5th Season of weekend éclairs at Fauchon, Paris
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hello! So I ended up taking a much longer than intended break from my blog. I had some visitors in August, including Nelson who flew over to spend 3 weeks with me. We explored Vancouver with friends, went hiking and kayaking, watched too many movies, and played Jenga with my next-door cousins. Oh, I also made a dessert table for a wedding just before coming back to Paris.

I actually have an overload of material to blog about from the summer. But as my break from blogging kept dragging on, it got harder and harder to get back into the routine of writing. I had blogging anxiety.

So now here I am, back in Paris and re-inspired to blog again by all the beautiful pastries I’ve missed so dearly! I’ve been back in Paris since the beginning of September figuring out where to do my next stage. I just had 2 interviews this past week at Fauchon and now I’m just waiting for a confirmation on my start date.

If you’re not familiar with Fauchon, they are a gourmet food company that sell packaged goods (cookies, jams, teas) in their shops located around the world. I’ve never tried their packaged products so I can’t tell you how they are. In Paris, they have a boutique at Madeleine where they offer savoury foods, breads and pastries. I visited the boutique during their 5th season of weekend éclairs which took place September 6-8, 2012. The selection was very similar to last year, but with a new feature éclair.

The feature éclair this year is the SaintHonoré. The traditional SaintHonoré cake is composed of a pâte feuilletée (puff pastry) base, pâte à choux (cream puffs) filled with crème chiboust (pastry cream lightened with egg whites) and covered with caramelized sugar, and then decorated with crème chantilly (whipped cream). You can check out the traditional version we made in class last year.

The sheet of decorative caramelized sugar on the éclair is actually lifted by small squares of pâte feuilletée. My guess is that if you put the caramelized sugar right on top of the whipped cream, the moisture from the cream will dissolve the caramelized sugar.

Here’s the Fauchon version: pâte feuilletée base, pâte à choux filled with a caramel cremeux, vanilla bean chantilly, and caramelized sugar. The whole bite together was excellent but what really stood out was the caramel cremeux. It wasn’t too sweet, had a strong caramel flavour that was well balanced by a touch of salt.

I visited the shop the next day to have another éclair. After much contemplation, I decided on the Mangue Banane.

The beautiful decoration on the éclair is made of a pâte d’amande (marzipan) ‘rocks’ sprayed with coloured coco butter.

Here’s what’s inside the éclair mangue banane. It’s a milk chocolate and caramel cremeux (tasted like a mousse to me) with a centre of mango banana coulis. The yellow fondant covered the éclair is also flavoured with mango. However, what amazes me about this éclair is how well centred the mango/banana coulis is inside the cremeux. I wonder if it’s piped all at once or in two steps. It’s a mystery to me how they get it so perfectly centred!

Left to right:  Saint-Honoré, Paris-Brest. Unfortunately, this year’s éclairs were all displayed inside the glass encasing so the pictures didn’t turn out as well due to the reflection. Last year, they had an open display for the éclairs. Maybe they had an issue with people getting too excited and reaching for them…

Left to right: caramel, vanille, chocolat.

Left to right: champagne-framboise, caramel fleur d’oranger, coco citron vert, rainbow (pistachio and raspberry).

Left to right: mangue banane, cherry blosson, dragees (rose and almond).

Left to right: chocolat, Jaconde (chocolate and almond), cafe.

Fraise deauville (mara des bois strawberries) and fruits noire (berries).

Left to right: mangue (and mascarpone), orange, citron, marron (chestnut), chocolat noi noisette (nutella).

During the eclair event days, they only had large cakes for sale.

I’m guessing this would be the 6-person serving portion which sells for 45 Euros.

I had the single portion version of this cake last year and it was quite good. It’s a caramel, speculoos, and white chocolate cake. You can check it out here.

Here’s their colourful assortment of macarons, which sadly, I’m not too fond of. I find their shells too thin and moist, almost wet. The filling is good but the whole thing together is a bit heavy. A macaron should be light. In my opinion, there’s really no shop that beats Pierre Herme at making the perfect macaron.

I’ll probably be put to work at the macaron station sometime in my stage. I’m curious to find out how they do the stripes! I will find out and report back.

 

2 Comments so far...
  • Mikey
    |
    June 14, 2013
    I've enjoyed ready lots of your posts, especially the Fauchon ones. Did you find out how they did the striped macarons so neatly? (And be happy to share how! :) )
  • caitlin
    |
    September 21, 2012
    lol I was just thinking that about the coulis! Tell me how they do that if you ever figure it out