Lisa Kaaki, email@example.com
Tuesday 12 June 2012
Last Update 19 June 2012 11:49 am
The Salon de the Laduree, a pistachio-green tea room with wooden paneling, has spread its wings from rue Royale to the Champs Elysees in Paris, also opening branches in London as well as other European capitals and now in the Saudi capital. Ludovic Descouens is the director for Laduree in Riyadh, which is situated on the second floor of the Centria Mall in Olaya Street.
Laduree has successfully understood the challenge of satisfying the needs of a hip and more global clientele. Laduree offers presently, without a doubt, the best French pastries in Riyadh. Ludovic Descouens is adamant about the freshness and quality of the ingredients used. As for any masterpiece, you will need to spend some money, but perfection has no price!
Who can resist that elegant little macaroon, a culinary creation that epitomizes whimsical simplicity with just eggs, sugar and ground almonds! The story of the Laduree “macaron” starts with Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin of Louis Ernest Laduree who at the beginning of the 20th century first thought of taking two macaroon shells and joining them with ganache, a silky, smooth filling.
Savoring a Laduree macaroon is a clean affair: The filling does not squish out of the cookie and biting through the crust should be effortless apart from a few stray crumbs. In every bite, you can truly taste the creative work of Laduree’s master pastry cook.
The macaroon’s origin isn’t clear but it may have been brought to France from Italy during the Renaissance. It is enjoying a revival echoed by Laduree’s staggering choice of amazing flavors according to the season, including, mimosa, licorice and blackcurrant and violet, fig and date, icy mint to name but a few. You can acknowledge your weakness and enjoy a variety of macaroons in the tea room or have them delicately placed in those delightful pale mauve and pistachio boxes.
Laduree has also reinvented another traditional French pastry, the “religieuse”, consisting of two choux pastry cases filled with creme patissiere, a large one on the bottom and a smaller one on top and joined together with buttercream, a shape which evokes the image of an obese nun, hence it’s name, la “religieuse”, the “nun” in French.
Incidentally, choux pastry or “pate a choux” is one of at least ten different doughs used in French cooking. Choux pastry is not puff pastry. Its batter is made only from water, eggs, flour and butter. The high water content vaporizes during cooking and thus causes the pastry to puff.
Apart from the ubiquitous coffee and chocolate flavors, you might be tempted to try rose, violet and orange blossom. If you are more adventurous, you might like to try the raspberry anise or caramel mango flavored macaroons!
The “mille-feuille”, (thousand sheets) is with the macaroon one of Laduree’s flagship cakes. Traditionally, a “mille-feuille” is made up of three layers of puff pastry, alternating with two layers of pastrycream (crème patissiere). The “mille-feuille praline” is simply sublime!
Another delicious traditional French pastry is the Paris-Brest. This cake’s history is linked to a 1,200-kilometer bicycling event organized every four years since 1891, and it has the shape of a wheel. Laduree’s culinary creations demonstrate haute-pastry skills with clever streaks of creativity, capturing the spirit of classics and casting a contemporary light on them. This is particularly true for their signature Rose Raspberry Saint-Honore and Pistachio Griotte Saint-Honore.
The comfortable tea salon cum restaurant serves also breakfast, (the croissants are out of this world!), lunch and dinner. At Laduree, you can forget haute couture and designer brands and enjoy the true taste of luxury with high-flying pastries which boast subtle flavors and perfect execution.
For more information: www.luxuurysweet.com
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