Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cupcake break

As I wax poetic about the gateaux, macarons and viennoiserie of Paris, I mustn't forget the beauty of New York sweets. Especially when they bear Pichet Ong's stamp. Look at these lovelies from The Spot...

Vanilla almond coconut cupcakes...

Berry berry chocolate cupcakes...

Chocolate green tea with fruit jam...

Mocha with caramel and malden sea salt...

... and vanilla yuzu lemon...

Oui, gorgeous.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

This. Is. Big.

Ladurée is coming to New York, mes amis! In two months’ time, I will be able to have a salted caramel macaron on a whim.

I wonder if they’ll also have the Religeuse, the Savarin Chantilly, or the luscious Saint-Honoré?


Or just…

…lovely, lovely macarons.

(And, psst... could M. Hermé be far behind??)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Le Boulanger des Invalides

As I wrote for HIP, the beauty of a great city is you’re never done with it; there’s always something you still haven’t discovered. And while I feel like I became intimately familiar with many of the city’s boulangeries in my two-year stint—a little too familiar with some—grace à my friend Britta, I discovered a gem in the 7eme while I was there last month: Le Boulanger des Invalides.

It’s a Belle Epoque beauty, crunched on a corner of the sprawling Avenue de Villars. We sat for savory tarts and watched the never-ending line of come in for takeaway lunches of quiche, sandwiches and salads. My own Provencal tart was pitch-perfect: a thin, crisp pastry, topped with grilled eggplant and sweet tomatoes, seasoned perfectly.

But of course, it’s all about the desserts.

They had sweet praliné escargots—only the mini ones lasted until the lunch hour.

Of course I had to sample, hoping for the same taste of heaven that the Praluline gave me. But not quite.

But there were plenty of pain aux raisins and pain au chocolat.

Spreads of beautiful tarts, with those perfectly fanned fruits, dusted in confectioners sugar or drizzled in chocolate.

Along with some more atypical gateaux and tartlettes…

In other words, a huge selection. Enough to keep me coming back again and again.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

What didn’t I eat in Paris?

Well, I sort of went a little crazy. I had my beloved praluline from Pralus.

La Folie from La Patisserie des Reves.

I picked up an apricot-pistachio escargot from a local boulangerie. Pourquoi pas?

That was after my second almond croissant from Eric Kayser.

My first almond croissant was from Boulangerie Gosselin.

Then there were my beautiful chocolate chip cookies from Lola's.

And chocolat chaud in the tearoom of Angelina.

I didn't skimp on dessert either. Le pain perdu...

... and a Grand Marnier soufflé. Miam.

However, I never did get my Nutella crepe.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Pain perdu

Ever heard of it? I hadn’t either until I moved to Paris. And had it for dessert. And fell in love with it.

It’s another baffling example of just how the French can remain so thin. Because pain perdu is really French toast.

Day-old bread, steeped in a mixture of egg, cream, sugar and spices until it gets sodden in the best possible way, and then skillet-cooked. But instead of having it as a singular meal at breakfast, they have it for dessert, after dinner.

With ice cream. And caramel. And anything else you can dream of.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Old-fashioned at Angelina

Did you know that you can now get Angelina’s chocolat chaud, in a bottle, to go? C’est vrai.

But moi, I’ll take mine in the tea room. With the other tourists. Sipping my chocolat à l’ancienne l’Africain in unhurried happiness.

It is so thick and rich and indulgent that I could forgo dessert (and how often does that happen??).

The vanilla bourbon millefeuille and ginza natsu.

The strawberry-pistachio religeuse and the raspberry lavender Olympe.

Even the signature Mont Blanc (as cool looking as they are, I’m just not a fan).

Oui… the chocolat chaud was really all I needed.