Pure Pastries

passions, tastes, and tales of an american pastry chef

Vegas Round 2: Francois Payard Patisserie November 2, 2008

Filed under: Patisserie — annakbajo @ 12:39 am
Francois Payard

Francois Payard

Our next stop in Vegas was to visit Francois Payard’s Patisserie & Bistro in Ceasar’s Palace. Chef Payard offers an assortment of pastries as well as ice creams and chocolates. You can even order freshly made crepes! His patisserie is warm and inviting, dimly lit and whimsical in decor. In the center is a clock tower adorned with chocolate sculptures turning along with the rotation of the clock dials.

Chef Payard’s desserts are exciting and visually astounding. Most importantly the ingredients and flavors maintain a perfect balance while still offering some intriguing combinations for the customer.

I chose to try the Cendrillon and the Sweet Relief. The Cendrillon consisted of pumpkin mousse, cranberry marmalade, ginger and cinnamon. I couldn’t resist this dessert as it was adorned with small orange macaroons! The pumpkin mousse was not overpowering in flavor and quite light in texture. The cranberry marmalade in the center offered a nice burst of flavor to offset the mousse itself.

Francois Payard

Cendrillon: Francois Payard

The Sweet Relief was simply decorated, but the construction of the dessert itself intrigued me. I could not figure out how Chef Payard had encased the dessert so perfectly in the swiss meringue. Had he dipped it? Piped it? I had to cut it open to investigate.

This second dessert consisted of a mango mousse with a pinapple souffle. Inside were pieces of roasted pineapple and the entire pastry of course was covered with swiss meringue.

The tropical fruit flavors were a nice change of pace. The pineapple pieces inside the mango mousse added an exciting element of surprise to the dessert. The sweetness of the meringue offset the tartness and acidity of the fruit. Overall this dessert was well balanced and extremely satisfying.

Francois Payard

Sweet Relief: Francois Payard

I recommend enjoying a double espresso at the fountain outside the patisserie after you have tasted your pastries. The espresso here is wonderful.

Every time I see a picture of Chef Payard he is so sincerely happy. It is clear he truly loves what he does and wants you to enjoy it as much as he does. His cookbooks are unpretentious and cater to the homebaker. I recommend his Simply Sensational Desserts.

Francois Payard

Francois Payard

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What Happened in Vegas… October 30, 2008

Filed under: Patisserie,Uncategorized — annakbajo @ 1:46 am
Jean-Philippe

Cheesecake:Jean-Philippe

I decided calories don’t count if they are accrued while conducting research.

Only three of the countless pastry shops I visited during my weekend in Vegas stood out from the others as innovative, fresh and inspiring. Jean-Philippe Patisserie at the Bellagio, Francois Payard Patisserie at Ceasar’s Palace, and Vosges Haut-Chocolat at Ceasar’s Palace.

As you walk into Jean-Philippe’s Patisserie at the Bellagio you are greeted by a beautiful glass sculpture which also functions as the world’s largest chocolate fountain. Chocolate is literally pouring from the ceiling in various forms and hues. If this doesn’t catch your eye and draw you in, the bright and vibrant colors from the pastry case should do the trick.

The first pastry I tasted at Jean-Philippe’s Patisserie was his Rose Macaroon. This dessert was composed of fresh raspberries and rose infused pastry cream sandwiched between two almond macaroons and topped with a sugared rose petal.

This was by far the best dessert I tasted all weekend and quite possibly the best I have ever tasted.

It was infused with just enough rose to enhance and compliment the tartness of the raspberries and the sweet nuttiness of the macaroon. The macaroon was perfectly baked; a soft and chewy center surrounded by a paper thin crust. The colors and textures of this pastry added to the overall affect and experience when cutting into this wonderful piece of art.

The second dessert I tasted at the Bellagio was Jean-Philippe’s Chocobanana. This dessert was composed of a hazelnut crust, chocolate mousse, and caramelized bananas. It was beautifully presented and the flavors and textures worked wonderfully together.

Although I wasn’t able to taste another bite, the following pictures are of a few of the other pastries available at the patisserie.

Jean-Phillipe

Carrot Cake: Jean-Phillipe

Jean-Philippe

Lemon Meringue Tart:Jean-Philippe

Jean-Philippe

Imperial:Jean-Philippe