Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sweet Freak at Stohrer

Every time I step across “Stohrer”, scrolled in gold in the turquoise tiled floor of this historic patisserie, I want to have a tea party.
With the naked figures in Paul Baudry’s murals staring down at me, I can’t help but channel Marie Antoinette and her three-foot-tall pompadours, five-foot-wide ballgowns, and shoes adorned with roses. Everything at Stohrer is fabulous, right down to its royal history.

The story goes like this: when King Stanislas of Poland’s daughter, Marie Leszczynska, came to Paris in 1725 to marry King Louis XV, she came with her royal pastry chef, Nicolas Stohrer. Five years after arriving in the court of Versailles, he opened this gorgeous patisserie on rue Montorguiel. 280 years later, I am lucky enough to live right around the corner. Danger, danger!

Floating along the display case, it’s easy to be hypnotized by the pretty colors, exquisite constructions and sheer embarrassment of riches.

There are chocolates.

There are petite tartelettes with berries aligned just so.

The large tarts are every bit as exquisite.

Just look at the artistry.

The decadence.

Et voila, the éclairs. Sigh.

If I had bags of money, I’d buy the savory bits for dinner every night.

Then there’s the Baba au Rhum. Nicolas Stohrer actually invented this dessert when he splashed a dry Polish brioche with sweet Malaga wine, flavored it with the saffron, and added pastry cream and dried fresh grapes to the mix. As King Stanislas had been reading Tales from 1001 Arabian Nights at the time, he baptized his chef’s creation the Ali Baba.

Today, Stohrer’s Baba au Rhum is unchanged. Though there are different varieties, including the Baba Chantilly with berries.

Am I becoming a wee bit too familiar with these desserts? Jamais. That's the job of a Sweet Freak, mes amis.


Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

That wall with the lady on it is really beautiful! I think I would have to have a bite of at least everything...I'd want to throw a tea party too if I had access to that gorgeous shop. I mean, look at the size of those éclairs! The the artistic fold of the chocolate on top of that shiny tart! What dedication goes into those treats. Wow..

a Broad said...

Everything about this makes me long to be there.
The walls, the chandelier and I will even taste some of those things that never appealed to me before !
They don't really do desserts here that well... It took 31/2 years to find a decent croissant and only then because Frenchmen opened a patisserie !

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

baba rhums are my favorite, now i am craving for some:) i love your site. thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

if i lived a life without practical constraints, i would work in a Parisian patisserie during the summer just to learn all the tricks!!...for instance, how do they cut their layered cakes into those perfect rectangles with nary spec of frosting out of place???!!

"All things French" said...

So... decadent!! You're making me drool with these wonderful pics. I think if I could visit only 1 shop in Paris~ this would have to be it.
Decor, patisseries and ambiance are all superbe!

Anonymous said...

my Parisian and I always walk past (almost) every weekend, yet he refuses to buy their invitingly beautiful pastries!!

maybe this post can sway him!!

Or he's just a typical 'grincheux' French man! urghh!

Sweet Freak said...

Les Reves, I've actually indulged in that chocolate tart with the artistic fold - it tastes every bit as amazing as it looks!

Candice, it's funny because you always make ME jealous with your posts about the almond croissants...

Blackbook, thanks for the kind words - lovely to welcome another Sweet Freak!

Veggie, good question indeed! But why does the apprenticeship have to be in summer? I want to do it all year!

Dianne, I agree, Stohrer would be a good bet if one could only visit one Parisian patisserie. But that's such an unfair choice, isn't it??

Bennie, this post or something else, you've gotta persuade him! Tartes, chocolates, eclairs, pain au raisins... it's ALL worth it!!

Amy75 said...

Hi Amy, Just wanted to stop by and say hello and that it was nice meeting you - although briefly (I was the other Amy at Andi and Erica's happy hour). Really enjoy your writing and your photos! How lucky you are to live right near this patisserie and rue Montorguiel, in general. I love that street - although I don't love trying to say or spell it :)

from cali said...

I passed by Stohrer and didn't buy anything. I will not make the same mistake twice!

Cakebrain said...

thanks for all the great photos! I can live/eat vicariously through the pics! you are so lucky to be living so close by to this heavenly place! I gasped when I saw the macarons!