Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

By Paris Pâtisseries in Pastry Reviews
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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 . . .

Paris Pâtisseries :: 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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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?

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Check out this flourish of meringue on Pascal Caffet’s Tarte Citron. Beautiful, n’est-ce pas?

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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!

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Speaking of Gerard Mulot, I wouldn’t waste a whole entry showing this piece of crap off, but the cross-section is pretty cool.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

This is the surface of Hugo & Victor’s chocolate tarte. It’s a ******* masterpiece!

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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 ;)

Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest

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.

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15 Responses to “ Paris Pâtisseries :: Best of the Rest ”

  1. Carol says:

    I think I just had an eyegasm.

  2. LukePF says:

    Oh my. Amazing images as always–love the pamplemousse close-up. It looks like some alien spore, but in a tasty, delightful way. "Pamplemousse" has to be my favorite thing to say in French.

    Also, I'm sure we've covered this before, but what kind of gear are you shooting with? I'm debating the purchase of a macro lens…

    • Paris Pâtisser says:

      Hi, Luke. Yeah, it is like an alien spore or sea creature or something! As for the photo setup… I use a Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8G ED for almost all the pastry shots. It's a very fun lens. And I was shooting with a Nikon D90 last year, but I'm waiting for my new D7000 to come. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Loving theses shots!!!! About how many pastries do you eat in one day? Just curious, because I wish I could eat more than one, before I get the worst heartburn on the planet. When I lived there I really had to limit it, and even then, I gained so much!!!

    Good luck with the weight loss and can't wait to see the places you visit next :)

    • Paris Pâtisser says:

      Hi, Elizabeth. When I was there, I ate 3 breakfast pastries every day (croissant, kugelhof and cinnamon roll from Laduree) and then 3-5 real pastries for lunch. Healthy, right?! I gained 10lbs. in 3 months, but I made sure to walk a lot! Now, when I hit my target of 165lbs., then I'll be 10 lbs. underweight and ready to return to Paris on the 3/31. I might even try to lose a little more so that I can spend the first week there just bingeing.

  4. iris says:

    I must tell you.. I'm innnloveeee with this blog !

    you show me everything I want to see in each and every one. I realy need to get back to paris.

    the pic of Hugo & Victor’s chocolate tarte is absolutely beautiful!

    • Paris Pâtisser says:

      Thanks, Iris! I hoped people would enjoy the shots … and you did :) Make sure to check out the blog on Wednesday, because I'm announcing a book giveaway – "Mad about Macarons!" It's full of plenty of cool photos itself! Friday will be a yummy raspberry tart review, too! – PP

  5. Infiniment-Paris says:

    So does that mean You're not going to make an entry for those H&V tarts and Hermé's Plénitude?

    I think you should make an entry for every pastry of the best Pastry Shops :) even if they are nothing special or they are don't make a brilliant photo they could still taste good :P and they would at least make a very funny entry like larher's pieces lol

    • Paris Pâtisser says:

      Indeed, I will not be making an entry for those. However, when I get back to Paris in a few months, I plan to reshoot them . . . so they'll probably get a post eventually. And, yeah, I;m excited to see what Larher has for me this year. Should be "interesting" ;)

  6. Angelica says:

    Beautiful photography! I love how everything is so clear (but that also makes it harder to resist licking my monitor)

    That cherry is glossy *_________*

    btw, I was wondering if I could use some of your shots (like the alien grapefruit) to icon with on livejournal?

    • Paris Pâtisser says:

      I have so many bite marks in my monitor that it's not even funny. And, yes, feel free to repurpose the alien grapefruit for an icon ;)

  7. sandrah says:

    Your macro shit is cool but I'd like to see the pasty in it's entire form also…..just saying.
    s

    • Thanks. This entry was all about pastries where I did not have a good wide shot or where I did not have enough photos for a full entry. So, yeah, I wish I could have shown the full thing for them all . . . but hopefully you can enjoy the other entries in the months before and since — tons of wide shots!

  8. Cece says:

    I love your blog and the beautiful pictures.

    Question – is that macaron (from the first picture) has no or little feet? I have been making macarons for several months now and every time my macarons turn out with little feet, they drive me crazy.

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