An éclair is a light pastry dough piped through a pastry bag into 4 ” strips, baked until they are crispy and hollow on the inside and filled with a variety of fillings. The lighter the éclair, the better. There is an art to this, and some are better than others here in France.
The traditional éclair that I know from back home in Canada is the version with dark chocolate on top and whipping cream or custard in the middle. My dad used to make these at our family bakery, Tender Crust Bake and Pastry, when we were kids back in our hometown of Duncan, British Columbia, Canada.
You cannot come to France without sampling an éclair. I am not the biggest sweet tooth around and in fact I usually pass on sweets altogether but when my mom came to visit she wanted to try a true éclair and luckily for her, I know exactly where to find them.
Boulangerie Patisserie, Au Palais des Saveurs (On the Square) has added three new varieties of éclairs to their list of amazing creations. Mom bought one of each type left in the showcase to try while picking up our daily bread and we could hardly wait to get them home to taste them with our afternoon coffee.
One was the traditional chocolate éclair with dark chocolate on top filled with chocolate cream. This happens to be my son’s favourite of the bunch and wolfed down ½ before anyone even got a chance to look at them.
Imagine, green pistachio cream with raspberry compote and pink raspberry fondant icing on top, garnished with a handmade daisy. Okay, it was almost too pretty to eat but miraculously we managed. It was a mix of nutty and sweet with a bit of tartness from the raspberries. Oh my god, I was in heaven. This was my favourite of Lionel’s (the master baker at Au Palais des Saveur) newest creations.
Angelina is not much of a sweet tooth either but she found a new éclair to tickle her fancy as well. A milk chocolate pastry with chocolate cream on top, except on top of that were chocolate pop rocks. Angelina liked the novelty of the rocks exploding in her mouth and managed to clear the top of the éclair before anyone else got to try them. What a stinker!
If your taste veers towards caramel, they have a flavour for you as well. A traditional caramel version with caramel icing on top and caramel cream in the middle. We found an upgraded version of this as well with pretty little silver candies on top that the kids called diamonds and it too was very tasty.
Lastly, we tried the pecan éclair. The cream in the middle tasted like nuts, but I could be wrong on this account, because I was too interested in the toppings. White icing lay under big pieces of salty roasted pecan. A caramel lover’s dream.
- Fancy Éclairs 2.60€/piece
- Traditional Éclairs 2.20€/piece
Eclair pistache griotte
Eclair chocolat au lait perles éclatantes
Eclair vanille et noix de pécan caramélisé
Eclair caramel beurre salé
No blue frosting the pre-made container variety you buy off the shelf for cakes, which I find annoying. I like to bake a cake for the kids and ice it without fuss. The French do not seem interesting and the work is lost on them. I love Safeway bakery cakes with the cheap icing on top…scrumptious, crappy but a part of growing up in North America… 🙂
Can’t wait to try them when I’m in France later this year. I’m not much of a sweet tooth myself, except for the Real Deal stuff. The pastries in France are generally really good! I don’t think they’re into blue frosting yet, are they?