Paris Est Amour: 3 Cafes We Loved

LES DEUX MAGOTS

Cafe Deux Magot
Cafe Deux Magot – Paris

 

The name originally belonged to a fabric and novelty shop at nearby 23 Rue de Buci. The shop sold silk lingerie and took its name from a popular play of the moment (1800s) entitled Les Deux Magots de la Chine. Its two statues represent Chinese “mandarins,” or “magicians” (and “alchemists,” depending upon one’s philosophical point of view), who gaze serenely over the room. These two oriental gentlemen are the source of the name for one of the great cultural landmark cafes of Saint-Germain des Pres. “Magot” literally means, “stocky figurine from the Far East.”[3] In 1873 the business transferred to its current location in the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In 1884 the business changed to a café and liquoriste, keeping the name.

Auguste Boulay bought the business in 1914, when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, for 400,000 francs (anciens). The present manager, Catherine Mathivat, is his great-great-granddaughter.

It was frequented by famed artists such as Elsa Triolet, Louis Aragon, Hemingway and Andre Breton.

Les Deux Magots is one of Paris’ most famous (and most touristy) cafés, but it’s a fun scene to sit and have a coffee out front if the weather’s good. Located in the formerly artsy and now trendy and espensive Saint-Germain-des-Prés area, Les Deux Magots is mostly famous for its prestigious clientele over the years, including Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pablo Picasso, Albert Camus; the list goes on and on  It’s a great feeling to sit enjoying a coffee and think about the brilliant folks who used to used to do the same thing in the same place.

6, place Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, 75006 Paris

AU PETIT FER A CHEVAL

Cafe Paris
Cafe Au Petit fer a Cheval

A Marais institution, the Little Horseshoe is a pocket-size cafe-bar with an original horseshoe-shaped zinc bar from 1903. The place overflows with regulars from dawn to dark. Great apéro spot and great WC – stainless-steel toilet stalls straight out of a Flash Gordon film (actually inspired by the interior of the Nautilus submarine in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea ).
30 rue Vieille du Temple4e

Au Petit Fer A Cheval means “little horseshoe” in French. The inside bar is shaped like a horseshoe. The place is petit. I passed it a few times without even realizing it. But this is one of the reasons why it has so much character. If you can find a seat at the bar you can eat or drink. They serve a reasonably priced menu and serve coffee and wine. There is seating outside but its limited. If you get the chance there is also a few tables to sit and dine behind the bar. If you are walking through the Marais I highly recommend it.

The name of Au Petit Fer Cheval is very appropriate. It is small, very small. The tiny entrance, bordered by few tiny pavement tables, leads into a very tight bar area, bringing people and waiters together and forcing conversation.

Interior of cafe Au Petit fer a Cheval
Interior Au Petit fer a Cheval

Past the bar is a dining area where the tables are so close that you will hear your neighbour breathing and possibly what they are thinking. You can have lunch and dinner throughout the day from Noon to 1.00 am.

We arrived about 2.00pm and managed to get a table. It seemed impolite in such a tight crowd to take photos of our meals. We chose the blackboard specials of veal (€12) and fish (€18) and a small carafe of wine (€12). All meals are served from a small servery that also doubles as the door to the kitchen.

meal at au petit fer a cheval
Tarte Tatin at Au Petit fer a Cheval

The chef, Pierre Beco, is also known for his duck confit and Aubrac beef sirloin served with fried potatoes and green vegetables. Tarte Tatin with fresh cream is also a speciality of the house.

The service was prompt, professional and friendly. All in all, a lovely atmosphere, good food and classic Parisian vibe. Be sure to check out the stainless-steel toilets inspired by the interior of the Nautilus submarine in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

If you’re looking for authenticity, you won’t get much closer to Paris than Au Petit Fer à Cheval. If you can get a seat outside, you’ll have a prime view as Marais is all about people-watching.

Open for over a century, the early horseshoe was bought in 1990 by Xavier Denamur. With its latest dining room hidden counter-shaped horseshoe and its terrace overlooking the comings and goings of one of the most exclusive streets of the capital, this tiny bistro has quickly acquired an excellent reputation. The simple and authentic cuisine of chef Pierre Beco, the particularly warm friendliness of the place and all stainless steel toilets participated in the sit lasting notoriety of the former Café Bar Brazil.

Au Petit Fer à Cheval

30 Rue Vieille du Temple 75004 Paris
+33 1 42 72 47 47
Hours: 9.00am to 2.00am (every day); kitchen open from Noon to 1.15am.
Metro: Saint Paul, Hotel de Ville, Pont Marie. Bus: 69, 96, 76, 67

AU ROCHER DE CANCALE

This cafe in the busy market street of Rue Montorgueil seems to be busy from morning to dark.  Its rich history and sheer location in one of the most interesting streets in Paris makes the wait for a table worthwhile.  A crowded street, loud voices of the fruit vendors, tourists and well heeled Parisians fill this space with an amazing almost palpable energy.

Sitting watching the many different folk pass by, there is a real sense of history. The cafe was a favourite of Novelist Honoré de Balzac and again it is such a luxury to feel like you are sitting where these now famous people once also sipped coffee. Open since the mid 19th Century, if you can take a moment to enjoy the ambiance of this cafe will be most grateful.

78 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris, France

+33142335029

Got a favourite cafe in Paris?

 

 

6 Layer Caramel Cake

A delicious 6 layer caramel cake is perfect in this kind of weather. Here at Dello Mano we’re celebrating Caramel week so, how better to enjoy it than in 6 layers!  We made this one at home last weekend and successfully getting us into the caramel zone.

Each layer is a delicious moist cake, not as dense as brownie but rather fudgy – cakey if that makes sense?  The caramel we made was a lovely creamy version and I think totally up to you in terms of which recipe you use to prepare. The important part is just making sure the caramel consistency is enough to hold it firm between layers but just viscous enough to allow it to ooze when the cake is cut. We all need that little bit of theater at the cutting of an impressive layer cake 🙂 We finished the cake off with a little rock salt just to add a little spark in contrast to the overall caramel sweetness.

6 layer caramel layer
6 layer caramel cake – delicious!

Continue reading “6 Layer Caramel Cake”

White Chocolate & Cranberry Homemade Cookies

I once saw stand up comedienne Fiona O’Loughlin  jokingly tell the story of being at home while her kids and husband were at school and work. In order to appear like she’d been busy all day, she told us that at 4pm in the afternoon she’d throw onions on a pan. She assured us all that this act would 1. have everyone assume that she’d been very busy all day and 2. that the aroma of cooked onions was so comforting that everyone was automatically calmed. I figured all jokes aside, with 5 kids she’d  know how to calm a house!

white chocolate and cranberry cookies
Freshly baked white chocolate and cranberry cookies

Continue reading “White Chocolate & Cranberry Homemade Cookies”

Why You Should Give White Chocolate a Chance

Maybe it’s time to give white chocolate a chance? Or you not a fan? This week at Dello Mano we’ll celebrate White Chocolate in everything from Hot White Chocolate to Pancakes with White chocolate Mousse and fresh raspberries.

White chocolate looks different and doesn’t taste like regular chocolate. It doesn’t have the bittersweet taste that makes regular chocolates addictive.  That’s because it isn’t really chocolate after all. But it does have a few selling points.

White Chocolate Pancakes at Dello Mano
White Chocolate Pancakes with White Chocolate Mousse and fresh raspberries

Continue reading “Why You Should Give White Chocolate a Chance”

Paris Est Amour: 3 Must See Chocolate Shops

PATRICK ROGER CHOCOLATIER

Patrick Roger is a chocolate artisan like no other. Patrick Roger is very involved in every step of chocolate making–from acquiring ingredients, developing flavor combinations, tempering the chocolates and sculpting! With a team of less than 15, Patrick Roger comes up with grand creations that are delectable and very detailed.

The clean lines of the Patrick Roger shops really give the chocolates the chance to pop. Don’t let your eyes fool you, those bees and chickens you will see on the shelves aren’t porcelain or glass—they’re chocolates too! Entering his store and getting a taste of the chocolates made us feel like being in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It’s handmade love for sure!

The day we visited the Patrick Roger Paris store, a one tonne block of chocolate in the window had been carved to a huge elephant. Something really amazing to see!

If you are in Paris and you’re looking for a chocolate gift then you will not be disappointed.

Flavor suggestions: anything with lemongrass, Sichuan peppercorn, pralines and caramels

Locations: Paris and Belgium click here for directory. We’ve vistied both and they are equally exciting. Continue reading “Paris Est Amour: 3 Must See Chocolate Shops”

Paris Est Amour: Our 3 Favorite Pastry Shops

Here at Dello Mano, we’re such advocates of handmade luxury food and products. While Dello Mano style is about refined rustic cakes and produce, Paris contines to provide us with inspiration in our commitment to handmade edible luxury. Paris is everything we dreamed about and more! The Parisian flair for creative artistry and distinct taste for opulence are such great influences, that we decided to share with you our love for the city of lights in a series we’ll be calling Paris est amour. Let’s get started with our favorite pastry shops:

LADURÉE

Laduree Entrace
Entrance to Laduree in Paris

Brief background:

In 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller founded a bakery. After a fire, the bakery was transformed into a pastry shop in 1871, with popular painter Jules Cherét in-charge of the interiors.  With a combination of Parisian-style cafés and French patisserie goodness, the company opened a tea room for women and became one of the pioneers in the area. Ladurée brand further rose to fame when Pierre Desfontaines (grandson of Louis Ernest Ladurée) thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with ganache filling. The recipe for the ‘double-decker’ has not changed since then. Ladurée has been recognized as a French luxury sweets maker and the brand has also branched out to chocolates (Marquis Ladurée) and candles and home fragrances (Beauté Ladurée).

Fun Fact: The sweet treats Kirsten Dunst was eating in the film Marie Antoinette were from Ladurée, as chosen by director Sofia Coppola.

What we loved: The elegant interiors showed true Parisian flair. Together with the dainty packaging and fine china, it was a very luxurious experience. Of course, the  delectable sweets are amazing. The Strawberry cake in the picture below has to be one of the most precious edibles we have ever seen. We loved too the secrecy. With much fuss about no photography it has to be one of the most photographed food shops in the world.

Must-try products: strawberry tarts, pistachio pain au chocolat, St. Honoré, world-famous macarons (flavors like Fleur d’oranger, licorice, cassis and chocolate yuzu)

Locations: Ladurée Houses can be found in several countries across the globe and is increasing as I type this note. For a complete list of locations click here.

Laduree Interior
Laduree – the glamorous interior
Laduree strawberry
Laduree – most exciting cake.
laduree raspberries
Laduree Raspberry cake enjoyed by team Dello Mano

Continue reading “Paris Est Amour: Our 3 Favorite Pastry Shops”

Recipe : Double Chocolate Pecan Fudge Squares

We bake most weekends and this past weekend was no exception.  With winter theoretically on our door step ( in theory, I say  because the days here in Brisbane at this time of the year really are glorious!) it seemed only fitting to bake ourselves  a triple layer treat.

Dello Mano Kitchen Baking of Double Pecan Fudge Squares
Triple layers of yumness!

The layers in these Double Chocolate Pecan Fudge Squares  do take a little more time however the result is well worth the effort.

Start by preparing the biscuit base according to the instructions below. Take care not to overbake it as it tends to dry quickly and you really are looking for lovely moistness across each of the square layers.

The  creamy chocolate filling is simply a brown sugar and butter mix made super delicious with condensed milk.  I’ve long been a fan of condensed milk. Beginning my Food Science career at Carnation, I remember clearly the joy of huge and I mean really huge, vats of white creamy condensed milk. My job then was to taste test the condensed milk as it caramalises over time.  A  life well spent – condensed milk tasting to now these days brownie tasting!

condensed milk pouring
Delicious condensed milk makes for the beginning

Of course, as we always say great chocolate makes or breaks a dessert. Here at Dello Mano our choice of beautiful chocolate is Belgian chocolate however so long as you choose great quality, the choice of chocolate is yours.

dark chocolate bowl
Delicious dark chocolate

After melting, pour the molten dark Belgian chocolate onto the base of biscuit and creamy filling.

Dark chocolate pouring into pan
Use great quality dark chocolate

Starting to get exciting now – take a little care to evenly spread the chocolate so as to ensure the squares look balanced when they’re cut. Refrigerate.

spread dark chocolate onto filling
Dark chocolate spread onto filling

Remove from the refrigerator and carefully cut the layers to your preferred size. Since we love Dello Mano cubes, we have a preference for little squares, but really the fudge squares could be ribbons or bar shaped.  Just take a little care when moving the knife through the layers to avoid cracking.

cutting double pecan fudge
Carefully cut into neat squares

Sit back and enjoy those delicious layers.

double pecan fudge finished
Double Pecan Fudge – the final product

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PECAN FUDGE SLICE

INGREDIENTS:

BASE

¼ cup finely chopped pecans

100 g Butter, melted

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup plain flour, sifted

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

FILLING

395 g can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup brown sugar

125 g butter, chopped into small pieces

120g coursely chopped pecans

100 g  dark Belgian chocolate, chopped

FROSTING

60 g butter, chopped

200 g dark Belgian chocolate, chopped 

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 170-180°C depending on your oven. Grease and line a brownie style pan.

       THE BASE

Combine butter, sugar and pecans in a bowl. Add flour and baking powder. Mix until well combined. Using the back of a spoon         press the base mixture into the cake pan.

Bake for 18 minutes or until golden and firm to touch.

THE FILLING

Combine milk, sugar and butter in a 2-liter (8 cup) microwave safe jug or bowl. Cook, uncovered, stirring every 2 minutes for 6         to 8 minutes on high (100%) power or until mixtures comes to the boil and is thick and golden. Stand for 1 minute.Add the          chocolate and stir constantly until melted. Stir in pecans.

Add the chocolate and stir constantly until melted. Stir in pecans.

Pour over warm base and set aside to cool completely.

TO MAKE FROSTING

Melt butter over a low heat.  When melted slowly add chocolate, stirring gently  until smooth. Be careful not to aerate the chocolate mix. Pour over fudge filling.

Optional : Spread some crushed pecans on top before refrigerating ( can there ever be too many pecans!)

Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set. Cut into squares and serve.

        Recipe adapted from Stahmann Pecan Farms – www.stahmann.com.au