Wednesday Bites: La Princesse

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.

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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