Taste spotting in Paris! French dessert and pastry

I regularly buy pastries from shops. Trying not to consume too much sugar on a daily basis, but reserving for those magic moments. With this threat, I will post some of my recent hunts. There are basically 2 types of pastries, the ones you eat in restaurants or tea house, the second is the ones you buy from shops. You are welcome to post your finds in the both catagories.

Off we go, yesterday I was around in the Haussemann Opera district. A stop at Galerie Lafayette Gourmet and grabbed some cakes from several patisseries.

Starting with fruity favours, from l’Éclair de Génin, we have the Citron Yuzu éclair (Lemon, Yuzu - japanese grapefruit) and the Crispy Framboise éclair (Crispy raspberry). Me I love the lemon Yuzu one: lemon cream in the centre of the puff dough with the Yuzu icing on the top, it’s topped with Streusel and crispy Swiss meringue. Not very acid overall, and the Yuzu introduce a slight bitterness that creates a strong character. My partner love the raspberry éclair, it is really fruity in taste, with a slight acid taste, a lot of flavours that is seldom found in a raspberry dessert. If you know the style of Christophe Adam, you know his éclairs are completely filled with cream in the middle, actually you don’t feel that much of the dough, less airy than other pastry chef. I remembered the first time eating it, I find it a bit strange. Now, I just get used to it and like it much more.

The third cake is a Salty Caramel tart from the Japanese chef, Sadaharu AOKI. I like everything with caramel salty butter, so I just like every part of this tart, the tart base is sablé (like cookie) and hard and not too thick. Usually, I have some reservation with Aoki’s dessert, finding them slightly too sweet for my taste. But this one with the balance of the salty taste, is in its perfect equilibrium.

The last cake is from Jean-Paul Hevin, a Goncourt Chocolat - a layered chocolate cake alternating with caramelized dark chocolate and a dark chocolate pastry cream. For chocolate lover, this is a very aromatic bitter chocolate cake not to miss.


Very nice! Like the photos, too. Please keep it up (and if you do then sorry about your abs :slight_smile: )

I don’t like sugary things but pastries usually look so pretty and I do enjoy looking. However, my partner likes pastries and whilst on holiday we do buy them to go with coffee. I always try a bite, yes just one each thing. I especially like most things with poppy seeds, these pastries are popular in Franconia (a region in Bavaria, Germany).

(And that’s exactly where I will be in 16 days time :joy: )

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Thanks! I will try to keep up in a reasonable rate.

Yesterday, I saw on Pierre Herme’s website that he was doing Galette des Rois version riz au lait et agrumes confits. (literally translated as King cake - rice pudding with citrus confit). I instantly informed Mr naf as he is a big fan of riz au lait! A normal galette is with almond cream, so it is a quite new combination. Called this morning to reserve, off to the shop in the evening and fetched this big galette to celebrate Epiphany!

As you can see there was a baby pear confit, very cute.

The shop told us to heat the galette at 150ÂşC in an oven for 15 minutes, and waited another 15 minute before degustation.

Was it good? Perfect according to Mr. n. I’m not a huge fan of confit fruit (found them tasted too sweet and chemical) but I must admit the whole pastry was very well balance, very light with the puff pastry, while it was loaded with butter, there were a lot of fruit confit inside as you can see…the layer of rice pudding is very thin. Actually, you only get a hint of the taste of rice pudding. Strangely, it wasn’t that sweet as a dessert.

So who got the fève? (that silver thing you see, it was a Religious cake) NO ONE, as Mr. n cut the galette, it was just below his knife and he put it aside.

We paired the galette with a pear cider of Eric Bordelet.


Beautiful! Don’t have a sweeth tooth but I would try a tiny bit of this.

Saw signs everywhere in Alsace for Galette des Rois right after new year.

La Parisienne is famous for their baguette that names after themselves, they are on the top 5.
Indeed the bread is really good, crispy shell… but how about their dessert? I bought an Opéra and a Baba au rhum to taste.

The Opéra was a bit disappointing. The cake seemed a bit hard, meaning it was not fresh from today. I didn’t sense the coffee taste, only chocolate. Baba au rhum was quite good. It’s moist with a extra doze of rhum. Personally, maybe I will prefer to have a rhum with more character.

I usually avoid buying pastries from a boulangerie, which specialise in bread, pastries are just their side project.

I bought myself sometime ago a mould to make Baba. Just to find a good recipe.


Cake tasting yesterday! Had 4 cakes…of course shared! This time tried the newly opened Fou de Pâtisserie shop in rue Montorgueil, the concept is to bring several famed pastry shops selling under 1 roof. Some cakes are specially recipes, others were the best sellers. Fou de patisserie is a specialised pastry magazine for the professionals and home pastry lovers. No doubt with the success of the magazine, I see line outside their shop yesterday.

L’Equinoxe - Cyril Lignac
Vanilla Bourbon, salty caramel, spéculoos biscuits
To be honest, it was the grey colour that got me curious. Was wondering what taste could it be. It’s not an usual or very appetising color. The taste was more classic than the look, with the right crispiness.

Baba au rhum - Cyril Lignac
Classic! but really well made!

Chesse cake cheesecake black currents et Sicilian mandarin - Jonathan Blot
My favorite! too bad maybe the day was a bit too hot, the biscuit base was soaking with syrup.
The acid taste is just right.

Dome raspberry - Hugo et Victor
Jelly o jelly. Taste was good. But we have eaten several cakes with similar soft texture, so it didn’t impressed as much. It’s very creamy (a bit heavy), strangely the cheese cake was lighter in comparison.

How they look like inside!


The last goodie we got from the shop is a bag of fresh marshmallows from Gilles Marchal, 8.5€ for 8 pieces !
Texture is different from the ones we bought in supermarket. Quite good but I prefers more the cakes!


Current running on BBC TV is “Bake Off Creme de la Creme”. It’s a professional version of our long running Great British Bake-Off series.

Each episode features three teams of pastry chefs making specific items of patisserie. One can only marvel at the skill!

Definitely a programme to look out for if you can access the BBC or its Iplayer.

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Actually, these days I don’t eat sweet that often, so I have to be more selective!

Thanks, this could be interesting.

This is a very fun thread to watch but now I’m so jealous and craving Paris-Brest - which I never find here in the US … keep posting.

I would have though Paris Brest was fairly easy to find in the US. I’ve managed to find it in India (Darjeeling to be precise). Had a fair few with the mid morning pot of tea.

Nah, too much backstory and giggling over Brest for Americans.

Thank you very much, indeed you should!

This week’s pastries were from Les Belles Envies in Paris 5th district. They all had a little label IGC®. Originally, I thought it was the shop’s or the chef’s name, in fact, it’s a label signifying that Index Glycémique Contrôlé, Glycemic Index is less than 25, meaning people with diabetes can consume without problem.

Apple tarte with basil - La Tartelette Pomme Granny Basilic
Apple taste is mild in this jelly, not acid but with strong basil taste. Not bad at all.

Raspberry and passion fruit éclair - L’Eclair Passion Framboise
If you like acid taste, you will sure like this. Very refreshing.

Chocolate cake - Le finger Chocolats SG
Strong nut taste balanced well with the chocolate, lovely marriage.

Lemon tart
It’s good, but I think my Jacque Genin’s recipe is still a bit better. I think it’s because the Genin recipe uses lots of butter…

All of them were really good. I like the Ă©clair and the chocolate cake the best.
I was surprised after eating 2 pastries, I didn’t feel “heavy” or filling at all.
Sure I will return for more. If this shop is successful, I think it will be a big game changer. Cakes in the future will be lighter and healthier. No more guilty feeling!


Walking past the shop of Patrick Roger yesterday in Saint Germain, was impressed by this sculpture of orang-outan made of chocolate.


Yesterday, I was quite late when I arrived in the Christophe Michalak’s shop after my Asian food shopping. At 7pm, there were some bigger cakes (4-6 servings) and some Kosmik left. The cakes looked good, especially the Yuzu tart that was 45 euro, but since I think we should consume less sugar than more (we were only 2), I opted for the individual portion Kosmik. The dessert was presented in a format similar to in a glass verrine like Pierre Hermé, but in a plastic jar, ready for take away. You could even ask for a spoon if you need to eat it right away.

Kosmik Bounty - coconut with chocolate. For those who love coconut, the presence of dried coconut is undeniable. Generally, I’m not a coconut flakes fan, I think it was rather good.

Kosmik figs with white cheese. You can see a macaron on the top with the creamy white cheese and a fig jam at the bottom. It was okay, nothing very spectacular in the taste.

For 7.50 euro a jar, I find them too simple for the taste for that price tag. Maybe it’s Michalak, I had too high expectation. I had never tasted his dessert when he was still at Plaza Athénée. Next time I will definitely try his non jarred pastries.

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We were strolling in the outlet boutiques place in La Vallée Village in Serris, close to the Euro Disney last Saturday after an afternoon appointment. It was still early for shopping Christmas but we saw lines queuing in front of many stores. We saw several pâtisseries, Pierre Hermé selling mostly chocolate and macarons, Amorino selling waffles.

We stopped by La Maison du Chocolate and took 2 éclairés, 1 dark chocolate and the second one a coffee dark chocolate that they claimed using Hawaïenne coffee beans. The Chocolat éclair has a beautiful shiny dark colour glaze with a golden leaf decoration. We love the intense flavour of the toasted coffee, nothing to compared to the neighborhood éclair au café with just the coffee aroma. 5,50€ each, for sure it isn’t the neighbourhood price.


Wonderful photos, top to bottom!

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I’m an enormous fan of chocolate eclairs, when they are done well. Unfortunately, they are rarely done well by most places here - poor quality chocolate and soggy pastry is the norm.

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What’s that old saying? A bad éclair is better than no éclair at all. :sunglasses: