La Boulangerie par Véronique Mauclerc

27 05 2008

And now, the long-awaited Véronique Mauclerc post!  I won’t be putting up any pictures of her breads, because they’d just make mine look bad. Well, that, and I don’t have any decent pictures of them.  But they are something special, I will tell you that.  The first one I tried was a hazelnut, almond, and pistachio bread that was to die for, especially toasted and buttered with jam on top.  Apparently, Véronique Mauclerc has one of only four wood-burning ovens in Paris!  In it she and her team bake large loaves of bread using organic flours and natural yeast (levain).  What was interesting to me in her shop, the first time I went, was that the breads are not necessarily sold whole.  Many of them are too large for a family to eat in a couple of days, so they are sold by weight.  You tell the woman at the counter how big of a piece you want, and she cuts the bread and weighs it.  If you want it sliced, she’ll do that, too.  I have since learned that this is the way bread is sold by many artisan bakers, but I still find the concept kind of novel.

Of course, no boulangerie is complete without at least a small selection of pastries.  The pastries are usually of a more rustic style than you would find at a pâtisserie, but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less tasty.

Tarte au Citron

Take, for example, this lemon tart.  The tart shell itself was filled with a buttery cookie-like substance, rendering what was essentially a thick shortbread cookie for the base.  And then there’s that gorgeous slab of bruléed lemon curd perched on top.  Not too sweet, not too tart, with a firm yet creamy texture.

Or this rhubarb crumble tart:

Tarte à la rhubarbe, façon crumble

Single-serving rhubarb crumble – simple but delicious.  (Personally, I could do without the glaze, but I understand that people like to buy shiny things, so I’ll let it slide.)

And the ever-present chocolate éclair:

Some French thing

Pardon the picture quality and missing bite.  I don’t think I need to explain myself.  Just look at that filling!  This was, without a doubt, the chocolatiest éclair filling I’ve had in Paris.  Top it off with real ganache and Valrhona crunchies and you’ve got yourself a top-tier éclair in my book.

So if you’re ever in the neigborhood, or even if you’re not, Véronique Mauclerc’s bakery is definitely worth a visit.

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