Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

Tart and soul

I went to Paris last weekend (showing off, moi?) and on my neverending quest for lovely things to eat, I paid a visit to the fabulously opulent patisserie Ladurée. They are best known for their massively fashionable and internationally emulated macaroons, which I felt obliged to try, though I must confess that I found them aesthetically pleasing but a bit gastronomically overrated. The rest of their cake selection, however, is where the smart money ought to be, for they produce many items whose beautiful design is matched or even surpassed by their scrumptious taste.

Regular readers may be aware that I mentally maintain a running tally of Cakes I Have Known and strive to find cakey confections that are supreme examples of their kind. The competition for Best Chocolate & Raspberry Tart has been a particularly closely-fought contest of late, with the longstanding title-holder (one I bought somewhere in Montreal in 1999) having recently been ousted from the top spot by the fabulously decadent version sold at Konditor and Cook, which is heavy on both real whole raspberries and solid dark chocolate. Now, however, I've tried the Ladurée rendition of the same dessert, and it is also a thing of wonder, but completely different from its London rival, being more delicate and petite, with the raspberries mostly hidden within the smooth chocolate ganache and an extra layer of crunchy caramelized nuts on top for extra delectation.

So which one is the best? I just cannot decide. Perhaps the solution is to award BC&RT With Nuts to Laduree, and BC&RT Without Nuts to Konditor and Cook? Or perhaps I should go to the branch of Ladurée in Harrods and find out if they sell the same thing and whether it tastes identical on home soil? Or perhaps I ought to widen the search even further in the hopes of finding The One Tart To Bind Them All?

Whatever I decide, I'm sure the patisserie world will be feeling the tremors for some time to come...
Tags: cake, food, travel
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