“Éclair” is surely a word that quickly catches the attention of curious eyes and sparks the appetit of fellow “gourmands”. This is exactly our goal. After a month hiatus from Paris Up Close and Personal, we’re excited to share our recent discoveries into the modern universe of the French éclair. With the help and expertise of a friend and brilliant pasty chef, Frances (of whom you will certainly hear more about), we set out on a Parisian adventure with the purpose of refining our pallets and allowing our taste buds to run wild!
Allow me to add that this project was less about finding THE best eclair, but rather experiencing what all the hype is behind the innovative hands who have given the eclair a noticeable “face lift”. Without further ado, the line up is as follows:
L’Atelier de L’Eclair: mini foie gras + pistachio apricot (1 and 3 in above photo)
L’Éclair de Génie: passion fruit raspberry
Stroher: strawberry raspberry
Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki : black sesame
La Pâtisserie des Rêves: coffee with milk chocolate coating
Miscellaneous bakery: “control” chocolate
I will attempt to keep this short and…sweet (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). Out of the 6 éclairs, there was a four way tie for best, in our opinion, each for different reasons. To start, the tiny foie gras éclair from L’Atelier de l’Eclair was huge in flavor. With just a hint of sweetness and a tomatoey kick, this expensive little guy was surprisingly worth the splurge. We decided it was Napoleon sized! The pistachio apricot choice was light and flavorful without being too sweet. However it was a bit messy and had the almond flavor was just a bit too overpowering for my taste. Next is L’Éclair de Génie with the passionfruit raspberry éclair. The only disappointing element in tasting this one was that it had to end! Although it’s fairly small for the price, it’s absolutely worth it. The texture of the filling, the finesse of the glaze and no question the precision of the presentation were all exquisite. Delicious!
Stohrer is said to be to be the oldest bakery in Paris and has graced the public with it’s royal delicacies since 1730. The strawberry raspberry éclair here was definitely beautiful and delicious. It’s a winner in terms of classicism, however we weren’t wowed by the flavor as it was a bit too sweet. At Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki, we found a black sesame éclair that was absolutely a breath of fresh air for our taste buds. The presentation and quality were brilliantly classic. Yet the innovative sesame flavor was light and rich. I will be back for another! Taking the cake in terms of size and flavor, we have La Pâtisserie des Rêves with their chocolate wrapped coffee éclair. This is what we would call a proper dessert. The chocolate covering was surprising not messy and the coffee flavor was perfect. The quality of craftsmanship of this éclair was incredible. They also win for innovation. Lastly, we had the “control” chocolate éclair from “random bakery”. If you’re going for size and like chocolate pudding, this ones for you!
Hopefully you find yourselves inspired by our sweet finding. Remember, there are endless flavors we didn’t try just waiting to be discovered. Let us know what you find!