Paris: had a few hours on a day trip, meeting a good (fellow-hog) friend, and we want pastries, where do we go? I know David Lebovitz would cringe: I didn’t do my research beforehand, I didn’t find a list of Paris’ top pâtisseries but just went to the one place I’ve been before! Angelina is on Rue Tivoli, a short walk from the Jardin Tuileries; it’s is a little overpriced and squirming with tourists, but there are some tasty pastries too.
Among other things, Angelina sells danishes, chocolates, macarons and of course, pastries. Since we were only there for a day, we didn’t feel guilty sampling a multitude of products.
First stop: a plain croissant. Top marks, it was fluffy, oh-so-buttery and crisp, delicious.
The macarons were a mixed bunch, the chocolate one was heavenly, the right texture and chocolatiness, and the salted caramel yummy and buttery, with a light sprinkling of salt. The coffee macaron was a bit of a disappointment, but perhaps that was just the texture, it was so chewy, it felt like chewing gum, and the coffee flavour was too soft.
Now for the pastries we tried:
Paris-New York: just at the far left of the picture. This was absolutely delicious, like the jazzed-up cousin of a Paris Brest. Light and airy choux, filled with pecan buttercream, with additional crunch and texture from crumbled praline.
Ba Ba: A rum baba, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, I now know that I don’t like rum ba ba. At all.
Mont Thabor: An orange-flavoured dome cake, finished with some kind of spray gun, it was so perfect, and topped with an orange macaron. Sadly, the cake wasn’t amazing, nice orange jelly inside though.
Mont Blanc: as it should be; avoid if you don’t like chestnut!!
Mille feuille: In my panic at having to speak more than five words of French (with the rather stern assistant) I forgot to ask for this one and am still kicking myself…
Chocolate eclair (no picture): perfect, after having eaten many of these, I know my eclairs from my eclairs and this was good, perfect dry choux, smooth and chocolately pastry cream and a slightly bitter topping. I’m convinced that their topping of real dark chocolate glaze (rather than a flavoured fondant) complements the sweet chocolate pastry cream filling perfectly.
St Honoré: This does look extreme, but the cream is so light and fluffy, you don’t really notice… The caramel on the little choux buns was lovely and crunchy and the pastry cream filling was delicious. I want to make these now!
Saori: a lime cheesecake with strawberry jelly encased in white chocolate. This was such a nice idea, but a little overpowered by the lime. The strawberry marshmallow on top was tasty though.
Chocolate tart: (no picture) a deep, velvety chocolate filling, i think ganache in an elegant chocolate sable pastry shell. Full on, but this is the stuff if you’re a chocolate fan.
Verdict: very pretty to look at, and most of the time tastes as good as it looks.