April 10, 2021

The lightning, new star of French pastry

Who would have thought that lightning, this pastry 300 years old would succeed in generating such renewed interest? The recipe of what was once called duchess bread or duchess is simple: a choux pastry garnished with custard and covered with coffee or chocolate icing. And necessarily see the flash dethrone the fruit pie and especially the mille-feuille, it gives ideas.
The Lightning Workshop, a fantasy laboratory
"The lightning is LA pastry of childhood, it is tasted with the fingers without putting oneself everywhere, and it is fun in a flash, "explains Guillaume Simonnet, President and founding partner of the Atelier de l'Eclair.

But if the pastry seduced the young team of associates is because so far no one has ventured to revisit it although its form lends itself to all sorts of fantasies. But also because it stuck to their project to offer a craft product, original and upscale in a street food spirit. Once the hand on the pastry chef, Loïc Bret, finalist best worker in France, the machine was launched ...

In this tea room, originality question we are served! Under the eyes of the customer, three pastry chefs make lightnings with vanilla, lemon meringue, red fruits, caramel, passion fruit, Nutella ... in addition to the traditional chocolate and coffee lightnings. And a salty version: dried chorizo-tomato, salmon-dill, foie gras-fig jam, chicken-curry-cucumber, avocado-coleslaw-radish ... The recipes "temporary, permanent and seasonal" are savored in four formats because here the lightning comes in menu: from the size "Cocktail" (8cm) to the size "Giant" (30 cm) through the "Club salé" (23 cm) or the "Classic sweet" (12 cm). A way to meet the expectations and desires of the widest clientele.

Christophe Adam and his flash of genius
At the same time, chef Christophe Adam, former pastry chef Fauchon, opened L'Eclair du Génie in the heart of the Marais. A concept store with as star products from its shop windows eclairs with exclusive flavors: crispy coffee, salted butter caramel, sparkling chocolate, caramel favorite, yuzu lemon ... accompanied by chocolate truffles.

A pastry reinvented at Fauchon
In terms of lightning competition is tough. Also to hold Cape Fauchon since 2003 sought to reinvent its pastry iconic (since 1895), season after season, with the will to make it lighter and tasty.
Since 2011, the brand has been reviewing its bestsellers and creating desserts seasonal unpublished ... Chantilly, mousse and creamy supplant pastry cream. Among his new "timeless" stars, the Eclair Joconde, salted butter Caramel, Cherry Blossom, Rainbow and the Saint Honoré .... The lightnings Saint Honoré strawberry and dragee announce, meanwhile, the beautiful days of the year 2013 And that's a shame, every year, the house sells 40,000 flashes simply in the historic grocery store located in the Madeleine.

To celebrate this pastry, heritage of French gastronomy, the house has been organizing the Eclairs Weekend for 5 years. For the occasion, 25 of its flagship recipes are reissued and a new one is launched. Last September, the pastry chef Fabien Rouillard imagined the light Paris-Brest now unavoidable.

L'Eclair's Workshop
16 Rue Bachaumont 75002 Paris

The Engineering Lightning
14 Rue Pavée 75004 Paris

24-26 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris

Binging with Babish: Rum French Toast from Mad Men (April 2021)