My favorites (part 2)

Hello dear reader,

I hope you have survived the beginning of the week well. I also hope that it’s sunny there where you are, unlike here in Paris where the spring hasn’t been like a spring at all.

That also means that, there really haven’t been too many opportunities to enjoy the sun in a café (or to even go to one to take pictures). But last Sunday when I was walking around with a friend, the sun finally came out of hiding. And luckily, we were close to a place called The Smiths Bakery.

If you like éclairs (is there anyone who doesn’t?!), then I bet you’d like The Smiths… Because, in my opinion: they serve the best éclair in this town called Paris.

OK, so, I haven’t been to literally every single bakery or café in here, but still. I am ready to say that the one from The Smiths is the best.

You want proof?

Well, it’s a milk-chocolate and hazelnut éclair. And, there really is enough of delicious milk-chocolate and enough of crispy hazelnuts. Also, the éclair is very pretty. Much prettier than your average éclair.

But the downside, after discovering this magnificent éclair, nothing else will do.

They also serve breakfast and lunch but to be honest with you, the only thing I’ve ever eaten there and the only thing I’ll ever eat there, that’s the éclair noisette.

The Smiths Bakery

12 Rue de Buci 75006 Paris, France
Open 9h-00h30 everyday.

Metro: Mabillon

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P.S. If you have an endless craving for sweet things, the best gelato in Paris, Grom, is very near.

My favorites (part 1)

Hi again,

hope you are still well.

Me, today everyday I’m lazy. Apparently all the essays that I should be writing are in fact encouraging me to update this little blog. Funny, how inspiration often works that way.

Again, this is something that I’ve thought to post for a while already. But haven’t.

I thought that it’d be fun to collect a few favorites from Paris (and maybe later from Helsinki too). Obviously most of the places I like, are places other people like too and thus, are places you may have already stumbled upon on the ever-growing internet.

But I decided I wouldn’t let that bother me. Mainly, because at least these little posts will bring joy to me. Also, they’ll be an easy way to tell friends my go-to places in this lovelylovely city.

This coffee shop in rue du Cardinal Lemoine (that’s in the 5th arrondissement) is quite close to the university, so it has been a perfect place for friday afternoon coffees and cupcakes. Also, it’s very near to rue Mouffetard, a street full of adorable and delicious food shops.

The name of the place is as sweet as the treats they serve: Sugarplum Cake Shop. Also, the name makes the place a very suitable first favorites -post, don’t you think?

Their coffee is good, which is most important. I’m serious here. With a bad cup of coffee, the cake gets ruined too. They also serve filtered coffee (this is something I sometimes miss from home).

My very favorite cupcake is the coffee one. And if you didn’t have time for lunch, no worries, after their cheesecake you’ll survive easily until dinner.

Sugarplum Cake Shop

68 rue du Cardinal Lemoine 75005 Paris

Closed on Monday. Open 12h-19h (Tuesday-Sunday).

Metro: Cardinal Lemoine or Place Monge.

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À bientôt !

Chocolate cake with chocolate

So, it is time for this blog to finally be about cake. And because I’m a chocolate cake kind of a girl this cake is all about chocolate. (And some nuts, can you see a pattern here?)

I wanted to make a cake, that would be moist and truly chocolaty. I also wanted it to be sort of a weekend version of a coffee cake.

It came out good, indeed. But I am even more excited to try it today, because no matter how moist a cake you make… In my opinion most cakes just get better overnight, what do you think?

This cake is very easy to make. If you’d like to fancy it up when serving, you could whip some cream and add a few raspberries on the side. Me, I only need a cup of coffee or better yet an espresso and I’m happy.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate

150 g butter

2,5 dl sugar

2 eggs

4 dl flour (I used all purpose)

2 teaspoons of  baking powder

1,5 dl milk

50 g dark chocolate

50 g milk chocolate

(And some nuts for decorating the cake if you wish)

First melt the chocolate and after melting leave it to cool.

You begin the batter by mixing soft butter and sugar together. Mix until light and clearly blended together.  Then you add eggs one by one, mixing the batter after adding each egg.

In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Then add to the batter. At this point you don’t have to mix the batter with that much volume anymore, only until just combined. Then add milk and again don’t mix too much.

Finally, add the melted chocolate that should now be cooled enough (you can obviously make sure by tasting a spoonful, I sure did).

Then pour the batter into a greased and floured cake pan. Bake for about 40 minutes in 175 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit. You can test the cake being ready with a toothpick. When it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

Let the cake cool a while before taking the cake out the pan.

Then you can do the ganache. (My absolutely favorite part).

Chocolate ganache

250 g chocolate (I prefer milk chocolate so I used that)

1,5 dl cream (save a few spoonfuls)

2 tablespoons of butter

You put all the ingredients together in a sauce pan and in very low heat let the chocolate melt so you can mix the ingredients together into ganache. Be very careful not to burn the chocolate and mix the ganache with a spoon all the time so it won’t stick. Let the ganache cool a while.

Now you can either use a knife to cut the cake in half from the middle so you can pour some ganache in in between the cake halves too. Or you can just pour all the ganache on top the cake without cutting it in half.

I wanted to make a two layer cake because, like I said before, I wanted the cake to be really moist. To make sure the cake would be really moist, I saved three spoonfuls of cream and I moistened the lower half of the cake with it. I then added the ganache and then placed the second half of the cake on top. The I poured the rest of the ganache on the cake and then decorated with salted nuts (peanuts, walnuts and cashews) because I really do seem to like the combination of sweet and salty.

And there you have it. I really do hope you like it.

About Thanksgiving

I have never hosted a proper Thanksgiving dinner.

We did make a huge turkey once. Served it with mashed potatoes and gravy and finished the meal with a chocolate cake. But I would not call that a real Thanksgiving.

A big reason to not hosting a Thanksgiving dinner might be that in Finland we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. But after browsing through delicious looking magazines yesterday I have to admit that I would really like to have a dinner and see my friends gathered around one table.

And… It would give me an excuse to bake something like that.

Cake filled with whipped cream and red currant jam and topped with red currants and fudge.