Tag Archives: chocolate

The Way Kids Think

1 Jun

I’ve been tutoring this 7 year old (turning 8 in August) since 2 years ago, and I love the kid to bits. He’s an only child, slightly hyperactive (oxymoron?), a bit mischievous, and EXTREMELY smart and wily. As with most 7 year olds, he’s very curious about everything and asks me questions I can’t really answer all the time.

Why does the universe keep on expanding?

How many galaxies are there in the universe?

Why do we need nuclear plants?

Why did Hitler kill himself?

Why does the large intestine absorb water, but the kidneys pass out water…don’t they cancel out each other’s function then?

Okay, I could answer that last one, due to my medical background. But it took me half an hour to make it understandable in 7-year-old terms. Which brings me to another point…we’re reading a book about the human body, and stuff in there is SO hard! The book is targeted towards his age (7-12 ish), but I swear there’s stuff in there that’s undergraduate level. It talks about how bile is made, talks about the different digestive enzymes, distinguishes between the different types of white blood cells. And to think that what I was reading at his age were mostly The Babysitters’ Club books. Are we expecting too much from our kids?

Breadtalk: Apple Tart and Blackforest Roll

Breadtalk: Apple Tart and Blackforest Roll

Anyways, enough about too-smart kids. Let’s talk about something sweeter…

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Ladurée Collection

24 May
Pretty Ladurée box

Pretty Ladurée box

Since my last post was of Pierre Hermé’s macarons, it would be natural to follow it with a post on Ladurée. As I mentioned yesterday, I love both and they pretty much stand equal on my favourite macaron list, both being #1. Although I only brought back 6 Ladurée macarons, I already finished off plenty in Paris, and also brought back a box of 8 for my Mum. So, what is featured here is only a tiny fraction of what I actually had.

Mmmm yummy in my tummy!

Mmmm yummy in my tummy!

In the box of 6 I brought home, there were 5 of my favourite flavours (réglisse, café, caramel, rose, et vanille), and one flavour I hadn’t tried yet (citron vert et chocolat). Ladurée does the classic flavours very well.

The licorice was a shocking midnight black, but the filling was a creamy beige. Rather than having the weird licorice candy flavours, this was more caramelly and slightly herbal. The fleur d’oranger, rose, and vanilla all tasted strongly of what they were supposed to taste like, while not being artifical. The caramel is my all time favourite macaron. The filling is wonderfully smooth and runny, while still holding it’s shape. It accentuated the slight chewiness and delicate, crisp shells of Ladurée macarons. The seasonal citron vert chocolat, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well. The lime green shell was specked with chocolate flakes, while the filling was chocolate ganache. I found the whole macaron tasted too perfumy. In fact, my mum even described it as tasting like citrus dishwashing soap.

My 3 favourites: Vanilla, Caramel, Réglisse

My 3 favourites: Vanilla, Caramel, Réglisse

The best part of Ladurée is that they always manage to get the shell-to-filling ratio perfectly. Sometimes, I find that PH’s fillings are a bit overwhelming. Ladurée never has this problem. Their intense flavours mean that a modest amount of filling is enough to bring out the taste. As mentioned yesterday, Ladurée’s shells are very delicate on the outside, and quite chewy and distinctively almondy on the inside. Classic.

Just for comparison, I purchased some macarons from a well-known local patisserie, Paul Lafayet.

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Good Friday

22 Apr Love the top...and the fresh tasting apples are probably what I like best about this cake

Today, none of the other externs were at the hospital except for me. I later realized it’s Good Friday and perhaps they thought it was a public holiday? Helped out in another surgery again…breast reduction. I kept on violating sterile rules in the beginning and had to changing my gown and gloves several times…I felt so stupid 😦 and the OT nurse looked so impatient with me. But then most OT nurses are grumpy. Hmph. Nonetheless, I’m learning more and more. So sad it’s almost time to go home. After watching one and helping out with one surgery, I headed out as I wanted to do more exploring. I went to Sacre-Coeur, and it was filled with people waiting for Good Friday mass. Outside, on the steps, was a guy playing guitar with tons of people watching him sing classics like Hotel California, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, etc. A little lower, a guy was putting on a puppet show. Below all that, one can see a birds’ eye view of Paris. Montmarte is a really cool place…actually, so is a lot of other places in Paris. ARGH IM GONNA MISS THIS PLACE.

Basilique Sacre-Coeur

Basilique Sacre-Coeur

They changed their wrapping paper!

They changed their wrapping paper!

Rocher

Rocher

Just before I got home, I was really craving chocolate, so I dropped into Boulangerie Beatrix and David again, which is downstairs and oh so convenient. I actually asked for Croquechoco, which looked like a version of the popular cake that Tony Wong makes. When I got home, I found out the salesgirl gave me a Rocher instead. Oh well, no worries, it’s still chocolate. The Rocher is basically a giant Ferrero Rocher. The whole thing is covered in real milk chocolate studded with salty nuts. For some reason, it didn’t taste like hazelnuts…it kind of tasted like peanuts. Need to double check tomorrow by going back to the boulangerie and looking at the sign.

Chocolate coating, noisette mousse, chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, feuilletine

Chocolate coating, noisette mousse, chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, croustillant

Inside, from top to bottom are the noisette mousse, a thin layer of chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, and then a croustillant layer. I could taste a little coffee in the noisette mousse…don’t know if it’s just my imagination as it’s coffee coloured. The biscuit provided a nice textural difference and separation between the 2 mousse layers.It seems like the French people really enjoy croustillant and hazelnuts, as it’s featured heavily in many stores pastries. This was satisfying. I mean, the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts is really hard to go wrong. Also, like their Paris Brest, the mousse is very light, while still satisfying due to its creaminess.

Aligot...so stretchy!

Aligot...so stretchy!

Earlier in the afternoon, after visiting Sacre-Coeur, I ended up at Champs Elysées just to have a walk. I visited a small shop called Aubrac Corner, which is a takeout store belonging to the restaurant Le Maison de L’Aubrac next door. Aubrac is a region in the South of France, and their specialty is aligot, a mashed potatoes, cheese, and butter concoction. I bought a box to have tonight. As I was too lazy to cook it on the stove, I just microwaved it, then mixed and mixed and mixed like the traditional way. It reminded me of natto, getting stickier and stretchier the more you mix. After having the mashed potatoes from Le Meurice, I’ve been spoiled; and this is a microwave version…still, it was interesting. Tasted like potatoes and cheese. The interesting thing is mostly the texture, which was super, uber, duper, stretchy and chewy. You can keep on twirling it around your fork. This is thanks to the addition of a special type of cheese called Tome cheese. Traditionally, aligot is served with wild boar sausage, but I don’t think I could finish a sausage with this rich dish. So instead, I also bought some cheese at Lafayette. As if cheese isn’t rich.

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All the Big Names

21 Apr

This week’s been boring at school. For some reason, most of the surgeries have been facial surgeries like lifting, eyelid surgeries, cancer excision. That means that if I scrub up, I’ll be pretty useless standing there…and probably being in the way as well. I miss last week, especially Thursday when I got to actually scrub up and help with the surgery. There was an abdominoplasty where it was just me, an intern, and an extern in the OT. I handed them instruments, did diathermy, handled all the equipment. The first time I actually felt useful in the OT. Hopefully next week (my last! :() will be more fruitful. Left early today to go to the Louvre…

Afterwards, I did another patisserie march. First stop was Carl Marletti again. Remember last time I had an AWESOME Belle Helene? This time was pretty awesome too.

Carl Marletti storefront

Carl Marletti storefront

Carl Marletti: inside the store

Carl Marletti: inside the store

This time I managed to get shots of the exterior and interior. Like I said, it’s very low-key and you’d miss it if you weren’t looking. It’s across the famous Saint Medard church and right next to a bright, shiny, Greek traiteur. Inconspicuous, but its pastries are not.

My haul...all the pretty bags

My haul...all the pretty bags

I then headed to the Grands Magasins to get some big name pastries. I had planned to get a Tarte Tatin from Laduree at Printemps, then an Opera at Dalloyau. Unfortunately, Laduree was out of Tarte Tatins, and I settled for something at Cafe Pouchkine, which is a Russian royal pastry cafe with a pop-up store at Printemps. By the way, Grands Magasins is paradise…shopping AND food paradise. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t live in Paris…or else I’d go bankrupt in a few months (or weeks)? SO first, an amuse-bouche…

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Skiver

19 Apr

Today I skipped school to go exploring. SHHHH. It was such a beautiful day (and I went to bed so late last night), I didn’t want to go to school.

First I visited the Arc de Triomphe and went up to the top. It’s honestly hard to imagine how they built such an amazing structure so long ago! The same can be said for almost every other building in Paris…

I then strolled over to the Champs-Elysées for…Ladurée of course! What did you think…shopping?

This is the address of Louis Vuitton, actually. Our store on Canton Road is more impressive I think...

This is the address of Louis Vuitton, actually. Our store on Canton Road is more impressive I think...

Ladurée. Sneaky picture taking as I've heard they don't like photos!

Ladurée. Sneaky picture taking as I've heard they don't like photos!

Their Champs Elysées store is very dark inside which gives an air of mystery. There is a tea room and a bar attached. The bar looks super swanky! Unfortunately, I had no one to drink with…

Laduree viennoisseries

Laduree viennoisseries

Laduree cakes

Laduree cakes

The line was super long, and people were getting tons of things. I saw someone getting a GIGANTIC box of macarons (jealous!). I still had plans later in the afternoon though…so I only got 3 things to munch on the way.

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Tour Eiffel…again…at night

18 Apr

Uber tired today. Went up to the Tour Eiffel after school and with the long lines, it took a while before I got home. It’s sooo beautiful at night though.

This morning I gave Beatrix’s “aux amandes” viennoisseries another try. I had the pain aux chocolat et amandes.

Pain aux Chocolat et Amandes from Beatrix

Pain aux Chocolat et Amandes from Beatrix

This was much better than the croissant aux amandes I had yesterday morning. The pastry wasn’t tough, and the chocolate made it very rich, with a yummy almondy topping. It was very sweet, the way I like it. Could have used more frangipine though. Off to school it was…then after school, I visited Hugo & Victor which I’ve tried before.

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THE Sadaharu Aoki

15 Apr Cheese-cake citronné
35 rue de vaugirard 75006 Paris

35 rue de vaugirard 75006 Paris

I had to go to fnac to pick up tickets for my trip to Versailles on Sunday. I decided to go to a fnac in the 6th just so I could drop by Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki. Aoki is probably the only Asian patissier who is famous worldwide. I don’t know why he hasn’t decided to open a store in Hong Kong yet. 😦 We are soooo deprived in HK.
Shop interior...smallest patisserie I've seen in Paris

Shop interior...smallest patisserie Ive seen in Paris

I bought 2 pastries…to be revealed later. 😉 The salesgirl working at the counter spoke only Japanese! :O The cashier (who was also Japanese) did speak French though. I think it’s a nice move by Aoki to hire Japanese 🙂

School until 6 pm today as the last case was late by half an hour x_x Thankfully one of the nurses made crepes, so I snuck into the pantry now and then to munch on some crepes! I saw some speculoos spread in the pantry that morning, but unfortunately by the time I snuck into the pantry, the spread was all gone. 
Brioche à tête and speculoos spread

Brioche à tête and speculoos spread

No worries…I dropped by the supermarché after school to buy some. Also went to Huré AND Beatrix to see if they had crepes so I could have it with my spread. Unfortunately not, so I settled for a brioche from Beatrix.  Continue reading