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Do French Macarons contain gelatin or marshmallows?

Please also note that most fillings in things like Tarte Citron, Paris-Brest, etc contain a small amount of gelatine to help set up pastry creams, mousses and lemon cream. The gelatine that the majority of chefs use in France are in the "sheet" form, not granulated and are almost always made from pork or beef. I believe in France it will say on the ingredient list if so. So make sure you ask about everything, not just macarons. Many chefs also add it to sorbet to make it softer when frozen.

Jul 09, 2013
pastrychica in France

Anyone interested in a Jacque Genin Pre Order for this Weekend plus.....

I arrive on the 21st, staying til the 1st of July. Happy to share an order. Tarte citron? Paris-Brest? My mouth is watering in anticipation!!

Jun 08, 2013
pastrychica in France

Pie dough frustrations

How are you measuring your flour? Don't "scoop and swipe". Aerate the flour with a spoon first, then spoon into the cup. Then level off. When you scoop and level without fluffing the flour first, you will not get an accurate measure. If you can, weigh the flour instead of using a measuring cup. You would be surprised how much more flour you get when you scoop.

If you are using cake flour -- stop! Not enough protein the the flour to form enough gluten to give the crust structure. Use AP flour of pastry flour.

You should not have to knead the dough for very long -- just enough to get it into a ball, then flatten into a disc.

Too much kneading will overwork your dough.

May 19, 2013
pastrychica in Home Cooking

foodie parents, semi-foodie teen, picky tween - suggestions?

There are 4 of us going. I always bring empty suitcases with me to load up on french baking ingredients/equipment. Email me: sweetlessonsboston@gmail.com

Happy to do it!!

May 13, 2013
pastrychica in France

foodie parents, semi-foodie teen, picky tween - suggestions?

Just curious John -- you gave Chez Rene a "no go" -- curious why -- it is on the block of our rental. Also, is there another brasserie that you favor instead of Balzar? Thank you.

Also -- if anyone in Paris needs heavy duty aluminum foil or any ingredients let me know. We arrive on 21 June.

May 13, 2013
pastrychica in France

foodie parents, semi-foodie teen, picky tween - suggestions?

I know they are not all walking distance -- just wanted to give her places that were not all walking distance from my place. The three you mentioned are high on my list -- thanks!

May 12, 2013
pastrychica in France

foodie parents, semi-foodie teen, picky tween - suggestions?

Hey! I am headed to Paris the same time as you -- will also have a 13 year old vegetarian (God help me) and I meat loving 10 year old. Staying in the 5th.

I have been researching places to take the kids on their first trip to Paris for a while. My husband and I have been several times before we had the kids and I was there last year solo and went to the "higher-end" and more trendy restaurants that I would not bring the kids to (because of pickiness, not behavior issues).

With that all said -- this trip for us is about introducing them to classic French cuisine. No Spring or Septime or Chez L'Ami Jean this trip. Did that last time.

I believe that your 10 year old will have no trouble finding something on several menus. I know that most places will be very accommodating to well-behaved children, and he can most likely order a steak or roast chicken at most bistros. Tapas places are a great because there is always something for everyone, and he can even be a little more adventurous in tasting without breaking the bank.

Here are some places that are on our long list that I need to narrow down. Some are the usual suspects, some are not.

Keep in mind, these are places I have chosen for their authenticity, their location (walking distance from apartment is easier for us) and variety of menu choices.

In no particular order:

Bistrot Paul Bert
Chez George (rue du Mail)
Cafe des Musees
Fish
Chez Denise
Dans les Landes
Jeanne B
Chez Rene
Brasserie Balzar
Brasserie de I'lle St. Louis
Cafe du Commerce
La Petit Verdot
Les Cocottes de Christian Constant
Polidor (for the bathroom and history, not the cuisine!)
Cafe de la Nouvelle Mairie
Breizh cafe
West Country Girl

Please be gentle with my choices everyone!

Happy Mother's Day!

May 12, 2013
pastrychica in France

Your favorite apéritifs and digestifs?

Oh my God! I am in heaven! I wish I could drag my two tweens around France searching for this stuff. Today on Easter, I am settling for chocolate-chestnut macarons. Thank you for so much info -- as you can tell by my user name -- I would probably enjoy the
"creme" immensely. That museum sounds like heaven!!!

Mar 31, 2013
pastrychica in France

Rillettes de porc

I love, love, love rillettes de porc. I am wondering where your "go to" place to get it is? I know that everyone's tastes are different, but I am hoping you could recommend a few of your fav places. I will be staying in the 5th, but will be all around the city and happy to sample several. Last time I was there I really enjoyed the rillettes served at Chez Josephine, (had to stop myself from eating the HUGE portion by myself!) but did not buy any from a charcuterie. Wondering if Gilles Verot makes great rillettes, or am I better off on rue Mouffetard? Thanks so much!

Mar 30, 2013
pastrychica in France

Your favorite apéritifs and digestifs?

Can you tell me more about the chataigne liqueur?? I am intrigued . . . Chestnuts are my hands-down fav. Is it sweet? Which ones are your favorites? Love to buy a bottle on my next trip. Thanks!

Mar 30, 2013
pastrychica in France

Jacques Genin - limited pastry items?

Salon de the still there. You can still get your chocolat chaud. :)

Feb 18, 2013
pastrychica in France

Jacques Genin - limited pastry items?

I heard that he is only making (mille feuille & Paris-Brest only) pastries to order for guests in the salon; that he will accept orders only for larger-sized pastries that feed 4 or more; and that basically his whole staff left. Not sure what to believe. All I know is that I am sad that I cannot eat that tarte citron again. At least I have his book with the recipe for it. Pic# 213 is for you, Deluca!

Feb 17, 2013
pastrychica in France

Opinel Knives

Greetings!

Headed to Paris in a couple of weeks . . . wondering where the best place to purchase Opinel knives? One thread a year or two ago suggested purchasing at the outdoor markets. Is that my best bet? (renting an apartment in the 7th) Just looking for the best prices. Also planning to buy pot de creme molds -- Maison Porcelaine, Verrerie des Halles or Vaissellerie? I have not been to France since 1999 -- I am familiar with Dehillerin, MORA, A Simon, etc -- just wondering if there are other places where the prices are not as steep or new places I should check out. Merci!

Apr 03, 2012
pastrychica in France

HELP! I can't find Brach's spice jelly beans anywhere in the city! Really!

I found them for you! I live in Massachusetts, and Target has them. I am sure a target in your area has them. They also have Brachs "classic" and "all black" jellybeans.

I hope this helps you!

Mar 23, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Need great breakfast place with top quality pancakes and bacon

Thanks for all those tips! I will definately get there by 8:30!

Mar 17, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Need great breakfast place with top quality pancakes and bacon

Thank you! I am thinking . . . Clinton Street -- looks great!!

Does anyone know if it is hard to get in there right at 9:00 on Sunday mornings? Do I have to get there really early and wait for them to open???

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Clinton Street Baking Co.
4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

Mar 16, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Need great breakfast place with top quality pancakes and bacon

Hi All! I am taking my 8 year old daughter into the city this weekend and I would like to take her to a great breakfast place that has excellent pancakes and serves top-quality bacon. I have a rez at Sarabeths, but I am getting a bit tired of it. I read Big Daddy's menu, but not sure how the food quality is. We are staying near Rock Center, but can travel anywhere for something extra-tasty. Is there any place that you would recommend?

Mar 16, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Best Breakfast and Brunch in Manhattan, 2010 Version

Hi! Coming to town this weekend with my 8 year old daughter. Staying near Rock Center -- need a breakfast/brunch place that is either near hotel or near Central Park Zoo (willing to treavel anywhere if the food is truly awesome) She loves bacon and pancakes (who doesn't) . Been to Sarabeths -- anything you think a "girly girl" would like -- but also has really great food for mom too? Thanks!

Mar 16, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Steak Frites For 8-Year Old

I like Nice Matin -- I ate there a few years ago when I stayed at the Lucerne. It was very nice. I will check out the menu, thanks!

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Nice Matin
201 West 79th Street, New York, NY 10024

Mar 06, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Steak Frites For 8-Year Old

I totally agree!

Mar 06, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Steak Frites For 8-Year Old

I haven't been there in ages either. Not sure if I want to risk it . . . we are only in town for two nights. Taking her to Katz's Deli on first night.

Mar 06, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Steak Frites For 8-Year Old

You are right AdamD, that is my dilemma. When she is older I will take her to Keen's/Luger's/Wolfgang's, etc -- now I just want her to have fun, and I want to eat well too. I will check out the other suggestions. Thanks everyone!

Mar 06, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Steak Frites For 8-Year Old

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I went to DBGB in October, and I thought the service was pretty bad. Landmarc only takes reservations for parties of 6 or more. Le Relais de Venise looks interesting, but they don't take reservations either -- do you think I would have difficulty securing at table at 6:00?

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Landmarc
179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

DBGB
299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

Mar 06, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan

Steak Frites For 8-Year Old

I am taking my 8 year old to NYC next weekend and she LOVES steak. I want to take her to a great place for steak frites that won't break the bank. Does not necessarily have to be a place that has a children's menu. We are staying midtown, so we can travel anywhere within the city. She has been to Balthazar and Pastis -- we sort of like the noisy, funky, bistro-type places. I heard Landmarc has good food for kids, but also heard they don't take reservations. Is it worth the wait at Landmarc?

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Pastis
9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Balthazar
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Landmarc
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Mar 06, 2011
pastrychica in Manhattan