Ladurée :: Divin

By Paris Pâtisseries in Laduree, Pastry Reviews
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Ladurée :: Divin

The number one lesson I learned during my 2010 pastry binge is that it’s impossible to judge a patisserie, until you eat at least half their work. There were plenty of times where I had something delicious from a shop whose other pieces were so-so – or where I had something terrible from a patisserie who was actually otherwise excellent. The trouble is that most shops have a good 20-30 pieces. Sampling a wide range of pastries from an array of great patisseries is therefore more than a little challenging. It’s also very possible to overlook gems, if the focus is, naturally, always on the most comely specimens.

To the casual observer, the above probably looks quite fancy. In the context of Ladurée case, however, it’s one of the less eye-catching works. Buying up cupcakes, gooey religieuses, macarons, Saint-Honoré’s and more from Ladurée, it took me about two months to get to this little lady. What a shame; it turns out the Divin is among my all-time favorites . . .

Ladurée :: Divin

The texture of golden-toned top and bottom halves straddles the line between a classic Ladurée macaron and a firmer meringue. It provides a nice little resistance, on-bite, giving way to a raspberry or two that then tumble out onto your tongue, coated in sticky sweet nougatine crème. It’s a sugary blast that’s echoed in the sweetness of the shells and bits of nougatine spinkled atop them. The next bite takes you deeper, all the way to the palet of coulis gelée – a piquant blast of concentrated raspberry deliciousness. All the Divin’s constituents then rollick around your mouth, intermittently teasing your tastebuds with subtle-then-brash raspberry tones, followed by waves of extreme sweetness, balanced by mellower moments, where each of the textures take a bow at center-stage. The net effect is no less than a pastry dreamworld of flavors and sensations.

Ladurée :: Divin

Thinking back on the Divin and another 40-50 other pastries I loved in Paris, I realize I’m going to have to spend at least a few weeks of the upcoming 6 months just re-binging on their majesty. From this little guy to Aoki’s black sesame eclairs, Marletti’s Marie Antoinette, LPdR’s Alliance, Pain de Sucre’s Millefeuille, and so much more, I might have no choice but to gain 200lbs. in my first week back. Make that 300lbs., as I should also mention Jean-Paul Hevin’s Tonka, Arnaud L.’s Charlotte Cassis, and the majority of everything at Hugo & Victor.

Ladurée :: Divin

And then there are all the shops I haven’t yet visited: Un Dimanche a Paris, ACIDE, Pouchkine, Génin, Duchene, Desgardin, Carette, Demoncy, La Maison du Chocolat, and Aurore Capucine – to name but 10. It’s such a tough “job”, but someone’s got to do it.

Ladurée :: Divin

All this eating is part of a master plan to not only discover the greatest pastries, but to make excessively tasty “Best” lists: best chocolate pastries, best caramel pastries, best millefeuilles, best macarons, etc. Anticipate seeing most of those next fall and winter, after the impending 6 month orgy of sweets wraps up. It’s now just 17 days until I take off for Paris. Can you tell I’m excited?!

Ladurée :: Divin

So, yes, definitely get a Divin. Not like there aren’t 20 other things worth getting at Ladurée, but this is an absolute jewel. Or should I simply say . . . “The Divin is divine!”

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19 Responses to “ Ladurée :: Divin ”

  1. passionateaboutbaking says:

    Divin… as is your post too! This is a beautiful treat..mmm!

  2. marina mott says:

    This post is absolutely delicious…

  3. Kimey says:

    WOW! You get all up in the mix! The picture makes you want to jump in the computer and grab that delicious treat!

  4. Courtney says:

    This used to be called the Pompadour about 4 years ago–I wonder what made them change the name. In any case, I 100% agree that this pastry is in fact Divin…definitely an all-time favorite!

  5. Ana-Maria says:

    This is cruel! :) ) And totally delicious!

  6. Betty says:

    Nougatine and raspberry? That's a brilliant combination.

  7. Victoria says:

    Oh please go to La Maison du Chocolat – I only got there once, and miss their mousse-filled chocolates dearly. I need to live vicariously through your posts.

  8. joel jason says:

    hey adam: i wish you a bon voyage and am very envious of your endeavor. enjoy every moment in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. just walk every day and you might not gain as much weight as you anticipate.

    • Thanks for the well wishes. I definitely plan to soak it all in. And I have fun side trips planned, too — Strasbourg, Reims, London, St. Malo/Dinan/Dinard. And that's all before summer even starts! It might just be the greatest 6 months ever. And, yes, walking should help keep me from becoming morbidly obese.

  9. Cait says:

    YUM. I'm headed to Paris in June myself (already compiling a list of not-to-be-missed patisseries). Random question for you: have you got any secrets about the best way to east a jem like the Devin? Just open your mouth really wide and squash the beautiful thing into it? Cut it with a knife and fork? How do you get that perfect cross-section, especially with those tricksy and crispy Millefeuilles?

  10. Ewa says:

    my pre-cio-us…. devine precious.. ;)

  11. [...] those few pâtisseries that succeeds in crafting truly eye-catching work – e.g., La Fraise or Divin. Even if you’re super ****** and think those designs are pandering and overdone, you’ve still [...]

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