Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Le Bonbon au Palais - Guimauve 101

Trying to match the delicate pale colors of French guimauve (or what we call marshmallows) is not nearly as easy as eating them.
As someone with a long history of roasting marshmallows while my parents were out of the house, I assumed I'd some background knowledge of guimauve. This proved not to be the case at all.
Let the leçon begin students.
The only appropriate schoolroom is at Le Bonbon au Palais at 19, rue Monge 75005 Metro;Cardinal Lemoine.
No other site in Paris offers the variety of guimauve. I checked. And you can buy just one piece if you're unsure about making a commitment just like when you were a kid at your local candy store.
Professor Georges is in deep contemplation preparing the lesson...
The traditional Chamalow found in most shops are from Arnaud Soubeyran in Montelimar. You can find them in the US too. On the right, Guimauve fantasie (meaning faux or fake) from Montpelier. Both are made (horrors - industriale) by machine in a kind of taffy-like fashion. They have about 10% egg white in them and tend to be seche or dry and elastic. I rather like them since they remind me of the chewy Campfire marshmallows of my childhood though none came in framboise or citron flavors...
Georges handles each guimauve rope like it was a precious strand of pearls. I could use a drawer full of these...
These pillowy big squares have no animal gelatin in them so are perfect for vegetarians. And they have no whites of egg either or blanc d'oeuf (which sounds like 'blond-Ouf' to me when Georges says it).
These even bigger squares are made with a new special artisanale technique from Pascal Jeanblanc, Toulouse. They are beaten to a fair thee well (by hand of course...) till a huge bubble thing forms. So they are much more airy in texture (nothing like my crisped, blackened marshmallows but the flavors are intense and not overwhelmingly sugary with flavors like banane, coco, framboise, poire, citron, chocolat, vanilla, rose, cerise, fleur d'oranger.
And as mentioned you can buy just one and try it.
These are cutup versions of the strips
I felt I should check out a few other candy shops in town...
I always love La Mere du Famille. This branch is on rue Montorgeuil.
They just have the strip version tied up in knots. They have many other traditional regional French candies as well...
Patisserie Ble Sucre is back from summer hols and open. Hooray! when I spotted squares of guimauve I asked where they were from. The chef was standing by and announced, all their candies are made on site a la maison. Ooopla. These were of the airy, fluffy variety by the way. I got a pack of fleur d'orange (5 euros).
Here is my haul or rather this was my haul. Most of it has disappeared...hmmm.
Georges happily gift-wrapping someone's candies. This year's Salon du Chocolat (end of October) will have an annex with all the French confisieurs separate and Georges is in charge. I attempted to roast one of the small elastic guimauve but it tasted like Franprix matches. Ugh. Much better to go with the real thing unroasted.

34 comments:

  1. I love marshmallows. I will try to stop by there next week when we visit. I found a place on Rue St Dominique that has delicious marshmallows but only a small variety.
    xx, B

    ReplyDelete
  2. Who knew so much could be involved with marshmallows?
    I'm not a fan of them myself - too sweet - but you sure found a lot to photograph :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your home campfire made me snile..
    Loved the boxed airy pillowy cushions..I've attempted home made..and not like yours.. I am certain..they were easy enough though and a treat.
    I love seeing Pierrot Gourmand there..I was gifted with one..and we two shall nevr part until it is absolutely nécessaire!
    Your aquarelle is delicious too~You made them look so cute..like macarons cute.
    The book? Journal..in back of les guimauves fantaisies..is it yours? The aquarelle could be.. and the French calli on the right?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've heard of this place. Thank you for showing it to us! It's probably considered a crime in France to roast one of those pastel guimauves over a campfire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They melt in your mouth almost instantly so over a camp fire I can't imagine they would make it to your mouth...

      Delete
  5. wow, believe it or not, eating crappy marshmallows here in the US, I NEVER ever made the connection with the delicious guimauve I used to LOVE in France!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They really are day and night different from le Campfire marshmallows...a whole other animal. More subtle and flavorful with the sugar not so assertive.

      Delete
  6. Lucinda2:57 AM

    I love all the colors and the sound of those exotic flavors...nothing like the S'Mores we grew up with...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mmmm...marshmallows, how wonderful. My father started his own candystore in 1969 and I practically grew up there. I also worked there until march this year when we unfortunately had to close the store. Of all the candies we sold, marshmallows was always a favorite, but we never had anyone as big as you show us here :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Annete,
      There's a book in you,
      MY LIFE IN A CANDT STORE
      !!!!

      Delete
  8. There is a shop on rue Cherche-midi that displays beautiful guimauves and the small restaurant next door gives you a square with l'addition.
    How I miss Paris!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fun,Carol--I love marshmallow, and wanted to make my own one day. I probably never will, but it's fun to see this...hope you are well!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am told that one you have marshmallows that are made by hand you will never go back... Sigh. So very, very pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will Never give up Campfire marshmallows
      A different animal altogether

      Delete
  11. I'd really love to try a not too sweet, flavorful marshmallow! I wonder what flavor would be best melted into hot chocolate?

    ReplyDelete
  12. For some reason, I don't like marshmallow, but those are beautiful. But, I think I spied jellies...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are very different than marshmallow
      Very

      Delete
  13. Carol! Tell me you didn't try to roast a marshmallow using a match! LOL, incredible. I'll pass on these, and the meringues, too. I need some fat to mitigate the sugar. But I admit the guimauve are so pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Oh, LOVE this Carol! I always embarrass my husband when we start doing our "staples" shopping in Southwestern France because I include several packages of the choc-covered marshmallow bears. For myself. Adult woman. I also found out the hard way that we cannot bring the gorgeous chocolate covered marshmallows from Paris on our flight back to the US. Who knew they would be so fragile?! Only solution? Wolf them down while in France! Isn't it amazing how quickly they disappear about you bring them home? It must be because they are so light.
    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to show the chocolate bears but they were hiding at Franprix
      I love them too...

      Delete
  15. Anonymous2:13 PM

    love marshmallows...I have two boxes of toasted coconut in my freezer...I just had espresso ones that I would add to my coffee....in the winter I have hot choc...that would be fun to go and spend the day tasting candies....lol....
    Lynne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They keep in the freezer??

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:24 PM

      They stay ok...I have two boxes in there since April....and I will be getting my hot choc started when its cooler at niteLynne

      Delete
    3. If I'd put my haul in the freezer I wouldn't have eaten them all at one fell swoop and then had a hangover the next day ;(
      I drink hot chocolate everyday of the year so it would be perfect for me...

      Delete
  16. Anonymous3:21 PM

    Our mouths are watering. I'm also the person in our family who goes to the store the day after Easter to buy all the Peeps and choc. covered marshmallow eggs that are suddenly on sale!
    I'm packing this very moment. Can't wait to get to Rue Scribe and Pierre Marcolini for the real thing next week.
    XOXO,
    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous3:28 PM

    On your excellent advice I took my children to this lovely little shop in Paris last summer. They were delighted, as was I. I had no idea that there were candy specialties from all over the country. We also got to see a neighbourhood that we'd never visited before. We took our bags of sweets and munched them in the gardens behind Notre Dame. Le sigh....magical vacation.
    Leah

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous11:13 AM

    If you want a roasted marshmallow effect you can do it over a candle. If you want S'mores you can do it in the microwave: melt the chocolate first on the graham cracker , then add the marshmallow on the top cracker for about 16 seconds and poof, its like camping, even in winter.
    Great info in this post. Thank you very much! I want to get back to Paris and all the great tastes. merci for all you share.Fan from Rural Oregon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PLEASE send a Microwave so I can do S'Mores!!! :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:48 AM

      I would if I could. The best part about doing them in microwave is the speed. Maybe there is a way to melt the chocolate and marshmallow in an oven? Do you have an oven? Or make a double boiler with a cup of chocolate in/over water. Then toast the marshmallow over a candle? Or a torch (as in creme brulee?)The fun is in trying different types of chocolate Good luck!

      Delete
    3. I do have a toaster oven!
      Worth a try
      Tanks

      Delete
  19. jessica caffe7:48 PM

    COUCOU CAROL!!

    Like always every time I read your posts I wanna follow yours steps in Paris... and more and more now 'cause I work in Paris !!! ( finely I left Disneyland ... ) ... i cant wait for your book ... to follow all in your boookkk... yesterday I bougth repettos ( A black and a Red BB ) and a girl had the same with dots like yours =) tomorow Im off And Ill try to go to BOMBOM DU PALAIS to buy some candys... after read all your post im hungry hehehhehe bisous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh la la
      Contact me Jessica enfin!
      Georges is Braziliero!

      Delete
  20. Anonymous2:02 AM

    What a lovely post. The combo of your painting with the actual object...brilliant! I must tell you that your watercolors have found a home in my brain. I cannot think marshmallow without seeing the delicate stacks in your gorgeous pastels.
    Vicki

    ReplyDelete

Love hearing from you