Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pastries and Paris

Paris - where to start? Every single thing I ate here was delicious. There's a cafe on every corner, with a long list of cheap beer and wine, and a selection of salads that would make any vegetable lover swoon. You can't walk more than a block without passing a drool-worthy window display of pastries. The corner stores are cramped, with aisles that wouldn't fit an overweight American tourist, but they offer chilled champagne, brie and olives.

But seriously, let's start with the most important part of my trip: the desserts. I ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I ate chausson pomme while walking past the Eiffel Tower, shared an upside-down pineapple cake with a lit sparkler poking out of it late at night in the Latin Quarter, and conquered a mountain of whip cream with the best coffee ice cream hiding underneath on a sidewalk patio. Here's some of my other favourites:

(clockwise, from top left - click on the picture for a larger version)

Creme caramel, at a bistro near our apartment. Marzipan-filled pastry, from a patisserie our hosts recommended. Eclairs, washed down with 1664, overlooking the Seine and Notre Dame. Berthillion ice cream - banana and espresso - from the store on Ile Saint-Louis. Strawberry jam beignets on the hill at Sacre Coeur. So many Chausson pommes, a french apple turnover.    

I would leave you a recipe, but nothing I bake could ever live up to the quality and richness of these desserts. Something that comes close? This chocolate pudding I made a few months ago, from Bon Appetit. Meanwhile, I'm on a bit of a pastry break after this binge - can you see why? I ate my body weight in butter in only five days in this magical city.

Next up - something a little healthier, the salads of Paris.

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