Paris is undoubtedly the sweet capital of the world, with hundreds of top-notch pastries, offering something to please every taste and preference. Chefs vie in creativity and ingeniousness, dessert trends are born and followed the world over, pastry shops blossom on the boulevards and avenues in alternatively showy or minimalist displays of luxury. We could consider ourselves spoilt, yet our curiosity is a bottomless pit, impossible to fill. Doesn’t one inevitably grow weary of all things? And so we want something else again, something new… A surprising novelty, something unexpected, unimaginable! An instant crush: un coup de coeur! This is precisely what the name of this dessert, offered by Henri & Giovanni in their new pastry shop, promises us.
The dessert is composed of a base of flourless chocolate cake, a layer of feuillantine (wafer flakes), and a heart of raspberry compote nestled in a thick layer of chocolate mousse. The surface of the mousse is partially covered in red icing and decorated with a fresh raspberry. The cake is surrounded on one side by large nuggets of plain crumble.
Coup de Cœur by Henri & Giovanni has a maximum width of 65 mm, a length of 62 mm and a height of 43 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 85 grams and costs 3.90€.
Before being sliced, the dessert mostly emits a smell of chocolate. We start by venturing to break off and bite into one the crumble clusters from the peripherie. The crumble is dry and crunchy, but not buttery enough and very sweet, and not sandy. We feel the sugar crystals under our teeth. The raspberry on the surface seems worn out, although is has carefully been filled with a raspberry coulis and decorated with a minute silver leaf.
We then turn our attention to the bright-red icing which varnishes half of the heart. Rather gelatinous in texture, it can be detached in one piece, like a skin, when pulled on one end. We did not detect in it any recognizable flavor, and would have preferred its texture to be less rigid. The chocolate mousse is pleasantly airy, light and moderately sweet. The chocolate flavor is mellow and very slightly acidic. In its center hides a generous dollop of raspberry compote – it has an authentic, pleasantly tart flavor, and is dotted with a few seeds, reminiscent of the fresh fruit.
Underneath this mousse, the feuillantine announced in the cake description given to us in the shop is completely soggy, and goes entirely unnoticed, its consistency being close to a mush. We barely notice its flavor, and its texture is unfortunately inexistent. The flourless chocolate cake at the base is also very soft, and mixes indistinctly with the mousse in one’s mouth. Only the crumble brings a salutary touch of crunch.
Real care has nevertheless been put into the creation of this Coup de Cœur by Henri & Giovanni: its appearance is generally pleasing, and the shape chosen for the mold offers nice sensuous curves. We like the chocolate mousse and the raspberry coulis, but remain skeptical regarding the gelatinous icing, which would gain from being suppler; the sogginess of the feuillantine, given we expected it to bring an element of crunchiness; and the softness of the chocolate cake which makes it go entirely unnoticed. Though the addition of the crumble pieces is an excellent idea to enrich the array of textures, we find the latter could benefit from being displayed in more elegant, smaller morsels, and could do with a more crumbly texture, as well as a more buttery and less sweet flavor. Finally, while we appreciate certain elements of this dessert, we expect all textures to be successfully executed in order to consider it a true coup de coeur.
Score: 3.5/5 Average
3 rue Véronèse, 75013 Paris, France
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm.
Tel: +33 1 44 24 58 49
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