Those of you who are not familiar with Paris may be asking, who is Eric? Is he an actor, a sportsman, a historical figure who has been kept on the down-low? & why does he merit a whole blog post?
Eric Kayser is a great man, a man of ultimate baking talent. I happened to live just opposite the street where the first bakery was opened and walked past it every day on my way to university. Occasionally I had an 8am, and saw it whilst everything was being prepared for the day ahead. The smell was incredible.
Not being able to resist, I began to treat myself to some of their delights: the brioche with pink praline being a personal favourite, only just topped by the pain au chocolat aux amandes. This beautiful creation is, as the name suggests, a cross between a pain au chocolat and an almond croissant. The chocolat-y classic is kept, but also filled with that scrummy almond paste and topped with almonds and icing sugar.
The range of products seems exhaustive; there are of course many different breads, such as a cheese bread, a walnut bread (the best in my view), as well as all the classics. But it doesn’t stop there… pizza slices, quiches, sandwiches, macaroons, and traditional patisserie galore, all at reasonable prices too.
They are dotted all over Paris, other cities in France and in different countries (sadly not the UK). On Rue Monge, there’s an Eric café a few doors down from the bakery, serving the best treats. They do formules, allowing for a reasonably priced yet exceptionally tasty breakfast or lunch. My Dad discovered his love for coffee here, passing the time when visiting whilst I was in class, through sampling the espresso… by accident, having ordered the petit dejeuner anglais (a tartine, a tea and a juice) in the perfect French which I had taught him precisely for this moment, and receiving a pain au chocolat and an espresso. Being English, he said merci and stuck with what he got, and thankfully enjoyed it much more than expected.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris, you can see for yourself, as there’s bound to be one of his bakeries nearby. If not, click here for the website and daydream with me…