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Beat the Heat – Five of The Best Ice Creams of Paris

28 Aug

The “canicule”, the canicular days, seem to mostly be over but we still have around 27°C (about 80°F) here, which gives us a very good excuse to continue trying out the very best of Parisian ice cream creations.

Above you see the Amorino ice cream parlour opposite the Centre Pompidou, after a much-needed half hour cloudburst a few days ago.

But now the sun is back, and with the city being one of the centers, or THE center, of fashion, talking of French ice cream artists, I have to start with Pierre Hermé.

French Vogue referred to him as “the Picasso of Pastry”, but calling him “the Karl of Pastry” and in every case, “the Godfather of sweet delights” would neither go amiss. More on him and his wife, Austrian designer Barbara Rihl, in an upcoming post, but for now I can tell you that 1) should you visit Paris, try his macarons or you will miss out on your taste buds doing the Cha Cha (seriously, I thought I had tried all of the best macarons, but his are the epitome of macaron-mastery) and b) his ice cream creations equally wonderful.

On a recent trip to one of the Pierre Hermé boutiques, I tried the caramel-and-salted-butter version of his Miss Gla’Gla ice cream (above, in its chic silver packaging), ice cream sandwiches fit for kings and queens, and I also enjoyed one of his 2012 macaron creations, the “Mosäic”, a vanilla macaron with pistachio cream, flavoured with cinnamon and griottes (morello cherries). Bliss!

Pierre Hermè ice cream is also sold at Galeries Lafayette.

Back to Amorino. First, have a look at this:

Looks really nice, isn’t it? May I introduce you to one of Amorino’s (addresses here) specialities, the “Foccacina”. The Foccacina consists of two scoops of ice cream you may choose yourself (I had mascarpone with caramelized figs and Cantaloupe melon, a 2012 Amorino novelty) hugged by a delicate, freshly made warm bakers-biscuit-doughnut-like shell which tastes of Panettone.

Founded in 2002, Amorino’s ice cream truly tastes like real Italian gelato. Also, Amorino does not use artificial colourings or flavors.

What’s more, there are many different ways to enjoy your Amorino gelato: In a foccacina, as did I, on freshly-made warm Belgian waffles or in a cornetto with the ice cream shaped into a beautiful rose form.

And speaking of rose-shaped gelati, “Gelati d’Alberto” also offers them. I fell in love with them a few years ago.

Legend has it that Caterina de Medici brought Italian ice cream to Paris, when she arrived, about 500 years ago. And did you know that it is said that in 1686, Sicilian Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, perfected the first ice cream machine?

Ice cream making is an ancient craft, dating back to the ancient Romans and Egyptians, serving frozen treats, but  until now, one of the loveliest ways to serve ice cream is in rose form. For Gelati d’Alberto’s ice cream, 12, rue des Lombards, find the full address and map here.

If you are looking for the most original ice cream spot: Glaces-glazed‘s Citroën food truck, find its current locations on facebook or on their blog (now you can only get their ice cream at Colette) and additional points of sale here. All the flavours are to die for – but if you live in Paris you can even get a subscription for additional members-only Glaces-glazed creations like Black Sugar Sex Magic (black chocolate, wasabi, ginger), Tunnel of Love (woodland strawberry, sansho pepper) or Kaoua (Brazilian coffee, cardamom).

And you may find French ice cream with the greatest touch of nostalgia at A la mère de famille”.

Founded in 1761 “A la mère de famille” is Heaven for everyone with a sweet tooth. Not only will you discover all sorts of French sweet delicacies, and all of these are truly fabulous, but there you will also find the very best marrons glacés (sweet syrup candied, glazed chestnuts). My suggestion: add them to cupcake dough and glaze the baked cupcakes with icing sugar frosting, sprinkle with thinly chopped marrons glacés…

Find all addresses of the A la mère de famille boutiques here.

Watermelon Sherbet with White Nectarine, Rose Petals and Champagne

1 Oct

Watermelon and White Nectarine Sherbet with Rose Petals and Champagne

One recent afternoon, while strolling through the sunny streets, I came across wonderfully juicy white nectarines. Together with watermelon, red rose petals, a hint of pineapple mint and with the addition of champagne jelly by famous French gourmet food company Fauchon, you can create a sorbet fit for kings and queens. Serve after a romantic dinner for two or impress your friends with this luxurious treat after a nice evening together.

Watermelon Sherbet with White Nectarine, Red Rose Petals and Champagne

Ingredients (serves four):

3 medium or 4 small sweet, mellow, white nectarines

1 piece watermelon (about the same weight as the nectarines)

1 jar  (=115 g / 4 oz) Fauchon Geleé au Champagne

0.05 liter/litre (=about 1 espresso cup) Pêche de Vigne* -juice

1 rose, petals only, plus 4 whole rose blossoms to garnish, if you like (make sure only to use untreated, pesticide-free roses).

1 twig pineapple mint

White nectarine, watermelon, rose

Preparation:

Carefully wash the petals of 1 rose and tease the petals apart, into tiny pieces (do not cut the petals, tis will „hurt“ the petals and the edges of the petal pieces won’t look nice).

Put the rose 4 other whole rose petals aside, to later garnish the sherbet.

Wash the pineapple mint, and chop 4-5 leaves of it into tiny pieces. Put the rest of the pineapple mint aside, to later garnish the sherbet.

Mix half of the rose petal pieces with half of the champagne jelly. Slowly melt this mixture in a small pan (do not cook), until the jelly’s texture resembles that of medium-runny honey, then take the pan off the cooktop, cover and leave to cool for about ½ hour. Then add the chopped pineapple mint. Cover. Leave to marinate for another 30 minutes.

Pre-cool a very shallow stainless steel container/tin in the freezer (or use an ice cream machine).

In the meantime, wash the white nectarines, remove the pits and cut into small pieces (I leave the skin/peel on). Remove the melon seeds and cut the melon into pieces, then put all the pieces into a bowl or a high container.

Now half the remaining half of the champagne jelly, then add one of these halves of it to the nectarine and watermelon pieces, together with half of the Pêche the Vigne juice.With a food processor/blender (the famous robot mixeur) blend these ingredients until you get a pulpy consistency > there should still be tiny(!) pieces of melon left, do not mash it until there is only juice remaining. If needed, little by little add the rest of the Pêche de Vigne juice, to make blending easier.

Then add the marinated rose petals in champagne jelly to the blended pulp and also stir in the rest of the rose petal pieces.

Taste and little by little add the rest of the champagne jelly until your desired sweetness. Put everything into the ice cream machine but if you don’t have one, continue as follows:

Remove the stainless steel tin from the freezer and evenly spread the Sherbet pulp into it, about 2 cm / 0.8 inches, freeze.

After 30 minutes, take the tin out of the freezer and with the help of 2 forks stir everything through vigorously, then spread the Sherbet evenly out again and put the tin back into the freezer. Every 20 – 30 minutes, repeat the stirring-through, this prevents the formation of big ice crystals.

Serve:

Using two forks or an ice cream scoop divide the slightly thawed and stirred again sherbet into 4 Martini glasses. Garnish with the pineapple mint leaves and whole roses (see picture).

Bon appétit!

Tips and suggestions:

*Pêche de vigne:  Peach variety with an especially rich flavor, originally winemakers planted these among the vines, as a natural prevention of fungi. You can use regular peach juice or raspberry juice instead.

Use white grape jelly instead of champagne jelly, as an alcohol-free alternative or if you can’t find champagne jelly.

Use lemon balm or regular mint instead of pineapple mint.

The sherbet is best served on the same day, but you can also freeze it overnight.

Before serving, stir again and let the sherbet slightly thaw, to bring out its full flavor.

Price range: Luxurious

Level of difficutly: Easy, no special cooking skills needed, needs time though

Where to get the ingredients: If you’re currently not in Paris, here you can find an overview on where to find Fauchon-delicacies around the world.

In Paris, many shops stock Fauchon products, but the main Fauchon store is 24-26 place de la Madeleine, in the 8th arr.

If you’re VEGGIE/VEGAN: The sherbet is vegan, but the champagne jelly might contain traces of milk (it says on the jar).

All Posts Are Now Also Sorted by Arrondissement

22 Aug

Bonjour!

To facilitate looking up my articles by Parisian arrondissement I have now categorized them for you.

Wherever in Paris you want to go, this new search function gives you an easy overview on all the mentioned places and adresses located in the same area.

Also, I haven’t just listed the twenty arrondissements by their numbers, but also added to each a well-known place, momument or similar, to make knowing what is where a breeze.

My arrondissement categories are:

1st arr. (Louvre)

2nd arr. (Bourse / Stock Exchange)

3rd arr. (Temple & northern Marais)

4th arr. (Hôtel de Ville, Notre-Dame & southern Marais)

5th arr. (Panthéon & Quartier Latin)

6th arr. (Jardins du Luxembourg)

7th arr. (Eiffel Tower)

8th arr. (Champs-Elysées)

9th arr. (Galeries Lafayette)

10th arr. (Gare du Nord / de l’Est)

11th arr. (Place de la République)

12th arr. (Bercy)

13th arr. (Paris Rive Gauche & main Chinatown)

14th arr. (Gare Montparnasse)

15th arr. (Vaugirard & High-Rise District)

16th arr. (Passy & Ave. Foch)

17th arr. (Place de Clichy)

18th arr. (Montmartre)

19th arr. (Buttes-Chaumont)

20th arr. (Ménilmontant & Père Lachaise)