Thursday, July 23, 2015

Europe - Sweets in Paris

Prior to setting foot in France, I knew what I was enrolling myself into. Notoriously known for all things sweet, pretty and petite, the French does best at creating edibles that are simply too picturesque to eat. Hence, this warrants for intensive gym sessions and possibly only wearing baggy clothing for sometime.

I will not be badgering you guys with what to do whilst in France but if you would like travelling tips/ notes you are more than welcomed to visit my travelling blog. My intention is to keep this blog filled with yummy posts in the form of restaurant reviews, recipes and new food finds that you may be interested in.

Now back to this francais post. Whilst I have efficiently compiled a list of cafes and bakeries to visit, unfortunately, time was not by our side. Modifications had to be made to ensure that our holiday still is a holiday.

Let's talk about macarons first. In Paris, one cannot walk past Laduree and Pierre Herme without getting anything. Having sampled Laduree in Sydney and Pierre Herme in Hong Kong, I knew that both shops will not disappoint, especially when I am in the land that originated them.

Laduree - despite costing about 2 euros each, we were not disappointed at all. Two beautifully shaped macaron shells enclose the intensely flavoured filling and melts away with each bite. There are so many Laduree outlets around Paris and I like how there's so many options to pick. Highly recommended!

Pierre Herme - there are a few Pierre Herme outlets around Paris but do bear in mind that only two outlets are patisseries (outlet list here). I only managed to sample their Ispahan croissant and would have loved to try out other delights. There's a little Pierre Herme boutique in Galeries Lafeyette so that gave us a chance to grab a box of macarons on our first night! 

Depending on how many macarons you are after, you will be given a box to accommodate them and if you are a bit fussy on the box's design (like me), feel free to let them know. Yes, the macarons are very flavourful and again, has a crisp exterior that is balanced by the moist filling.

Cafe Angelina ~ I wanted to at least have tea time at a Parisian dessert cafe and picked this cafe due to it's prime location. Smacked in Galeries Lafeyette, be sure to visit this place if you are feeling weary after shopping. It is cheaper to takeaway the cakes or macarons, by at least 2 euros per item so this is entirely up to you. 

We tried the Mont Blanc which is a dessert of sweetened, pureed chestnut. The sister found this a little too sweet and overwhelming for her liking but I thought it tasted just right. Would have perhaps went down better with a cup of tea.

Whilst the macarons here may not be as varied in terms of flavour as compared to Laduree or Pierre Herme, they still do serve up good macarons that come in traditional flavours such as raspberry, lemon and chocolate.

L'Eclair De Genie ~ this was a wild card in my boxes as I was never a fan of eclairs. Despite knowing my preference, I still went ahead and purchased a couple. Thank goodness I did as they are delicious and bursting with flavour. Prices range from 6 euros to 8 euros depending on the design and flavour of the eclair. 

An eclair is basically a choux pastry that has cream pipped into it. Which was why I can not understand the fuss about it. L'Eclair De Genie proved me wrong and cruelly made me crave for this whenever I think of eclairs. The proportion of cream to pastry was leaning towards more cream and this gave the otherwise dull eclair a lot of character, depending on the filling. 

Oh and not forgetting to mention that each eclair looks stunning so even if you are not a fan, do waltz by to have a peek.

I have visited Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki's shop in Taiwan and decided to challenge that experience. A stand alone shop just opposite L'Eclair De Genie in Galeries Lafeyette's food gallery, I noticed that a few of his pastries were Japanese inspired such as yuzu and green tea. 

As we were moving around whilst in Paris, I was not comfortable with the idea of keeping them beyond one day. Sadly, I only purchased his green tea and caramel tart (was looking for some croissants!). The caramel sauce nicely cuts through the bitterness of the green tea cream. Tart shell was buttery and not soggy despite holding the liquid-y caramel sauce in it.

The sister and I stayed along Rue des Martyrs for a night as we await our transition to another country and this gave us an opportunity to scout the neighbourhood.

Rose Bakery - a quaint little cafe that can comfortably sit 15 patrons, we felt at ease here. Perhaps sitting with other patrons who are not in a rush or perhaps it's the waitress's charms that made us feel relaxed. Or possibly the fact that every baked product reminds us of the comfort of home, who knows really. 

We sampled their bacon quiche tart which was freshly made this morning. The scent of cheese and butter was intoxicating as well as addictive. We loved every bite of this quiche and wanted more. 

Pistachio loaf ~ the price of a piece of cake is depending on it's weight. The chef was definitely not stingy with butter here but did restrain from using excess quantities. Simplicity at it's best.

Raspberry and green tea loaf ~ yet another simple piece done well. 

Sebastien Gaudard - also located along Rue Des Martyrs, this little boutique is a viennoiserie, patisserie and confectionery. Apple turnover pastry was flaky and apples were cooked well. The highlight, for me, was their cakes. 

We had a Paris brest, raspberry tart and a cherry cake. All were spot on in terms of taste, flavour and presentation. Again, I would have loved to sample more but time did not permit. The cost of each item ranges from 4 euros to 6 euros. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post as much as I have enjoyed sussing them out. Feel free to drop me a message if you would like other sugary sweet suggestions:)

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