Granny by Thévenin

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We have been known to slip into an orchard after hours of hiking in the scorching sun, titillated by this trespassing but parched and exhausted, craving a moment of rest in the shade of apple trees. With no water in sight, pounding the dry, dusty ground with our weary feet, we quenched our thirst by biting into apples – brazenly picked following a series of acrobatics. These granny smith apples count amongst the most delectable things we have ever tasted. Refreshing, tart, gorged with the sugar they patiently accumulated on their branch, they create a juicy explosion in our mouth every time we bite into their firm and crisp flesh, their juice drenching our tongue and palate. In such a situation, what a shame – and how reprehensible– to limit oneself to a single apple. And so we picked and consumed apples to our heart’s content. What memories remain with us of this sweet moment? Our quest down memory lane brings us to Thévenin, which proposes a pastry showcasing Grannysmith apples.

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[London] Three Eclairs by Maître Choux

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Let’s race to South Kensington for the last audition of our week in London, for it is there that Joakim Prat just opened his boutique specializing in éclairs and pastries made with choux (cream puff) dough. This young French pastry chef has already passed through several Michelin-starred restaurants in London, which only sharpens our interest in his creations. How do these éclairs fair? Given they are ambassadors of the art of French pastry amongst our British neighbors, are they pampered and showcased as they should? The stakes are high, so we inspect them without further ado. And we shall be uncompromising. Continue reading “[London] Three Eclairs by Maître Choux”

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[London] Cinnamon Roll by Violet

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Many English pastries have that homely and heart-warming temperament which sets them apart from the deeply refined character of French pastries. And so much the better, for each of these styles has its own identity and fulfils different types of urgent needs, at different times. So it is that, on a lazy morning under a blazing sun, we find ourselves sitting down at Violet’s, a cozy purveyor of sweet treats located in East London. Our thirst quenched, we turn our keen eyes to their unusual Cinnamon Roll. Continue reading “[London] Cinnamon Roll by Violet”

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[London] Vanilla Strawberry Tart by Melba at The Savoy

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There are places whose reputation have forever left their mark on the world of pastry making –and the Savoy hotel in London is undoubtedly one of them. Indeed, it is here that the Peach Melba was invented by Auguste Escoffier in honor of the coloratura soprano Nellie Melba – a dessert which has since made its way around restaurants throughout the world. The hotel recently opened a pastry shop aptly named Melba, which offers various temptations to passersby and clients of the hotel. Among this selection, it is a vanilla, strawberry and rhubarb tart which we decide to cross-examine, for past glory should not prejudice us against the possibility of present excellence. Continue reading “[London] Vanilla Strawberry Tart by Melba at The Savoy”

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[London] Assortment of Canelés by Babelle

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If Paris is a city known for its constant strive for excellence in style, London sometimes comes off as its less conventional and more daring sister. Thus, we do find canelés in London, sold by Babelle in the famous department store Selfridges on Oxford Street; yet they differ from those previously auditioned at Baillardran and Lemoine by the wider variety of flavors on offer than what is found in these two traditional Bordeaux pastry shops. Does this greater range come at the price of lower quality, or do these canelés have what it takes to make their French counterparts blush? We investigate. Continue reading “[London] Assortment of Canelés by Babelle”

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