Pain de Sucre is always coming up with something interesting. While they have plenty of classics – among them my favorite millefeuille in the city – it’s fun to check out their more unique creations. Extra fun is that they tend to skew savory. Goat cheese macaron, anyone?
Shortly after my arrival in Paris at the beginning of April, I made sure to swing by PdS to see what was new and to indulge in their caramel macarons. I spotted many of the goodies I’d enjoyed last year + a few new pieces. Among them was the lovely above, Gyokuro. “That’s a pretty fancy name!” I thought to myself . . . “Is that some kind of Greek yogurt or something?” It turns out, as I later learned, that it’s a super swank/expensive Japanese green tea. Aside from being thrilled at the idea of consuming a piece composed of ultra-luxe thé, what were my overall impressions?
Well, I would say the Gyokuro is a decidedly subtle piece. The madeleine biscuit base is very light, with just a hint of citrus (I believe lime). Atop that is a layer of matcha crème, which is quite understated – yet, by far the most pronounced flavor in the whole piece. The white coconut mousse layer in the middle is lovely and creamy smooth, yet almost so restrained with the coconut tones that they cannot quite be perceived. As for the Gyokuro layer . . . it was my favorite element of the piece. Tenderly sweet and with a wee bit or citrus woven in, I’d say the closest flavor comparison I can draw is to that of jade dew. Quite a fortuitous coincidence that it tastes just like that, given that Gyokuro literally translates as “jade dew”. What’s that? You think I’m only saying it tastes like jade dew because that’s what the name means? Don’t be silly. I said it tastes like jade dew, because that’s what the name means AND cause I think it’s hilarious.
Oh, and the white chocolate crowing the Gyokuro . . . a pleasant little treat, sprinkled with green tea and some flecks of orange zest. Yum. And then just look at these layers . . .
So I’m actually headed to Pain de Sucre on Monday to photograph them making macarons. Thanks to my macaron-maven/famous author friend, Jill Colonna, for putting that together! We’re both excited for the adventure. It turns out Pain de Sucre uses an Italian meringue and even has a machine that helps that do the macs. Fancy, right?
So, the Gyokuro would do well for someone who really enjoys the subtleties of fine green tea or for those who don’t like to be assaulted by overly pronounced flavors. For most casual pastry eaters, the tones will be a little too soft. Of course, if you’re a Gyokuro tea connoisseur, run over to Pain de Scure now, as I believe this is the only incarnation of the tea I’ve ever seen in Paris.