Éclairs with Élan

Lindsay Cromartie, a former pastry chef at Inn on Biltmore Estate, offers a royal array of holiday specials among the regular cast of frosted characters at her bakery Gâteaux in Hendersonville. Photos by Tim Robison

Lindsay Cromartie, a former pastry chef at Inn on Biltmore Estate, offers a royal array of holiday specials among the regular cast of frosted characters at her bakery Gâteaux in Hendersonville. Photos by Tim Robison

In French, a “gâteau” can mean a cake or a cookie. So note the plural in the name of Lindsay Cromartie’s bakery, Gâteaux Cakes & Pastries, at the corner of Church and Kanuga. Because this lifelong baker, trained at the Culinary Institute of America and the former pastry demi-chef at the Inn on Biltmore Estate, makes lots of cakes. And macarons. And pies, éclairs, cupcakes, and classic cookies, too.

While she’s as busy as it gets from launching her first business, Cromartie isn’t too tired to add extra icing in the form of a flurry of holiday specials. “We’re going to be doing a variety of things I’m really excited about,” she says. A gingerbread house on the premises will be raffled off, with proceeds going to various local nonprofits.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, she’s making whole seasonal pies — pumpkin-pie cheesecake or apple, cranberry, and pecan. The bakery will offer a “weekend package” include the customer’s choice of one of the two pies, an 8” coffee cake, two-dozen macaron, “mountain mix” (caramel corn, spiced nuts, chocolate pistoles, dried apples, and cranberries), cheddar-thyme shortbread, Scottish shortbread, and chocolate-cinnamon icebox cookies.

“The idea,” she says, “is to not only get people through the holidays, but the following days, as well, if they have guests in town.”

Drawing inspiration from local orchards’ “you-pick/we-pick” success game, Cromartie is rolling out a “you-bake/we-bake” initiative. Guests either pick up finished cookies or take raw dough home to make their own, selecting from the flavors of chocolate-chip, sugar, cinnamon-chocolate and cranberry-pistachio.

Icing for the sugar cookies is optional, but Cromartie doesn’t anticipate many people turning down either idea.

“Who in their right mind doesn’t like fresh-baked cookies?”

Gateaux Cakes & Pastries, 315-B Church St., Hendersonville. 828-513-1920. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 8am-4:30pm. For more information, see gateauxhvl.com.

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