Friday, March 7, 2014

I love caramel au beurre salé, aka salted caramel.  Not to be knocking the US, but it is just different when you are in France where they have perfected caramel and it is widely available.  It is hard to find a great caramel au beurre salé that absolutely melts your senses and melts in your mouth.  I will however admit that Oprah Winfrey was right when she dubbed Boule her favorite place for salted caramel.  As fate would have it, they closed down years ago and has left a void in my palette!
Many years ago Ms. Lin Guide and I found the gourmet confection connoisseur, Denise Acabo.  I should post about it as she is a very sweet and endearing lady.  Local Parisians can be found there and they were very gracious as well as knowledgeable.  She seeks out the best treats around and one of the caramel au beurre salé she had was from Henri Le Roux.  Years later Henri Le Roux has found its way into Paris with a beautiful store loaded with candy.
What immediately caught my eye was the yuzu and matcha display.  They offer a yuzu matcha caramel, which is a perfect mixture of Japanese flavor.  I was sold by the display!
 They have a lovely display of Japanese teapots and cups that resemble traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.  After a long day of running errands to pick up all the best gourmet foods in Paris, it is good to find a place to sit and just relax a little.
The seats face outwards toward the streets.  There is not much food traffic but it is a calming ambiance.  Before we started buying the massive amount of gourmet sweets, I wanted to try and make sure that it was just as good as I remembered.
They offer a mariage gourmand where you can order green tea or coffee along with 3 caramels or 3 chocolates.  The lady working there was very sweet and helpful.  Before we paid, we ordered a tea with caramel set and a coffee with chocolate set.
There are three green teas, thé vert.  You can choose from Sencha Yuzu, Genmaicha avec Macha, and Hojicha.  Ms. Lin Guide chose the Sencha Yuzu along with the yuzu matcha, black sesame, thé caramel.  This was 6.70 euros.  The tea was very light and refreshing.  I still had a bad cough so this really helped soothe the throat.

 For the café, coffee, you can choose between Colombie, Brésil, and Décafeiné.  I chose the Colombie for a fruitier texture.  This was 5.30 euros.  I thought the coffee was quite bitter and I wish I had some sugar and milk to lighten the taste.  It went well with the chocolates as to not fight the sweet flavor.  We chose the caramel au beurre salé chocolate along with some tea and hazelnut flavors.
They offered a plethora of chocolates! It was very hard to choose and I wanted a lot more but I had to make a tough choice... chocolates vs caramels.
Don't get me wrong, I love chocolates but there is only so much I can eat in one sitting.  The sweetness tends to overwhelm after a certain point.  I feel that caramels are a bit lighter to the taste, even though they are full of butter and may be more calories.
Each piece of chocolate is 1.50 euros with the exception of the specialty chocolates and each caramel is about 1 euro.  Trying a few pieces was good enough for me as I can come back for more.  The caramels will and have lasted me quite a while.
They offer a variety of fruit geleé but I am not a big fruit fan so I didn't really bother to have any.  Everything looked very tasty but I stuck with the caramels.
What I found most interesting here was that caramel au beurre salé was called CBS.  When I first saw the acronym, I was thinking that they were featured on CBS lol.  Maybe it was because I wrote for CBS that I automatically associated the acronym but now I have to remember that it can also be a delicious caramel! =)
They offer many seasonal flavors.  For autumn they offered epices de noel, tatin, cassis, griotte cardamome, and cinq saveurs.  Their year round flavors are caramel au beurre salé (CBS), chocolat amer, chocolat et orange, framboise, blé noir, orange & gingembre, thé, yuzu macha, café noisette, black sesame, and more.  I really liked the Asian flavors and influence.  They did a great job with the black sesame.  Henri Le Roux is definitely not your ordinary confectionery.
The lady there was very sweet and we got to sample a little bit of everything.  Not surprising too because we really dropped a fortune there and happily! =) I think friendly service is the way to go because it puts the shoppers in a great mood and we happily went crazy.  My excuse was that I bought a ton to share with all my friends! I did it for them! Yup, that is my story and I am sticking to it! O=D She threw in a bunch of samples in the end and was nice enough to give us gift bags.  They were very professional and patient.  I ended up with 3 ballotins and Ms. Lin Guide with 2 ballotins.  They play videos of how the gourmet sweets are made and it is interesting to watch.  If you love caramels then you should definitely visit this location in Paris to experience Henri Le Roux's classic recipe that first started in 1977.
Henri Le Roux
La Boutique Paris Saint-Germain 
1 rue de Bourbon le Château - 75006 PARIS 
Tél. 01 82 28 49 80

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

During my stay with Ms. Lin Guide near Universal Studios I decided to explore some tasty treats.  I happened to come across Quenelle.
They offer a variety tasty and innovative concoctions.  What really caught my eye was that they had plenty of yuzu flavored items.  I am an avid yuzu fan so whenever I see it being served, I must get some.
Ms. Lin Guide and I tried a bunch of different flavors.  He was so nice and patient with us that I really wished there was a tip jar to leave tip.  We ended up just leaving some money on the counter because he was so sweet and gave us extra service.
First we tried the different ice creams and sorbets.  There were just so many things that looked good and I was going to be very greedy and order a ton.  Luckily we just started with 2 scoops and then move onto the popsicles followed by the baked goods.  We chose to try the passion fruit kaffir lime and the jackfruit tonic.
The flavors were very vibrant and fresh.  For me, the passion fruit was quite tart.  The jackfruit complemented well as it was much sweeter and lighter.  For the topping, I chose the caramelized rice as it sounded very interesting.  They had quite a few toppings that sounded very tasty.
For the "On a Stick" flavors, I wanted to try a bunch of them but in the end we agreed upon yuzu mojito and the hibiscus watermelon.  The guy warned me that the yuzu is very tart and I thought to myself, "yuzu is always yummy."  Oh man! That was one tart popsicle! I gave it to Ms. Lin Guide as usual since she always takes the bullet for me on food I don't want.  The hibiscus watermelon was very light and not too sweet.  For me, I prefer a heavier flavor and sweeter treats.
The service there was impeccable because as I stood there eating the popsicle, he could sense I didn't like it and offered to change flavors for me.  I didn't want to be any trouble so I told him that we were good since he let us try so many flavors.  After we were done, he scooped out a generous serving on the new ice cream that he was testing.  This was also a yuzu flavor based, I believe with jasmine tea.  I really enjoyed this as it was sweet and flavorful.  This really hit the spot and it was so sweet of him to give us extra free items.
That was not the end of the friendly service.  We broke down our stay with ice cream first, then popsicles, and baked goods to finish.  After all the goodies and free goods we were offered, I was getting full but I still wanted to pick up some of the tasty baked goods they offered.  Everything looked very tasty and I wanted to get one of everything.  We debated for a long time on which items we should get because we were trying to be good about not overbuying and not finishing the treats.  There were alfajores, peanut butter and jelly cookies, brownies, blondies, red velvet cupcake, and more! I was a kid in a candy shop.  We didn't get everything but the guy was so friendly and sweet that he put a bunch of extra sweets inside for us! I felt so guilty because he was so nice and that he didn't need to.  We ended up with almost twice as much baked goods! He was just the nicest guy and wanted us to try the tasty pastries.
Man! The service here was so friendly and welcoming that we talked about the whole car ride.  I would definitely come back to try any new flavors and for the service.  It's a very small but quaint shop.  Everything was very clean and neat.

2214 West Magnolia Boulevard 
Burbank, CA 91506
(818) 843-1035
Quenelle on Urbanspoon

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