Just a couple of blocks from where I’m staying, I was excited today to stumble upon a striking boutique devoted to one of the pâtisseries du moment, the éclair. I’m not talking about your ordinary, run of the mill éclair here…Oh no. These are new-age, think-outside-the-box technicolour dreams with innovative flavours and creative designs.
It was the rainbow stripes of pop-art colour that drew me in to L’Eclair de Génie, the sleek, modern store on rue de Pavée that is the creation of exceptionally talented French pâtissier Christophe Adam – who must have the wildest imagination. Formerly a pastry chef at Fauchon, this risk taker is part of a new generation of chefs experimenting with and redesigning the classics, and this fusty old favourite has seen a very chic makeover indeed!
The evolving collection made with top-notch ingredients changes daily and there’s an extraordinary range of dazzling finishes from high gloss to the occasional digital image (think Mona Lisa’s eyes).
Among the delights in today’s line-up: marscapone salted-butter caramel, a highly lacquered red raspberry, vanilla cream with caramelised pecans, chocolate coconut (which looks rather like an Aussie finger bun), hazelnut praline, orange pistachio and a tangy-yellow raspberry passion.
I order a raspberry passion and at 5.50 € a pop these four-bite wonders are not cheap, but like everyone else in the store I am powerless to resist. You can also take away a rainbow box of 4, 6 or 10 of your choice to devour at your hotel or on a park bench in the nearby Place des Vosges – but I doubt they will make it that far.
I had to discipline myself until I photographed mine, but I’m pleased to report that on first bite the creamy custard exploded in my mouth with an intense and fabulous passionfruit flavour.