In a perfect world, with unlimited resources and where I would never be full (or need to jog off a dozen extra pastries), I would have liked to try everything they had for sale at the L’Atelier Boulanger du Marais, a very cute bakery near the Place de Vosges in Paris. It all looked spectacular, and the prices seemed very reasonable. In this world, however, I could only try a few things. I opted for a croissant, a brioche au sucre and a Paris Brest. A brioche au sucre is a rich, buttery brioche dough that has coarse sugar sprinkled on top to give it some sweetness and some crunch. It’s simple, but good. The Paris Brest is a ring of choux pastry, the same as you would use for a cream puff, that is filled with a whipped cream or mousse filling. This one was palm-sized (although there are versions the size of cakes) and had a coffee filling.
Everything was outstanding, but the croissant was particularly good. I’m no expert on croissants, but this was certainly the best I’ve had. It was light and flaky, almost crumbly, and it tasted like browned butter because the bottom seemed to have caramelized slightly during baking. Amazing.
You can almost see how fluffy and soft the brioche de sucre was! It inspires me to make use of some of the coarse sugar I have in the kitchen at home.
This is the palm-sized Paris Brest. It had slivered almonds on top. Tasted more like dessert than breakfast, but who am I to complain! Here’s the shot of the inside, you can see that the pastry-to-filling ratio is about 4:1.
L’Atelier Boulanger du Marais
32, Rue Turenne