Jacques Genin: French Caramels and Millefeuille Heaven
This is a continuation from my Parisian vacation that took place in late May 2010.
Monsieur Jacques Genin, how I have read so many good things about you. I have read you have ruined people after they ate your made-to-order millefeuilles and your exquisite caramels. Oh, the temptation…and I cannot resist delectable sweets. I made a pre-dinner (yet to be reviewed) stop during the late afternoon after extensive shopping with HC.
Entering upon this sleek, exposed brick, downtown chic decor, it vaguely reminds me of a boutique in NYC. It feels worn in yet trendy somewhere in SoHo. Marveling in the luxe interior, I peered into the glass case displays filled with pastries and of course, their famed caramels. Everything is made upstairs right above the store/cafe. Mr. Genin graced his presence when I was there, greeting a few customers then went back up to his workshop.
Anyway, HC & I wanted a little pick-me-up. HC wanted café crème (5.50€), as she enjoys her mound of espresso topped with luscious cream. I wanted a café (4.50€). To those of you who have never been to Paris and want to know a little bit of coffee lingo, café means espresso. If you want your familiar cup of joe, you should order a Café Americain (essentially it’s espresso with hot water). Both coffees were well made. Strong but not bitter espresso and the little plus is their own housemade chocolates comes with the drinks. The chocolates of the day are squares of milk chocolate bonbons and spicy chocolate covered ginger. Delicious.
Whilst ordering a bit earlier, I’ve inquired about their millefeuille but since I arrived so late in the afternoon, the praline and caramel were sold out. Bummer. I ended up with the chocolate millefeuille (7.60€). Made-to-order, waiting for 15 minutes or so, this was worth the price and wait. This decadent treat was the size of standard Post-Its (but stacked 4 decks or so high). Barely sweetened by the creamy chocolate ganache sandwiched between the thick, buttery, crispy, flaky layers of puff pastry. I have found my millefeuille heaven.
After eating that piece of heaven, I indulged even further by getting myself the illustrious caramels. The only thing that shocked me was the price of those little candies: 110€ per kilo! I swallowed hard for a moment but bit the bullet and went ordered a box for my family and I and one bag of passionfruit mango caramels for a good friend of mine. (What the salesman told me, these caramels must be eaten fresh (generally last three days or so) but can last a bit longer when refrigerated. If you do refrigerate it, let the caramels sit out at room temperature until it’s slightly soft.)
When you get to open the stainless steel box and open the coveted (pricey) caramels, you can tell it’s going to be an awesome caramel. It looks so pristine and meticulously made; I couldn’t wait to place on in my mouth and savor it.
I picked from my assortment*, the “must get flavor,” passionfruit mango. I now understand the raves and this is probably the only caramel that make me be quiet and savor. Let myself indulge in the luxuriously smooth and creamy texture while the passionfruit mango flavors were intense, slap in the face that wakes up your palate awake, yet the fruit flavors were balanced. This was transcendent.
Jacques, I think you have ruined me with your astounding caramels. I never had a caramel like that ever since. Even though, it’s the most expensive caramels (or candy) I ever bought my entire life. The millefeuille is the same thing (the price wasn’t that bad). Bakeries in NYC don’t make millefeuilles made-to-order unless you’re at a restaurant.
*My assortment consisted of their stock: passionfruit mango, walnut, coffee, pistachio, hazelnut, gingerbread, vanilla, and regular.
To see the rest of my Jacques Genin photos, please click here.
To see the rest of my Parisian food excursions, please CLICK HERE
133 Rue de Turenne
75003 Paris, France
Tel 01 45 77 29 01