You know the thing with baking? It can take you anywhere.
It always starts with an idea, and then it plays out and you never know where it’ll take you until you’ve completed the whole product. This isn’t always the case since baking is a science and everything happens according to plan if you follow a recipe, but if you’re creating something as you go, then it is interesting to see where an idea can take you.
A couple of Sundays ago, I had an idea in mind – I wanted to make a tart. I didn’t know exactly what tart to make but I knew I wanted to make a tart for sure. I played with the idea of making a raspberry chocolate tart because that is a flavour combination that I was familiar with and also had the ingredients for, but as the day went by, my ideas changed and this “Almost There Triple Caramel Tart” was born.
First up, the service at Mad about Sucre was impeccable. The staff insisted on giving us explanations on all the cakes prior to seating and ordering to ensure the best experience and informed decisions. When served, the cakes are explained again regarding the layers involved. We are then asked to eat the lightest cake first and then move on to the heaviest. The cakes at Mad about Sucre also have their sugar levels reduced by 20-60%.
I visited Singapore for apartment hunting a couple of months ago in preparation for the big move. We had some time to spare so we decided to visit Antoinette on Penhas Road for some pastries.
Antoinette came highly recommended by my boss, who is a pastry chef, so naturally I had quite a high expectation for this place and their cakes!
This cake had layers of dark chocolate mousse, caramel bavarois, orange marmalade, hazelnut feulletine and chocolate genoise. Overall this was a great petit gateaux with a great chocolate flavour. The mousse was very smooth, rich and decadent. The hazelnut feulletine added a pleasant crunch and texture. However I would have preferred a stronger orange flavour given the name but I could hardly taste the marmalade.
I love cheese and all kinds of cheesecake. However, my absolute favourite type of cheesecakes are the kinds that are very light and not too rich. For example, I love Tiramisu for the lovely light mascarpone, and I love Asian cheesecakes for their airy texture. Which is why I was so excited for the Strawberry Mascarpone Cake from Lorraine’s Patisserie in Sydney.
Today is the first day of September, which means I’ve left Shanghai approximately 2 months ago. I was only there for 5 months in total, but I would call it my 3rd home now. If not for the environmental & health concerns, I would definitely consider going back for longer term. It is modern, it is a metropolitan, it is fast paced, everything there is efficient and it is international enough (while retaining the fundamental Shanghainese culture).
Visiting Aimé Patisserie was a pure coincidence. My boyfriend and I were just walking around Middle Huai Hai Road in the Xuhui District (near IAPM) on our final full day in Shanghai. When we were about to leave the area for our dinner booking, I noticed this eye catching patisserie that looked really promising (think: clean, white gift box-like shop amongst the colourful shops in that district) and we immediately made a mental note to visit after dinner.
Coolest sign ever
Usually, I walk straight to the display case because it is honestly the only thing that concerns me. However, the renovation of Aimé is so different & refreshing that I was pleasantly surprised everywhere I looked.
When I first arrived in Shanghai in February, I was quite disappointed to find that it didn’t really have much to offer in terms of patisseries even though it is a big, modern and busy financial hub. Fortunately, Angelina and Laduree (previously reviewed) opened their respective first shops in Shanghai before I left for good!
Ah, Laduree, the mother of macarons! I was so excited when I heard that Laduree has finally arrived in Shanghai so I made it a point to visit this place before I leave in a couple of weeks time!
I have very fond memories of Laduree, not because they make the best macarons I have ever tasted, but because my very first macaron experience was in Laduree’s London branch. I bought a pistachio and a dark chocolate macaron back then, and I was in heaven. The macarons weren’t overly sweet, and had a nice almond flavour in addition to the chocolate/pistachio flavour. It was then I started paying more attention to these beautiful treats!
Since that experience, I have tried many macarons, good and bad over the years and have slowly formed my own expectations on what good macarons should taste like: crispy shell, chewy centre, intense flavour and not sickeningly sweet. I don’t care much for the colour of the shells – it is the taste and texture that I am looking for.
Other than macarons from other patisseries, I have also tried macarons from the Paris and Singapore store and I have to say, I wasn’t at all impressed with what I tasted, especially given that they’re meant to be one of the best in the world (along with Pierre Hermes)
It is located in the Xuhui district, in Grand Gateway Mall, on ground floor, right opposite Tiffany & Co. What a clever location, it is surrounded by all the luxury brands in the Mall – which probably shares the same clientele as Laduree.