Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vegas Round 2: Francois Payard Patisserie

Francois Payard

Our next stop in Vegas was to visit Francois Payard's Patisserie & Bistro in Ceasar's Palace. Chef Payard offers an assortment of pastries as well as ice creams and chocolates. You can even order freshly made crepes! His patisserie is warm and inviting, dimly lit and whimsical in decor. In the center is a clock tower adorned with chocolate sculptures turning along with the rotation of the clock dials.

Chef Payard's desserts are exciting and visually astounding. Most importantly the ingredients and flavors maintain a perfect balance while still offering some intriguing combinations for the customer.

I chose to try the Cendrillon and the Sweet Relief. The Cendrillon consisted of pumpkin mousse, cranberry marmalade, ginger and cinnamon. I couldn't resist this dessert as it was adorned with small orange macaroons! The pumpkin mousse was not overpowering in flavor and quite light in texture. The cranberry marmalade in the center offered a nice burst of flavor to offset the mousse itself.
Francois Payard

The Sweet Relief was simply decorated, but the construction of the dessert itself intrigued me. I could not figure out how Chef Payard had encased the dessert so perfectly in the swiss meringue. Had he dipped it? Piped it? I had to cut it open to investigate.

This second dessert consisted of a mango mousse with a pinapple souffle. Inside were pieces of roasted pineapple and the entire pastry of course was covered with swiss meringue.

The tropical fruit flavors were a nice change of pace. The pineapple pieces inside the mango mousse added an exciting element of surprise to the dessert. The sweetness of the meringue offset the tartness and acidity of the fruit. Overall this dessert was well balanced and extremely satisfying.

Francois Payard

I recommend enjoying a double espresso at the fountain outside the patisserie after you have tasted your pastries. The espresso here is wonderful.

Every time I see a picture of Chef Payard he is so sincerely happy. It is clear he truly loves what he does and wants you to enjoy it as much as he does. His cookbooks are unpretentious and cater to the homebaker. I recommend his Simply Sensational Desserts.
Francois Payard

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