At Goollim -- a tiny, seven-seat shop in Seoul’s Banpo-dong -- owner and pastry chef Lim Kyoung-jin demonstrates a flair for infusing toothsome treats with unconventional ingredients.
Lim trumps tradition by filling madeleines with housemade caramel, topping scones with rum glaze and using perilla leaves in her savory pastries. She had studied French pastries and cakes and worked at several bakeries before opening Goollim.
Goollim’s owner and pastry chef Lim Kyoung-jin bakes both savory and sweet treats, including buttery Danishes and rich financiers. (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Drawing from a global lexicon of ingredients to reinterpret traditional baked goods is nothing new, but a chef’s experimentation can sometimes result in a clashing mishmash of flavors.
Fortunately, Lim’s confections do not fall into that category. The chef, who opened her bakery-cafe in late March, demonstrates a knack for creating sweet surprises.
In addition to a classic lemon madeleine -- with a fluffy, citrusy interior and sweet, glazed exterior -- Lim crafts a stellar caramel crumble variation.
“I put housemade caramel into the batter for the madeleine,” said the 33-year-old. She then sprinkles the madeleine in sweet streusel and fills the center with the rich housemade caramel, so that when one bites into this delicious, dainty cake, the caramel oozes out.
Goollim’s caramel crumble madeleine is topped with sweet streusel and filled with caramel (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Coconut orange scones are yet another one of Goollim’s unconventional treats.
Topped with a rum glaze and filled with coconut and orange confit, one bite of these scones unleashes layers of fragrances all tied together by a light but addictive sweetness.
“I like coconut,” Lim said, explaining how her own attachment to the combination of coconut and orange inspired her to make this scone.
Not everything at Goollim deviates from tradition. Lim also crafts beautiful pear Danishes and caneles.
Goollim’s pear Danish features the sweet fruit, swaddled in flaky, buttery layers of pastry and luscious custard-like cream.
The caneles are crispy, caramelized all around the outside and soft and creamy through the center.
There are also savory pastries, like basil-tomato-cheese as well as a selection of Danishes and decadent financiers.
In addition to plenty of tasty carbs, Goollim also serves tea and cold-brewed coffee, including an intensely aromatic and rich milk tea.
“I cold brew two kinds of Earl Grey tea in full fat milk and organic Muscovado sugar for 24 hours,” said Lim of her milk tea.
Goollim, a tiny, seven-seat shop in Seoul’s Banpo-dong, which had its soft opening in March (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
1F, 703-19 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Open 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily, closed Sundays
Baked goods cost 2,800 won to 4,600 won, coffee costs 4,500 won to 5,500 won, tea costs 6,500 to 7,000 won
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org)