– 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
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
Kim Laidlaw is the
Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.