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.
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.