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The Best Tarte Au Chocolat In Paris

I said, “Come at eight.” She said, “What can I bring?” I said, “Dessert.”

In Paris, bringing dessert means a simple trip to a local Pâtisserie where you can select something beautiful and delicious, the clerk will wrap it carefully in a box made just to fit, tie it up with a pretty ribbon and send you on your way. It’s one of the easiest things a dinner guest can do and certainly one of the most fun.

Little did I know that the most incredible Tarte au Chocolat I have ever seen or tasted would be inside the thin square box with the pretty gold ribbon.

There is no shortage of fabulous pastry experts in town. Almost every bakery does at least and above-average job of producing an assortment of delectable (what I call) “eye candy.” When my mother visits, I have to drag her away from every pâtisserie window in Paris. She just stares and feels guilty for her desire to eat every “petit four.”

Saturday mornings on route to Parler Parlor at Eurocentres, I stop at Carton on rue Buci (number 6) for the finest croissant 90 centimes can buy. It’s so buttery, that before I can finish it, the paper it’s been wrapped in is soaked through. It absolutely melts in your mouth.

For more than 20 years I’ve been visiting Gérard Mulot at the corner of rue de Seine and rue Lobineau. Their display of delicacies is one of the city’s most beautiful. There is always a line to order up something really decadent and I used to think their Tarte au Chocolat was the best. I was mistaken.

Everyone knows Ladurée has the best macaroons, and Pierre Hermé’s new shop on rue Bonaparte (number 72) has a “Cérise sur le Gateau” worth admiring (if not indulging in). L’ éclair au chocolat at La Maison du Chocolat (19, rue de Sèvres) everyone says is “light as the wind” and Poîlane at 8, rue du Cherche Midi makes the best Tarte aux Pommes.

But I’ve never had a Tarte aux Chocolat quite like this one. On top, it was decorated with fresh “groseilles” (red currants), chopped pistachios, a log made of a thin layer of white chocolate rolled into shape and bits of gold leaf. The pastry bottom was flaky, but held together in a solid way,
so you could pick it up with your fingers and it

wouldn’t fall apart. The chocolate filling was creamy and not too sweet. The texture was perfect.

We all agreed, it was the best. And who made it? Eric Brunet at Au Bon Panneton, 105, rue Saint-Charles (at the corner of rue de l’Eglise), 15th, 01.40.59.84.70.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. Coming soon…our newest on-line publication…”French Insider”…with a regular interactive column by Eva Lee called “Crème de la Crème” — the best France has to offer in any category that strike’s Eva’s fancy. To be notified about the launch of French Insider, email me at French_Insider.

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