Famous macarons and a Carre Chocolate ("square" of different chocolate flavors) of LaDuree
I've loved pastry shop windows since I was a little girl. I'd stick my head as close to the glass as possible, careful not to leave my fingerprints or nose print on the glass and mess up the view. I was mesmerized by all the different pastries, colors, flavors and the way they were always so elegantly put together and displayed. I wanted to know how to make any pastry I saw in those windows. The first time I came to Paris I couldn't believe it -- pastry shops (patisseries) EVERYWHERE with windows dressed even better than any I'd ever seen at home. I came back a second time solely to learn how to make the pastries I had seen here. The best shops not only make pastries that are delicious, but the pastries are perfectly constructed with no flaws. These are pictures of the pastries I've been tasting from some of my favorite patisseries here in Paris. I have to do this in three parts because they're are so many good patisseries here.
Below each picture is the name of the pastry and the patisserie, and a link to it's website, if possible. At the bottom of this posting is the address for each. I hope you enjoy looking at the pastries as much as I do. And, don't you LOVE the little boxes they use?
Harmonie from La Duree; it's a pistachio macaron, with creme mousseline and strawberries and rasberries on top
La Duree is famous for their macarons, which are sandwich cookies made of meringue and ground almonds (almond flour). The cookie should have a thin crunchy crust, then be soft and moist in the middle. The base of this pastry was made of a pitachio macaron, and it's sweetness was balanced with the mousseline filling (pastry cream made even richer with butter and pistachio paste).
Caramel Eclair from Fauchon
Fauchon is known for its eclairs. As you can see, they are perfect cylindars. I usually get a chocolate eclair, but this looked interesting. It was absolutely delicious. The top was a caramel fondant (sugary frostinig) and those little flecks are pieces of hard caramel. The filling was a pastry cream with caramel added to it, but it wasn't too sweet. I will be trying to replicate this eclair soon.
(Tart Citron from Eric Kayser)
Eric Kayser is one of the best bread makers in Paris. I love his olive bread. He also makes a great tart citron. The creme citron, or "lemon curd" as most Americans know it, is much richer in France. They use more butter and eggs/yolks, so it's just as tart but richer and creamier than a lemon curd made in the states.
Concerto from LeNotre---layers of different chocolate flavors; mousse, biscuit (thin cake), ganache, and chocolate crisp
I'm a chocolholic, so when I see layers of chocolate, it's hard for me to pass up. This was a chocolate lover's delight. There was crunchy, creamy, rich, and gooey chocolate in this rectangle of a pastry. On top was a chocolate bonbon (aka truffle).
Locations of Patisseries listed above:
LaDuree---has 3 locations
16, rue Royale, 8th arrondissement; Metro-Concorde
21, rue Bonaparte, 6th arrondissement; Metro-Saint-Germain-des-Pres
75, avenue des Champs Elysees, 8th arrondissement; Metro-George V
26, Place de la Madeleine, 8th arrondissement; Metro-Madeleine
Eric Kayser (This is actually a fantastic boulangerie, but he also makes some tasty pastries)
14 locations throughout Paris--I got to the one in the 6th at 10, rue de l'Ancienne Comedie; Metro-Odeon
18 locations throughout Paris--the cafe at 10, avenue des Champs Elysees shouldn't be missed; Metro-Franklin Roosevelt