French Pastry Pop-up – Feb. 13

This is my review of the items purchased at the Advanced French Patisserie popup on Thursday, Feb. 13. I have to say that most of the items at this pop-up looked fantastic! There was a lovely variety of colours, textures and flavours. Definitely a great spread.

French pastries in a box
French pastries from the Feb. 13 pop up: Curry coconut shrimp pithivier, garlic croissant, choux pastry, mocha entremet, caramel and apple compote tart and strawberry shortcake dome

Curry coconut shrimp pithivier: This item looked impressive, was very well presented and the taste and flavour also did not disappoint. I loved the flavour of the curry and the fact that it was garnished with a perfectly cooked peeled shrimp. I really enjoyed the combination of sweet and savoury flavours from the glaze on top and the curry filling that lended themselves very well to the execution of this item. The pastry was also light and flaky.

Garlic croissant: This item looked impressive with a lovely rise, color and defined layers. However, when I bit into it, it didn’t have to amount of flakiness and crispiness throughout that I would expect from a croissant. It looked like it would be super flaky but it wasn’t. The outer layers were flaky and crispy but the inside layers were not (they were soft and doughy). I even brought it home and warmed it in the oven to see if that would help to make it more flaky but the texture was still doughy inside. I think that the garlic mixture might have added too much moisture which affected the flakiness inside making it similar to garlic bread. The garlic flavour is good throughout however.

french pastries on cutting board

Choux pastry: This was a last minute item that I purchased because it just looked so pretty. The varying layers, textures and pink colour just made it so appealing plus I am a sucker for anything made with choux pastry. This was actually a last minute add-on as the pastry students were trying to up sell me the raspberry mousse dome item that they made which was equally pretty and an item that I also ended up buying last minute (which was the best decision ever – more about that later). The choux looks pretty and it’s a showstopper presentation wise but the filling is lacking flavour. I am not sure what flavour it is supposed to be – perhaps raspberry? The flavour is not pronounced enough nor is it sweet enough. Unfortunately, despite how pretty it looks, this item falls flat in terms of flavour.

Mocha lady finger: Classy presentation and good balance of flavours. I find the flavours and texture are similar to tiramisu in many ways (coffee, cocoa). I’m not sure if it has a ladyfinger as one of the layers but the sponge cake/ladyfinger?, chocolate mousse and coffee work well together. The flavours are balanced and I like how it’s elegantly presented with a thin dusting of cocoa on top. The flavours are nice. Nothing bad to say about this one.

Caramel and apple compote tart: Great presentation and flavour profile. I found the presentation to be very unique as I don’t see lot of pastries shaped or composed this way. I can definitely taste the roasted nuts (walnuts?), the apple is cleverly incorporated as a compote in the middle and I can also taste caramel. The flavours work very well together and are well balanced (the roasted nuts really boost the flavour). The different textures provide interest without being overly complicated. There is crunch, smoothness, stickiness and chunks of apple. I really like the refined and unique presentation (and it tastes really good). I don’t have anything bad to say about this one except that I feel bad destroying it when I eat it because the soft round mousse is very soft and delicate compared to the hard pastry base. The flavours are great with this one.

busy tasting pastries
Hard at work tasting pastries

Strawberry shortcake dome: OMG, this is amazing!!! It’s the flavours of my all time favourite dessert – strawberry shortcake but alot more refined and totally elevated. I love the edible flower petals that were used as a garnish on top and the pink coloured chocolate disk. Superb presentation. It offers a very feminine and delicate touch which matches well with the lightness and daintiness of the layers in the dessert itself. Lovely strawberry flavour that provides just the right amount of sweetness and tartness, thin layers of sponge and the mousse provides airiness and texture that compliments the sponge nicely. The layers are even and well constructed when you slice into them. The pale pink icing over the top is smooth and provides just the right amount of sweetness and the texture is fluid without being too loose/thin or too gummy/thick. Well done! I should have ordered more of these.