Archive for the ‘confections’ Category

Aux Merveilleux de Fred

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
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L'Incroyable

L’Incroyable
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

When a pastry shop specializes in a single type of pastry, good things happen: it produces one of the most divine sweets that we have ever tasted!

We purchased an Incroyable from Aux Mervielleux de Fred, little realizing that it was filled with whipped cream and crunchy meringue. What a treat it was to bite into this confection! The meringue quickly collapsed under the bite, while the dreamy Speculoos-flavored, whipped-cream filling engorged the mouth with dreamy sweetness. A bittersweet chocolate swirl on top and sprinkles of white chocolate flakes all around make the experience of eating this a heavenly pleasure.

Fred produces five other flavors: Le Merveilleux (dark chocolate), L’Impensable (coffee), L’Excentrique (cherry), Le Magnifique (praline), and Le Sans-Culotte (caramel).

Aux Merveilleux de Fred
2, rue Monge
75005 Paris
Tel.: 01.43.54.63.72

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Tasting Kassave au Chocolat at the Foire de Paris

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
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Preparing Kassave on a Giant Skillet

Preparing Kassave on a Giant Skillet
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

While at the Foire de Paris last week, I stopped by a stand operated by a company called Kassaverie Saveurs. It appeared that the cook there was preparing crêpes, that paper-thin pancake that the French are so good at making. It turned out, though, that she was making kassaves (also spelled cassave), a pancake made from manioc flour. Manioc is a starchy, tuberous root that has to be ground and then soaked before it can be eaten. The finished product is a flour that looks like grated coconut.

When I requested a chocolate-flavored kassave, the cook spread a heap of manioc flour on a large skillet and then added globs of chocolate to the heap. After a while, she covered the confection with another helping of flour and then flipped it like a pancake. When the pancake displayed a light-brown toasted color on both sides, it was done!

Kassave au Chocolat

A Slice of Kassave au Chocolat
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I took the kassave home, where I tasted it at room temperature, rather than warming it in the oven. Its texture was dry, grainy, spongy, and chewy, similar to the texture of day-old, whole-grain bread. The manioc flour tasted slightly sour, but otherwise did not have remarkable flavor. The part of the pancake that contained chocolate, though, tasted somewhat like a Hostess Sno Ball. My lasting impression of this confection was that eating it was similar to eating a chocolate sandwich that had been prepared with two slices of dry whole-grain bread.

A video (in French) on manioc production in Guadeloupe can be viewed here.

Kassaverie Saveurs is located in Guadeloupe.

Kassaverie Saveurs
3, Allée des Hibiscus
Cité des Sources
97130 Capesterre Belle Eau
France

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A Lesson in Marshmallow Making

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
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Marie-Hélène Gantois (left) and Tiphaine Corvez (right)

Marie-Hélène Gantois (left)
Tiphaine Corvez (right)
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Tiphaine Corvez of Tiphaine Chocolat recently gave a marshmallow-making demonstration at Mococha, the chocolate shop of Marie-Hélène Gantois.

Placing Ingredients into a Pot

Placing Ingredients into a Pot
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Tiphaine made two batches: red current and vanilla.

Vanilla-flavored Marshmallow

Vanilla-flavored Marshmallow
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

After the flavoring, glycerin, and sugar were cooked, they were combined with whipped egg white in a mixing bowl.

Pouring Vanilla Marshmallow into Mold

Pouring the Marshmallow into a Mold
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The finished marshmallow was poured from the bowl into a mold.

Spreading Vanilla Marshmallow in Mold

Spreading the Marshmallow with a Spatula
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Tiphaine carefully leveled the marshmallow with a spatula.

Cutting Marshmallow into Cubes

Cutting Marshmallow into Cubes
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Then, she removed it from the mold and cut it into cubes.

Portrait of a Marshmallow

Portrait of a Marshmallow
Just Seconds Before it Was Popped into the Mouth

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Eager Fingers Reached for Samples

Eager Fingers Reach for Samples
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Celebrating the Joy of Making Marshmallows

Celebrating the Joy of Making Marshmallows
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

A good time was had by all!

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Monique Buys a Crêpe

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
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Monique Buys a Crêpe

Monique Buys a Crêpe
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

As Monique and I were enjoying one of the last glorious days of summer, we happened by a crêpe stand across the street from the Jardin des Plantes. There, a young woman was producing these lovely confections!

Our Server

Our Server
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Crêpes can be sucrée (sweet) or salée (savory) and they are perhaps France’s most popular fast food. The crêperie that we spotted was on the corner of rue Buffon and rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, an ideal spot to stop for a snack after visiting the Jardin des Plantes .

Monique ordered a beurre/sucre (butter and sugar) crêpe.

Buttering the Griddle

Buttering the Griddle
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Ladling the Batter

Ladling the Batter
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Our server used two griddles to produce the crêpe. She buttered the first griddle and then ladled batter onto it. As the batter began to cook, she buttered the second griddle.

Moving <i>Crêpe</i> to Second Griddle

Moving Crêpe to Second Griddle
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Once the batter had set, she moved it to the second griddle. Using two griddles speeds up the cooking process if there are a large number of customers waiting.

Monique Eagerly Accepts the  Crêpe

Monique Eagerly Accepts the Crêpe

The server dressed the crêpe with the butter and sugar, wrapped it, and handed it to Monique.

Bon appétit to all who love crêpes!

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One of the stops on our Ile Saint-Louis gourmet walking tour is a crêperie. Click HERE to view the Love2Eat video where Monique tells Lové Anthony all about crêpes during the walk that she took with her. Contact us if you’d like to book a gourmet walk!

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Caramel Popcorn from Bü

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
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Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I don’t know who permitted the construction of the spanking-new high-tech office building that now stands at the corner of rue du Cardinal Lemoine and rue Jussieu. It’s an example of the creeping modernism that has destroyed the old-fashioned charm for which Paris was once admired. (I wrote about this blight in the November 2012 issue of our newsletter Paris Insights.)

In any event, there is a new store on the ground floor called that sells all sorts of useful products, including stationery, luggage, tableware, kitchenware, linen, toys lamps, vases, scented candles, and more! I stopped by to take a look and was impressed to find that it is a pleasant store to shop in. But what impressed me most of all was the caramel corn that they were selling for only 1.60€ for a 200 gram bag. I purchased a bag and took it home to try.

This is industrially-produced caramel corn, but nevertheless I enjoyed it. The popped corn are large, about 3/4″ in diameter. The caramel coating has the aroma of vanilla and tastes like caramel, but doesn’t quite have the intensity of deeply-caramelized sugar that I had hoped for. The coating isn’t too sticky, so the popped corn doesn’t stick together. It can be eaten on a day on which the temperature rises to 91°F without any overly sticky syrup transferring to the fingers. I know, because I tried it. I was able to pop the delicious treat in my mouth and then type out my impressions on a computer keyboard without fear of leaving caramel syrup on the keys. This is living at its best!


45, rue Jussieu
75005 Paris
Tel.: 01.40.56.33.22
Open from Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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Guimauve from Piccadis
A Sticky-sweet Marshmallow Treat

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
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Piccadis - La Fameuse Guimauve de Paris

Piccadis – La Fameuse Guimauve de Paris
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

A few weeks ago I ventured by a bakery located on rue Gay Lussac near the Luxembourg Garden. Through their shop window, I saw their brand of guimauve, a marshmallow confection. (They proudly call their product “La Fameuse Guimauve de Paris” and they make it on the premises.) It comes in several flavors and can be purchased in rectangular prisms or, as I did, in die-shaped blocks skewered on a stick. They come in vivid colors that correspond to their flavors.

I stopped by today and purchased a skewer of five flavors and took it home to try.

The white guimauve was coconut, and it had an intense flavor. As I bit into it I could taste shredded coconut, making this the most textured sweet of the five that I tasted.

The green-colored guimauve was pistachio. Its flavor was not as intense as the first, but it was nonetheless convincing.

The red-colored guimauve was coquelicot, or poppy. Although I enjoyed this flavor, I couldn’t associate it with the taste of the poppy-seed strudels (called pavé aux graines de pavot) that I buy from time to time from the East European bakery shops on rue des Rosiers in the Marais.

The café-colored guimauve was a fairly strong espresso-flavored treat.

Finally, the dark brown guimauve had a hearty chocolate flavor, like fudge.

All five of these confections were fun to eat. They were moist, sticky, slightly gooey, stretchy, and spongy. This is a great treat for those who want to recall the childhood joy of opening a bag of Kraft marshmallows and eating them all at once!

Piccadis
8, rue Gay Lussac
75005 Paris
Tel.: 01.43.54.31.69
Open Mon to Fri 7:15 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Sat 8:00 a.m. – 7:45 p.m.

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La Tarte au Citron by Delmontel

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
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Tarte au Citron by Delmontel

Tarte au Citron by Delmontel
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

In this photograph, what is missing from the lemon tart?

Why, it’s the meringue that’s missing, of course. In the place of meringue there is a dome of firm lemon custard, making this tart a double lemon treat!

Monique taste-tested this confection and gives the following evaluation:

With a dense texture, the custard of this lemon tart has a mouthwateringly acidulous flavor, without bitterness. The shortbread crust retained its crunch even after spending a night in the refrigerator. A real delight to eat!

Delmontel
9, rue des Martyrs
75009 Paris
Tel: 01.48.78.29.33
Open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. except Tuesdays.

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Le Royal by Delmontel

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
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Le Royal by Delmontel

Le Royal by Delmontel
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We stopped by the award-winning bakery and pastry shop of Arnaud Delmontel a few weeks ago and purchased Le Royal, a chocolate pastry in the form of a cube. Covered with dark chocolate syrup it has a hard-shell top and a chocolate mousse filling. When I bit through the dense mousse, I discovered a crunchy shortbread crust, which provided a nice contrast to the soft texture of this confection. The bittersweet chocolate flavor of Le Royal will please most chocolate aficionados.

Delmontel
9, rue des Martyrs
75009 Paris
Tel: 01.48.78.29.33
Open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. except Tuesdays.

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Tarte aux Fraises – Unboxing!

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
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Today I was happy to see that our local baker, Le Fournil de Mouffetard, was open on a holiday. (May 8 is Victory in Europe Day, celebrating the end of World War II.)

Box

Box Containing Tarte aux Fraises
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I purchased a tarte aux fraises, took it home, and photographed the box.

Tarte aux Fraises in Box

Tarte aux Fraises in Box
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Inside the box, the strawberry tart looked luscious!

Tarte aux Fraises out of Box

Tarte aux Fraises out of Box
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

It looked even better after I removed it and put it on the table.

Close-up of Tarte aux Fraises

Close-up of Tarte aux Fraises
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And better still in a close-up photograph!

Cross Section of a Strawberry Tart

Cross Section of a Strawberry Tart
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I cut it, put it on a plate, and it was ready to eat. Scrumptious!

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How to Make a Candy Sculpture (A Demonstration at the Festival du Livre Culinaire)

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
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Cordon Bleu Chef Jean-François Deguignet Making Candy Sculpture

Cordon Bleu Chef Jean-François Deguignet
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Start with several differently-colored globs of candy and heat them with a hot-air blower so that they becomes pliable.

Making Colored-candy Strips

Sticking Log Strips Together
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Roll the warm candy into log strips, and then press differently-colored strips together. If the strips don’t stick, use the hot-air blower to re-warm the candy until they stick.

Cutting Candy Strips

Cutting Candy Strips
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Use scissors to cut the joined log strips to the desired length.

Cutting Flattened Strips

Cutting Flattened Strips
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

After joining several differently-colored log strips together, flatten them, and then use a knife to cut them to the desired length. To make a clean cut, heat the edge of the knife with the hot-air blower.

Working with the Flattened Strips

Working with the Flattened Strips
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Depending upon the effect that you want to achieve (a bow, for example, or a flower) take long, flattened strips and twist them into the desired shapes.

Assembling the Sculpture

Assembling the Sculpture
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Assemble the ribbons, bows, and other shapes that you have created into a sculpture. Use the hot-air blower as necessary to get the pieces to stick together.

Finished Sculpture

Finished Sculpture
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Et voilà!

Another Finished Sculpture

Another Finished Sculpture
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

These candy sculptures were created by Chef Jean-François Deguignet of Le Cordon Bleu cooking school at the Festival du Livre Culinaire, held from February 22 – 24 this year at the Carrousel du Louvre.

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