Paris’ newest sugary treat
Paris’ Atelier de l’Eclair is turning the classic eclair on its head, creating both savoury and sweet versions. (Kim Laidlaw)
The eclair – a tube of choux pastry filled with flavoured cream – is a French patisserie staple. But over the last couple of years, the macaroon, the cupcake and even cream puffs have each had their turn as the sugary trend of the moment. Now, with two new bakeries specialising in the oblong pastry, it seems time for the trusty eclair to shine.
The Atelier de l’Eclair, opened in November 2012, is a bakery and cafe in the 2nd arrondissement that’s turning the classic eclair on its head. Here you can sample a meal composed entirely of eclairs; start off with the mini savoury versions, stuffed with smoked salmon and dill or foie gras and fig jam, move on to a full-sized main course “club” eclair, featuring fillings such as ham and cheese, and finish your meal with a sweet version in either a classic (vanilla, coffee) or new (lemon meringue, mango and passion fruit) flavour.
Over in the Marais neighbourhood in the 4th arrondissement, Éclair de Génie, opened by revered baker Christophe Adam in December 2012, also specialises in the pastry. Traditional flavours are revisited to create superlative versions of the classic pastry, all made in the shop’s on-site kitchen. Try a vanilla eclair garnished with caramelised pecans or the incarnation with a salted caramel mascarpone filling. There are also more innovative versions, with lemon yuzu (a citrus fruit), chocolate, raspberry or black forest flavours. The beautifully decorated pastries have already proved to be such a success that a second shop – featuring a tea room – is scheduled to open in June, not far from the Eiffel Tower in 16th arrondissement.
Kim Laidlaw is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.