Whenever we are on holidays, we make it a point to visit some of the local pastry joints to have a feel of what the local pastry scene is like and our recent trip to Bangkok is no different. Our last trip to the capital of the Land of Smiles was exactly two years back and boy have things changed. Much of the local dessert scene had been completed taken over by the makes of Japan and Korea with bingsus and kakigoris rapidly gaining popularity and finding themselves in perpetually every mall along the main shopping belt in Bangkok. Yet there are some who continued to stay true to their grounds and stuck to the traditions and basics, to which we are very glad for, and Patisserie Paris Mikki is one of those increasingly rare few.
We haven’t been back to Bangkok for more than 10 years but it is not like we’d totally forgotten about it all this while as we’d booked flights and planned itineraries over the years but the trip never did materialise. We love the city but just not the social unrest which troubles the city, either from the reds or the yellows which happened from time to time. But I’m glad we finally had a chance to come back to this interesting city but seriously, we didn’t know what to expect. 10 years could change a person, lest a city. This time round, we’d decided to skip much of the usual tourist circuit of cheap shopping and street food (yes sacrilegious for Bangkok I know!) but instead, opted to experience how the city had grown and matured in other aspects of its culinary endeavors. Curious we are, but at the same time we were lost. Thankfully we have friends who frequent the city and it was not difficult to get recommendations. One place we saw popping up quite frequently on our “intel” was Water Library Brasserie @ Central Embassy.
Sacrilegious me had some croissants from Tiong Bahru Bakery lying in the fridge for more than a week now and had totally forgotten about them! They were suppose to be used in sandwiches for a simple lunch the next day after I’d bought them but I ran out of cheese and ham in the fridge and ended up cooking some other stuff instead thus neglecting the croissants quite conveniently. A few days ago, I did recall buying them but just couldn’t find them around. Thought Dad ate them across the weekend or something. As I was clearing out the fridge this morning, I chanced upon a suspicious looking paper bag and blimey, my two croissants once lost are now found!
It would be such a waste chucking them into the bin. They are Tiong Bahru Bakery croissants after all. Probably the best we have in Singapore at this moment. Stale, albeit delicious I’m sure. A quick search over the internet and came a simple recipe by the Kitchen Goddess. Nigella Lawson’s “Caramel Croissant Pudding” these two fellas seemed destined to become!
Sorry for the lack in updates from our recent Osaka trip. These two weeks had been hectic as hell for me with students’ mid-year exams round the corner. Trying to cram in as much last minute revision as possible. But alas I’d better get this going cos we are going Taipei next week and that would mean a severe backlog to clear! So here we go!
Patisserie Alcyon is another home-grown brand under “Anjou and Alcyon” whose humble beginnings in 1972as a restaurant in Shinsaibashi Osaka, specialising in Mediterranean cuisine. The patisserie branch debuted in 1986 and has since grown not only locally but reached the shores of France, with dessert boutiques in Paris. We visited their takeaway outlet in Umeda, Osaka which is reputed to have a very good selection of macarons. And indeed they do! 30 flavours in all!
I’d always been intrigued by how milk becomes cheese. The process, despite being easily rationalised by science, remains much of a mystic to me. Actually, I pretty much want it that way. Kinda keeps the magic alive for me. haha… heed not, that’s just silly me talking.
Yesterday, I’d decided that I wanna experience the magic for myself and found an easy to work with recipe to make Fromage Blanc, a soft french white cheese which is ideal for making creamy desserts, without the density and heaviness of phillys and mascarpone.
Talk about french baking and macarons easily comes to mind. And the one name that is almost synonymously equated to macarons is Pierre Hermé. The celebrated French patissier is renowned and worshipped around the world by dessert and sweets afficionados for his edible masterpieces. Enshrined as the “Picasso of Patissiers”, the one creation which is most often tagged onto him is the Ispahan.
7-cm wide macaron shells in brilliant pink enclosed with a mélange of fresh raspberries, canned lychees and rose petal buttercream, this must had been one of the most bizzare-sounding desserts on the menu that Pierre Hermé created when he was still with Laduree. He is afterall a revolutionary in the French culinary scene, constantly introducing mind-boggling ideas for desserts and patisseries which come in bewildering combinations of flavours or presentation that inspires to astound the world both visually and gastronomically!