I dare any poached rabbit or escargots to look as magical as what you’re about to see. For as delicious as fine entrées and appetizers are, the flicker of candlelight or coolly lit environs of a trois étoiles restaurant generally only serve as a complement to them, meant to accentuate their beauty. Rarely, if ever, could they fuse with full blast of sunlight and be propelled into another dimension. After all, not everything can be as fantastic as pastry.
The following 19 shots are from 16 different pastisseries, taken with my trusty F/2.8 105mm Micro-Nikkor Macro lens. Like all my pastry shots, they’re done in completely natural light, in this case with about half of these being backlit. Welcome to the collection: Paris Pâtisseries’ Light & Pastry . . .
* Remember: You can see all these photos extra big just by clicking on them. That will take you right to the secure image vault, where I store all the blog’s pastry photos.
Carl Marletti Lily Valley
Among the great patissiers of the great patisseries, Carl Marletti is Paris’ #1 detail man. Not only is this a garnish to the larger Lily Valley pastry, but it is truly part of the pastry. That’s a rarity, even in Paris. Its violet hues match the violet tones that drift over your palette, when it cracks on your first bite. A treat unto itself.
Jean-Paul Hévin Safi
A baby piece of candied orange, not even 5mm wide, explodes with light atop Jean-Paul Hévin’s Safi.
Pierre Hermé Tarte Citron
It’s all about undulating waves of lemony goodness in Hermé’s Tarte Citron. Among the finest in the city, owing in no small part to its simply exquisite aesthetics.
Christian Constant Kalinka
Translucent white currants crown Christian Constant’s Kalinka. While they might look quite tame, they’re intensely tart.
La Pâtisserie des Rêves Saint-Honoré
One of the most beautiful pastries in Paris. Undulating waves of crème form the backdrop for choux dripping in caramel. In fact, the caramel keeps dripping its luscious amber sweetness all the way to the base of this masterpiece.
Des Gateaux et du Pain Tarte Citron Vert
Lime zest suspended in a wafer of gelatin, floating on a sea of lime curd. I can’t help but reach for one of my favorites words and the obvious pun . . . sublime.
Ladurée Cup-Cake Pistache
Ladurée offers us a cupcake so magical that its garnish is a perfect cherry half that grew naturally with a shelled pistachio within. Or maybe someone put it there by hand. Does it matter? It’s stunning either way.
Sadaharu Aoki Galette Aux Pommes
From Constant’s white currants to Aoki’s red currants, the tart flavor persists as much as the translucent beauty does.
Pain de Sucre Baobab
Always a crowd-pleaser, Pain de Sucre has filled a pipette with golden rum. Squirt it on the Baobab’s cake or simply suckle on it. It’s really your call.
Carl Marletti Tarte aux Peches
Imagine 6 of these projecting from one of the most delicious tarts you’ve ever had. It’s a sight. But this single section dazzles just as well on its own. Yet another perfect touch from Carl Marletti.
Arnaud Larher Paradis
I might not be a fan of Arnaud Larher’s work, but from this angle at least we have something striking. Flavorless, but striking. Sorry, I can’t help but rip on the guy. The pastry this belongs to is an abomination. But, again, it’s a lovely view here.
La Pâtisserie des Rêves Cylan
There’s one word I have . . . tasteful. La Pâtisserie des Rêves is indeed a pastry shop of dreams.
Des Gateaux et du Pain Tarte aux Fraises
Quirky – but in a good way. These little blue-tinged cubes of gelatin make this more than just a strawberry tart. Its overall deliciousness doesn’t hurt either.
Ladurée Cup-Cake Chocolat Orange
I only wish more cupcakes could be garnished this way. The slightly tarnished silver, the semi-translucent crème and the bright orange candied zest are quite something, aren’t they?
La Pâtisserie des Rêves Tarte Rhubarbe
The entire surface of the tart is strip after strip of these little guys, in a range of hues and shades. It’s a rainbow of rhubarb, where light dances in, around and through the fruit, creating an almost metallic quality. There’s a reason this is the third entry from Rêves on this list. They have their eyes on aesthetics like few others.
Sadaharu Aoki Valencia
Speaking of aesthetic mastery, the king of all things impeccable, Sadaharu Aoki, turns out this stunner. Little, baby Valencia orange seem frozen in time, trapped in sugar. And the flavor? Every bit as electric as it looks.
So, there you go. I hope I didn’t make you too hungry. There are just too many beautiful pastries out there to share. Of course, if you haven’t already, make sure to check out the Top 17 Pastries in Paris. And keep your eye out next year for the Greatest Chocolate Pastries in Paris . . . the blog entry that will finally just blow people’s minds. Expect that jewel somewhere in the Fall of 2011. Too far away, I know, but that’s why I’ll keep feeding you plenty of other gems twice a week.
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