Desserts a la Paris

Published December 3, 2020, 3:19 PM

by Sandy Daza

Check out chouquettes by Gourmandise by Sunshine

EXQUIS CHOCOLAT Gourmandise by Sunshine’s chouquettes transport those who partake of them to the streets of Paris

EDITOR’S NOTE

This story represents Sandy Daza‘s premiere as a food columnist for Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. At the moment, the renowned chef owns and runs the restaurant Casa Daza by Chef Sandy at UP Town Center on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. He also has empanada and siopao stalls all over. On the Metro channel, he has two shows, the food show Foodprints and the cooking show Casa Daza. Sandy Daza has authored two cookbooks.


When I was a student at the American College in Paris a few decades ago, I had no interest in food whatsoever. I just knew I loved to eat and eat a lot. But after a class one day, I passed by the school bulletin board and read that Ecole Cordon Bleu was offering cooking classes. To this day, I had no idea why I signed up but those classes started answering my curious mind on how these delicious food I was tasting all over was made.

The cooking class was full so I ended up joining the baking class. I remember two items that stood out to me. One was an inverted French apple pie called tarte tatin and another called pate a choux.

The story goes that there were French nuns running late in serving an apple pie. An accident occurred and the pie dropped and flipped. The crust fell first and it was picked up like that and served with the filling on top. Voila! I perfected making that tarte tatin then. 

The pate a choux, on the other hand, was a two-layered circular dough that was topped with slivers of sliced toasted almond then baked. Sliced in the middle, it was then filled with a delicious pastry cream. It tastes like a delicious cream puff. 

Those were the days I would walk the streets of Rue Royale and feast on an unknown pastry called macaroons in a store called La Duree. Boy, were they good!

The story goes that there were French nuns running late in serving an apple pie. An accident occurred and the pie dropped and flipped. The crust fell first and it was picked up like that and served with the filling on top. Voila!

After I left Paris for the US, I never came across these pastries or at least the quality I had experienced then until recently. Chef Philippe Estienne of Tymad Bistro in Cebu makes an authentic tarte tatin the way I remember it to be. The macaroons, many places now make these. But the pate a choux, I have not come across a good one.

A few days ago, I saw a box in my fridge. I had no idea what was in it but I saw who it came from. I was sure 100 percent it was going to be good even without tasting what was inside. The box said Gourmandise Patisserie. It was after dinner and I do not take sweets after dinner for the sugar messes up my sleep. Intent on trying it out the following day, I opened the box the next day anyway and saw ball-like pastries. There were four flavors. The box said chouquettes. Immediately pate a choux flashed in my mind. I already had an idea what these were. My kids, who are picky eaters, halved a piece. That saved them from having to eat the whole thing in case they didn’t like it. In my mind, I knew from the maker and one of my favorite French pastries, those halves would not be left there. I was correct. As soon as they all took one bite, the delicious pastry cream oozed out together with their oohs and aahs. My kids started finishing the halves and more and that made me more excited to see the night pass so I could relive those Paris days.

The next day, I picked up a chouquette and took a bite. Flashback! The pastry had a crusty topping, had a nice firm bite to it, and it was simply divine. Inside was a creamy, not too sweet, and well-made pastry cream. Heaven! I picked up another flavor and inside was a delicious chocolate pastry cream. Also very good! Chef Sunshine Puey’s pastries are always different. Not only are they yummy, they too are unique.

In these times of restricted travel, pastries of this caliber can make one experience the outstanding pastries on the streets of Paris without having to go there. I love that! Gourmandise by Sunshine makes a lot of delicious pastries. Her chocolate cake, éclairs, chocolate chip cookies are all to die for. I wasn’t wrong when I saw the name in the box!

Check out her goodies!

Gourmandise by Sunshine  +63 917 883 2432 | Instagram: @Gourmandiseb | 

Sandy Daza Blog: sandydaza.blogspot.com | Twitter: @sandydaza

 
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