Parisian Patisseries 2007

My husband Bob and I made our second winter trip in a row to Paris over the holidays. This trip inevitably turned into a feeding frenzy of French food. Our first stop was Pierre Herme’s store at St. Germain des Pres. I was kicking myself for having missed it during our last trip, so we were eager to make our first visit. Also, this past year, I had obtained a copy of his book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme, specifically because I had heard there was a recipe for macarons in there (more on that later). Anyway, there was a bit of a line, which gave me an opportunity to photograph and salivate over the the artfully presented desserts.

pierreherme1.jpg
The longer log cakes pictured above are the modern French-style buche de noel. This style is more popular in Paris than the rolled jaconde with buttercream that I made over Christmas (the rolled version is apparently a more old-fashioned version) and requires a special trough-shaped mold which I was very tempted to buy.

pierreherme3.jpg

The beautiful shot glass filled with fruits and creams and decorated with a violet was called an “emotion exotic” and was composed of pistachio creme brulee, pineapple seasoned with lime and coriander, coconut, and tapioca. mmm…

pierreherme2.jpg

In the background of the picture above, you can see some of Pierre Herme’s macarons, the cookies adored by Parisians. The store had some rather exotic macaron flavors as balsamic vinegar and truffle.

We had to save some room for Sadaharu Aoki, pictured below. It was a favorite from our last visit, and just a few blocks away from Pierre’s boutique.

aoki.jpg

The “bambou” green tea cake was as delicious as ever, and we sampled a few different flavors, as well, including black forest and raspberry (no, not all on the same day).

We also went to Dalloyau for this amazing fruit pastry. Just look at all those layers! It looks like the cross-section of some geological formation. I don’t know exactly what was in it, but it was tart and delectable.

dalloyau.jpg

And last, but not least, was Laduree…To give you an idea of the popularity of Laduree’s macarons in Paris, we were able to get into Versailles and the Louvre faster than we were able to place an order for macarons. The line went out the door. Of course, we probably went there during a peak time of day at a peak time of year. The store clerks would not allow me to photograph inside, but I managed to get a few pics from the store window. There were some new flavor offerings, such as “rouge diva” (with chocolate, red fruits and spices) and gingerbread, and praline, in addition to the classics such as caramel with sea salt, pistachio, mocha, and so on.
laduree2.jpg

Pictured below are the pastries called “les religieuses” (pink) and “les Saint Honore” made from profiterole-esque choux pastry. We didn’t get to sample those, as our stomachs could only handle so much sugar, so we happily feasted with our eyes.
laduree11.jpg

This trip has inspired me to try making macarons, and Bob fortuitously came across a cookbook in Paris entirely about macarons! It is also entirely in French and suddenly I was thankful I had taken so many years of French in high school into college – to be able to read a darn French cookbook.

4 Responses to “Parisian Patisseries 2007”

  1. Cakespy Says:

    Oh, my! This post made me alternately jealous and nostalgic. The first pastry I ever ate in Paris was a religieuse…and let me tell you, it practically was, that moment. Sigh.

  2. jaclyn Says:

    I just love this website, your recipes are so great!! I’m glad you recommended Pierre Herme’s book, i just ordered it off of amazon!!

  3. Andig Says:

    One day, I will make it to the French culinary oasis that my ancestors came from and i will eat every divine morsel I can find!! I intend on spending alternate days eating and working out LOL!! Thank you for the glimpse of art in it’s best form :o)

  4. Destiny Says:

    Wow,I would so eat some of that.!
    Haha,but then again I would eat anything with chocolate,!
    I love me some chocolate!!(: