Philippe Conticini when asked why he wants to share the adventure of La Patisserie des Rêves, he explains that he has the desire to honour the grand classics of patisserie, such as Paris-Brest, Saint-Honore, and with his creativity, experience and knowledge of ‘goût’ (taste) he can create his own interpretation, he calls it ‘re-visiting’ the classics. The dessert of his childhood is something memorable and pleasurable and everything he puts into his desserts – the composition of ingredients, flavours, aromas, textures – is about reliving those tastes we loved so much as children. Transmit this emotion and sensation through every bite that is pure gourmandise.
Eclair au Chocolat (below) – Conticini’s interpretation of the eclair is with one goal in mind and that is to give ‘gourmandise’, a real want, a need, an envy, a fantasy, that eating this eclair is the most pleasurable experience you’ll ever have. It’s the chocolate wrapped around an already generous size eclair that hooks you, that there is the start of gourmandise. This choux eclair is filled with an intense chocolate pastry cream. And when your teeth crack that outer layer of chocalate the broken pieces fill your mouth followed by that “onctueuse” cream. When I took the first mouthful my first thoughts were, “Now this is a real eclair”, at least my inner child thought so.
Paris-Brest (below) – The origin of this French classic is a patissier who created a dessert to pay homage to the cycling race, Paris-Brest-Paris. Conticini’s philosophy is to always integrate the principal elements of the original recipe but also to give a more intense experience through the main ingredient, in this case it’s the praliné. Conticini has kept the original circular form of the Paris-Brest but added his own identity, creating what I can describe as a necklace (beads of choux joined together). He adapted the filling creating a lighter butter cream and incorporating more air into the pastry cream. To give a really explode in the mouth experience a ball of pure praliné fills the centre of each choux so when you bite into the Paris-Brest you have a texture that’s like caramel except it’s the intense flavour of pure praliné. A very pleasurable experience.
Tarte au citron meringue (below)- Possibly the most unique modern take on a tarte au citron. Turned upside down into a tray of meringue then lifted to give this soft peak before finally being torched. Clever. The base is built with a lemon confiture to bring out the flavour of the lemon curd cream which fills the centre under the peak of meringue.
Grand Cru Chocolat (below) – Conticini describes this as not just a chocolate cake but a “gourmand” chocolate cake where the inside of the cake is a firm but “moelleux” ganache composed with a chocolate biscuit. There is also a hint of fleur de sel which always goes well with chocolate. The idea of this cake is as you eat it you are taken through a journey of textures. He describes, when we eat this cake once, we eat it again.
Lemonta au Chocolat (below) – two shells of citrus infused meringue encased in what I can conclude are various type of creams chocolate and praliné: a butter cream, light mousse creams and ganache. Conticini succeeds in giving us an exploration of textures in one bite. This crunchy creamy ball of delight is surprisingly light. I’m not familiar with this dessert so I can’t say if it’s traditional or an original creation of Conticini. However, I can compare it only to the French dessert classic called a Merveilleux.
Cakes were bought at the Beaugrenelle boutique and travelled with me by train. Thankfully they survived the journey. Photos taken by me just shortly after.
Patisserie des Reves Salon de Thé
111 rue de Longchamp
75016 Paris (16th arrondissement)
93 rue du Bac
75006 (6th arrondissement)
NEW Paris boutique!
Patisserie des Reves BEAUGRENELLE
Beaugrenelle Commercial Center