When one tastes a pastry, the experience is often like an introspective journey in search of the right flavors, and especially for the emotions which they convey. Fraîcheur by the pastry shop Pain de Sucre is one of those sweets which beckons you on a journey, similar to this same pastry shop’s Gyukuro, which we had previously judged. Its flavor are announced like the program of a culinary excursion, and its elegant caravel shape invites us to step on board. Let us set out to discover this pastry and see whether the journey lives up to its promises.
This dessert appears to be a tart made of an almond shortbread, topped with what the pastry shop describes as a coconut flavored “airy creamy” (crémeux vaporeux), followed by a blackcurrant ganache, and an unannounced jelly seemingly made of blackcurrant and blueberries. All of this is decorated with grated coconut and two blueberries skewered on a vanilla bean, set next to a little flower.
Fraîcheur by Pain de Sucre is 107 mm long, 44 mm wide (at its widest point), and 28 high (excluding the decorations). The specimen we purchased weights 68 grams and costs 6 euros.
The main fragrance emitted by the cake is that of coconut, present in abundance on the surface. We notice the attention that has been put into the decoration, and the freshness of the flower. The only imperfection is that the grated coconut is sprinkled unequally on the sides of the cake, being more abundant on starboard than port.
We understand better why the cake’s upper layer is called an “airy cream” after tasting it. Indeed, its texture on the palate is different both from a cream and from a classic mousse. As its melts in the mouth, this airy cream – 11mm thick – evolves from a light mousse to a runnier, very slightly greasy texture, revealing a milky taste. This transition provides for an interesting feeling. The cake’s moderate sweetness allows the coconut flavor to come out without becoming overpowering. The texture of grated coconut can easily be felt, while not being so overpowering that it undermines the melting quality of the cream underneath. Beneath this, the blackcurrant ganache is set in a 4 mm layer. The ganache, whose richness is immediately perceptible on the palate, is simultaneously unctuous and finely granular. Its taste faithfully conveys that of real blackcurrants, but we would have preferred a smoother texture. Finally, the 2 mm-thick jelly coating on the shortcrust pastry constitutes the dessert’s thinnest topping. While the jelly’s sweetness makes it difficult to clearly distinguish the different flavors which it contains, we seem to perceive both the taste of blackcurrant and blueberry, including a few fruit morsels. It is progressively more acidic than the blackcurrant ganache, and judiciously invigorates the coconut. It is nicely jellified and can be detached in little blocs. On close inspection, we furthermore notice that the shortcrust pastry is very thinly spread with white chocolate, which could easily have gone unnoticed. This enables the crust to remain crisp by isolating it from the desserts’ wet toppings. This shortcrust brings the touch of crunchiness essential to the overall balance of the dessert, and enriches its palette of flavors with pronounced flavors of almond and butter.
From the granularity of the grated coconut, to the smoothness of the “airy creamy,” the unctuousness of the blackcurrant ganache, the texture of fruit pieces in the jelly, and the crunchiness of the shortcrust pastry, this dessert offers a wide palette of textures, carefully thought out and evolving gradually from one layer to the next. The dessert’s flavors seem to us equally well-balanced, between delicate sweetness and acidity. We also note with appreciation that this dessert was carefully assembled and decorated. We would have preferred a smoother-textured blackcurrant ganache, but all in all, we shan’t hesitate to embark on this voyage of flavors with Fraîcheur by Pain de Sucre, which is as tasty as it is beautiful!
Score : 4.2/5 Excellent
14 Rue Rambuteau, 75003 Paris, France