Recently, you may have realised, we’ve been on a huge dessert hype (see reviews here and here). Now although Maitre Choux is not a home baked dessert, from the moment (two weeks ago) I heard through the grapevine, that Maitre Choux eclairs/pastrieswere officially all halal (they were previously made with an animal gelatine and a few even contained alcohol), the longing started. Not living in London anymore makes it extremely tempting to eat absolutely everything in London (seriously I need to stop following all the London food bloggers!). I’d be really shocked if you haven’t seen these popping up in your Instagram feed at some point. This is where dessert truly meets art. Amazing halal desserts have been on the rise recently (Dominique Ansel) and patissieres catering to a halal/kosher/vegetarian diet, is a welcome change.
Made by a renowned three (yes THREE) Michelin star experienced Patissiere Joakim Prat, I’m not surprised these Éclairs looked as good as they did on Instagram, as they did in real life. Usually when we go to buy something ourselves, it doesn’t look as good as it does in the picture. This on the other hand, far exceeded even the pictures we had seen. My mind was literally blown when I saw how beautiful (and photogenic) these babies were in real life. I can honestly say I haven’t seen a dessert/ pastry look this good for a long long time. At £5+ per éclair (and £3.60 per choux), although they sound relatively affordable (hey it’s a fiver), the cost quickly adds up. Our box was nearly £45 and contained 8 éclairs.
The size of each éclair was relatively small (roughly 12cm x 3cm) and came packed nicely inside a box. I was worried the toppings may melt, or slide right off, but they managed to survive a 200 mile journey, so it is safe to say, these are perfect to gift to even those who live outside of London.
We tried the Hazelnut and Milk Chocolate Treasure. Encased in gold dust, this showstopper almost looked too good to eat. The nuts and chocolate were definitely reminiscent of the outer coating of Fererro Rocher, and the internal filling also felt like a less nutty and chocolaty version of a Fererro Rocher. The smooth chocolate cream in the centre, combined with the crispy choux pastry, and crunchy hazlenuts was a textural delight.
The one I was most excited about, the Tahitian Vanilla and Pecan Éclair did not disappoint. I am a huge fan of vanilla, and the description of light cream with powerful Vanilla, combined with toasted pecans, sounded like music to my ears. The moment I put this in my mouth, I knew I would probably never have an Éclair this good ever again. The creamy strong vanilla flavour, with the crunchy pecans, all surrounded by a really really good choux pastry, made for the most perfect éclair I have ever eaten. Seriously, this one set the bar so high, I knew anything else I would after have could never compete. If you like sweet éclairs, and vanilla, and nuts, this should definitely be your number one choice.
Salted Butter with Homemade Caramel, initially sounded slightly sweet. I misread this to be salted caramel, so was surprised that the salt was barely noticeable. When I re-read the description, I understood that it wasn’t meant to be salted caramel ,for which I was glad as salted caramel is not really one of my favourite flavours. But this wasn’t the usual sickly sweet caramel, this was a creamy mellow caramel flavoured cream inside an éclair, combined with a thin solid chocolate layer on top. This flavour also made me gasp with excitement. It was good. Really, really good. Who knew éclairs could be elevated to this level? Not me, that’s for sure.
The best looking éclair by far was the Spanish Raspberry Pink éclair. I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was. Unfortunately, this was probably the one éclair, we all agreed, tasted slightly odd. The raspberry mousse in the centre was almost sour and the rosewater glaze was not complementary according to our palette. The sourness was almost yoghurt like and I have to say the beauty of this éclair was certainly not reflected in the flavour. If you like tart refreshing flavours in your éclairs, you may possibly enjoy this one, but for me, the only saving grace was the lovely Macarons, dotted along the top.
Bright green usually looks too garish for any dessert. On this Persian Pistachio éclair however, it looked like art. The dots of meringues for added sweetness, candies Pistachios, all combined with a pistachio filling and glazing made for a truly epic pistachio éclair. This éclair was less sweet in comparison to the other éclairs, but as a huge pistachio flavour fan, this hit the spot.
The Red Love éclair, aka the Raspberry éclair with a Macaron top, was also visually stunning with the vibrant red top. Made especially for Valentine’s day , I am not sure if this flavour is one of the core flavours, or is only limited edition. If you love fruity flavours in your éclair, this is definitely the one to pick. Although I enjoyed the tart raspberry puree with the Tahitian vanilla cream, the fruitiness put me off slightly as I’m more of a creamy choux person. The macaron layer on top of the éclair added another dimension to the éclair, which made it truly different to all the other éclairs. The others in our group however ohhed and aahed in delight at this particular choux, calling it the ‘best éclair ever’ and well worth the price tag.
Finally, I popped one of the chouxettes in my mouth. Not sure what to expect, this humble choux stole the show. Priced at £3.50 for ten, this item is a steal. The pastry is perfectly cooked, the sugar coating fantastically crunchy. I could eat these all day and as Greg Wallace would say, these were so moreish! Humble and simple in appearance, but excelling in quality and flavour. Even if you feel the éclairs are expensive, just go and try these! You won’t be disappointed.
Overall, we were genuinely excited and delighted about our purchase. Although this was definitely on the premium side of desserts, I can understand the amount of time and cost of ingredients are probably reflected in the price. We would not be purchasing this everyday (out of our league as a daily dessert and quite rich and filling too) but as a gift, or a random purchase when we feel like splurging, I would definitely consider these. They look and taste pretty good. Although not all the flavours were to our liking, the presentation most certainly was. If I could award 5.5/5 for presentation, I most definitely would. For flavours and execution a solid 3.5-4/5 is an accurate reflection of the varied flavours that we tried. All I can say is, if you’re in London, try them at least once (especially the chouxettes!).
A huge thank you to my sisters, who took most of these pictures! Have you been here recently? What did you think? Comment below.