Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Macarons on my mind

I’m not obsessed. Really. But Sylvia had told me about Acide, a little-known macaron patisserie in the 17eme. And that the chef patissier, Jonathan Biot, was claiming his macarons were every bit as good as Ladurée and Pierre Hermé’s. And that his flavors were wacky and wonderful and begging to be tried. What’s a Sweet Freak to do? Of course I had to check it out.

It’s a sleek little spot in the darling Bagatelle neighborhood. And aside from a select few other desserts, it’s all macarons.

Indeed, in wacky flavors and in luscious Technicolor.

When you look down on them, it’s like it’s raining macarons.

Are they as good as the masters?

Chocolat noir. Rich and chocolaty, just the right side of fudgy.

Bubble gum. Hubba bubba, I wanna blow a bubble!

Salted caramel. Always a classic.

Strawberry and pepper. Surprisingly subtle.

Oui, they're pretty damn good.

When you go and taste for yourself, be sure to also peek into M. Biot’s high-tech kitchen in the back of the boutique. And maybe take one of his Sunday afternoon classes.

But, I’m not. Because I’m not obsessed. Really.

72 rue Legendre, 17eme

Friday, September 24, 2010

A new chocolate boutique for Paris

At Levasseur, they’ve been creating artisanal chocolates in Marais Poitevin, a marshy town on the West Coast of France, for nearly 50 years. But it was only eight days ago that they arrived in Paris. On rue Montorgueil. Three blocks from my apartment. Uh-oh.

I mean, how cute is this place?

And regards! I have so many bonbons and truffles to try…

Those with pistachios, almonds or hazelnuts...

...rum, spices or coffee...

...filled with nougat, caramel, ganache…

...adorned with orange peel or raisins.

I see danger in my future.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tart or crumble?

No one does a tart like the French.

But the crumbles are pretty irresistible, too.

By the name of tart or pie...

Crumble, crisp or cobbler...

Which will you have?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The beautiful and magnificent Saint-Honoré

I’m no stranger to the Saint-Honoré. What pastry-chasing, sugar-addicted Sweet Freak in Paris could claim to be? But Louis has pulled one on me: I have never even heard of Des Gateaux et du Pain, one of the handful of patisseries in this new plug for the City Guide Paris.

Of course I’ve been to Ladurée and La Patisserie des Reves. Of course I’ve pawed at more than a few Lenotre vitrines. But Des Gateaux et du Pain? Sounds like a field trip to the 15eme is in my immediate future.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Meanwhile, back in Paris

They’re serving up tarte tatin—at Le Bistro Gourmand (next door to Merce and the Muse), heavenly deep-dish tarte tatin.

Don't you want a slice of that beauty?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Banana Twinkie craziness, delivered fresh from Tokyo

“My friend went to Tokyo and all I got was this exquisite box of the silliest, yummiest, most original treats ever.”

Mel spent two weeks touring Japan. Knowing my predilections for sweets, and being the amazing friend that she is, she brought me back this big, gorgeous box of “Tokyo Banana”, little cakes filled with banana custard. Banana Twinkies!

As tempting as the promise of diving into small spongy cakes, piped full of thick banana custard, it was nearly impossible to open this box. Regard, the beauty! The detail!

The funny Japanese-English translations!

Something this lovely shouldn’t be disturbed… should it?! Of course, it should.

I carefully unwrapped the paper to reveal yet another exquisite box.

And with bated breath, I went inside. Eight! Individually! Wrapped! Funny! Little! Treats!

My enchantment deepened when I opened one and pulled out an itty-bitty tray that cupped a Tokyo Banana. Indeed, I was socked in the face with the scent of banana.

(Hello, you.)

Paler than the golden Twinkie, but the first bite revealed it to be denser, finer and more delicate, too.

And the custard is thick, creamy and banana-y.

Banana = the taste of home. Yet this one, so foreign and exotic.

Bite by bite, I made it disappear.

One down, seven to go.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Best snickerdoodle in New York City

Thank goodness I read. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have seen the wee write-up in New York, which revealed the opening of Peels. And then I wouldn’t have walked into this deliciousness.

Each morning, everything is baked up fresh at the new café, the second act from Freemans owners Taavo Somer and Will Tigertt.

Circular brownies, I sampled. Oh, so fudgy.

I think I chocolate-breaded myself out a few days earlier; otherwise, I would have been all over this chocolate ginger banana bread.

Raspberry and peach cobbler. I can only imagine with those big, fluffy biscuits…

The monkey bread. Seeing the mascarpone label now and wondering why the heck I didn’t go for it.

And my champ, the snickerdoodle.

It’s buttery and sugary and cinnamon-y. All melded together in this oversized crater of a cookie.

I had the chocolate chip cookie, too, which was also nice and buttery; chewy at the edges with plenty of melty chocolate flecks.

But, really, it was all about the snickerdoodle.

Get after it.

325 Bowery at Second Street