Four French ideas to celebrate chocolate this Easter27-03-2018
“Paques” signals the rebirth of spring, and with it the end of long winter months and new opportunities to delight the most discerning palates.
Read on for a decidedly French take on four ways to enjoy chocolate this Easter.
Chocolate eggs invade French bakeries
After a period of abstinence during Lent when the church declared eating eggs a mortal sin, any eggs laid during this time and past their best were decorated and given as gifts. Today’s tradition of giving chocolate or sweet eggs is alive and well, and in France, the tradition of eggs delivered by the church bells continues to amuse young and old alike. Easter, and a whole host of symbolism, is a rich picking ground for traditional French patisseries, whose irresistible creations include lamb and hare shaped biscuits (the French love the Easter hare!), chocolate rabbits, chocolate fritures (fish and shells), and nest-shaped brioche and cakes. Hunt out your nearest French boulangerie-patisserie and you’ll be sure to find an Easter-themed treat.
Chambelland, full of chocolate and flavour, gluten-free
Bird nests symbolise the birth of spring, and are also the inspiration for Chambelland’s new Easter choux bun creation, the “Pakachu”. A nest-shaped choux bun made using rice flour, covered with chocolate icing (70% cocoa), salted caramel, vanilla Chantilly cream and caramelised walnuts, all decorated with a white chocolate chick. Et voila! And for those less fortunate souls who may not have discovered Chambelland in Paris, the boutique is the baking gambit of Thomas Teffri and Nathaniel Doboin, driven by their desire to promote new cereals in baking, notably gluten-free rice. And with their very own on-site mill, the enterprising duo make exclusively organic flour. So next time you are in Paris and with an appetite to know more, the boutique is located in the heart of Popincourt village in the 11th arondissement.
Pierre Hermé : the “chic” egg and chocolate blond
To celebrate Easter, pastry chef Pierre Hermé has played on tradition and not disappointed with his “Oeuf Fragments”, a stunning deconstructed egg. In addition, supersized is the only way to describe his larger than life, “Oeuf Infiniment Grand”, limited edition chocolate egg. Sculpted chocolate chicks and hares are a touching tribute to the rounded, sleek artistic creations of Francois Pompon, visionary sculptor towards the end of the 19th century. Other Easter highlights include a selection of four grand cru macarons, painstakingly selected by Pierre Hermé himself. Flavour is the essence for this exquisite collection. From the boutique’s signature chocolate to newcomers such as caramelised chocolate blond with fleur de sel or tangy strawberry and passion fruit inspirations, Pierre Hermé has unleashed all his creative flair to ensure the Easter celebrations are packed with excitement.
Choc and cheese?
Following on from the original pairings fresh from Paris’s annual Cheese Show, here’s our latest taste bud tantalisers from French start-up Tentation Fromage. Pioneers in techfood development, the on-line specialists have recently launched a range of three Easter cheese boxes, each championing a French cheese paired with chocolate. Think Mimolette with milk chocolate delicately flavoured with caramelised Florentine almonds. Next up: Pelardon goats’ cheese paired with dark chocolate (70%), delicate red-berry fruits and pecan nuts. And finally, Gorgonzola with dark chocolate (70%) strewn with dried raisons, nuts and caramelised almonds.
Chocolate eggshells : tradition reinvented by Le Petit Duc
When it comes to sweet delicacies, it doesn’t get much sweeter than renowned specialists Le Petit Duc, who have made it their lifelong mission to resurrect long-forgotten traditional recipes to satisfy today’s sweet tooths. And with style and substance no less. Chocolate filled eggshells are an age-old Easter tradition once favoured by chocolatiers and families alike. Requiring immeasurable patience, precision and skill, the recipe had all but disappeared, until Petit Duc came to the rescue. To save meticulously cracking, emptying and sterilising egg shells and preparing praline chocolate from scratch, Le Petit Duc is encouraging families to take to the kitchen once more with their handy DIY egg shell kit. Containing 6 ready-to-fill egg shells, gourmet milk chocolate buttons and caramelised walnuts to mix with the chocolate once melted, the kit also contains a piping bag to fill the eggs. So for a little helping hand to find your inner Easter domestic god or goddess, look no further than Le Petit Duc boutiques, or online at www.petit-duc.com for international delivery. That’s Easter all cracked!