We all have fond memories of biology class – the drosophila, the xenops, the chicken embryos, the sheep hearts, the rabbits and other joyful creatures which we explored. But the dissection of the mouse is perhaps the exercise which leaves the biggest mark in our memories: occurring early on in the path of learning, it allowed us to practice the care and dexterity required for such an activity. Let us take up our dissection instruments again, and turn our attention to another type of mouse: the one currently on offer at the pastry shop-cum-bookshop Une Souris et des Hommes.
This treat is composed of a crumbly hazelnut cookie, topped with a crunchy praline layer and a gianduja cream inset with a creamy lemon heart. All of this is covered with milk chocolate icing and decorated with minute chocolate-covered puffed rice beads and two milk chocolate disks.
La Souris (“the mouse”) by Une Souris et des Hommes is 93 mm long, 62 mm wide (at its widest), and 40 mm high (at its highest). The specimen we purchased weights 89 grams and costs 6.00€.
This mouse emits a pleasant chocolate smell. We obviously start by eating its ears, made of milk chocolate neatly cut into two little disks. We then eat its eyes and nose, each made of a puffed rice grain coated in dark chocolate. We now turn our scalpel to the core of the dessert. The icing on the surface is nicely shinny and smooth, almost completely free of air bubbles. It is very sweet and rather thick, while remaining uniform.
We continue the dissection by digging into the gianduja mousse which lies directly below the icing. Its flavor manages to hit the delicious point of equilibrium between chocolate and hazelnut. But while the mousse is pleasantly light, it is slightly too runny and prevents the dessert from maintaining its shape perfectly over time. It would benefit from being more rigid. At the rear of the mouse, we find a dollop of lemon cream hidden inside the gianduja mousse. It is smooth and sour, and its presence – though parsimonious – is enough to energize the chocolate-praline palette of flavors.
The entire base of the dessert is covered with a crunchy sheet of praline, in which we recognize the flavor of hazelnut, as well as a pronounced taste of grains. Its texture – coming right under the mousse – is pleasant, and we note that it extends right into the mouse’s muzzle, which shows a laudable attention to detail. The hazelnut shortbread cookie at the bottom is very crumbly, and the flavor of hazelnut comes out clearly, blending with the taste of praline, gianduja and milk chocolate to create a highly coherent overall balance. We also detect a welcome point of salt in the cookie.
La Souris by Une Souris et des Hommes has the advantage of being simultaneously good and amusing – something which can hardly be said of everyone. True, its asymmetrical shape creates a disequilibrium in textures, the rear of the mouse being noticeably creamier than the front – but this is a compromise we are more than willing to accept when presented with such a carefully assembled dessert, with spot-on textures and flavors and a concept matching the shop’s overall philosophy. We only regret a slightly too runny gianduja mousse – making it a tad more rigid and airy would give La Souris greater dimensional stability.
Score: 4.0/5 Very good
17 rue de Maubeuge, 75009 Paris, France
Open from Wednesday to Friday from noon to 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10.30 to 7 pm.
Tel: +339 81 76 17 74