Baked Goods

Filling Up On Japanese Cream Puffs at Beard Papa's

It's hard to pass on these puffs.
It's hard to pass on these puffs. Kevin Burton

“The world’s best cream puffs” are a hit in Scottsdale Quarter.

Beard Papa’s, the Japanese-born pastry chain making the claim, has been serving its distinctive brand of cream puffs in the luxury shopping district since late February, and is now planning a second Arizona store on the north end of the SanTan Village shopping center in Gilbert.

The SanTan location is set to open before January, although an exact opening date has yet to be determined, says Beard Papa’s manager, Darianna Martinez, who will oversee both stores.

Customers can pick from eight different types of shells and four unique fillings, Martinez says. Shell options include original, chocolate éclair, green tea éclair, honey butter, strawberry éclair, s’mores éclair, Oreo cookie crumble éclair, and crispy almond.

The éclairs have their tops dipped in chocolate and then flavors are added, she says. For example, the strawberry éclair is strawberry powder with white chocolate. Oreo cookie crumble is white chocolate mixed with Oreo crumbs. The chocolate éclair is traditional dark chocolate, and the green tea éclair is a combination of matcha powder and white chocolate.

click to enlarge Darianna Martinez will manage both Beard Papa's locations. - KEVIN BURTON
Darianna Martinez will manage both Beard Papa's locations.
Kevin Burton

According to Martinez, crispy almond is a little different from the rest.

“[Its] texture is like a churro, but it is hollow on the inside,” she says. “It has an almond glaze on top and filled.”

The shell dough comes directly from Japan and shells are baked daily at the shop. They’re prepared in trays of 15 and take about 33 minutes to bake, Martinez says.

“After they come out, they start to inflate,” she says. “Everything is hollow from the inside, and then we have four different types of filling.”

For every shell you choose, you get to pick what flavor goes on the inside, which is a custard-based filling. Filling flavors are vanilla, chocolate, green tea and one monthly flavor.

“We have one flavor that changes every month,” Martinez says. “November was Nutella.”

Martinez says the most popular cream puff at Scottsdale Quarter is the original with vanilla filling.

click to enlarge Beard Papa's in Scottsdale Quarter. - KEVIN BURTON
Beard Papa's in Scottsdale Quarter.
Kevin Burton

Creating the custard filling is a three-hour process that involves hearing and cooling. The custard is only good for a few days, so the process is repeated every other day or every third day, Martinez says.

A unique treat at Beard Papa’s is the chocolate fondant that’s like a lava cake. It’s heated up for exactly eight seconds before its served to maximize the chocolate lava flow, Martinez says.

“When you bite into it, chocolate will ooze out,” she says.

Another delight done fresh at Beard Papa’s is the crème brulee, an original shell with the top cut off, filled with vanilla and brulee sugar toasted on top with a torch.

Yuri Hirota, the bearded baker whose cartoon image adorns Beard Papa’s walls and packaging, launched the concept in Osaka, Japan, in 1999. Today there are more than 400 stores spread across 15 countries.

Stay up on Beard Papa's on Facebook and Instagram.

Beard Papa's
15147 North Scottsdale Road, Suite H102, Scottsdale
Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
2218 East Williams Field Road, #235, Gilbert
(Opening date and hours of operation TBD)
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