The Chef Cyril Lignac, unavoidable figure of TV culinary shows, has two boutiques in Paris in which one can revel in pâtisseries, viennoiseries (croissants, brioches etc.) and various specialty breads. When we last visited his shop, we set our heart on the Blueberry Blackcurrant Tart for a ruthless cross examination. We were told that it was superb – but does the small screen always speak the truth? We investigated.
This tart sets itself apart by the variety of its constituent elements. A sweet almond-based crust is spread with a layer of almond cream bejeweled with blueberries, itself topped with a smooth and homogenous sea of blackcurrant compote. The latter is garnished with little mounds of blackcurrant-mascarpone cream around its external border, while a dome of vanilla Chantilly (whipped cream), topped with a single blueberry decorated with silver leaf, sits majestically in the center.
The Blueberry Blackcurrant Tart by Cyril Lignac has a diameter of 50 mm, blueberry included. The specimen we purchased weights 117 grams and costs 5 euros.
The Chantilly cream, sweet and vanilla-scented, has a lightness which contrasts with the mascarpone-blackcurrant cream, which is thicker and has a pronounced blackcurrant flavor. The blackcurrant compote is pleasantly acidic, with a lovely finely granular texture, and remains true to the flavor of the fruit. The almond cream, by contrast, is rather rugged and crumbly. A discrete rum flavor can be detected, which fits well with the indulgent spirit of this tart. The sweet crust is nice and crisp, yet we are slightly disappointed to see on its flip side these horrendous markings which remind us of something baked in an industrial oven (likely due to the use of baking sheets which feature this pattern of holes). This diminishes somewhat the tart’s charm. Let us not forget the decorative blueberry, fresh and dashing, which bursts in the mouth and blends with the Chantilly cream.
We notice that individually, the flavors of the blueberry and blackcurrant components are very pronounced and deliciously acidic. However, when tasting the tart as a whole, the Chantilly cream tends to overly tame the fruit flavors and shrouds their presence. It is surely understandable to wish to temper their acidity, but in a more moderate manner than is actually the case. In addition, the edge of the crust would gain from being less baked, as it is the first element which meets the palate and we would like the impact to be slightly better cushioned.
A few details mentioned in our analysis prevent the Blueberry Blackcurrant Tart from obtaining Cake Justice’s highest distinction. However we certainly do not forget the great variety of well-matched textures in this patisserie, the vivid flavors it offers, and the overall appearance which makes it as pleasant to contemplate as it is to eat. This tart has an unashamedly indulgent character which could allow itself to fall into even greater decadence.
Rating: 4/5 Excellent
2 rue de Chaillot, 75116 Paris, France