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Baked in Montreal: Cheesecake at Seraphin

Posted by Kim / November 20, 2007

20071120_seraphin2.jpgCheese definitely seems to be a recurring theme in my life. In addition to being on the journey for Montreal’s best poutine, I’m also actively trying to hunt out Montreal’s best cheesecake. There are two worlds of cheesecake, the restaurant-cake and the bakery-cake. This week is all about the bakery – or more specifically, Boulangerie Séraphin. I’ve passed this place at least a dozen times and not gone in. Nothing in the windows were impressive enough to grab me, and so I went without some of the best cheesecake I’ve had from this city’s bakeries.

20071120_seraphin4.jpgThe first time I did go in, the woman gave me a sample of what she said was one of the best things her bakery offers – an entire Portuguese egg tart, or, pastel de nata. Like Emily, I am a fan of Rosario; they’re pretty much as good as it gets. But Rosario, watch out. Séraphin gives your egg tart a fantastic run for its money; flaky and buttery crust filled with a lightly sweet custard that is wonderfully caramelized on top.
20071120_seraphin3.jpgThe second time I visited, I asked for a suggestion, and I was given queijada de feijao, or, a Portuguese bean tart made with white bean paste. The pastry is stuffed with this much sweeter filling, and then coated in confectioner’s sugar. Not as good as the egg tart, but definitely something that I would happily enjoy with a cup of coffee every other afternoon.
But back to the point – the cheesecake! I tried the two kinds they had there, a massive slice of raspberry cheesecake, and another of chocolate-cake-cheesecake. They were absolutely perfect. Cheesecake can be a finicky dessert to prepare, but the slices at Séraphin are expertly done. The chocolate-cake version is a regular cream cheese filling sitting on top of a graham-crumb-crust. Embedded throughout the cheesecake are chunks of “chocolate cake” (brownies would actually be the more appropriate terms and the slice is topped with a thick layer of dark chocolate ganache. I have never so happily risked diabetes. The raspberry one is even better; tart swirls of raspberry throughout the cake, and the same graham crust. The cream cheese filling, often the trickiest part to do well, is just the way I think cheesecake should be done…not so dense and packed that it’s like eating right from the tub of cream cheese, but not fluffy or foamy either.
20071120_seraphin6.jpgSéraphin has many other baked goods that will keep tempting me back over and over again. I’ll return to try some of their loaves of bread, as well as some of the fruit-speckled tarts that beckoned me last time I was there.

Boulangerie Séraphin
5008 St. Laurent



RAnnieB / November 22, 2007 at 07:57 pm
Hi Kim,

You may want to give Adonis (the supermarket) cheesecake a try (the one with caramel bits on the side). Most folks I've recommended it to have put it on their "one of the best cheesecake in Mtl" list.

kim / November 22, 2007 at 09:19 pm
It's been (perhaps foolishly) a rule of mine to not eat baked goods from grocery stores.
But here's a rule about to be broken! Thanks!
Paloma / November 24, 2007 at 08:14 pm
Cheskie's Bakery on Bernard makes these delumptious, cheesecake... puffs? They're so good, they're indescribable.
Amanda / December 9, 2007 at 08:22 pm
I must second Paloma's Cheskie's recommendation! (And while you're there, try to score a slice of babka if they're not sold out!)
djou / December 30, 2007 at 10:45 am
i'm not sure if this will satisfy you, but i like the not too creamy, not too dense strawberry cheesecake from afroditi in park ex. calories on ste-catherine also makes an interesting mango cheesecake.
kim / January 10, 2008 at 10:46 am
I like the cake at Calories, but haven't tried anything from Afroditi. Definitely going to make the trip out though, thanks!
Greg / February 28, 2008 at 01:53 am
Give Dunns a try. Fully luscious cheesecake goodness.
Raymond Chow / March 12, 2008 at 01:25 am
Hi Kim. I'm actually traveling to Montreal in a couple of days with my friends from college for our Spring Break vacation. Coincidentally, it's going to be me and my girlfriend's 3-month anniversary. I was wondering if you would suggest this shop for me to take her; or I am also willing to take up any other suggestions. If you would kindly please contact me through my e-mail, that'll be great. Thanks a lot.
Marcos / February 4, 2015 at 03:01 pm
I think people also have dfirefent expectations when it comes to a chain or an independent restaurant. For example, if you go to a indy restaurant specializing in Italian food and the plate you order isn't good you'll assume that everything else on the menu including the chef. Chances are you won't be returning to that restaurant. While at a chain restaurant if you get something you don't like, you'll just order something dfirefent the next time you go.When it comes down to it, first impressions are really important for independent restaurants, while chain restaurants can get away with first time bad experiences.
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