The Paris Patisserie Tour, Stop #4: Angelina.

After a successful first day, I woke up even more pumped for day #2! I had a long walk ahead of me to reach the next stop, which was perfectly fine, and even welcome, since I knew it would be another day of eating pretty much nothing but desserts. I decided I should at least the start the day with some “real” food, so I had an orange along with a cup of delicious french coffee, and headed out to:

Stop #4: Angelina.

As I walked and walked and walked and walked, I enjoyed Paris more and more. I highly encourage exploring a foreign city on foot whenever possible. I also did not realize that Angelina was right down the street from the Louvre, until I saw the giant architectural masterpiece looming ahead of me on the other side of the street, in all its museum-like glory.

i louvre you.

.Once past the Lourve, I reached my destination and was ready to enjoy some pastries along with Angelina’s famous hot chocolate I’ve heard so much about. It was so lovely inside – with a dining room full of lovely people sitting at lovely little tables enjoying the most lovely pastries. I loved it.

it’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely.

I had no idea what to order! I knew I wanted hot chocolate – but this tour was about sampling pastries, so I had to get some type of pastry, too. I contemplated dining in what may have been the most french-looking dining room I’ve ever seen – but I really had to be on my way. I was worried that I would not be able to get a cup of hot chocolate to go, so I decided to purchase a bag to take home, along with a white chocolate praline that looked like a piece of the moon.

praline in white.

The girls behind counter were all lovely as well, and although they did not speak english very well, they were more helpful and courteous than many english-speaking shops I’ve had the privilege of giving my business to. I asked for a cup of hot chocolate, and I thought she said that I couldn’t order it here – she pointed behind her to a hot chocolate machine that appeared to be out of commission, and then said something about the other room. I was already anticipating this, so I was glad I bought the bag to take with me. I paid, and turned to walk out, when the girl called to me “madam – your hot chocolate!” and she went running into the other room with a cup. Then it dawned on me – she said she had to go into the room to get me the cup of hot chocolate I ordered. Now that’s what I call service. As I anxiously awaited my hot chocolate, I happened to look up, and noticed just how beautifully detailed this shop actually was.

let the sun shine.

Well the world was right – the hot chocolate was by far, the best I’ve ever had. As for the praline, I’m pretty sure it must be illegal in the US, because I’ve never had anything quite like it back home – it just melted in my mouth the instant it touched my tongue. My only regret was that I only bought one.

To be continued in the next post: Stop #5:Pierre Hermé. Nobody does it better. Makes me feel sad for the rest.

come on, praline.

In technical terms, a praline is a caramelized nut, most often a hazelnut or almond; in not-so-technical terms, the word “praline” has come to be associated with not only caramelized nuts, but nougat, ground praline paste, and even chocolates made from praline paste or with a praline in/on top of them. So, you can see how one could go a little “nuts” trying to keep all this straight. har har.

"real" pralines

Anyway, these are simple to make – basically you’re just caramelizing sugar with nuts in it. You can coat them with more sugar, or with cocoa powder…I guess with other stuff too, although that would make it non-traditional and possibly non-tasty. But experimentation is the heart of baking, so do what cha like.

Humpty sure would.

Ok so the point is (not Humpty’s nose, either),  that I made traditional pralines, using almonds, and coated them with powdered sugar. As delightful a snack they were on their own, encased in a Belgian truffle, they became down right irresistible. And that’s a fact, ma’am.

simply irresistible.

So come on lets, make your own praline. Toora, loora, toora loorye aye….