There are some pastries, like éclairs, religieuses, or miniature glazed fruit tarts that you’ll find in pretty much every pastry shop in Paris. Others are rarer finds, like this princesse I discovered on a recent trip to Thevenin (5, Rue Notre Dame des Champs) in the 6th arrondissement. When I see a pastry I’ve never tried, I kind of can’t help myself.
It’s decidedly untrendy to make such perfect-looking pastries these days – most Right Bank pastry shops are going a more deconstructed route – but there’s nothing wrong with a perfect pâtisserie every now and then (so long as you’re staying away from the industrial versions), and this one really took the proverbial cake.
The princesse is a pink dome cake with several layers: a white cake topped with a strawberry jelly followed by a lemon pastry cream. The entire thing is frosted and glazed in a pretty pale pink, then decorated with round pink boudoir biscuits (as well as a marshmallow knot that I did not eat).
As a fan of fruity pastries (and pretty pastries), I quite liked this one. It’s not overly sweet, thanks to the strawberry and the lemon, but it’s also not overly messy, like lots of cream pastries can be. In a city where it’s getting easier to find le muffin and le scone than this more traditional bells-and-whistles type pastry, this is a good example of a member of the latter category that actually tastes good.
Thevenin – 5, Rue Notre Dame des Champs, 75006