Posts Tagged ‘Desserts’

Craving This Right Now!

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Nougat

Where to buy nougat in Paris:

Appellations d’origine, l’epicerie du terroir
26, rue Lepic
Paris 75018

La Boutique du Labo
4 Place du marché Sainte-Catherine
75004 Paris

Fauchon 
26 Place de la Madeleine
75008, Paris

La Pistacherie
67 rue Rambuteau, 4th

Maybe you want to make your own nougat?  Here is a recipe.  Make sure to send us a slab!

Book Review: Paris My Sweet by Amy Thomas

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Image from: Sourcebooks

I first found “Paris My Sweet, A Year in the City of Light” by Amy Thomas on Twitter (I get great tips there).  I follow Ms. Thomas’ account and she was talking about the launch of the book.  When I read what it was going to be about, it moved to the top of my reading list!

Paris My Sweet” is one part autobiography and one part guide book.   Ms. Thomas moves from New York City to Paris to work in advertising for Louis Vuitton.  Okay, let’s stop right there.  Hello???  Dream job/dream city???  And, she is a dessert lover.   Raise your hand if you aren’t.  I thought the story was going to be all discounted Speedy bags and calorie free macarons, but like so many books written by Americans that move to Paris, it was about how Ms. Thomas never really felt like she fit in and never felt truly accepted by the locals.  She touches on just about everything that makes living in Paris hard: the language barriers, missing family and friends at home and the unfamiliarity of a new city.  So many people write about this.  But, when you think about it, these are things that would happen whether you moved to Paris or Australia or Russia.  Moving away from what you know is always going to be scary and difficult.

Now let’s talk sweets!  This is where the book shines.  Not only does Ms. Thomas describe is mouth-watering detail the fabulous desserts that she finds in Paris; she gives you a lot of history about them, too.  Throughout the book, she weaves tales of wonderful sweets not only in Paris but in New York City, as well.  What I find to be priceless are the last 16 pages of the book; her “address book” to all of the bakeries, restaurants and patisseries that she writes about in the book.  I actually tore these out and I’m taking them with me on my next trip (so many of them are near our Paris vacation rentals).

“Paris My Sweet” carried me away to Paris and gave me a tiny taste of Louis Vuitton.  I won’t divulge how many bags she bought or how large her discount was.  And, since I read the book at night, in bed, I dreamt of all things Parisian sweet (which happen to be calorie free).

It is Macaron Day!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

 Salted Caramel

Seven years ago, Pierre Herme Paris and the Association Relais Deserts  coined the first day of spring, “Macaron Day” and nothing makes us more happy!  You can read all about it here: Jour du Macaron 

To honor this very important day, we give you some of our favorite pictures of Macarons (translated to “the buttons” in English) and some sources on how to make these fabulous treats in your own kitchen.  Enjoy!

Recipes for Macaron:

David Lebovitz French Chocolate Macaron

Tartlette’s Red Berry Macaron

Serious Eats, “How to Make Macarons” 

Videos on How to Make Macarons:

Joanna Chang

Laura in The Kitchen

How to Make Macarons

And, one last yummy photo…..

Buche de Noel

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Each Christmas Eve, my mom sets out a magnificent dessert table.  She goes all out with the fondue fountain, the chocolate ladyfinger torte, cookies, pies and this cake, the “Buche de Noel”.  Every year it just sits there in the shadow of the fondue fountain.  Last year, I finally asked her why she makes it?  No one ever really touches it.  She told me that she buys it from a famous bakery near her office and that everyone she knows stands in line for it.  WELL, why didn’t she tell me that sooner?!  I mean, if people wait in line for frozen yogurt, cupcakes and coffee this must be worth trying.  I dug in.  Holy French cows….this cake was delicious.  SO delicious that I took the rest home with me and ate it over a few days.

Bûche de Noël is the French name of the traditional dessert served during the Christmas holidays in France, Belgium, Quebec, Lebanon and several other Christian-populated countries. The cake generally looks like a log ready for the fire.
The traditional bûche is rolled to form a cylinder, and filled with chocolate buttercream. Bûches often have a bark-like texture to offer further realism. This is often done by dragging a fork through the icing. These cakes are often decorated with powdered sugar to resemble snow, tree branches, fresh berries, and mushrooms made of meringue.  Does it look as pretty as some of our traditional American desserts? No…it looks quirky.
I found many magazines this year with recipes for Buche de Noel but I am not game enough to try one.  Here is a link to one you can try if you are savvy in the kitchen from Bon Appetit. I’m counting on my mom to stand in line for ours.  On second thought, I don’t think I can wait until then….I’ll call and get one for the weekend.

Learn from the professionals

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Paule Caillat

Not only can you find fantastic restaurants in Paris, you can always find a fantastic chef. If you are dying to channel your inner culinary skills then a fun excursion might be waiting for you in the kitchen. There are so many day classes, half-day classes and weekend adventures to choose from. We’ve found two unique experiences that are sure to delight your stomach and your taste buds.

The Promenades Gourmandes class with Paule Caillat. This is truly a start to finish class. Paule Calliat has been conducting cooking lessons, in English, for the last 13 years. All in her own kitchen. The day starts when you head with her to the market to shop for the ingredients. Talk about fresh! You will get to experience the local boulangerie, boucherie and poissonnerie. You will be skillfully educated on the differences in types of cheeses, cuts of meats and what to look for when selecting ingredients. Once you’ve filled your baskets, it’s back to her kitchen where the magic happens. You will prepare, completely hands on, a four course meal to pair with wine and great conversation. Nothing seems more authentic then sipping a glass of wine, while learning how to sautee and whisk a meal together from a true Parisian chef.

38 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 3rd, 01.48.04.56.84. www.promenadesgourmandes.com. From €270 per person (less for parties of 2 or more).

You could also try a teaching class at La Cuisine Corsaire Ecole with Chef Emmanuel Tessier. The classes are all themed: spices, vegetables, fish, lobster, desert. Whatever the theme, expect to be transported with the ingredients. French is the primary language but ,if you give advance notice, you can have an English translation provided. For three hours you can expect to use all your senses and learn from a great chef instructor. It is very hands on and the themes are always related back to your own personal preferences. Suggestions of substitutions and ways you can use the techniques at home are discussed. Once your masterpiece is finished, you will sit down to taste the fruits of your labor. Each class has a max occupancy of 8 so an intimate lunch is a relaxing way to end the class. You also get a smaller box of your dish to take with you. The icing on the cake? As another parting gift, you are provided with ingredients to whip up something similiar at home. Tres Magnifique!

Place Saint-Méen, Cancale, 02.99.89.63.86. www.cuisine-corsaire.fr. €104–€160

Whether you choose to venture from your apartment rentals in Paris or not, is up to you. If you’re in the market for a unique culinary experience, a cooking class is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city of lights.

Dessert in Paris

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Creme Brulee

One of the best advantages to choosing a Paris vacation apartment is the versatility of eating and dining options available to vacationers. No Paris experience would be complete without indulging in the wide variety of pastries and desserts that the French have mastered. Crème Brulee, Eclairs, Truffles, Napoleons and Chocolate Fondue are just some of the world-renowned desserts that are made more delicious at the hands of their masters and in the country of their origin.

Whether you’re dining in a world class restaurant, creating a dessert masterpiece with training in a cooking class, or cooking and baking in your personal kitchen of your vacation rental Paris, you can indulge in the flavors and experiences that have had mouths watering for centuries.
Stroll among the open air markets and choose from an assortment of fruits, breads, pastries, and jams that are fresh and delectable. Returning to the privacy and comfort of a Paris vacation apartment, sip on exotic wine and experiment with the finest ingredients. If cooking and baking is intimidating, private chef lessons are available and you can even receive them in the comforts of your Paris vacation rental. You can then put your newly discovered cooking talents to work during the rest of your stay.
While the assortment of restaurants is far reaching in both price and atmosphere, it’s never a bad idea to ask a local what they consider the ultimate dessert experience. Paris short term rental visitors will be impressed with the acquaintances they’ll make during their stay. Parisians will gladly suggest their favorite rendezvous for a late night chocolate craving or early morning pastry fix. Sitting on a cool Parisian patio and watching the sun set while tasting the richness and lavishness of a sugared delectable will provide any American the Parisian moment they have come for.
Patisseries and Boulangeries offer up the most authentic baked breads and pastries and are a shopping experience that only Paris can offer. Sprinkled throughout the neighborhoods, the bakers and pastry chefs bake and prepare daily treats. Eaten on location or taken back for an after meal treat, the dessert experience can be customized to each traveler’s schedule. Grand and rewarding, sampling the desserts of France are an extraordinary way to elevate the entire Paris experience.

Lunch In Paris

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Eating lunch on your balcony of property 018

Eating in Paris, the culinary capital of the world, is always a pleasure. Eating lunch in Paris can be a particular pleasure since it offers a wide variety of possibilities for price, venue or choice of food.

Every neighborhood in Paris is filled with small specialty food shops. Paris apartment rentals afford the visitor the chance to get to know, and feel a part of, a real Parisian neighborhood. Browse the local boulangerie for a baguette, a thin loaf of French bread; the fromagerie for a tasty cheese; the charcuterie for some sausage, or other meat; and the patisserie for some fine French pastries. Or grab a bottle of wine and go home to your own Paris luxury apartment and enjoy a great lunch in comfort.
In fine weather, those same fixings can be turned into picnic fare. Paris abounds in possible picnic spots, and, since Paris vacation rentals are available all over the city, one is sure to be near to your Paris luxury apartment. While the Luxembourg Gardens on the left bank and the Place des Vosges on the right bank are two of the better known picnic spots, part of the fun of picnicking in Paris is finding your own special place from the many along the Seine, or the boulevards, or the many parks.
If picnicking or preparing your own lunch is not what you want, you still have many choices for eating lunch in Paris. Because most people staying in Paris apartment rentals aim to live like a Parisian that, most often, includes lunch at a neighborhood café or bistro. Often, cafes and small restaurants in the areas where people live and work, rather than in tourist areas, offer the best food and the best values around. While Paris cafes are the quintessential places to sip coffee, and other beverages, unhurried and enjoy the Parisian experience, they also serve food, often soup and sandwiches, and are great places for lunch.
Bistros are small restaurants that offer slightly heartier lunch offerings.
Traditional bistro fare can include French classics such as coq au vin, chicken cooked in red wine, and boeuf bourguinon, beef in a burgundy wine gravy with mushrooms and onions. Paris also has many ethnic restaurants that reflect the city’s diversity. These restaurants offer many different choices for lunch in the city.
Lastly, lunch is also served on boats that traverse the Seine and in the restaurants of the many hotels of Paris. Many hotel restaurants are among the highest rated, such as Alain Ducasse in the Plaza Athenee Hotel and Le Cinq in the Hotel George V.
Whatever you choose, allow yourself the time and comfort to explore the wonderful City of Lights, the hub of haute cuisine at any meal.

Parisian Bread & Pastry Tours

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Stohrer

Without a doubt, The City of Love is also the City of Bread!  Think delectable pastries, croissants & baguettes – or how about a croissant filled with melted chocolate? In any other country, a guided tour about bread seems slightly strange, but in Paris pastry shops often outnumber parking lots!  But how can you be sure you’re choosing the right pastries? The answer is easy, just book a patisserie tour! By the end, you’re sure to be a pro at distinguishing between the still delicious average pastry and the crème de la crème.

Most tours have a common meeting place located close to a popular metro station.  So once again, you won’t have problem getting there from your hotel or rental apartment in Paris.  Most tours are done on foot through the metro, so you’ll be able to indulge in the various pastries without adding to your waste line. Throughout the tour, you’ll see the top patisseries (and sometimes chocolateries) to try the popular croissants and more adventurous pastries like tea-flavored éclairs & macaroons.  During your tour, you’ll most likely be taken to Poilane, one of the most famous bakeries with sourdough, walnut, rhye & raisin loafs & thin crispy cookies called “punitions.” Another must-see is Stohrer, the oldest patisserie in Paris, dating back to 1730.  Stohrer is known for its colorful creations & dessert pastries.   Be sure to purchase at least some of these delicious breads on your trip, as getting anything like this back in North America is next to impossible.  If you’re staying in a vacation apartment in Paris, you can stock up in your kitchen so you’re sure to have a Parisian breakfast every day!
Naturally, some of these tours can get pricy.  Luckily, with some help from your Paris apartment rental booking agent, you can locate nearby Patisseries that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning taste buds.  Be sure to stock up for the length of your stay, as you may not find an excuse to indulge in chocolate croissants & cappuccinos everyday for breakfast when you get home!