Tag Archives: eclair

I’m Not Contemporary Enough

25 Apr

Last day of my Easter long weekend, and a busy day like the rest of my weekend! Woke up bright and early and headed to the first stop of today’s itinerary……..Eglise Saint-Eustache. Unfortunately, it was closed. Since it’s right next to Rue Montorgueil, I headed over there for some breakfast.

Stohrer's pastry case...well, half of it

Stohrer's pastry case...well, half of it

Stohrer again! This time my target was one of their éclairs…they’ve been voted as one of the best in Paris. I got a vanilla éclair as those aren’t very common. Let’s just say I’ve had better….the choux pastry was tasteless, dry, and the creme was kind of tasteless and too sweet too. I think my neighbourhood bakery makes better éclairs.

Pasteis, which wasn't very good...even KFC's is better

Pasteis, which wasn't very good...even KFC's is better

I also had a pasteis (de nata), which wasn’t very good either, much like the one I had at the Bastille market. I guess I shouldn’t complain as it’s my own fault for having a Portuguese pastry in a French shop?

So my next plan was to head over to the University area to check out the sights there. On the way, I passed by Saint-Chapelle, and noticed that the lineup was REALLY SHORT! Like 10 people short. It’s usually at least 3 times the length. I then decided not to miss this opportunity and lined up. I’m glad I did so, as the church was so beautiful.

The beautiful stained glass windows of Eglise Saint-Chapelle

The beautiful stained glass windows of Eglise Saint-Chapelle

I literally stood in the middle of the hall for a few minutes just to take in the beauty of it all. This was one of the smaller churches I’ve been to, as it’s mainly just for pilgrimage, holding the relics of the Passion, including the purported Crown of Thorns of Christ. Apparently, King Louis IX paid more for the relics than building the church! After being awestruck by the church, I headed next door to the Conciergerie, which was the Medieval royal palace of France. Later, it became a prison during the Revolution. I got to see the cell where Marie Antoinette was kept.

Then, finally, headed to my prior planned destination.

Took a look at the universities and the areas around it. Then I went to the Musée Cluny, which is actually the Museum of the Middle Age. The lady at the ticket counter was very nice and let me go in for free, even though supposedly only under-26s from the EU could do that! =D The entire building is very cool….built in the 14th century!! :O It used to be the town house of the abbots of Cluny. The entire structure was also built on the ruins of Gallo-Roman baths dating from the 3rd century!!!!!! Mind-boggling.

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The French Love Pistachios

6 Apr Giant Palmiers

I’m starting to get the flow of things at the hospital…and I’ve made friends with some of the nurses. Also, my understanding of French is getting better…so things are going well 🙂 Today had to purchase insurance for my attachment, so I ventured out near the Montmarte area. This part of Paris is very different from what I’ve seen…here, it was a lot busier, a lot noisier. Hmm…you can say it’s like Tsimshatsui in Hong Kong. In fact, there were a lot of Indians/Middle East men standing around on the streets asking tourists to buy this and that…………it’s so TST, right?? I didn’t have much time for lunch, so I wandered around until I found a boulangerie/patisserie.

La Montmarterie

La Montmarterie - random but good

I bought a Tarte Normande, which is a pâte brisée filled with custard, almonds, and topped with apples and powdered sugar. Unfortunately the photo I took was really blurry, so you’ll just have to imagine. I had it cold, but I found out that it’s supposed to be better warmed. I ate it while walking to an insurance company as I had to buy insurance for my elective though, so I had to eat it cold. It was a huge piece and filling…and only 2 euros.

La Tarte Normande

La Tarte Normande - apple almond custart tart

Well, after that, it was back to school for another grueling few hours of outpatient consultations. Got out of school around 8 pm, and the sky looked like this.

Beautiful day seen from Hopital Saint Louis

Beautiful day seen from Hopital Saint Louis

Ahhh April in Paris is like June in Vancouver (and never in Hong Kong…damn pollution)!! So off to my daily pastry march again. Where did I end up today?

Atelier Huré - 18 Rue Rambuteau

Atelier Huré - 18 Rue Rambuteau, 75003

Huré is a bright, modern boulangerie/patisserie which almost looks like a chain store, but only has one other shop in Paris. It always has a longggggg lineup in the late afternoon with locals getting their daily baguette. They have a beautiful window display as well, with sablés, cakes, tartes, and other goodies seen from the street. Within the store, there are huge glass displays filled with various goodies, traditional and innovative. However, I did find that their pastries are a bit on the expensive side considering their ingredients and innovativeness (3.xx – 4.xx euros for cakes).

Giant Palmiers

Giant palmiers - more than 1 feet across!!!

They also had these GIANT PALMIERS which were bigger than my face……really cheap too, considering the size. I’ll get one one of these days and photograph it next to some familiar items to let you get an idea of the size. It’s a shocker and an instant attention-getter.

Package of delight

Package of delight

I, however, got something a little more refreshing. This cute pastry grabbed my attention by its pretty spring colours. Oh, by the way, I need to mention how I LOVE the way Parisian patisseries wrap their cakes! For those who don’t offer boxes for one pastry (less upscale bakeries), they wrap them in paper which is folded into a pyramid. It seems like all the bakeries do this…and it’s amazing how sturdy this paper pyramid can be! SO what was in MY pyramid?

Eclair Pistache Framboise

Eclair Pistache Framboise
Eclair Pistache Framboise

Eclair Pistache Framboise

See? I told you the colours are soooo pretty! It was light green and dark raspberry red, with really pastel piped cream nestled inside the eclair. I was actually really craving chocolate that day and was going to get something chocolatey, but one look at this and I knew I had to get it. Something interesting I’ve noticed is the French love pistachio flavoured things. I’m sure you’ve all had pistachio macarons. They also have pistachio eclairs like this one, pistachio flan, pistachio sables, and the list goes on. They even have pistachio YOGURT!

Surprisingly, pistachio goes really well with raspberry not only colour-wise but flavour wise. The cream inside was lightly flavoured with pistachio, and the strong-flavoured, juicy, tart raspberries complemented the smooth rich cream very well. The icing was sweet, and tasted remotely of pistachio. The choux, unfortunately, wasn’t very good. It was a bit dry. So in conclusion, the best part was the innards.

Weird wafers!

Weird wafers - gouda!!

To end this post…let me show you something weird I found at the supermarket. Gouda wafers! These were quite addictive…the filling is kind of like the texture of Garden wafers – a bit oily and grainy. The cheese flavour and smell was very strong…these actually went quite well with milk. My salty-fix when I had too much sweets! Don’t worry…I’ll have real cheese too…