Summer Term is meant to be the quiet term. When we calm down before the summer holidays. I feel busier than ever at the moment. Working lots of weekends coming up means less cake time, but I hope to make it up during summer. Today’s blog is a rather belated write up of cake from last Wednesday when I was still on half term and had the time for cake related shenanigans.
A long overdue catch up day out with Steph. Steph and I are both going to be brides in the near future so we had a trip to one of my favourite discoveries in London, and a place that has already featured on this blog, the V&A. We were off to their new Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 exhibition to pick up some tips. If you have never planned a wedding before – and I haven’t yet either – I can let you know from my experience so far that it is far more stressful than you think. I have only just begun my journey to the aisle and I am sure I have already spent more hours in the planning to plan stage than hours there will be on the day itself. Yes, I have spreadsheets that plan my planning. That is perhaps all I should say on the matter at the moment.
The final week of May was not a sunny one this year and I had had to dig out a jacket and some tights for the occasion, a definite step back from summer. A nice lunch Al Fresco in Kensington was not such a welcome idea so we headed to Paul instead for some extravagant french patisserie hidden away in their upstairs dining room. It was warm and decorated with some rustic looking pottery that made me feel right at home. I love a good ancient looking pot. A light lunch of quiche set us up nicely and we both had to have an orangina or two, because, well, when in Rome… Then came cake time. What a tough decision it was this time around, such yummy French desserts to choose from. Steph went in for the classic Tartelette Chocolat, a one person chocolate lover’s paradise.I always have eyes bigger than my stomach so in the name of cake blog I went for a frangipane because it is essentially a CAKE IN A TART! The original hybrid. Who cares about the Cronut when you can have a sweet pastry case filled with almond flavoured cake and topped with more almonds? Heaven! If only I had snuck in some amaretto to go with it. I even bought some little choux pastry buns on the side because choux pastry is SO French.
Steph’s chocolate tart was excellently done. Rich, dark, smooth and gooey ganache filling that gleamed slightly on top. Crisp pastry tart around. Fantastic. The Frangipane was a ‘eat it really slowly so it lasts ages’ type of dessert. Lovely almond flavour, melt in your mouth sponge. The super shiny top upped the presentation credentials as well. The little choux pastry buns whose name I can’t remember or find on the Paul website were enjoyable even though I must admit i’m not the greatest fan of this pastry. I would never normally pick an eclair over a cake but these were sweet and tasty. They could have been crispier I feel as there wasn’t much ‘bite’ to them. Other than that I must owe it to you Paul, in the words of today’s youth, you did good. As the biggest chain bakery I have reviewed so far I was nervous that the products would feel somehow less loved than the effort that goes into a small cafe’s cake, but everything at Paul looked special in itself. So Paul is, as it’s my only French Patisserie so far, the best. I would recommend you go next time you want to eat something that sounds fancier than a Carrot Cake and is guaranteed to taste good, even if it is from a place I have always thought of as the Gregg’s of Paris.
Cake: Me: 6 Steph: 5
Atmosphere: 4 – a decent place to linger but not the cosiest.
Well this blog post was so much fun to write because of all the french words I was able to use! I know that none are accented but i simply can’t work out how to do it on here/ it’s past my bedtime on a school night and I am willing to forgo accent accuracy.