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  • Writer's pictureRita Selles

More Pastries

I saw these in a window in Paris and can't remember what they are. From looking at the garnishes, they must be a chocolate hazelnut confection. Don't they look beautiful?

Mocha cake from Les Ecrins, a bakery in Grenoble. I would have liked just a little bit of chocolate added to it. Otherwise two layers of sponge cake (génoise) with mocha buttercream and crunchy nuts around the bottom.

Isn't this a lovely slice of cake? It is called a Charlotte aux Framboises—a raspberry charlotte—a classic French molded dessert. The mold is lined with lady fingers or sponge cake and filled with fruit, mousse, custard, stabilized whipped cream, or a combination of these fillings. The dessert is then chilled, unmolded, and sliced.

It may seem that I am always eating pastry—well, I do sample a lot, emphasis on the "sampling". This one was shared by three people. The couple bites I had were excellent!

This is the classic "Millefeuille" also sometimes referred to as a "Napoléon". It consists of three layers of puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) and two layers of pastry cream (crème pâtisserie) with a final glaze on the top. The word "millefeuille" in French means "a thousand sheets", referring to the many layers of pastry. Traditional puff pastry has 729 layers! I have had some millefeuille that were very ho-hum, but this one was excellent! The pastry was crisp, and the filling had a very nice rum-infused pastry cream. It is probably one of the harder pastries to eat—impossible with a spoon and with a fork, the flakey layers of pastry get destroyed. It's best just to pick it up and bite!

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