At the back of the book Amy gives up a top 10 of Paris sweets (with a New York top 10 too). I soon realised that here was a Paris challenge that I could fully embrace. So in June, July 2013 I gave it a crack.
Amy's comments are before the pictures. Mine are after the pictures.
1. A good, ol' oozing Nutella street crepe.
I can't believe that it's taken me three trips to France to get to eating one of these. It was good. I'll definitely go there again.
2. La Folie at La Patisserie des Reves: the heft and texture of this squat pastry are pure magic. The doughy, whipped brioche is piped full of vanilla pastry cream that has a hint of rum raisin. Topped with praline crumble and a touch of confectioner's sugar, it's unbelievably yummy.
This was good, but there is so much astonishment in Patisserie des Reves, I would probably go for their patisseries rather than their bread products. I need to do a whole post about my passionate love for Patisserie des Reves some day- they made what was one of my very favourite delights in Paris this year- the magnificent Lemonta Granita.
3. The insanely addictive praline from Pralus Chocolatier in the Marais. This buttery, chewy, crunchy, caramelised sweet brioche, chock-full of almonds from Valencia and crushed hazelnuts from Piedmont, is meant for at least four people. But I would eat an entire one myself.
I had high, high hopes for this one, having seen it on blogs and heard about it before for quite some time. But you know, it was ok, but really didn't do it for me. I would try it again, but wouldn't run back to Pralus as my first thing in Paris.
4. The sweet little strawberry Couer from Coquelicot in Montmartre. Relatively modest in size- just four or five bites- but this petite cake has a pitch-perfect texture that's both spongy and moist.
5. A chocolate eclair from Stohrer. The crisp pastry shell envelopes an uber generous chocolatey custard filling and is slathered with a sweet chocolate glacage. It's a serious sugar rush.
Both Mr Wicker and I got a very strong coffee vibe from this one, and as neither of us like coffee it wasn't a good thing. The look was pretty, thinner than many Paris eclairs, and the pastry firm and lovely. Next time I'd try their equally famous Puits d'Amour.
6. Angelina's stick-to-your-teeth chocolate chaud. It's like sipping melted truffles. In a tea room that Coco Chanel used to frequent.
7. Speaking of truffles, Jean-Paul Hevin's truffles are le mieux. And his mendiants. And his cakes. Hevin= heaven in my book.
8. The rice pudding at Chez l'Ami Jean. I never would have thought I'd care a lick about rice pudding. But a dinner at Cafe Constant made me reconsider, and a later dinner at Chez l'Ami Jean changed everything. Served in a massive bowl with sides of candied granola and salted caramel cream, this is an unforgettable dessert.
9. The Plenitude Individuel from Pierre Herme. While his macaroons are, oui, divine, this little cake is transporting. Fluffy chocolate mousse under a dark chocolate shell. Kissed by salted caramel. Adorned with tiles of more chocolate. It's gorgeous, exquisite, and delicious.
Everything Pierre Herme does looks magnificent, he is certainly one of the big names of Paris patisserie, and I sampled his work quite a few times on the most recent trip. I actually found this one a bit overwhelming, so chocolatey. Too chocolatey? Mr Wicker found it a bit one dimensional. I was glad to just eat a third- it was so rich! Do check out his website- it's ever changing and always glorious to look at, totally droolworthy.
10. An almond croissant from Boulangerie Julien. When my friend Ben and I split one of these we were giggling like school kids in the middle of rue Saint-Honore. Fresh and flaky, slightly chewy and caramelised at the edges, heavy with almond paste and lightly dusted with powdered sugar and slivered almond. I mean, how can something be allowed to taste so good?
So overall I got to experience 90% of Amy's Top 10! I was pretty happy about that, but it's pretty clear we have different tastes. I prefer more fruity or lemony delights. Amy picks quite different things to what I would usually select in a patisserie. That's fine of course, it was still it was fun to try all these, a few times going off my beaten track and exploring new neighbourhoods. And I'd still love to get to Chez l'Ami Jean one day for the rice pudding. I do love a rice pudding ….
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from Paulita at An Accidental Blog