Vandermeersch Boulangerie: Paris, France
For our honeymoon, my husband and I decided on an active trip to Europe instead of lounging on the beach in the Caribbeans. Adventure, sightseeing, photo sessions galore, with a foodie journey itinerized from Paris, France to San Sebastian, Spain, to Barcelona, Spain is what I call a honeymoon!
We arrive at 7 in the morning, way too early for check-in but I knew that we would be okay in killing time because the famed Boulangerie across the street, Vandermeersch, would be selling their kugelhopfs (kougloff), which they only sell from Fridays-Sundays.
We leave our bags at Hôtel de la Porte Dorée located in the 12th arrondisement (far from the center of the city, I know) and fast pass across the street. We enter the bakery, manage to form words in our mouth that sound something like bonjour, and point hungrily at the individual sized kugelhopf, which looks sort of like a souffle'd bundt cake. deux, merci!
We know it's rude to eat in public so we walk around with this bag filled with the buttery sweet smell of this still warm kugelhopf, looking for a place to "picnic" because it's not that rude if you're sitting down and looking like you're picnicking, right? We finally find a bench and wait until the coast is clear. We see Parisians walking around, stuffing their faces with croissants. WTF! So rude. Walking and eating at the same time. Who do they think they are? Americans?!
Pshh. At least we were sitting on a bench, picnicking.
Taking the cue from our rude surroundings that it was okay to eat pastries in public, we open our bag and take this out.
We had no utensils so like a barbarian, I tore into the demure kugelhopf and to my surprise, it was not dense like a bundt cake. Rather, it was a contrasting experience from beginning to the end. The outside was crispy, almost flaky while the inside was soft and slightly stretchy, like it wanted to be a croissant. The rum raisins throughout the dough and the toasted nuts in the middle of the hole were a surprise but the best part was the syrup on the bottom of the kugelhopf, which gave it even more juiciness just when you thought it was getting a little dry.
I later found out that the syrup wasn't just syrup, but it had orange blossom water mixed into it. Thanks David Lebovitz, for the info! We will have eaten this every day in varying sizes while we stayed in Paris. The individual sized one, which my hubz likes the best because it has the highest sweetness ratio, is nothing compared to the mid ranged one, which I like the best because there is more of the saltier stretchy inside and everyone knows I'm a salt whore. LOVE.
If you're ever in Paris, or in Austria (where apparently the kugelhopf originates) you must get the kugelhopf. It will blow your mind because it's something you never quite had. I'm sure people have dreamt about it, mixing different things they like in a pastry, a cake, and bread, and put it all together in their heads, but not like this.
Vandermeersch is also known for their amazing MilleFeuille (aka Napoleans). Check out how deep it is and how much custard there is between the layers. So Good. Hard to eat with your fingers but we managed!
And last but not least, I love the kugelhopf so much I made a little video with compiled images of all the kugelhopf we ate in Paris. Enjoy!
278 Avenue Daumesnil,
Metro: Port Dorée
+33 (1) 43472166