You’ve seen them all over Instagram—colourful pops of bursting bombolonis with lively onomatopoeic captions. This lively vitality characterises the new Sourbombe Artisanal Bakery founded by Genevieve Lee, 2018 MasterChef Singapore runner-up.
Ms Lee created her Sourbombe bombolonis by combining the concepts of sourdough bread with Italian bombolonis (custard-filled doughnuts). Her innovation was motivated by her desire to find a doughnut recipe that does not result in the often overly sweet and greasy options in Singapore.
That, with her love of sourdough, was the starter for the bombolonis that is sweeping the Internet with excitement and envy.
Last weekend, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Sourbombe Set of nine assorted flavours (S$44). It was a struggle to keep my family away long enough to get some photos.
The box of nine features an impressive range of flavours, the most intriguing of which were Blueberry Lemon Thyme and Passionfruit and Caramelised Banana Light Yellow. I fell upon those right away.
What I tried
All the bombolonis were lightly coated with white sugar for an attractive shine against the beautifully golden brown exterior, which was a joy to photograph. The coating also provided a slightly crunchy texture to balance the dough’s chewiness.
True to promise, the sourdough had a satisfyingly chewy and elastic consistency. As I tore the bombolonis open, I could feel a slight resistance before they gave way to reveal a delectably airy looking interior.
Even with that airiness, they managed to hold a hefty amount of filling.
True to my expectations, one of my favourites was the Blueberry Lemon Thyme with its lovely balance of sweet and sour in a smooth, creamy filling. I appreciated the fruity punch from the blueberry that cut through the creaminess.
Since the sourdough cut down on the grease you’d usually find in doughnuts, the creamy filling provided a nice amount of moisture in replacement.
With my love for bananas, I certainly had very high expectations for the Passionfruit and Caramelised Banana Light Yellow. Thankfully, they did not disappoint. With its sweet banana flavour mingling with a tanginess from the passionfruit, this bomboloni was a pleasant marriage of flavours.
I especially loved the chunks of banana inside the filling that made the treat feel all the more generous.
Even if you’re not a fan of banana, I think you might still like this flavour because the passionfruit helps to cut through the banana to make it taste less homogenous here.
A dark horse in this set was the Peanut Butter & Jelly. I initially didn’t have high hopes for it because I’ve often been disappointed by lacklustre PB&J desserts—how judgemental of me.
This doughnut really elevates your deepest childhood memories to give you a gastronomic glow-up of adulthood.
The Peanut Butter & Jelly bomboloni takes the familiar combination of savoury, creamy peanut butter with sour fruit compote that we know so well and transposes it to refined elegance with the rosewater infused jam. I felt so fancy tasting the hints of rose in the cream amidst the cheekier chunks of peanut.
While Sourbombe Artisanal Bakery has definitely done justice to its promise to create a stuffed doughnut without unnecessary grease, I would say that their fillings could be lighter and airier for a fairer dough to filling ratio. I can see how a creamy filling is meant to complement the tartness of sourdough, but too much creaminess can get overpowering.
I also liked their unique flavour combinations, and it would have been nice if they’d been bolder with the flavours.
For example, the Houjicha Caramel Crunch was a promising pairing of bitterness and sweetness, but they could have been more heavy-handed with the tea and caramel flavours that I was looking forward to tasting.
That said, with the bitter roasted notes and crunchy caramel balls in the mix, they’re on the right track with this one.
Sourbombe Artisanal Bakery has done one thing right for sure, and that is in conceptualising flavour profiles that encapsulate sweet, savoury, bitter and tart across all their creations. I can especially see that working fundamentally in their use of sourdough.
Biting into a Sourbombe promises an exciting adventure with contrasting tastes that mingle with and bring out each other. If they intensified the individual flavours of their fillings, I’m pretty sure they’ll fully follow through on that promise.
If you’re interested in giving the Sourbombes a try, keep up with their updates on Instagram and their website for when their pre-orders open. You can try out individual flavours or get a set of all nine, but remember, fastest fingers win.
Expected Damage: S$3.60 – S$5.60 per bomboloni; S$44 per Sourbombe box set of nine