Hévin2 (7ème), a secondary "ready to crunch" chocolate line from Jean-Paul Hévin, is definitely the only chocolate shop I've been to with green glowing lights and a display platform that hangs from the ceiling (which you don't really notice until you bump into it and make it wobble, unintentionally making you look like a clumsy oaf in front of the shopkeepers).
After looking at the individually wrapped macarons, individually wrapped truffles and other individually wrapped goods (although I know it's a waste, it looks so much cuter and appealing to me when everything comes in its own little baggie), my friend Sophie and I bought a six-pack of macarons to share. Unlike the original Jean-Paul Hévin shop, Hévin2 offers non-chocolate flavored macarons.
While I enjoyed all the flavors, most of the cookies were drier than and not as flavorful as what I'd prefer from a super-awesome macaron. Still, they're better than average though and come in some unique flavors. Chocolate and raspberry were okay; caramel and coffee were better. I was looking forward to coconut-lime, but it would've been tastier with more more coconut and more lime. Then again, it's not like I have any other coconut-lime macarons to compare it to. The standout macaron was easily the sesame flavor. Each light, chewy bite (you know, both of them) was filled with toasty sesame goodness that could possibly be recreated by shoveling a handful of toasted sesame seeds or a spoonful of tahini in your mouth, but probably wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable as eating sesame in macaron form.
After polishing off the macarons, we went to French-Japanese patisserie Sadaharu Aoki (6ème). Since the tiny shop only seats four people and it costs more to eat your pastries inside than if you take them out, you may want to get your cakes to go. However, it's nice to get your pretty desserts presented to you on pretty plates and then not have to clean up after yourself, so Sophie and I stayed put.
My citron praliné, composed of a lemon macaron base, white chocolate lemon-flavored cream and feuillantine pralinée, combined sweet with tart with crunchy with smooth with creamy with nutty. Unlike other lemon-flavored pastries I've had, it wasn't too sweet or too acidic, nor did it provide a weak shadow of lemon-ness. There was lot going on in my mouth flavor and texture wise, but everything balanced out to result in something that tasted pretty freakin' awesome. And I know "pretty freakin' awesome" isn't a very helpful description (for instance, I also think that the sun is pretty freakin' awesome), but if you ate it you'd understand. All the more reason for you to get it.
I'm not a fan of the quintessential éclair, but I'll eat any dessert that features black sesame. Combine the two and you end up with an éclair that even I can love. It wouldn't have really mattered what was on the outside (although I liked this éclair shell for being more solid than others I've tried) since it was the generous creamy black sesame filling that appealed to me the most. The way I see it, it's a tube of sesame cream in a container that, conveniently, you can eat, kind of like those styrofoam-esque ice cream cones that no one seems to actually like but eat anyway because they're technically edible (or so we're told). That's kind of how I feel about choux pastry, but on a less critical level. I'd have no problem just eating a bowl of the filling.
I'm also not a fan of matcha (green tea powder), so there's no way I would've loved Sophie's dainty rectangular green tea flavored bamboo cake. From the one bite I took I can tell you that, yup, it tastes like green tea, and if that's your bag then you'll like this cake. There wasn't a combination of flavors and textures like in my dessert, but it tasted pleasantly balanced sweetness and moistness level-wise. I thought it looked prettier than my citron praliné with its deceptively simple design of a few carefully placed lines and dustings of matcha and sugar to create the image of bamboo stalks in grass. I say "deceptively" since I'm sure that if I tried to recreate the design, whatever atrocity of random lines I drew would destroy the zen essence of the cake. Thankfully I don't decorate cakes; I just eat them.
An NYC food blogger, currently studying non-foodie things in Paris, Robyn of The Girl Who Ate Everything shares her discoveries with Parisist every Monday while she explores all the eats that Paris has to offer.