New Éclair de Dessert Collection at Paul Bakery

Looks like it’s definitely éclairs season in DC! After introducing two decadent new éclair flavours for Valentine’s Day (framboise & trois chocolats,) Paul Bakery  is keeping the momentum going with a whole month of new limited edition éclairs. A new line-up of tasty éclairs with join Paul’s traditional flavours vanille, café and chocolate.

Eclairs traditionels at Paul Bakery

 

Jot down this schedule! The Un Éclair de Dessert campaign will debut on February 25 by tackling one of France’s most beloved dessert: the Paris-Brest. What’s that you ask? It’s actually kind of like an éclair! Named after a bicycle race that used to take place way before the Tour de France was a thing between the French capital and one of Brittany’s largest city, it’s also made with pâte à choux. But, instead of being oblong shaped, it’s round to resemble a bicycle wheel and filled with whipped cream. It also lacks the fondant layer that typically tops the éclair. Paul’s Paris-Brest inspired éclair will be available from February 25 to March 3, and will be filled with a buttery praline cream and enhanced with caramelized hazelnuts. WANT.

Eclair Paris Brest

 

The following week will see the springtime return of one of my fall favourite: Paul’s noix de pecan éclair, typically available around Thanksgiving. Don’t miss it! It will only be in stores from March 4 to 10, 2015.

Pecan eclair

 

Next, from March 11 to March 17 will come the éclair coconut, topped with finely grated coconut instead of ganache,

Eclair coconut

 

Rounding up the series will be the éclair framboise-pistache (March 18-25) and the éclair fraise-pistache (March 25-31.)

Eclairs at Paul

 

All of these eclairs will be available individually during their respective time-frame (and only then, so plan your visits to accordingly) at all of Paul’s location throughout the Washington, DC area (you can find a Paul near you here) for $5.65 each. A special box set with 3 éclairs of your choice will also be available for $15.99.

I’m planning on hitting Paul every week to try each flavour because, well, do i need a reason beyond loving éclairs and pastries in general? Is there one you’re looking forward to trying more than the others? I’d love to hear! Eclair meet-up anyone?

G’Eclair to Bring Trendy French Pastry to Adams Morgan

In 2009, I met my mom, aunt, grandmother and cousins in Djerba, Tunisia for a relaxing Mediterranean family vacation (you can read more about that trip here). I had to leave before everyone else because well, I’m the only one who lives in a country that doesn’t have 6-weeks of paid vacation days a year (grrr USA!) but did meet up with my dad in Paris for a quick 24 hours before flying back to D.C. My dad and I both have a mad sweet tooth and truly appreciate fine desserts, so these 24 hours turned into quite the pâtisseries marathon. And it was good timing: Éclair Week was in full swing at Fauchon, leading me to rediscover a forgotten childhood favourite.

eclair, fauchon

Fast forward to today. Saying that éclairs are the new macarons is about as over-said as saying that macarons are the new cupcakes. And yet, that’s pretty much exactly what I just said 😉 Éclairs are quite trendy right now, and they’ve never looked or tasted better! Some éclairs truly look like tiny pieces of art (see the stunning éclair Joconde below.)

IMG_2593

Fauchon's Mona Lisa éclair

One of the chef pâtissier to credit for the éclair’s relaunch from simple pastry a high-end dessert is Christophe Adam, who spent 15 years at Fauchon. Adam, who now has his own shop(s) called l’Éclair de Génie, and Guillaume Simonnet, of L’Atelier de l’Éclair, have Parisians lined up outside their stores to try their latest creations and flavours… They’re looking to spread the éclair gospel to the United States, with Adam slated to open a shop in SoHo this summer this year.  There’s already quite a few spot to get decent éclairs in New York: Kayser‘s are really good as are the ones at Michel Richard’s Pomme Palais, Daniel Boulud’s Épicerie Boulud, Dominique Ansel Bakery and La Maison du Chocolat. Pastry chef Jennifer Yee also offers a selection of éclairs at Lafayette Grand Café and Bakery (try it for brunch! Their bread comes straight from Poilâne!!). In Washington, well, it’s a bit more difficult to find good éclairs right now. Like a lot more difficult. So I have high hopes for G’Eclair (pronounced Gee-Clair not JAY-Clair), an éclair boutique that popped up on valentine’s day and will open soon inside frozen yogurt shop Spoon in Adams Morgan. The team behind G’Eclair is also behind Donburi, a Japanese restaurant focused on rice-bowls. Its owner James Jang and his business partner Grace Owens-Stively are getting into the éclair business and eventually plan to open their own small brick-and-mortar éclair shop.

G'Eclair in Washington, DC
GEclair

Over the weekend, Grace and James handed out free éclair samples. I braved the snow Saturday to try them out and wasn’t disappointed by the green-tea white chocolate mini-éclair and the miso-caramel one. There’s still a little bit of work to be done on the presentation I think. The pastries need to be finer and longer to look more refined, and the designs have room for more artistry too. But the flavours were spot on so I’m definitely hopeful and think I might have more reasons to visit Adam Morgan in the near future…