Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pain au raisin: who knew?

I’ve always been a chocolate girl. As far as I’m concerned, anything with chocolate supercedes anything without it, including a croissant. Don’t get me wrong. A killer croissant is one of life’s best offerings. But at the end of the day, my heart belongs to pain au chocolat.

Then the pain au raisin came long.

It was about a month ago, and I had decided that I needed a little something for breakfast on my way to work. I stopped at Stohrer, a gorgeous patisserie that was founded in 1730 by King Louis XV’s pastry chef, Nicolas Stohrer, and which often gets the nod for the city’s best chocolate éclair (I’m waiting for a special occasion to try that one). I guess it was because I could tell myself it was healthier to eat a pastry with raisins rather than a pastry with chocolate at 8 o’clock in the morning that I, on a whim, piped up, “Un pain au raisin, s’il vous plait.”

It was otherworldly and I chalk it up to one word: tiède. The pain au raisin that I received—and promptly demolished—was still a bit warm from the oven. This meant that the butter and pastry cream or whatever was baked into it made the dough soft and springy, sweet and savory, melty and just this side of rich. It put a spring in my step all day.

51 rue Montorgueil


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