Grandin-macarons

A Walk up French Bread Street or Chocolate Street?

I promised you another walk around our Paris environs, didn’t I? Last time we were macaroned on French Impressionists’ Island. Today it’s a lovely day, so let’s take a stroll around my favourite town up the road, St Germain-en-Laye.

Château de St Germain-en-Laye

We’re only walking up one street today: rue au pain. With a name like Bread Street, you can imagine the smell of boulangeries, right?  Wrong.

Bread street? Pain! It’s all chocolate.

This street should really be called rue au pain au chocolat, as it has chocolateries, confiseries, and pâtisseries. Oh, why do I get such a lovely shiver when I say these words?  This confiserie, La Petite Cousine – which is rather expensive – is totally worth it: their mendiants (chocolate palets with candied fruit and nuts), guimauves (marshmallows), pâte de fruits and chocolate selections are all rather exquisite.

chocolateries, confiseries, confused?

Rue au pain is also the birthplace of one of my favourite composers, Claude Debussy.  He was born in rue au Pain on 22 August 1862.  They’re currently refurbishing the museum (which also houses the Tourist Infomation point), so I’ll show you it when it’s finished. It’s spooky to think I used to play so many of his piano and flute works (my first BBC radio flute recital was featuring Debussy) and one day I’d end up in the same town; just as eery when I suddenly put on radio classique and Debussy plays as I’m driving around the town, looking for a parking place.

Debussy by the American sculptor, Mico Kaufman

This is all in the space of a 5-minute walk – although given that you’re licking the windows (as the French say for window-shopping), or even buying these sweet treats, then it will take you more like 25 minutes.

This chocolate shop is only a few doors away from Jeff de Bruges and they give them tough competition: usually their window is dressed in seasonal chocolate sculptures and many a time, there’s a chocolate fountain enticing passers-by to pop in. Here they’re luring us with crêpes and real melted chocolate – if you want Nutella you get the cheaper ones around the corner!

Pâtisserie Grandin have recently refurbished their boutique to showcase their pastries and macarons…

My personal preferences are in the other streets (you can perhaps tell by their look, ahem. You see why I make them myself?) I’ll show you my favourite Pâtisseries later, as it deserves another post. And now for the final stop at the very top, facing rue au pain: Patrick Roger.

This is one of the latest branches of Patrick Roger’s Parisian chocolate boutiques.  Every few weeks he changes the giant chocolate sculpture in the window; from Gorilla, to Grizzly. I wonder if he could do Kaufman’s statue of Debussy in chocolate? Just an idea, Patrick!

Grizzly sculpted in Venezuelan chocolate

At la rentrée – the return to school – children were greeted with gigantic chocolate pencils and glistening chocolate marbles presented in pencil-cases.  Is that not an easy way to instantly become the teacher’s pet, brimming with a packet of mini pencils and marbles?

He’s a MOF – Meilleur Ouvrier de France, but of course. I already showed you his pumpkins – it’s a better photo since it was taken inside, without the reflection and it means I could actually buy something, but what?

The elegant assistant always lets me taste one of their chocolates and I never take a photo of it, as it disappears too quickly. Chocolate-basil was the last one I tried. But my personal favourites are his passionfruit caramels – plus I love the chic green bag!  It makes up for him not making any macarons.

Add a touch of red colouring to your chocolate shells

What?  No macarons? So back home, I’m inspired by something chocolatey this weekend.  Don’t forget to add a touch of red to your chocolate macaron shells (just one of the many tips in the book.) You don’t see it but I can assure you when you add it, there’s that instant professional look!

Hm. I wonder what chocolatey flavour we could have this time?  What macaron would you prefer?

33 replies
  1. elisabeth@foodandthrift
    elisabeth@foodandthrift says:

    Jill-Congratulations, on the #1 spot on Top 9!!!
    Well deserved…your gorgeous macarons always deserve to be #1 spot, not just on top 9. When it comes to MACORONS…you “own” it!
    Your aunt’s cute and adorable knitted macarons are something I really need…NO CALORIES!…lol
    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog, we had a very nice Thanksgiving, although I missed my own turkey. Not the same when you are eating it at friends’…although less work!

    Reply
  2. Kim - Liv Life
    Kim - Liv Life says:

    I just love these little peeks into France! I’m still adjusting to my return home and craving anything with wonderful foodie delights, and your post just hit the spot. We don’t have things like that around here, and I’m extraordinarily envious. I’m good with either Bread or Chocolate Street!!! Thanks, Jill!!

    Reply
  3. Hil
    Hil says:

    I have never tried to make Macaroons but I’m excited I came across your website and can follow you now…I have always wanted to make them! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Manu
    Manu says:

    I would be “licking windows” too in a street with such great patisseries!!! Mmmmm I am sooooo needing some chocolate now!!! LOL And I love the tip pf adding red to the chocolate macarons shells!

    Reply
  5. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
    Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says:

    Bread, chocolate, and Debussy – what more could a body want? Jill, I love these wanders around Paris. I almost feel I’m there. Looking forward to going back for the museum opening. I wonder if they’ll be serving macarons at the opening bash? 🙂

    Reply
  6. Liz
    Liz says:

    OK, this street will be our first stop in Paris! Wow…I think I better bring elastic waist band pants 🙂 I’ll eagerly await your other recommendations.

    Reply
  7. Gina
    Gina says:

    That is beyond unfair that you have streets of chocolate and bread. Oh and those caramels sound divine. I don’t think smearing some chocolate on bread will every taste quite the same again. Hope you have a great weekend.
    -Gina-

    Reply
  8. parisbreakfast
    parisbreakfast says:

    Ahh…memories of walks past in St Germain EN Laye.
    You didn’t show me Patrick Roger.
    was it open then?
    I’m not wild about his sculptures I have to say..
    Hope he’s not reading. They’re a little too realistic for moi. Must be the same pile of chocolate he’s re-sculpting non?
    His chocolates are so witty…hmmm

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Och, we didn’t have time for Patrick Roger – you were too busy drooling over Osmont, and proof was you ate the crust finally! Next time, ok? Still so much to show you, Carol.

      Reply
  9. visda
    visda says:

    Nice that you walk us around with your blog Jill. I finally bought a macaron baking dish to cheat using the dish and start making a couple of your recipes.:-)

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Sounds intriguing – a macaron baking dish? What’s that? Would be interesting to hear how you get on with it. I just use baking paper…

      Reply
  10. Parsley Sage
    Parsley Sage says:

    Those chocolate sculptures are too cool! Its it wrong I’m sitting thinking about how long it might take me to eat something like that? Yummerific 🙂

    Love the walkabouts! Keep them coming

    Reply
  11. RavieNomNoms
    RavieNomNoms says:

    Wow look at all those pictures! I would be so distracted with chocolate…how about a pumpkin macaron? Forgive me if you have already made one, but it seems fitting for the time of year ya? Or maybe a sweet potato one, not sure how that would really turn out haha

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Great idea. Did a special hallowe’en post and it was already done by macaron friends. Sweet potato and chocolate? Pourquoi pas? You want to give it a try? 😉

      Reply
  12. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Do they prepare the crepe right outside the door to lure the customers? Haha. I love crepes I’ll sure stop by… Wow the giant chocolate sculpture! I’d love to try the passionfruit caramels! Yum, we need more variety here..

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thanks, Kiri. Hm. Haven’t made chocolate-caramel in ages so why not? Someone mentioned on the Facebook page that they’d like to see Chocolate-Lavender, too. I can tell we may be spoilt for choice!

      Reply
  13. Tina@flourtrader
    Tina@flourtrader says:

    The smell of chocolate sounds a lot better than the smell of bread! The sculptures look amazing in your pictures, I can only imagine how breathtaking they would be in person. Chocolate pencils-how creative is that. Thanks for sharing a walk along this street!

    Reply

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