Paris’ all Ã©clair shop L’Ã‰clair de Genie opening 1st North American pastry shop in Vancouver
The Ã©clair is the most popular patisserie treat in France because itâ€™s comforting, easy to eat, and able to be made at home, albeit with varying degrees of success.
Lâ€™Ã‰clair de GÃ©nie â€” a Parisian pastry shop that only sells Ã©clairs â€” is opening its 25th store on Robson Street in Vancouver in April 22, 2017, so itâ€™s a safe bet to say that Ã©clairs are more than a flaky fad; they are having a renaissance.
The Ã©clair originated in France in the early 1800s, first made by Marie-Antoine CarÃªme, a pastry chef for French royalty. Ã‰clair is the French word for lightning, and the pastry could have been so named because it glistens when coated with confectionerâ€™s glaze, or because chefs joked it is â€œin a flashâ€. The Chambers English Dictionary defines it as â€œa cake, long in shape but short in duration.â€
â€œWe have 257 kinds of Ã©clairs, and I still have fun playing with new flavours, textures and colours,â€ says Adam. â€œThe Ã©clair must have oomph, with a dazzling, modern look.â€
Adam has stores in Japan, Hong Kong, and Moscow, and the one in Vancouver will be the first Lâ€™Ã‰clair de Genie in North America.
â€œWe will start with 10 kinds of Ã©clairs and introduce two new ones each month, like every other store. And we serve coffee,â€ says Adam.
Ã‰clairs must be fresh when assembled. The shell, made from choux paste, is easy to make and freezes well. The inside is typically filled with vanilla custard and the top is brushed with chocolate glaze, but the possibilities are endless. By following a few rules, youâ€™ll be a genius.
â€œI want to teach technique that isnâ€™t intimidating, so students can make a good Ã©clair at home. You can come up with your own funky colours and flavour combinations but first learn how to make choux paste and the correct way to pipe the filling, and of course (make) the custard â€” life is about eating custard.â€