. I would totally recommend for you to buy a box of their assorted, seasonal chocolates to try out (especially if they have a special release, since they won’t make them again after the event is over), as well as a cream puff and anything else that catches your fancy. Worried they’ll be sold out by the time you arrive? No problem, BETA5’s online shop offers pre-orders for your convenience!
Honestly, I’m planning my next visit there now, and I can’t wait!
- Great, balanced pastries
- LOVE their chocolates!
- Sources cacao ethically
- Focuses on sustainability
- Innovative creations
- Gained international recognition
- Friendly and helpful staff
413 Industrial Ave
Vancouver, V6A 2P8
Tues – Fri 10:30am – 5:30pm
Weekends 10:00am – 5:00pm