Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Four bonbons from heaven

So it's not a light and creamy Paris-Brest from La Patisserie de Reves. Or a dense but flaky almond croissant from Boulangerie Julien.

But sitting on a park bench, along the Seine, with a few select bonbons from Michel Chaudun could very well be as close to heaven as you'll get.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The best brest in Paris

They say here in France that a patisserier’s skills can be judged by just one dessert: the Paris-Brest. Which puts Philippe Conticini at the top of the choux-filled heap.

Six months ago, Conticini—who opened La Patisserie de Reves last year—was awarded the best Paris-Brest in the city. Two months ago, he opened a gorgeous salon de thé in the 16eme (Bon Marché shoppers arent’ the only ladies who lunch). The man is on a roll.

Of course it’s not all about the Paris-Brest (even if it is a little ring of heaven, with liquid praliné piped inside the hazelnut cream).

Beneath each individual glass-domed frigo is a mouth-watering, stomach-rumbling visual masterpiece.

Raspberry and lemon meringue tartes…

…chocolate and coffee éclairs….

…strawberries and cream.

His daring Saint-Honoré and dazzling Alliance.

Even his wee cookies are arresting.

Some of the delights dare not even be covered by casings.

Like this—the biggest brioche ever.

Rivaled only by the enormous madeleines.

And if you’re worried that you will put away an entire tarte or cake yourself, don’t worry. Individuels!

And a lovely tearoom and terrace in which to indulge.

Best of Paris? You bet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sprinkles to hit NYC

Not that New York needs any more cupcake bakeries, but, if an out-of-towner were going to infiltrate, Sprinkles would get my vote!

Straight from LA to Lexington Avenue, across from Bloomie's, the bakery and its 20 cupcake varieties is slated to open in January.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cakes a'plenty at Rose Bakery

How does one even begin to decide?

For eight years now, Rose Bakery has been sating Anglo Sweet Freaks in Paris. They’re most celebrated for their scones and carrot cake. The former, I’m not a fan of; but the latter, I can definitely see why these tin-can portions of carrot cake topped with cuh-reamy cream cheese frosting are a hit.

But what of the brownies and muffins?

And the many different cake varieties? Really? How does one decide between…

...lemon-polenta and marble?

Chocolate-polenta and raspberry-green tea?

Pistachio and lemon-lemon?

My strategy: a cake taste a week to solve this perplexing problem.

46, rue des Martyrs, 9eme
30, rue Debelleyme, 3eme

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Heart to heart

For a year now, I’ve been a sucker for Coquelicot’s strawberry heart. It’s dense, sweet, spongy, and perfectly portioned.

But now my own heart is aflutter for a new cake: Merce and the Muse’s carrot-apple heart.

Same “love”ly shape. Another beautifully portioned and flavored creation. A new habit that I’ll need to control.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Cupcake carnage in Paris

Well, Cat, I’d say your Cupcake Camp was a success down to the very last crumb, n’est pas??

At 4:30, the line was already creeping down the block.

It wasn’t much better inside.

Why? Ten euros and for a drink and as many! cupcakes! as! you! want! (Mercy. How many stomachaches out there tonight??)

The flavors ran the gamut: cookies and cream, fig, rose champagne, peanut butter, strawberry, chocolate fudge, watermelon wasabi (you heard me)…

Served up by the pros—Little Miss Cupcake, of course, plus Synie’s, Berko, Chloé S, Cupcakes & Co., Il Gelatario—as well as a gazillion amateurs.

Everyone could help themselves and then “camped” out in the Passage Vivienne.

Yep. That’s what I’d call cupcake carnage—bravo, Cat!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Milk chocolate + apple crumble = more trouble

Speaking of nostalgia, I found another Dolfin bar that put me over the edge.

It elicited an indulgent mood, recalling nights of Speculoos dinners and afternoons spent lingering over tea and crumbles.

Or maybe it was just the flavor: “Memories of Summer Apple Crumble”.

I’m sorry, how could anyone ever pass up a chocolate bar with a name like that??

Or maybe it was just me, looking for an excuse to buy another chocolate bar…