Saturday, August 20, 2011

Antoinette: My fair lady

Many people might have tried the food from thie place already. But I would still want to share some of the creations by Chef Pang. The pastries here are highly influenced by the French and some specials that you can find here include my favourite Salted Caramel Choux Puff & the Saint Honore. As you can tell, after trying so many, I still prefer the cream puff category kind of pastries. Having led Singapore to the international patisserie stage, Chef Pang's creations are definitely worth trying. ( not all are crowd pleasing but a few shined amongst the rest)

Salted Caramel Religieuse
This is really a must must must try for caramel and/or cream puff fans. Don't be deceive by the simple look, it packs alot of different textures. A religieuse is made with two buns (of choux pastry): the body and the head, filled with flavoured crème patissière and covered with an icing. The head is surrounded (and stuck) by Chantilly or butter cream.

The top mini puff is filled caramel buttercream but the bottom is the luscious caramel cream that is "perfumed with fleur de sel". Hah...perfumed, don't know how exacty it works but it sure taste like salted caramel cream...not buttercream luckily. (good that it is just restricted to the top)
But wait...the entire fat creamy goodie is coated with a sticky sweet caramel glaze. The choux pastry is one of the best here....diff from Tampopo or Beard Papa as it is not that kind of crisy airy shell but very soft...like the skin layer of 波罗包. So it is really a piece of very well executed cream puff....怎么这么快就吃完了,哎。。。I want more!

Strawberry Shortcake
Japanese Shortcake sponge,Kirsch syrup, creme chantilly, fresh strawberries

This one looks very alike to Canele version. But I still think that the sponge can be less sweet as they had been soaked in liquor. Can literally press out the kirsch juices as the cake really absorb them like a sponge. But if many other can produce a moist soft sponge without using liquor, I am sure that Antoinette can also do the same thing. The strawberries are quite sour and this cake had less cream than sponge. Not a very impressive one.

Meringue Chantily
French vanilla meringue, vanilla chantilly cream, passionfruit cream
The passionfruit and vanilla creme is sandwiched between the 2 hard meringues.Yeps...I was prepared to take on it's sweetness of the meringues and it paired very well with the light not too sweet vanilla creme. Rather disappointed that the passionfruit cream was scarcely limited. It would be certainly be a more well balanced dessert if the flavour of passionfruit can be further accented.

Le Royale
The top layer is the dark chocolate mousse 64% which is indeed really smooth and light. But neither was it bitter. There was a dark rum aftertaste if you let the chocolate mousse sit on your tongue for a while. The next layer is a very thin almond meringue. The hazelnut almond feuillitine which adds a contrasting crispy texture to the cake was fine and grainy. It may be rather thin layer but just sufficient for the cake.

I was surprised by the ordinary looking chocolate genoise as it was very spongy and not dry at all. Most importantly, it was not dry at all. A well executed classic hazelnut chocolate cake. Not too rich:)
Compared to Canele's Le Royale, the amount of crunchiness here is slightly lesser but at least it is a lot less sweet than Canele's version.
Saint Honore L'Amour
The dainty pink lady, hidden under the rose petal with transparent rose petal glaze ( the white droplets)

Many do cream puffs but seldom named it after the French version. So I was happy to hear about the St Honoure and it was a rose version. Luckily, the rose cream was only lightly perfumed as in some like the rose Macaron, the smell of rose can be overpowering and sickly. This is very light and not sweet as compared to the chocolate cakes.

Mini choux filled with rose petal cream, strawberry compote at the bottom that had the taste of fresh strawberries with very little sugar added I supposed. Usually, compotes of raspberry /blueberry are highly loaded with sugar but this is an exception.
The crumbly almond tart that sets the contrasting tone and twist to Classic Saint Honore (usually w/o any biscuit base, just made of filled choux)

Eh? Ice cream? Nope this is cake!
Chocolicieux
Coated in a crunchy almond chocolate shell, the insides are actually a very dense cake filled with dark chocolate cream 66% and filled with hazelnut nougatine. I was drawn to the unique appearance but the cake fell slightly off my expectation as it was really sweet compared to the Le Royale.

The ganache is sandwiched in the middle between two layers of cake. Actually this resembles a cake pop but in a less compact and less sticky cake. I was surprised by some gooey caramel in the ganache

Hazelnut nougatine to add to the crunch but as the ganache was already very sweet, some of the nuts tasted just plain while some still can retain it's crunchy sugar coating. It is a cake that scores higher in appearance than taste.
Not to forget the Canele (1 for $2), since Chef Pang was originally from Canele.

Spongy and slightly custardy interior. Taste similar to Pave but slightly more pricey.

With so many more to try, there will be a Part 2 of this post.

Antoinette
Mandarin Gallery Lvl 2
30, Penhas Road (near Lavender MRT)

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