Saturday, April 30, 2011

An American pause

In between my daily rampage of croissants, escargot, chocolat chaud, chocolate truffles and many other ridiculous pastries and sweets, I sampled my friend’s chocolate chip cookies.

Lola’s Cookies: these beautifully oversized chocolaty treats, were the last thing I needed to distract me in my sweet tour around Paris. But they would not be ignored.

A box of 12 golden brown, chocolate-studded, firm and cakey home-baked cookies, quintessentially American yet made with Parisian ingredients and love.

They were dense, delicious and addictive. One bite, two bites, eight bites later… I wanted another, and then another.

They only thing keeping me from annihilating the whole box at once were the gateaux and pastries that beckoned me outside. And knowing I'd be back this summer to sample the peanut butter chocolate chunk, white chocolate, lemon and cashew, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodles that have gone untasted.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another day, another almond croissant

Oh, hell. Pourquoi pas?

Another decadent viennoiserie, first thing in the morning. This almond croissant was from the great Eric Kayser.

It was an amandes chocolat, in fact - a bit of chocolate mixed in with the almond cream. A titch smaller and, actually, lighter, but obviously every bit as delicious.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Almond croissants from Paris

God bless day-old croissants. If not for them, would almond croissants exist (these, from Gosselin)?

That’s right, the glorious almond croissant is essentially a way of salvaging not-so-fresh regular croissants. You take some day-olders, fill them with almond cream (a mixture of butter, sugar, almonds and eggs), sprinkle with almond slivers and then bake them again until the cream sets and the tips crisp up.

The result? Yum.

A dense and creamy breakfast treat.

A whopper of a way to begin the day.

Even if you do leave a few crumbs.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter in Paris

Paas-dyed Easter eggs are great and all. But I think I’d rather have a chocolate egg, created and sculpted by a French chocolatier.

Chickens, lambs and Easter bunnies do nicely, too.

Or bread from the famous Polaine bakery.

Any excuse to eat chocolate, n’est-ce pas?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dreaming of praluline in Paris

One of the things preoccupying my thoughts in the days leading up to Paris was Pralus.

I knew the chocolatier in the Marais opened at 10 a.m. I was there at 10:15.

“Un praluline, s’il vous plait,” I requested, then watched la vendeuse wrap it with the care it deserved.

Then I took it back to my place and ravished it.

You could see the sticky caramelized butter and sugar that had oozed out when it was still warm from the oven and hardened into an extra layer of deliciousness.

Its underside was just coated in this sweetness.

I kept slicing, just a little bit more…

… relishing the candied almonds and crushed hazelnuts.

You could say I’ve been sated. For the time being.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

L'escargot aux praliné

Some Parisian pastries are elegant and exquisite. Others, like Du Pain et Des Idée's escargot aux praliné are even more beautiful in their simple, rustic ways.