For the monthly (or so) Sugar Rush column I’ve set myself the onerous, self-sacrificing task of visiting one of Paris’ best patisseries to see what’s on the seasonal menu. (Additional tasting help provided by my family.) This month I went to Des gateaux et du pain, headed up by patissiere Claire Damon, who worked with pastry luminary Pierre Hermé (who at the time was at Fauchon), as well as putting in time in the kitchens of Laduree, the Bristol and the Plaza Athenee. She’s teamed up with boulanger David Granger, who makes crusty breads and fragrant focaccia.
Red berries were front and center, though I tried a couple of her other offerings as well.
An intense lemon tart made from organic Sicilian lemons. It differentiates itself from the ordinary with bits of crunchy meringue, which is apparently flavored with olive oil, though honestly I did not detect this. 7 euros.
A vision of femininity in shades of light pink, my youngest daughter adored this one and even insisted on keeping the decorative rose petals on top. As for me, I’m generally against eating flowers — and this rose mousse was no exception, though the bits of grapefruit atop a rice-flour genoise were a refreshing surprise. 7 euros.
This little lipstick-red number was the hands-down favorite, with its mixture of textures and fresh flavors. The airy pistachio cream and vanilla mousseline were punctuated with lightly cooked acidic cherries (griottes) and crispy bits of brown sugar. Mmm. 7 euros.
J’adore la Fraise
French chefs like to set themselves intellectual tasks. Case in point: this one-themed cake that showcases the strawberry in all its forms — strawberry mousse and strawberry compote over a strawberry-juice-infused biscuit, surrounded by an almond-based soft cake infused with cooked strawberries and topped with fresh strawberries and cubes of strawberry-flavored jelly. This last element didn’t add much, rather the opposite, I thought. But overall a sure bet for strawberry lovers. 7 euros.
Des gâteaux et du pain
63 Boulevard Pasteur – 75015 Paris
89 rue du Bac – 75007 Paris