|Saint Honore Cake
Yes, I have a sweet tooth.To be fair, British desserts can be pretty nice. But here is the real test to check if you are really British: when it is cold and damp, and you want to have a heart-warming dessert, what will you have?
Come on. Don’t cheat. Think about it and then read the answer:
You can have scones, apple pie, eccles cakes or even plum pudding (or whatever you like, really), but you need to have it with ice cream. The love affair of the British with ice cream knows no limits. Even when everybody is shivering outside, the British eat ice cream. It is an essential part of the British diet, and there is simply no avoiding it. If you are serious about becoming British, you will have to learn to love ice cream even when it is freezing.
However hard I try, I am not there yet. I am not a huge fan of ice cream, especially during the cold and damp British winters. Furthermore, I think that it kills the taste of a dessert. You see, I miss the taste of the French specialties of my childhood. I miss the fresh madeleines, the Tarte Tatin, the Paris Brest, the fresh croissants, the Saint Honore cake, the eclairs…
|My silent prayers have been answered: there is a new French patisserie in London. It is called La Patisserie des Reves. Somehow they found me and they sent me an email to tell me that they had just opened a shop in London. I couldn’t resist it. I had to go. I wasn’t disappointed.
First of all, this is not your average French patisserie. This is art. The cakes are so well-presented that I initially thought it would be a shame to eat them. They are carefully kept in a glass bell and look, well, perfect. I have tried to bake Tarte Tatin and brioche, but I have never ever managed to get such beautiful cakes. I was explained that the chef had to try 96 recipes for one of the cakes. Yes, 96. No wonder I am not there yet.
I ordered some fresh cakes. Actually, I ordered lots of fresh cakes. That’s how it works: your cakes are always fresh. You need to order them, and they make the final preparations in the shop (it just takes a few minutes). My cakes were neatly packaged in pink boxes.
The real surprise happened when I reached home. I sat down and tried the Saint Honore. And suddenly I wasn’t in London any more. I was six or seven again, with my late grandmother, going back home after the Sunday mass (she was quite religious). We used to stop by the local patisserie in my small village to buy some cakes for lunch. It was heaven.
She had a sweet tooth too and we always shared something on our way back home. I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone that we had eaten a cake beforehand. It was our little secret. I loved this ritual.
I was traveling back in time. It was wonderful.
Mind you, when the whole family came back home, they ate all the cakes and enjoyed it very much. Of course, my children took some ice cream with their Tarte Tatin. They are British now. Life is all about compromise, right?
NB: This is not a sponsored post.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London