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French avant-garde embraces ice creams

July 11, 2013
French avant-garde embraces ice creams
Luis Concepción

For a few summers, the best French patissiers have been inspired by ice cream to offer more refreshing products and to surprise their customers with new collections. Whilst their proposals in the past years came in varied formats, elegant ice cream tubs are in fashion this season. The new ice cream and sorbet collections of some of the most prestigious and internationally renowned patisseries, such as Ladurée, Pierre Marcolini, Pierre Hermé and La Maison Henri Le Roux, have retraced their steps and left sophistication aside.

The aim now is to bring out ice creams with classic and easy-to-identify flavors. These collections contain few flavors, subtly decorated with some pastry elements such as minimacarons, sauces and varied toppings. Highlighting the value of real ice cream, with no artificial ingredients, is the message of French avant-garde.

In fact, Pierre Marcolini revisits traditional flavors with subtle chunks and exquisite sauces. Salted caramel, almond and raspberry, and chocolate and vanilla are his star flavors this summer. The new gastronomic experience at the Pierre Hermé stores in Paris is ice creams with minimacarons. With his usual elegance and sobriety, this master of masters puts a new collection of classic-flavored ice creams up for sale in four varieties: lemon ice cream and minimacaron, vanilla, pistachio, and Coeur Guanaja chocolate. The vanilla ice cream is the result of blending high-end varieties like the ones from Tahiti, Mexico and Madagascar, whereas for the pistachio ice cream the variety smeraldo from Sicily has been chosen so as to enhance its nuances. This collection is available in 140-ml and 1-liter tubs.

Ladurée uses all its style and celebrates the summer with a traditional French flavor – cassis, the flagship of its summer proposals. Like Hermé, Ladurée serves the new ice creams and sorbets with a flavored macaron disc, although bigger in size. Ladurée’s ice cream collection is crowned with recurrent flavors such as salted caramel or raspberry sorbet, amongst others. On Des Martyrs street, district 9 in Paris, Henri Le Roux travels back to his ice cream origins in the 80s, before he specialized in chocolate. As well as the others, salted caramel is one of his chosen flavors, but he also proposes the chocolate sorbet, the Devil Rose sorbet –based on banana, raspberry and passion fruit– and the yuzu ice cream.

Finally, in the field of frozen cakes we find Julien Merceron from À la Mère de Famille, another pastry chef who usually ventures to explore the paths of ice cream. He has imagined four recipes which combine the creaminess of ice cream and crunchy elements such as raspberry crumble, vanilla praliné, intense chocolate and lemon meringue.

Henri Le Roux Pierre Marcolini A la Mère de Famille Pierre Hermé Chocolate laduree Pierre Hermé Pistachio