Few things in life are as dependable as a lemon tart, and few pastry shops dare experiment with modern twists on the recipe, such is the fierce following enjoyed by this classic. But the chefs at Colrova evidently lack neither boldness nor creativity: their dessert – playfully named Paul Sésame – takes the basics of a lemon tart and adds black sesame in various forms and textures. Should we lament this twist or rejoice in it?
This dessert is composed of a lemon mousse, sitting atop a medallion of moist cake soaked in lemon juice and a sesame nougatine. All of this rests on a black sesame cream and a lemon cream, cased in a sesame short crust pastry. Its surface is decorated with a trail of black sesame seeds and a minute pointy meringue.
Paul Sésame by Colorova has a diameter of 66 mm and a heights of 45 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 117 grams and costs 5.80€.
The melt-in-your-mouth, yellow icing which coats the upper part of the dessert is not very acidic, but very sweet. It tastes – unexpectedly – of white chocolate. Thin and regular, its surface is smooth, devoid of any air bubbles. Underneath the icing, we discover an airy mousse shaped in a dome. This mousse is sighly greasy, disctinclvely lemony, and low in sugar.
The mousse rests on a disk of moist cake, akin to a sponge cake, which appears to have been soaked in lemon juice. Highly acidic, it pleasantly energizes the mousse and tickles our taste buds. We notice that it does not immediately fall apart wen we touch it, despite being thoroughly soaked, thus creating a smooth transition leading to the underlying nougatine. The latter is very thin and breaks easily, without squashing the rest of the cake underneath. It brings crunchiness to the cake, as well as caramelized and smoked aromas.
As for the black sesame cream, its grey shade certainly confers an original touch to the dessert. Its melting, suave texture allows the aroma of black sesame to be released with smoothness and restraint. It is layered on top of a lemon cream similar to the ones found in traditional lemon tarts: dense, sweet and acidic. Finally, the pastry crust is surprising while still remaining coherent with the rest of the dessert. As heralded by its dark brown shade, its dough contains black sesame, and this clearly comes out it the taste. It is crisp and thin, homogenously baked throughout, and has a nice flat bottom.
We notice a nice equilibrium between the two principal components of this Paul Sésame by Colorova: lemon and black sesame both shine through, without either flavor masking the other. This harmony rests on a texture composition which is varied, while at the same time offering a progression for the palate. We appreciate the lightness of the mousse and the smoothness of the creams, the crunchiness of the nougatine and the crumbliness of the black sesame short crust pastry. We express reservation as to the choice of name, as it is a clear wink to Paul Cézanne yet the cake itself makes no allusion to Provence or – better yet – the Impressionists. Unless the lemon comes from Menton…? While it is a shame that its name stops at the word play, this pastry nevertheless manages to be indulgent while retaining a certain refinement and avoiding excesses.
Score: 4.1/5 Excellent
47 rue de l’Abbé-Grégoire, 75006 Paris, France
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 6pm.
Tel : +331 45 44 67 56
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