Last Thursday, I headed to Strasbourg, France to see everyone’s favorite Alsatian pastry chef, Thierry Mulhaupt, in action. I was only expecting to get some shots of him preparing a couple pastries, but I wound up getting much more. So today will merely be Part 1 of the “Mulhaupt Chronicles”, as I wanted to quickly show off some of the Pâques (Easter) treats he and his team were busy creating.
Too bad for you that smell-o-vision doesn’t already exist though. The scent I experienced upon entering his labo – a potent blend of fresh chocolate, macarons, muffins, brioche and more – filled the air, veritably like your grandmother’s kitchen on steroids. It was intoxicating. There Monsieur Mulhaupt was (above), busy glazing the day’s lemon tarts. And just to his left was a virtual field of Lamalas molds . . .
I asked the lambs what they were all queuing up for. “The oven,” they said. Ouch. “No, no, don’t worry about us. Once you see the delicious golden, sugar-dusted Easter cakes we become, you’ll understand why we love it there.” The aforementioned scent left me no reason to doubt the veracity of their claim, plus I had something more important on my mind. Chocolate…
In the United States, children are excited to get some cheap foil-wrapped Hershey’s chocolate eggs in their basket – perhaps some Cadbury mini-eggs, if they’re lucky – or a Cadbury cream egg, if they’re been particularly good tykes. In Strasbourg, children have Thierry Mulhaupt, and something like the above is par for the course. God forbid the Easter Bunny gets mixed-up one year and swaps an American child’s goodies with an Alsatian child’s. The American kid’s head might explode, from the twist of good fortune, and the Strasbourgian kid would probably collapse into tears – never able to forgive the Bunny or their parents for the cruelty.
Strasbourgians also have a much more refined aesthetic sensibility when it comes to chocolate Easter eggs. For all the lovelies I saw in other shops’ windows during my visit, none compared to Monsieur Mulhaupt’s . . .
From the modern art’esque…
To the festively seasonal…
And to the elegant, eating one of these must be the height of Easter opulence…
Monsieur Mulhaupt unwisely left me alone with all of these eggs, so everything pictured was summarily consumed. No small task, btw, as they’re all as large as they are delicious. My unsupervised time also gave me a chance to sneak some shots of yet more eggs, still in production. Shhh, don’t tell on me.
With all the eggs photographed, and my blood slowly converting to milk chocolate. I popped out to see Monsieur Mulhaupt doing a final stir of milk and butter for a huge batch of choux he was preparing. He asked if I had time to stay for lunch, and honored at the suggestion, I gladly accepted. But you’ll see those photos and the rest of our in-kitchen adventures another day.
And if you’re wondering what ever happened to those little Lamalas, here’s what they become…
So, if you in or near Strasbourg, head over to Monsieur Mulhaupt’s shops (addresses and website below) for your Easter chocolates, Lamalas and more . . . now! And if you won’t quite make it there for Easter, fawn over the goodies on his Facebook page, and then be sure to stop by as soon as possible. The man makes some amazing pastries (try his strawberry tarte and Picudo apricot entremet) and what is verifiably the finest Kugelhopf in the whole city. Seriosuly, I bought many kugelhopfs from other shops while I was there – and his was light years ahead of the rest.
Thierry Mulhaupt Pâtisserie
18 Rue du Vieux Marché aux Poissons
6700 Strasbourg, France
Tél. +33 (0)3 88 23 15 02
Thierry Mulhaupt Épice et Chocolat
5 rue du Temple Neuf
67000 Strasbourg, France
Tél. +33 (0)3 88 32 43 80
Like Him on Facebook: Thierry Mulhaupt Pâtissier Chocolatier