Taste spotting in Paris! French dessert and pastry

Éclaire is also one of my favourite dessert, my preference is café. Likewise, most of them were bought in bakery stores were quite tasteless and soggy. I think they are mostly unfrozen industrial ones in the Parisian bakeries.

Well, unless very hungry, I will pass. I had some really bad ones that were moist cardboard like in texture and taste…(from supermarket bakeries)

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A few days ago, I finally bought a cake for both of our birthdays! His in October and mine in early November! We were too busy to even do anything until now. So hooray for this Yuzu lemon tart from Christophe Michalak.

I love lemon tart and could make a pretty decent one. This one is one of the best I have ever ate! (the second best one is from Pierre Hermé)

The crumble tart base is excellent, I don’t know how technically one can do it, but in the crumble, there is actually some sugar (unmelted), so it gave a very crunchy texture. As you can see, there is a layer of lemon cake, on the top of it with the Yuzu cream, topped with a fine layer of lemon and Yuzu jelly. On the jelly, you can find classic meringue and lime chantilly, some coconut flakes around the cake. It’s so good. Don’t under estimate this pastry though, it’s quite filling, normally it’s for 8 but we ate it as if for 4.

I took this picture too late in the shop, the tart was already being put in the box to go… I had been hesitating a lot actually which out of the 3 I should get.


Tarte au citron is a firm favourite Chez Harters.

There are too many good pastries shops in Paris. This time my choice is Blé Sucré. Fabrice le Bourdat had an impressive CV: pastry chef in le Bistrot, le Plaza Athénée à Paris, le Martinez à Cannes… before finally opening his own shop in Square Trousseau in the 12th district, not too far from the Place de la Bastille.

I nearly missed the place when trying to search the address yesterday, I noticed a shop selling sandwiches with several outdoor tables, next to a children playground. I was thinking like many successful pastries, they open a second traiteur next to the pâtisserie. Walking to and fro several times, but no, there is only 1 shop. So that’s it, a tiny neighbour hood place.

The shop might be small, but it is full of goodies…all the flat surfaces you see sometimes on it, from cakes, to bread, sandwiches, viennoiseries, huge and small madeleines, macarons, chocolates… I had difficulty in choosing… I saw a glass display with classic pastries like Paris Brest, lemon tart (around 3,50 euros) and more elaborated pieces that are about 5,50 euros.

Not to missed is their viennoiseries, very impressed with the puffy pastries, only 1,30€ for a pain au chocolat and they are XL puffy (in contrast to most flat smallish bread in most shops). Blé Sucré got elected nº2 in the recent 2016 edition Le Figaro’s best chocolate croissant in Paris.

Tarte Tatin - caramelised Golden apple topped on a Brittany shortbread

Pomelo - Bavarian almond and vanilla - grapefruit in the centre with a cookie base
Actually I have no idea why they are talking about grapefruit here and shown, instead an apple.

Goût de Paradis - really a taste in paradis - coconut sandwich, milk chocolate ganache, a touch of passion fruit and coconut milk, the outside has a very sticky rubbery texture, some people dislike it. Me while I’m not a big fan of coconut, I like the mix of coco, chocolate and passion fruit.

Snickers - peanut cream with whole peanut and caramel. Very good, but very heavy. It’s difficulty to eat the whole cake, in our case, we divided the cake into 2, and the portion was just right.

Sorry, no chocolate croissant photo… they were gone too quickly. There were good.
My Nº1 is still the one I ate in Hong Kong by Robuchon, the pâte feuilletée is exceptional and they were still crispy even in the inside.


These days, I’d like to eat more traditional food, than new creation. Today - salted butter caramel caramel religious by Christophe Michalak.

I know, now it’s the month of galette des rois. But doesn’t particularly want that today, want some normal cakes than another festival cake.

The religious is simply E X C E L L E N T. We are very impressed by the pastry, it is done just right, not hard, not dry and airy, with the big choux filled with cream. I like this cake not too sweet and actually quite salty, very good. I tried choux specialist Christophe Adams’ éclair some time ago, his choux too was filled with cream, but the pastry wasn’t airy and too dry…the result wasn’t very satisfactory. The second time I bought it a few months ago, he improved a bit, but compared to this pastry from Christophe Michalak, this one is a real killer!

In an interview with Michalak, a journalist commented his pastries were too expensive. His reply, for his religious that was sold at 9 euros, it weighed 150g (it’s true, very heavy), most other shops sell cheaper, but they weren’t even half of his weight…

This is our third try on Michalak, we find the Kosmik is fun, but not very convincing yet. The lemon tart totally won us! Now with this religuese, besides Pierre Hermé, he is now our favourite pastry chef!

The pastry is sold in a dome as individual cake.

Notice the volkswagen van chocolate cake on the top, I want that too! (Next time)
Strange that the window display, the emphasis is not on the galettes, everybody is buying that. I think he still has to know how to market his stuff. Pierre Hermé’s was just around the corner, long queues outside the shop, while the shop of Michalak was kind of empty, a few people looking around, but nobody was buying.


Enjoy it while you can. The moment big media profile the shop everyone will line up there… (assume they don’t fold, that is.)

Since the terrorist attack in 2015, the food and hotel industry is suffering financial lost. 2016 has been a difficult year, of course no problem for Pierre Hermé, as he has been recently elected as world pastry 2016 by the media. But even Hermé, when he started his first shop and tea house, he has gone bankrupted.

Michalak is big, he has been on a TV cooking show for 3 years, he has worked in Ducasse’s 3 starred palace for 15 years, and he and the french team has won the champion world best pastry chef a few years ago.

To be honest, his shop is strange. It’s very white, with some cartoonish graphics (which I like), but the general feeling is a bit too cold, I think it is due to the lighting that is also very white (LED). He doesn’t sell a lot of individual cakes, only [Kosmiks] (Taste spotting in Paris! French dessert and pastry) in a bottle (looks like fast food?!) and the pastry I bought today, there are family size pastry that is around 48 euros… If you are tourist, you won’t be able to bring it back to hotel to eat the whole cake. There are many chocolates, but if you are a chocolate lover, you will go to a bigger name specialist shop. He also sells a lot of “cake”, cake in French is more an English or US thing, so I don’t know many French really crazy about it. So the positioning is not very clear. I think he wants to show he is very avant garde and people doesn’t quite get it…


Tried the famed TV chef Cyril Lignac patisserie this time, bought them in rue Paul Bert shop, the pastries were beautiful, like jewels. The shop sells always sour dough bread which aren’t at all bad.

Noisette / Hazelnut - Crispy sugar dough, hazelnut and gianduja ganache

Framboise Cassis / Rasberry Blackcurrant - Crispy sugar dough, raspberry and blackcurrant fruit jelly and compote, mascarpone mousse - DH said the taste was subtile, personally I found it wastn’t very balance, between the fruit jelly’s strong flavour with the quite bland mascarpone cream.

Éclaire - salty butter caramel
DH found the choux a bit hard. I find preferred the caramel of Michalak, the taste has more dimensions than this one… Nothing very special

Lemon tart - Crispy sugar dough, sweet hazelnut biscuit, lemon cream, confit and compote
Our favourite for the taste, strong acid taste especially enhanced by the lemon confit, there was very thin layer of cream. I find the execution was still leave to be desired, the tart base was totally filled and was quite hollow.

Both of us noticed that even after eating 2 pastries by each of us, we were still very hungry. Size wise was small and too light. They were too beautiful to be substantial.

La Patisserie Cyril Lignac
24 rue Paul Bert
75011 Paris


Lemon tarts lovers will find this article interesting. Tasting on 24 lemon tarts found in Paris.


The day normally to celebrate Epiphany is 6th January, and the celebration continues all the month. But shops start selling Gateaux des Rois, the cake to celebrates the kings in end of December for commercial reasons.

In the south they celebrate the event with the Couronne des Rois, a crown cake made in brioche, decorated with fruits confits, while in Paris, situated in the north, their king cake is a puffy pastry centred with usually with frangipane (Pierre Hermé version from last year).

This year, I didn’t really intended to buy this cake, but saw it accidentally when buying my bread in Thevenin Pastry shop near Montparnasse.

The fève, this year a bear and I won it!

The fruit confits was very good, not too dried. The brioche was a bit hard, we suspected it was baked the day before. Disappointed because it looked very promising. Next year, I will make mine, I made it twice, and I believed my brioche was superior to this one, though I need to source better fruit confits.


The pastry shop Carl Marletti is in the 5th district in Paris, facing the Saint-Médard square, next to Mouffetard market.

It is a heaven for cake lovers, no bread, just pastries! They have quite a large selection of pastries. Cakes are well decorated and aesthetically pleasing.

Caraïbe - Passion fruit cream, , milk chocolate mousse, crunchy praline ganache, lime shortbread


Éclair caramel with salted butter

Éclair caramel with salted butter

L’éclair with bigaradier (bitter orange) - Orange jelly, orange chips, light cream with bigaradier, custard

L’éclair with bigaradier

Lemon tart with meringue

Lemon tart with meringue

I don’t have a big preference among these 4 pastries. They are all in well equilibrium and have harmonious flavours and typical what you want to find in French pastry. Taste more on the sweet side.

Pâtissier Carl Marletti
51 rue Censier
75005 Paris
Tue-Sat: 10h - 20H
Sunday and holiday: 10h - 13h30


From Thierry Marx - La Boulangerie in the 8th district, near the street rue de Miromesnil, Blvd. Haussmann.

Lemon tart

Strawberry basil tart

There was a circle of soft meringue on the top, the crust was okay, but a bit thicker than most pastries shops.

I didn’t get the basil taste at all, even when eating the leaves. The strawberries were good looking but a bit too acid.

Priced at 4.5 and 5 euro, it was a bit steep for a bakery that isn’t specialise in cakes. Both tarts were fine, pretty classic recipe, the lemon tart was a bit better.

Tart for 4 - 6 people

Thierry Marx - La Boulangerie
51 Rue de Laborde,
75008 Paris
01 45 22 95 20
Open daily from 7:30 am - 8 pm
Closed Sunday

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Cake overdose yesterday! Ate 4 of them! I skipped lunch, while walking around rue Montorgueil, I ate 2 éclair au café (coffee éclair), the first one from Stohrer. It was a heavy weight éclair, the coffee cream filled the choux. The choux was well done, not too soft and not hard. The taste was more classic, on the sweet side. Price - 4,2 €

Photo: Foodspotting

Much lighter in weight (75g according to their website) than the éclaire from Stohrer, I found this éclair from L’Éclair de Genie had a comparative more complex taste than the first one, a mixture of coffee from Salvador and chocolate. I found the choux was slightly hard. While the taste was not bad with chocolate, it was not a 100% coffee éclair. Price - 5€

Husband brought home 4 cakes from Pierre Hermé.
Another pastry with coffee. Tarte au café was sublime, the coffee cream not only had the essential sweetness, it had also the necessary bitterness to give robust and lasting coffee taste. I would said compared to the other 2 éclairs, the PH coffee was a winner. The tart base was imbibed with coffee. Good balance of texture. This tart is always my favourite chez Hermé.

Tarte infiniment café Iapar Rouge du Brésil

Chantilly cream and ganache, both flavoured with coffee from the Brazilian Iapar Rouge.

Vénus - Breton shortbread biscuit, cake, confit of quince and apple flavoured with rose, rose mascarpone cream

Apple were thinly sliced, imbibed with lemon juice (quite acid) and a soft reminder of rose. Nice, but the lemon taste overwhelm a bit the apple taste, I like the crunchy apple and the contrast of the rest of the pastry and the spicy note of rose/quince.

Sensation - Crunchy meringue with hazelnuts, praline cream with caramelized hazelnuts, brioche pastry moistened with old gold agricultural rum.

Very nutty taste, for a while, we were confused if it was nut or peanut. The cake was a baba au rhum style moist brioche, it was a very sweet cake with a big slice of milk chocolate. Not my personal favourite, but I guess somebody likes nuts would love this pastry. I appreciate the use of baba as the base. Interesting.

Envie - Tender biscuit with almonds, blackcurrant compote, vanilla mascarpone cream with violet

The cake collapsed with the transport, it was the lightest among the 4 pastries, in terms of weight and sensation. Nice balance of the vanilla cream and the acid taste of the blackcurrant and raspberries.
PH cake is 7,20€ each.

51 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris
Tel: 01 42 33 38 20

L’Éclair de Génie - Christophe Adam
2 rue des Petits Carreaux
75002 Paris
Tel: 01 40 15 61 07

Pierre Hermé
185 rue de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris
Tel: 01 47 83 89 97


@naf - a French bakery recently opened in Pasadena, CA. I have yet to go (their hours don’t match mine) but friends say the savory eclairs (shrimp/avocado mousse and one with smoked salmon) are very good.

Are savory eclairs common in Paris?


I saw them in my éclair cookbooks, salmon, or recipe with cheese, but I have yet to see them in shops or in restaurants here.

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The Observer, my Sunday newspaper, today announces its annual food awards.

And winner of the “Best Producer” category is Bisous Bisous, a few minutes drive from me (and which I think I’ve mentioned a couple of times on other threads). Now, bear in mind, this is best producer, not just best patisserie.

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Thanks for sharing, I found the price very correct, especially the pastries. The essential is that it isn’t far from home.

I am lagging in write-up. Here you go, mid November’s visit in the 15e shop by Mr. naf. Des Gâteaux et du Pain, resemble more a jewelry shop than a cake shop. All black interior and the spotlights made the pastries look precious. From the name of the shop, you know they sell bread as well as pastries.

(Photo credit: atelierscreation.canalblog.com)

Mont blanc cassis - Shortbread, blackcurrant crisps, chestnuts, crispy meringue, whipped cream, chestnut. Usually Mont Blanc is quite sweet, the acidity of blackcurrant confit in this version contrasted with the sweet chestnut. A nice interpretation of a classic. My favourite
(Forgot to take picture, image from patisseriesparis.com)

Kashmir - Soft biscuit with almonds base, compote of orange and date perfumed with saffron, crème brûlée with saffron, and vanilla mousse.

Lemon tart

Claire Damon’s version with meringue beneath the lemon curd. Not for faint heart, her curd is very lemony, the sugar is found in the meringue. Usually French dessert is more of a balance of flavours, this one shows instead contrasts. I think it’s either you love or hate it.

Bread Couronne tradition - I like the burnt crust, smoky taste, excellent

Des Gâteaux et du Pain (2 shops)
63, boulevard Pasteur
75015 Paris - France

89, rue du Bac
75007 Paris


Another Pierre Hermé autumn pastries collection visit, back in November, in his Paris 15e shop.

Tarte infiniment praline noisette - if you love hazelnuts

Shortbread pastry, hazelnut cake, crunchy and ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ hazelnut praline, smooth hazelnut cream, hazelnut Chantilly cream, roasted Piedmont hazelnuts.

Carrément chocolat - Layer of tender chocolate cake, rich chocolate cream, chocolate mousse and chocolate crisp, thin wafers of crisp chocolate.

Likewise, for super chocolate fans. (I will try to investigate which chocolate he uses.)

Satine - Pierre Hermé isn’t a cheesecake fan, this is maybe the only cheese cake in his collection -
Shortbread pastry, biscuit imbibed in passion fruit juice, fluffy cheesecake, orange marmalade, and light cream cheese cream

The hazelnuts and the chocolate pastry stand out among all the 3. Both are of intense flavours. Me too, usually not a big supporter of cheesecake, I usually find them too soft. This one is subtle, light and refreshing.


Oh, I’d love it. The more lemon the better for me. And the pastry looks excellent

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