Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest
Every week, I give you guys a couple nice pastries to savor. What’s crazy is that, while I’m back in the States at the moment, I have so many Parisian sweets photographed that I could offer-up at least double that. Sadly, some of the pieces aren’t as “interesting” as I might like, and of the others that are, some of the photo shoots went slightly awry. Maybe the salesgirl jammed her finger into the side of the pastry without me noticing, maybe a piece got damaged in transit, or maybe the pastry was just generally lame. Yet, even when I was sure I couldn’t make a full shoot out a patisserie, I always did close-ups. I knew they’d come in handy eventually.
So today’s the day when I show you some of the coolest shots you’d never otherwise see (btw – you can click on them to see them huge and in hi-res). It’s a little bit of everything: Ladurée, Mulot, Hermé, LPdR, Marletti, Larher, Pain de Sucre, Caffet, Hévin, and more. While my Top 17 and Light & Pastry entries feastured some of the Best of the Best, let’s think of these as a certain, uh . . . Best of the Rest . . .
The above and below is literally from the first shoot I did when I got to Paris – Ladurée’s macaron cassis-violette. It was just a test-run with my camera, so I didn’t produce enough of the “right” shots for a full entry. Some fun photos nonetheless.
The following came from Hugo & Victor’s Victor Pamplemouse tarte. I remember seeing the preview of the first of these come through on my camera’s LCD and going, “Holy ****!” I knew it would be awesome once I got it into my computer on up here on the blog. I think you can see why I believe H&V makes magic.
Carl Marletti does not make “shy” feuilles or pate sucrée. Get ready for an incredibly complex taste experience at his shop. These deep, dark reddish-brown layers taste every bit as earthy as they look. Aren’t they incredible?
This is one of my favorite garnish shots ever – from Pain de Sucre’s something (sadly, I forget the name). Honestly, I thought the pastry itself was “not the best” anyway.
Such a tragedy that I can’t show you the full Entre Deux from LPdR, but here are two beautiful cross-sections. The issue is that every time I bought it, it came out of their kitchen damaged. Too delicate but insanely tasty. It will definitely be one of the first to get a review when I return to Paris.
Check out this flourish of meringue on Pascal Caffet’s Tarte Citron. Beautiful, n’est-ce pas?
I must have purchased Ladurée’s Fraisier Pistache at least a half-dozen times, and I always wound up with a mangled one. A real shame, as it’s one of my favorite pastries in the city! Look how delicate it is. The flavor and texture are even more fantastic than you can imagine. I swear to God that, if you ever ate one, you’d reflexively punch the next person to serve you strawberry shortcake (btw – sorry, grandma). It’s just that good and makes anything vaguely comparable taste like a culinary travesty.
And here we are again with Hugo & Victor. This time it’s the Hugo Myrtille. A perfect crowning blueberry and some oozing deliciousness from the cross-section.
Scrumtrulescent is certainly the best adjective to describe Ladurée’s Religieuse Violette. It’s so delicious. Were it not for the botched/cracking fondant on it, I’d show off the whole thing. I hope Ladurée really tightens quality control one day. As I’ve said many times before, their flavors, textures and designs are the stuff of dreams, but the construction can be incredibly disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nowhere near as bad as Blé Sucré or Gerard Mulot, who often look amateurish at their best . . . but still!
Speaking of Gerard Mulot, I wouldn’t waste a whole entry showing this piece of crap off, but the cross-section is pretty cool.
This is the surface of Hugo & Victor’s chocolate tarte. It’s a ******* masterpiece!
Masmoudi makes some of the coolest mini Tunisian pastries. Sadly, I do not have the name of this little one, but it’s a gem that couldn’t have been more than 4cm across.
Yet again, here’s a cool garnish from Pain de Surce. The first shot is particularly cool because, if you click on it and look close, you can see not only my camera in the reflection, but also the windows in front of which I did all my shots + the beautiful blue midday July sky. It’s like a little time machine for me.
Pierre Hermé can do amazingly ornate work, and he can be incredibly chaste, as he is here with a simple 2 candied lemon-peel garnish to his tarte citron.
And the last piece is another Hermé – his Plentitude. There’s just this single fragment of white chocolate in a sea of milk chocolate pieces, arranged about a dome of yet more chocolate! It’s clearly racial allegory 😉
So there you go . . . a ton of fun shots from around Paris. I still can’t believe that not only did I eat all of these, but that this represents only 5% of all the pieces I had. I got so fat. So now it’s slightly less than 3 months until I get back to Paris, and I’m in the midst of losing the 28lbs. I’ve needed to drop before that return. Specifically, I’m 15lbs. down after 6 weeks, so I should hit my goal and still have a month of “breathing room”.
But these next few months are going to be a challenge, because I’ve been saving some of the most awesome pastries for you guys! And now I have to do all the blog entries for them. Starting in just 3 weeks, you’re going to begin seeing some of the most beautiful and/or delicious work I came across. As soon as you see me whip out Ladurée’s Tarte Abricot Pistache, know that we’re “in the zone”.
Feel entitled to enjoy pastries like this all the time? Then follow Paris Patisseries on Facebook. That’s where you can keep up with my latest pastry adventures and see extra goodies deemed too awesome for the blog.