Tag Archives: canele

All over Paris

9 Apr Pierre Hermé Tarte Infiniment Vanille

As I write this, I’m massaging my thighs, as I walked all around Paris in not so great flats and my thighs are cramping up. It was so worth it though. I took a ton of pictures, which you can see in the slideshow at the bottom. This post will contain a few highlights only. It IS a little picture heavy though.

When I woke up, I rushed to Huré to get my first (!!) croissant of my stay in Paris. Unfortunately, although I tried to get there early, it wasn’t warm anymore. It was still quite good though..apparently they’ve won some sort of award or something for their croissant au beurre. Interesting to note also, is that they have croissant au beurre and a normal croissant. Maybe I have to do a taste test between the two one of these days..no picture because I devoured it on the way home.

I then headed out to a beautiful day in Paris. I walked to the Notre Dame first. There were a ton of people, but the line to get in was pretty quick. I spent around 30 minutes in there. Everything is so huge, it’s hard to imagine how they built it back in the 14th century without any modern technology.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

After Notre Dame, I walked through the Ile de la Cité and Ile Ste Louis. Both are quaint little islands which remind me of Granville Island – swarmed with tourists and filled with little trendy boutiques. Also, on Ile Ste Louis, one can find the best ice cream in Paris – Berthillon.

Caramel beurre salé + vanilla cone from Berthillon, best ice-cream in Paris!

Caramel beurre salé + vanilla cone from Berthillon, best ice-cream in Paris!

It was very smooth indeed, and I enjoyed it. Around the same price, but much better than the local “gelato” shops we can find in Hong Kong. It didn’t leave you thirsty either! After having my ice cream, I walked to the Place des Vosges, which is the oldest planned square in Paris. Built by King Henri IV in the 17th century, it’s now filled with locals sunbathing or having picnics, as well as children playing. I love this little park and wish HK had parks like these.

Maison de Victor Hugo next to the Place des Vosges

Maison de Victor Hugo next to the Place des Vosges

Victor Hugo also lived at the Place des Vosges at one time, and I went into his apartment on the second floor for a tour a few days later. It’s amazing to imagine how people lived back then…his apartment is so grand! I then headed to a patisserie next as I felt a little hypoglycemic (excuses!)… Continue reading

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Le Debut

3 Apr Canelé et baba chantilly from Stohrer

SO let’s see how long I can keep this up…blogging. With a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a MONTH in Paris, I thought it would be a good time to really start some serious blogging. Hopefully WordPress will help too. (Tumblr has been great in letting me pictureblog…but that’s the lazy way out.)

Here I am on my 1st day (well, 2nd if you count yesterday, but I landed at 5:30 so didn’t really get anything done) in Paris, having Fromage Blanc with Raspberry Compote and Kinder MAXIKING (yes it required capitals) which is a crazy chocolate bar with, to quote the package, “le caramel, pour le fondant et le plaisir” in the center, “la mouse de lait, pour la fraicheur et l’onctuosité,” and wrapped in les éclats de noisettes; pour le croquant.” Not a very classy breakfast, but it’s the best I can do when most stores are closed on Sundays in non-tourist areas. (edit later: found out that Le Marais is a few blocks away…and everything is open there on Sundays. And there’s a bakery open next block too.)

This is the supermarket I found open:

franprix

Franprix, the supermarket I found open

I also found GIANT NUTELLA. Which I really wanted to get as souvenirs back home…but it’d probably make my luggage overweight. =[

Nutella

Giant nutella!!!

The chilled area is also LOVEEEEEEEEE x 1000….I wish we had these in ordinary supermarkets in HK…instead we have like…actually I don’t even know what we have anymore. I mostly go to citysuper, where these kinds of chilled desserts sell for $10-$20+ HKD for ONE cup instead of the whole package.

Chilled area in franprix.

Rivals Citysuper...but SO much cheaper!!

Later this afternoon:

Went out for a walk because I wanted to go shopping, but even H&M and Zara and all those other big companies are closed. Rainy day too. Ended up in the Rue Montorgueil area, and thankfully the food shops were open!! Let’s see what I had on my first day…

Stohrer's Sign

My awe-filled gaze at Stohrer...

Stohrer's Storefront

Stohrer's storefront...so enticing, but so is every other bakery's storefront in Paris.

Welcome to Stohrer, the oldest patisserie in Paris (51, rue Montorgueil – 75002). According to their site, Stohrer was the patissier of Princess Marie Lesczynska (how do you pronounce that anyways?) of Poland, who followed her to Versailles when she married King Louis XV of France. 5 years later, he opened his own patisserie at Rue Montorgueil. I gotta say Princess Marie is a girl of my own heart…I wish I could have my own patissier to follow me wherever I went!

Stohrer History

Look...it's even designated as a historical site by the government of Paris!

Stohrer invented the baba au rhum, and that’s what I got (well, a variation of it, the baba chantilly), along with my first canelé in Paris. I struggled with whether or not I should get the millefeuille as well, but decided against it as the Baba Chantilly was huge, and so is the millefeuille. I guess old-school cakes are bigger than the puny ones we make nowadays. Especially the ones in HK (i.e. Tony Wong, Paul Lafayet)…honestly can eat 3 of them at one time and still feel unsatisfied. So goodbye Stohrer for now, I’ll be back for sure (actually their savoury things interest me too)…

Stohrer

Goodbye Stohrer! Next stop is...

Boulangerie Les Petits Carreaux

Another boulangerie/patisserie of course.

Actually I meant to go to Boulangerie Kayser or Paul on the same street, but both were closed for Sunday, so this boulangerie it was. There were loads of people lining up for their dinner baguette, and I did the same. I got a ficelle and tore off the top to munch in the street as is tradition..miam miam. Time to go home! Passed by Pain de Sucre on the way home and got a macaron caramel beurre salé from Pain de Sucre, an AMAZING patisserie on Rue Rambuteau VERY close to where I’m living (along with a dozen other amazing shops). And a saffron marshmallow which I devoured on the way home…

Today's haul

Today's haul: Goodies from Stohrer, macaron caramel beurre salé from Pain de Sucre, ficelle, and pate de campagne

My appetizer was the macaron, which was a very different texture than the Laduree/PH/JPH ones. Less crunchy, more chewy. I have to say I actually like the Laduree caramel macarons better…but there are some who enjoy this much more and I guess it’s just a matter of personal taste. The ficelle was good….with a thick crusty exterior which was bien cuit, to my taste, and a chewy interior. The pate de campagne was a bad idea and I should have bought something fresh from a deli or something…this was from a supermarket. Tasted like…blech. Ended up eating the ficelle on its own which was really really satisfying.

Now for the main show:

Canelé et baba chantilly from Stohrer

Canelé et baba chantilly from Stohrer

Haven’t had a REAL canelé for a longgggggggg time, but this was pretty good, with a caramelized flavourful crust and a moist, sweet, custardy interior. Huge, too. The baba chantilly is a brioche, soaked in rum, and topped with whipped cream and berries. There are other versions like the ali-baba filled with pastry cream or the baba au rhum which is just brioche with rum. This thing was SOAKING in rum…I found it too strong and only had 2 bites before giving up…finished off the whipped cream and berries before throwing it away. 😦 it wasn’t boozy in a nice way either…like tiramisu is. Imagine a sponge soaked in rum which oozes out the liquid when you squeeze it…this was like that. Not for me….

Well, that was my first complete day in Paris…hopefully better foodie luck to come!