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Julien Merceron is the latest in a long line of dedicated pâtissiers, chocolatiers and confectioners to stamp his indelible mark on the À la Mère de Famille legacy.
Today, Julien Merceron brings his own know-how and innovation to the renowned sweet delights of À la Mère de Famille . Along with a master craftsman (a Meilleur Ouvrier de France, no less), Julien spends most of his time hidden away in ‘33’, a laboratory located next door to the 9th arrondissement store. Here he plays with the traditional confections of the store (candied fruits, syrups, marshmallows, chocolates) and uses them as inspiration for his own original creations: delicious cakes, extravagant ice-creams, ‘Exquimaux’ (popsicles) or the famous ‘Amants’ of À la Mère de Famille. Now past its 250th anniversary, the little 18th-century grocery store has become a place of legend with its stunning décor from another time and its show-stopping confectionery. Chocolates, caramels, pâtes de fruits, ice-creams, boiled sweets, lollipops, marzipans, nougats and of course its marrons glacés, are all recognized as the best that can be found in Paris.
The ‘33’ laboratory was created so that young chef Julien Merceron could have free rein to express his creativity. This unique place, located next to the historic Faubourg-Montmarte store, opens onto the street so that passers-by can share in the delicious experiments that give birth to the delicacies sold next door.
In the current mood of austerity sometimes a cook wants to break out the sugar jar, grab a bar of the best chocolate and get cooking. Well, there isn’t a better book to follow than A La Mere de Famille. One of Paris’s top confectioners share their recipes for some of their traditional cakes, sweets and icecreams. It’s a wonderful range from hazelnut spread to pistachio boiled sweets, marshmallows to chocolate slabs and lots of lovely cake and biscuits. Some of these recipes will need some hard work and time and some searching out of exotic ingredients but then that’s all part of the fun in learning something new. It’s beautifully produced too combining history and recipes with gorgeous photographs showing us their finesse, charm and chic, beautiful treats for young and old. Like for Like ReadingKitchen Secrets, Raymond BlancPatisserie at Home: Step-by-Step Recipes to Help You Master the Art of French Pastry, Will Torrent
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