This perfect boutique and tea room is located in a tastefully updated old building on Rue de Turenne. Chocolates and confections are expertly displayed and a serene tea room is set up on one side of the shop with fresh flowers on each table and a spiral staircase to heaven/the pastry kitchen
I have visited this special place many times now and have grown to have a great respect for Chef Jacques Genin and the quality he manages to maintain day in and day out. The chef himself seems truly to be present in his kitchen. During one of my visits, he descended inconspicuously to place bags of perfectly baked madeleines on the sales counter. My companions and I saw him strolling outside with an interviewer and he later returned to go back to his kitchen. My mom, who was visiting from the US, told him how exquisite her experience was and he humbly thanked her like a real professional.
Each front-of-the-house employee is dressed in refined black clothes and they all at least speak French and English. If you can, visit around the time of a holiday to see the elegant chocolate displays and take one home with you to enjoy that evening. Because let's be real, no matter how beautiful it is you are not going to be able to resist having a taste. If you are lucky enough to visit when the chef himself descends with a limited amount of some special treat he has whipped up, snatch a bag without hesitation. They will not last long and are worth the price.
The chocolates at Jacques Genin are mostly decorated with acetate cocoa butter transfer sheets. Genin chooses minimalist designs that allow the rich tones of the dark and milk chocolate to shine through. This master works with Valrhona chocolate and he knows how to add flavor to this perfect product without compromising the taste of the chocolate itself. Many of his offerings are delicately infused with spices and herbs while others are filled with classic praline mixes that never disappoint.
If you have the time to sit in the tea room and order a pastry, you will leave Paris feeling that you have had a true French experience. You will have the choice of several beverages to accompany your freshly made pastry. You will be presented with your coffee, I recommend the café crème, a glass of water, a small plate of chocolates and/or pâtes de fruits, and your flawless pastry. Even if you are trying to resist the tourist itch of taking photos of everything you eat, you will not be able to resist documenting these wonders.
The Paris-Brest is a pastry that was created in the early 1900s by Louis Durand in honor of a bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris. It consists of a pâte à choux ring, meant to symbolize a bicycle tire, sprinkled with sliced almonds, baked, and filled with rich praline cream. It is often adorned with a dusting of confectioner's sugar.
Jacques Genin makes the minor change of swapping the almonds for chopped hazelnuts because the praline paste he uses savors primarily of hazelnut.
Tart au Chocolat (Chocolate Tart)
Normally, a chocolate tart is a simple pate a sucree shell filled with a ganache of dark chocolate.
Chez Jacques Genin does not deviate from the original. It is a smooth and crunchy morsel of deliciousness.
The Saint-Honoré is named for the patron saint of bakers. This wonder mixes a few of the most delicious components in French pastry. A base of puff pastry is adorned with a ring of pâte à choux, and cream puffs with caramelized sugar. The cake is filled with crème chiboust and topped with crème chantilly.
Traditionally, this pastry is in the form of a circle. Genin updated it's format by beginning with a rectangle and omitting the piped pâte à choux. His version still includes the cream puffs.
Perfect for springtime, the Fraisier is a strikingly beautiful and classic cake. Genoise, or buttery sponge cake, sandwiches a generous layer of vanilla cream bejeweled with fresh strawberries. The entremet is finished with a thin layer of almond paste or marzipan.
The marzipan layer is often artificially colored green, but at Jacques Genin you will not find any fake colors in your almond paste.
Forêt Noire (Black Forest Cake)
This well-known cake originated in Germany, but that does not stop other nations from making it. You will find layers of chocolate sponge cake and whipped cream highlighted with boozy cherries and chocolate shavings.
The version at Jacques Genin is modern and sophisticated. Chocolate sponge cake, chocolate mousse, and whipped envelop whole cherries and a shard of tempered chocolate sticks like a piece of fancy jewelry to the side of each slice.
Well, internet, now you know my obsession with Jacques Genin. If you want to see the man in action, but cannot visit the shop, check the links below for a few short videos.
Perfect bonbons, refined tea room, and perfect ambiance.
133 Rue de Turenne
27 Rue de Varenne
Metro: Varenne or Rue du Bac