Dalloyau wasn’t the only place thinking of Opera this season: Pierre Marcolini, the Belgian chocolatier beloved in Paris, had music on his mind too: His version of an opera cake is the whole building.
And at La Grande Epicerie, the city’s swellest supermarket, the star buche was a cupcake. I’m afraid I couldn’t get a good angle on the cake, so it might be hard to see the base. See the scallops around the cake? They’re the tops of a sturdy ‘cup’ made of sesame tuile, a confection that teeters between cookie and candy. And while the cake seems very French to me, the little plaque in the display case paid homage to New York, a very cute gesture and a nod to the city where the cupcake craze (if not the actual cake) was born.
Finally, buches shaped like buches, cakes from chocolatier/patissier Jean-Paul Hevin. Hevin’s holiday collection is, as he says, “down to earth” and very “elemental,” quite literally. The log in front represents fire, the one that’s about to lift off on (chocolate) balloon power is air, and the snow white log with its icicle trim is water. What’s not in the picture is the cake meant to embody earth — it’s a very realistic chocolate rendering of a tree trunk filled with brightly colored Christmas ornaments.
I’ll be getting my buche from Pierre Herme again this year, but I couldn’t get near the shop to take a picture. Laduree was jammed, too, and Fauchon just wasn’t on my route. But, as I said, les buches will be in town for another week, so with luck — and a little time — I’ll get the rest of the collection to you.
In the meantime, I hope you have a sweet and delicious Christmas. And, if you have a minute, I’d love to know about your holiday dessert.