Whispers fill the air during the sweet nights of June in Montmartre. Sitting atop the Montmartre hill, we allow ourselves to be rocked by the zephyr wind which carries the perfumes of dusk, basking in the warm golden light. This gentle wind caresses our cheeks and brings new desires, a thirst for things that stir us inside, a longing for fresh and tangy – yet still gentle – pastries. We make our way to Pain Pain to discover their Zephyr, a dessert with a promising name created by Sebastien Mauvieux.
This dessert is composed of a hazelnut financier base inlayed with raspberries, sprinkled on its edges with sugar crystals and topped with a white chocolate Chantilly cream infused with lime and vanilla. The dessert is topped with a fresh raspberry and lime zests.
The Zephyr by Pain Pain has a diameter of 72mm and a height of 60mm. The specimen we purchased weights 117 grams and costs 4.65€.
A lemony perfume wafts from this dessert, which is crowned with a nice plump, tart raspberry. The white chocolate Chantilly cream infused with vanilla and lime is not as light as we imagined it would be; it is quite firm and rather filling. Sweet and fairly buttery, its surface is covered with a fine skin where it comes into contact with the air. It is present in generous quantity, and its lime and vanilla flavors are recognizable while remaining discreet, thus allowing the raspberry flavor to shine through without being overshadowed.
Beneath the cream, the hazelnut financier is inlaid with fresh raspberries, baked within the dough. The berries are concentrated on the cake’s surface. The acidity of the raspberry brings freshness to the woody hazelnut aroma. The financier is moist without being too humid, despite the presence of fresh fruit inside, and has a nice firm crust – pointing to a well mastered baking time. The financier’s edges are sprinkled with sugar crystals, offering a little texture variety in a dessert which does not contain many components.
Le Zéphyr by Pain Pain showcases a well baked financier base, which manages to be moist without being doughy, while at the same time offering a variation in textures thanks to the sugar crystals on its edges and the Chantilly cream on its surface. While the lime and vanilla flavors in this cream come off as fairly discreet, this ends up being an advantage, as it allows the raspberry to find its rightful place, without being overshadowed by either one of these other two aromas. The Chantilly’s generous quantity is mirrored by the thickness of the cake base – leading in the end to a nice equilibrium. We do, however, wish the aroma of hazelnut powder in the financier was stronger.
88 rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7am to 8pm, and on Sunday from 7.30am to 7.30pm.
Tel: +33 1 42 23 62 81