Easy to make in advance! Surprise you Mum for UK Mother’s Day with apple caramel tarts and a red apple rose.
A trifle of British nostalgia given a mini Parisian touch for UK Mother’s Day
If you’re looking for just one pastry street in Paris, most Parisians with a sweet tooth will guide you to the Rue du Bac – also known as Paris Pastry Street. Situated on Paris’s Left Bank (Rive Gauche) in the 7th Arrondissement, it has been a shopping street for centuries.
Birthplace of the Millefeuille
It’s also where the classic French Millefeuille pastry was invented by Adolphe Seugnot in 1867. Today the Pâtisserie Seugnot no longer exists but to make up for it, it’s now a street branching out with such a concentrated plethora of high-end pastry and chocolate shops that Rue du Bac is known more as Paris Pastry Street!
Last year saw the opening of the new event, Le Bac Sucré, created by Florence Mazo Koenig and inaugurated by the Mayor of the 7th, Rachida Dati. The event highlights the creative artisans’ savoir-faire and celebrates their creative sweet magic – this year through summer fruits to bring out the Paris sunshine!
Officially opened last night by Josiane Gaude, deputy mayor with the organising team, the Bac Sucré event kicks off today until Sunday 19th June. So here’s a tasting of what’s especially in store over the next 5 days.
Pastry chef, Philippe Conticini opened his first patisserie here in Rue du Bac. Popular for his award-winning Paris-Brest (a praline cream choux pastry wheel), his pastries are all designed to evoke the sweet dreams of childhood (I’ve written a lot about his pastries on le blog lately! From Yulelogs, choux buns, even literally falling for his pastries, to the BHV tea salon).
As the event this year centres around fruits and new fruity sensations, receive a surprise fortune cookie with any seasonal fruit pastry, such as the Fraisier, Raspberry or Strawberry tarts.
93 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris
Particularly known for its legendary Mont-Blanc pastry, there will be Mont-Blanc lollypop (sucette) workshops over the weekend.
Special Edition: “Un été à Paris” – a raspberry compote, a light vanilla mousse, topped off with raspberries and redcurrants on the most deliciously crunchy praline crumble base.
108 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris
Tel: (33-1) 42 22 63 08 or sign up directly at the boutique.
Patrice Chapon will be giving demonstrations how he makes his chocolate from cocoa bean to bar this Saturday 18 June. Hour-long sessions can be booked online here. Hurry as they’re free and only 8 people maximum per group are permitted in the tight workshop area behind the boutique.
There are no special editions for the event but try a cornet of mousses from the bar – including the Venezuelan 100% Chocolate Mousse (I recently made the recipe here on le blog), or his prize-winning chocolate with a salted dome (chocolat au dôme de sel).
69 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris
Last year, the highlight was the launch of Dalloyau’s surprising savoury Réligieuses (double decker filled choux buns), which are still available on order at the boutique here – but the Réligieuse star for Father’s Day on Sunday is the Papa Poule, filled with a vintage rum cream. This year two more new macarons are in the spotlight from pastry chef Jeremy del Val, amongst seasonal favourites such as orange blossom, rose-raspberry, lemon, and Earl Grey (Bergamot tea).
Special Editions: Strawberry-Yuzu and Raspberry-Grapefruit macarons.
63 Rue de Grenelle (just on the corner of rue du Bac), 75007 Paris
Famous for his melt-in-the-mouth caramels (particularly exotic fruits) and fruit jellies, last year he surprised us with more fruit jellies (I think I polished off the tasters of rhubarb jellies!) and even vegetable jellies!
His pastries, including a Millefeuille, are also just as legendary but these are enjoyed at the main boutique and tea salon in the Marais, on rue de Turenne. During EACH of the five Bac Sucré days, free demonstrations take place at 3.30pm Wed 15th-Sun 21st – no reservations needed!
Special Editions: Fruit jellies (kiwi, pear, blood orange, pineapple, lychee, raspberry, mango-passion)
27 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris
Boulanger Eric Kayser has followed the last three generations in his family as an artisanal bread-maker.
Special Edition: Sweet honey bread with raspberry chips.
18 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris
Recently renovated, Le Bon Marché classy department store at the end of Paris Pastry Street of Rue du Bac is renowned for its gourmet food hall, luring us from stands of cheeses and cured hams to its bakery and patisserie sections. Their pastries are exquisite, from billowy lemon meringue tartlets to the latest seasonal temptations.
Special Edition: Almond crumble choux bun, with apricot cream, Madagascan vanilla cream (crème légère) and poached apricot.
Le Bon Marché
38 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris
There are even more patisseries, bakeries and chocolate shops on and around the corner to enjoy: Acide Macaron, Des Gâteaux et du Pain, Hugo & Victor, Boulangerie Galland, Foucher Chocolatier, and Secco bakery… now you can see why it’s referred to as Paris Pastry Street!
Bac Sucré Event
Rue du Bac
7th Arrondissement Paris
Wednesday 15- Sunday 19 June 2016
For the full programme, visit BacSucre.com
This article is published with Bonjour Paris.
We’re just back from Charles de Gaulle airport, dropping off our eldest for an adventure away from the nest for TWO weeks. Julie confirmed I’m a fussy mum. Have you got your identity card? Don’t forget this form and remember to … “Don’t worry. I’ve got it, Mum!”
To calm down on the way home, we called Antoine’s parents. They are in a different world in the south. As we were talking, stuck in Parisian traffic, they were sitting looking at this view from under the shade of an oak tree in their quiet Provençal village of Saignon.
Over the past week, this heatwave has continued to hit us hard in Paris. One way to keep our cool indoors is ensuring the shutters are closed: that’s something that my mother-in-law fusses about – even more than me.
Another rule in the south is to take an afternoon nap, or sieste. Call me a rebel, but that’s when I normally sneak out of the sleepy house and head into the village. Although there are over 1000 habitants, as you can see from the photos I took on our last summer visit in August, most people head indoors during the hottest part of the day. For me, it’s paradise. Even the cats were sleeping indoors.
Turning the corner from their driveway just underneath the imposing rock in the village, the only sounds are the drumming of the cigales (cicadas) hidden in the trees and, gradually going up the steep slope towards the church, the sounds of trickling water come from a small communal washing place or Lavoir, as if stepping back into another century.
I have always loved the chairs just outside some of the front doors. They’re for the neighbours to gossip, chat, exchange recipes, perhaps?
As you gradually climb up the village, which is 500m above the market town of Apt, many of the picturesque houses date back to the 16th century. Gargoyles included on some. The cars are far more modern…
This 12th Century Roman Church of Notre Dame (also known as Saint Mary of Saignon) reminds us of Julie’s very windy Christening there 14 years ago (where did the time fly?) and many other family events, joyous and not as much.
Just behind the church, the cinema had prepared the chairs for the night’s viewing. I guess cushions would be a good idea.
It’s also at the back of the church that the steps lead to the imposing rock in the village. It’s not that much of a climb but we heard the story about some adventurous tourists that had to be rescued from a helicopter, as they went off track. As you can imagine, the neighbours chatted about this one for a while.
This is only the back view of the rock. On the other side, the view is over the Luberon valley.
This is where I found people! So quickly making my descent, headed for the main lavoir in the village’s centre, the Place de la Fontaine. Just imagine the locals from another era all gathering around here, doing their washing and catching up on the latest news…
with this as their view.
Keep your cool and have a lovely week! I’m looking to sharing some easy yet delicious recipes from my friends in Provence. You up for a touch of garlic?
Clafoutis is a French speciality from the Limousin region. It’s also one of my French Mother-in-law’s specialities and so one of my husband’s favourite classic desserts. When we visit Antoine’s parents in Provence in the summer, Madeleine proudly rustles up her baked dark cherry custard dessert especially for son grand fils, her eldest son, with cherries freshly plucked from the orchard at the bottom of the garden.
But after twenty years, I finally plucked up the courage to make this ridiculously easy pudding at home. Why did I wait so long to make it? Perhaps, I dare say, because it was a bit heavy – especially as I prefer lighter desserts. Could Belle Maman really discover I’d slightly changed her recipe?
So many clafoutis recipes call for pitted cherries. Like it’s traditionally made in the Limousin, Madeleine normally throws in the whole cherries as they are and most of us politely dispose of the stones at the table. I say most of us, as Antoine – in his more natural Corsican style – rocks on the back of his chair, plotting his target as he catapults and projects them less than delicately into the garden – “Heh, je plante!”, he shrugs at us all. It’s his Corsican sense of humour of saying he’s planting cherry trees. Oh, pl-ease!
I may mock but whole, unpitted cherries do keep in their flavour, and it’s far quicker than standing over the kitchen table with dark cherry-stained hands looking like Jack or Jill the Ripper. So just throw them in as they are naturally then get the family to do the gardening at the table. Otherwise pit them if you prefer, especially if you have a cherry stone extractor as part of your kitchen gadgetry.
This almond-topped clafoutis has been tried, tested and approved by Antoine, Julie and Lucie. Just don’t tell his Mum.
FRENCH CLAFOUTIS (Cherry Baked Custard) RECIPE
The almond topping idea is pinched from my friend, Véronique (merci!). You could replace the almond extract with a tablespoon of Kirsch or Amaretto liqueur for a more adult version.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes
500g fresh black cherries, washed, not pitted
For the mould (china or earthenware dish):
70g plain flour
good pinch of salt (fleur de sel)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 medium eggs, organic
1 egg yolk
270g full-cream milk
25g butter, melted
few drops of almond extract (optional)
25g silvered almonds (optional, for garnish)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (gas 4). Butter an ovenproof china or pyrex dish (22cm diameter and 5cm deep) large enough to hold the cherries in a single layer. Sprinkle in the sugar, shaking it all around so that it coats the surface of the dish and place the cherries in it.
2. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and yolk and, using a balloon whisk, mix well until the mixture is smooth. Continue whisking adding the milk, almond extract and melted butter. Pour over the cherries.
3. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Toast the flaked almonds in a non-stick frying pan for a few minutes on medium heat until they’re golden and sprinkle on the Clafoutis with a dusting of icing/confectioner’s sugar.
Serve warm directly from the dish.
Don’t forget to join me on Instagram (or Facebook), where I’m having fun posting shots from day to day around Paris – from the market, to chocolate and pastry walks, to views of Paris, to mad family life.
Feeling daring? Why not try out these savoury asparagus clafoutis recipes as a summery supper dish?
Do you really think a sweet tooth determines our family holiday destinations? Well, perhaps it does. It has been 30 years since I last visited Germany and the same, ridiculous amount of time since I practised my rusty high school German. Mein Deutsch ist nicht gut! It was high time to visit.
We headed to the medieval town of Staufen, south of the Black Forest, a jewel nestled in between lush mountaineous forests, vines, cafés and bakeries.
What amazed us most about the region, is how clean and tidy the towns are. Everything is immaculate, even down to the neat stacks of wood piled outside geranium window-boxed freshly painted houses. It’s also the first time I’ve seen kids paddling about in the gutters! (Well, one of them was mine – was ist das?) The Germans seem particularly eco-friendly: bikes are the norm, an impressive amount of houses have flashy solar panels and their signposting is nothing short of perfection.
We stayed at the Gasthaus Krone (meaning ‘crown’), which is an excellent address in Staufen – including their Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’ restaurant. Luckily the friendly owner spoke some French, since my painful phrases embarrassingly resembled a mix of German vocabulary, French grammar and stuttering English fillers-in. I am determined to return after doing some homework next time, but at least communication through food is easier!
Meandering down the main cobbled street, serenaded by a solo oboist trying to compete with the local brass quintet oompa-ing around the fountain, the castle ruins and vineyards majestically tower over the local wineries. The city crest is a shield with 3 wine glasses so when in Staufen, it would be rude not to taste; their welcoming barrels proudly strut their tasting offerings.
This is what holidays are made of: sitting back, people-watching, contemplating family postcards, nibbling on a salted bretzel and sipping at the local traditional grape varieties – including the oldest, Gutedel. Personally, I preferred the dry Muscat for white wines but their red wines shone high above the rest with some stunning Pinot Noirs, bursting with jam-like cherry fruits.
Staufen Castle, although now a ruin (built in 850), can be visited to admire the breathtaking vista of the Black Forest and Rhine Valley. Looking out the arched window, we’re reminded by such an enormous tree that we’re in black cherry country.
After such a climb during the heatwave, it was time to follow the tempting signs dotted around the town to the nearest cake shop. It didn’t take us long to discover the Café Decker, undoubtedly the best cake shop and tea salon in Staufen. It was so decadently, deliciously decked in cakes that we admittedly returned three times.
Black Forest Cakes, küchen, more chocolate cakes, redcurrant meringue pies and macarons were just some of the treats that would make anyone go off their sweet trolley. I think I put on three kilos during the week! So, switching to ice cream seemed a lighter idea: wouah! Teasingly steeped in Kirsch liqueur, it made an ideal excuse for an afternoon nap by the snoring river.
Back home, the Black Forest provided inspiration for a gluten free dessert back home: ideal for using up egg yolks and for serving with your chocolate macarons. What’s more, it’s holiday style: quick, easy, tasty and no bake!
Black Forest Chocolate Cherry Cream Desserts
Serves 8 (mini pots) or 4 (in wine glasses)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
1 gelatine sheet (@2 g)
200ml whole milk
300ml single cream
3 egg yolks
150g dark cooking chocolate, broken into small chunks
1 tbsp Kirsch liqueur (optional)
16 fresh cherries (or Griottine cherries, soaked in Kirsch)
1. Soak the gelatine in cold water. Meanwhile break up the chocolate into pieces in a large bowl. In a saucepan, boil the milk and cream.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar until light and creamy. Pour over the hot milky cream, mix and transfer back to the saucepan.
3. Whisk vigorously over a medium heat until the cream thickens. Take off the heat then pour over half of this hot cream on to the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts, add Kirsch (if using), the gelatine (squeezed of any excess water) and then whisk in the rest of the hot cream.
4. Transfer to 8 mini serving dishes (or 4 if you’re greedy like us), cool and chill for at least an hour. Decorate with fresh dark cherries and/or Griottine cherries soaked in Kirsch and a scoosh of Chantilly cream*. (Or why not roast cherries with a splash of Kirsch as Jamie Schler does at Life’s a Feast?)
* If you have a siphon, fill it up half way with chilled cream (no less than 30% fat) and splash in a couple of tablespoons of Kirsch or cherry syrup, fit with the gas canister, shake and chill for a few minutes. Instant, homemade lighter-than-light cream!