Friday, September 20, 2013

French Connection

If you've been following me on Facebook and Instagram, you probably know I've been away in the last month to lovely grand amazing ol' Paree.

Sigh. The food, the wine, the cheeses and the pastries were all to die for!

These are just a small portion of my happy food snaps (just the SWEETS!) - excuse the picture quality, they were all taken on my iPhone. But first, an obligatory shot of:

The Eiffel Tower!
C'est Magnifique!
And we went on the most gorgeous day possible...sunshine, blue skies, green grass.
France was really turning it on for us in the 2 weeks we were there!

First order of business: Visiting Laduree!

The (in)famous Laduree macarons!
I was pretty skeptical as I'd tried the ones from Sydney which were really sweet.
But these really were quite amazing. Not too sweet, full of flavour.

All the different flavours like Yuzu, Salted Caramel, Raspberry

Me and my stash! 

 And the competition - Pierre Herme!

They had macarons with interesting flavour twists, like Yogurt & Banana, and Jasmine Flower.
By the end of the week I was reaaaally macaron-ed out!

(Click "read the rest of this post" below for more!)

 Delicious Eric Kayser chocolate tart. Crisp short-crust pastry shell. Total Yums!

 Chocolates at the Sadaharu Aoki kiosk in Galeries LaFayette

Chocarons - macarons dipped in chocolate!

Japanese-French desserts!

So amazing!

This was a bamboo-flavoured eclair!

Bamboo-hazelnut gateau, Chocolate-green tea gateau

More chocolates! I ate all these at once, Paris has serious chocolates around almost every corner!
These were Christophe Roussel I think, at Montmatre.

Their version of Nutella bread - hazelnut spread on baguette!

Super delicious gelati at Amorino! SO full of flavour!

Oh the joys of finding good coffee in Paris!
There's a terrific little coffee place we found with a barista who'd spent a year making 
coffee in  Sydney, and just returned from a Melbourne coffee tour!
Do check out Terres De Cafe - they have a few outlets but we like the one at Rambuteau where we stayed.

And finally, MY HOLY GRAIL.
After not one but THREE  ATTEMPTS I finally made it to L'Eclair de Genie in the Marais.
(I was SO LUCKY it was walking distance from where we stayed!)
First attempt, they were closed for the day.
Second attempt, we were too early - they hadn't opened and we had to leave for another venue.
Third attempt, we made it! On the very last day before we left Paris!
(FYI their opening hours aren't 11am-7.30pm as stated on the website - it's actually 11.30am-7pm)

 OMG...the colours! The flavours!

 From Left to Right, eclairs with:
Dark chocolate glaze and milk chocolate creme patissiere (fancy French word for custard), 
with some sort of crushed nuts/breadcrumb mix and popping balls
Fresh raspberries, white chocolate shard, raspberry crusting powder
Salter caramel glaze, popping pearls and salted caramel creme patissiere
Vanilla bean glaze with crushed caramalised pecans, and vanilla bean creme patissiere
Citrus lemon glaze with yuzu cream and yuzu creme patissierie
Banana and chocolate creme patissiere with milk chocolate shard, and some sort of breadcrumb crust on top

It was made to look like a baguette!
(It had melted a bit by the time I ate it because I was carrying it with me on the train to Brittany)

Speaking of which, 1st dessert in Brittany made by my FBIL's mum - 
 a rhubarb tart, which we ate cold. Delish!

Pastries all ready to be picked up!

This is a special of Brittany I think, the Kouign-Amann (pronounced Queen Ah-Mahn)
It's basically layers and layers of butter and pastry and sugar folded upon itself and baked.
Super sweet!

The famous La Mere Poulard Biscuiterie is only 5 mins drive from where we stayed!
We bought HEAPS back as gifts, especially my mother.
(Ironically, when they returned to Singapore, they found that the local supermarket 
had just started importing them in!)

The gorgeous and incomparable UNESCO world heritage site,
Mont Saint Michel.  

We visited a dairy farm which belong to my FBIL's family friend.
Four generations of dairy cow breeders + a herd of 96 cows producing top-quality milk 
= 1000 litres of milk every 3 days!
1 cow can produce up to 10,000 litres of milk in a year!

The raw milk gets sold on to dairy companies who process them, or turn them into top-quality beurre like this!
You can see the whole block on the right, fresh from the churn, being patted into blocks for sale.
I would have bought blocks back if I thought they could last the journey all the way back to Melbourne!

 A little shop in Fougeres where we bought little jars of salted caramel, and these were
madeleines of all different flavours! From mandarin to even green tea!

Galettes, a specialty of Bretagne (Brittany), and made with buckwheat flour.
These was the galette complet,with added mushrooms and tomatoes.
Crispy and thin, mmmm...

 The crepe, with just beurre and sucre!

The first meal where I really overate...because I finished this entire thing on my own as well as the galette!
I felt like going all out and had the "sundae" special LOL.
What a perfect way to end the trip!

I'm super excited about trying out the recipes in a cookbook I bought from L'Eclair de Genie, but it's written entirely in French! Will have to have it translated first!

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