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Snapshots from the March 2014 Paris Pastry Tour
lead by ACD magazine.

As part of our adventures in Paris, we visited a wide range of pâtisseries, boulangeries, confiseries, gourmet shops and more. We had such a great time we're planning on doing it again! Email us if you're interested in finding out about the next Paris Pastry Tour—it’s a culinary treat for sure!

Our first stop on our first morning out was Dalloyau, one of the oldest traiteurs in Paris.

From there we went on to a much more homey pâtisserie…

And after that it was a stop a Georges Larnicol…and it wasn't just the kouignettes that captivated people! These red heels were available in milk or dark chocolate, as “patent leather” or “suede” and could be filled with a variety of treats.

We hit a few more places before getting to Pierre Hermé, where the windows were all about Infiniment Citron.

A few stops later was Arnaud Larher where, among many other things, this throughly modern take on the tarte tatin (left) caught our eye. It's next to a tropical fruit cheesecake that looked and sounded delicious!

At Patrick Roger we all marvelled over the range of textures and shapes this master was able to create with chocolate! His approach is so incredibly different than the expected “showpiece”


Another day involved many gourmet product, equipment and tool shops, but as we couldn’t go long without a pastry fix, we dropped into one of the newest breed of Paris pâtisseries—the single-product shop. Here's most of our group after downing a variety of sweet and savory eclairs. From left: Sue Ross, Ellen Vonesh, Chelsea Whitney, Susan Schultz, Sara Dobbins and Bob Dobbins.

It wasn't all just snacking. Grace and Susan were fortunate enough to get a reservation at L’Atelier du Joël Robuchon and had the passionfruit souffle for dessert. (Sorry about the cool filter on this shot!)

Grace and Susan also had the wonderful experience of a leisurely Parisian gourmet lunch at David Toutain’s highly acclaimed restaurant, where the plating and presentations were as impeccable as the food and the service! Grace grabbed a shot with David as he came out at the end of service.
And funny enough, they were seated right next to table with well-known pastry chef Christophe Adam, whose latest venture, L’Eclair de Genie, was one of the stops on the previous day.

At Europain, sampling was encouraged!

We caught some of the second day of the “Sugar World Cup” finals, a mixed-team competition that was truly captivating.

The show floor was filled with demos. At Barry Callebaut’s IBC division, a chef shows how to color chocolate using the newly launched Power Flowers product.

A Popular Business Trend Crossover
by Julie Bashore

The treasured tradition whereby the bride and groom cuts a slice from their grand wedding cake display and serve one another, symbolizes two people facing life’s journey as one, with the mutual commitment to share and provide for each other.

But there’s an affordable way to update this tradition and make beautifully designed cakes affordable for all—lease the wedding cake. A display cake with real frosting created by true confectionery artists but faux inside, allows the bridal couple to have the cake of their dreams at a fraction of the cost.

There are multiple benefits to the happy couple:

  • The new trend at a wedding reception is to have a dessert buffet featuring solo-desserts, gourmet cupcakes, cake pops and an eclectic array of chocolates and candies. By leasing the wedding cake clients can have their cake and eat it too!

  • Perhaps there’s relative who has a wonderful family-recipe and would love to bake the wedding cake, but does not have the cake artistry skills to provide a cake of beauty.

  • Reception halls often have a cake-plating fee, which is incurred when outside cakes are served at the reception. Leasing a faux wedding cake eliminates these charges.

  • Faux cakes are light and easy to move around, in spite of their delicate decorations.

  • These cakes are perfect for outdoor weddings alleviating weather-related stress or concern. There will be no melting or sliding!

  • These cakes can be shipped anywhere, nationally or internationally.

What about the cake cutting ceremony?
A wedge can be discreetly removed from the back of the cake, where a cupcake or a slice of cake is replaced. The bride and groom may still cut a cake and serve one another for celebration and photography purposes. This is done in such a discreet manner and no one would need to know.

Destination or other remote weddings
The wedding cakes can be shipped the week prior to the wedding to nearly every destination. Include the option of renting pedestals to give the cake an additional air of elegance, along with variety of lifelike sugar flowers and adornments to complement the cake style.

How to start
The general rule of thumb is for a safety deposit to be paid with the rental fee. The deposit is refunded once the cake is returned after the wedding. The client can simply return the cake to the box and ship it back, via preprinted labels FedEx or UPS office. Leasing a cake is definitely a new concept, but it makes sense!

You can work work faster on cake forms vs. real cake, allowing you to give your clients more design for the money. You can also work farther in advance, given that the cake does not need to be refrigerated. And with some advance planning and simple redesigns, certain cakes can be leased over and over again.

This is a win-win situation for both cake artists and thier clients!

The ACD Paris Pastry Tour!

Join an exclusive group of sugar fiends March 5-12, 2014 for the ACD Paris Pastry Tour and Europain, of the world’s largest pastry and baking shows. Explore the ultimate “City of Dreams” with a group of likeminded traveling companions. Grace McNamara, publisher of ACD magazine and Susan Schultz, editor, have more than 15 years travel experience in Paris, speak French and are thrilled to introduce others to their favorite city in the world!

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Join us as we explore Paris through the eyes of a sugar artist. We’re staying in the Saint Germain neighborhood—home to restaurants, shops, chocolatiers, confiseries, pâtisseries and hip boutiques. This is not an every-moment-of-your-time-scheduled trip. Instead, we’ve pulled together all the logistics, arranged for some exciting opportunities, but leave you free to arrange your days (and nights) to explore, taste and experience as you see fit. We’ll be there to answer questions, offer suggestions, help you plan your days, make recommendations, etc., to help you make it your trip to Paris! Here’s a sneak peek:

7 days/7 nights in Paris, March 5-12, 2014 includes:

*Accommodations at the Hôtel d’Aubusson, a four-star hotel, double-occupancy in the heart of St. Germain (Super-convenient location and we’ve stayed in this hotel and love it!) Five minute walk to the metro, direct line to the show. Walking distance of the Louvre, D’ Orsay, Notre Dame, Luxembourg Gardens, Sorbonne; surrounded by galleries, restaurants and all kinds of shops.


*Daily breakfast at the hotel.

*Airport transfers to and from airport.

*5 day Paris central metro pass

*RER transportation to Europain

*Admission to Europain

*As-you-wish meet-ups for cocktails to review the day compare notes, share stories, etc.

*Pre-travel web session with to preview locations, planning, travel details, our Paris faves and more

*Cruise on the river Seine

*Entrance to d’Orsay or Louvre (choice of one)

*Walking tour of some of the best of the St. Germain gourmet, pastry and chocolate shops

* A guided tour of the Musée Gourmand du Chocolat

* Hit list of key gourmet, pastry and chocolate shops in other neighborhoods for you to explore

* All taxes included.

Pricing $2995.00 per person. The group is limited to 12 people to keep the low-key, non-tour approach

All are land only, double occupancy based on exchange rates as of July 1, 2013: Guarantee your reservation with a non-refundable $1500.00 deposit by November 15, 2013. Balance of $1495.00 due on or by December 30, 2013.

Please note: Costs are based on a rate exchange as of July 1, 2013. The final cost is subject to a surcharge based on the exchange rate as of March 2, 2014 and will be billed and due upon receipt prior to departure. Contact Grace McNamara if you have more questions at 651/756-8834

Photos from the Tate & Lyle Tasting House in Soho, London

The “porcelain’ cake vase for the British room was created by Katie Shirazi of Cakeadoodledo, with sugar flowers by Rosalind Miller of Rosalind Miller Cakes.

Below: The five-foot long rainbow Mardi Gras cake with sugar skull embellishments in the Mississippi room created by Two Little Cats Bakery.

In the Guyanese inspired room, a collection of sugar sea shells along with a sea turtle cake(below) nestled in Demarara sugar sand. Visitors were encourage to dig out sea turtle egg cakes. Featuring the work of Jenni Powell of Two Little Cats Bakery, and Kate Haigh of All Mine Patisserie.

Green Inspiration for St. Patrick’s Day

Go green with the handy color chart from
McCormick’s and check out the special dessert ideas the company provided for March 17.

This chart makes it easy to create the green ombre cake and provide special colors for the “Luck o’ the Irish” cake pops, shown below.


U.S. Chocolate Master Named in Barry Callebaut Competition

Jean-Francois Suteau was named the 2013 U.S. Chocolate Master at the final competition in Chicago, hosted by Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products.

During the competition, the finalists presented a chocolate showpiece, a molded praline / molded bonbon, a gastronomic chocolate dessert and their own interpretation of the classic American pastry, the donut. The jury named Suteau the winner based on his artistry, the taste of his creations, his adherence to the theme of Architecture of Taste and his technical skills.

Suteau will go on to compete against top culinary artisans from 20 countries in the 2013 World Chocolate Masters, the fifth edition of the only culinary competition dedicated exclusively to the art of chocolate.

Some examples of the 2013 Flavor Forecast combinations, clockwise from top left: black rum, charred orange and allspice; cajeta, a Mexican caramel with anise; bittersweet chocolate, basil and passionfruit; cider, sage and molasses.

2013 Flavor Forecast from McCormick

Every year McCormick produces a Flavor Forecast, and for 2013 the company has identified five trends that it believes will drive new product development and innovative menu additions over the coming years. The follwing themes with accompanying flavor combinations illustrate how these trends are coming to life through taste.

The themes are:
No Apologies Necessary includes the taste combinations of bitter chocolate, sweet basil and passionfruit; and black rum, charred orange and allspice.
Personally Handcrafted features a cider, sage and molasses combination, as well as smoked tomato, rosemary, chili peppers and sweet onion.
Empowered Eating with a faro grain, blackberry and clove combination and a emphasis on dukkah, a Middle Eastern spice blend that used cumin, coriander, sesame and nuts.
Hidden Potential focuses on uncovering the fullest flavors from familiar ingredients such as meat combined with plantain and cinnamon, or artichokes with paprika and hazelnut.
Global My Way features katsu, a tangy Japanese sauce with oregano, as well as cajeta, a Mexican caramel with anise.

“Around the world, we’re seeing a fascinating collision of tradition and innovation. Authentic, real ingredients are still at the core – though now they’re being enjoyed in unique, updated ways that reflect a much more personalized approach to cooking and eating,” said McCormick Executive Chef, Kevan Vetter. “Don’t be surprised if in the next few years Japanese Katsu, a tangy cross between BBQ and steak sauce, and cajeta, a Mexican caramel, gain the broad appeal that once-regional tastes like Asian hot chili sauce have achieved.”

One of the many cakes Beatrice recently shot while in Lyon for Sirha--The World Hospitality and Food Service event.

Sweet Inspiration

Beatrice Schneider, the creative director at the Chicago School of Mold Making has a job that requires lots of travel for pastry competitions. She also loves to shoot—the locations, the amazing work at the competitions and her visits to local bakeries, cafes and other culinary destinations. She shares her trips through Pastry Postcards. You can sign up to receive new deliveries directly to your inbox, or stop by the Chicago Mold School’s Pastry Postcard webpage to view updates.


Customers at the Chicago Sprinkles location for its cupcake ATM. Image via Snow and Graham.

Sugar Fix--Update from April 2012

Updating a report from the April 2012 Slice on Sprinkles ATM for cupcakes, the company recently opened its second ATM at its Chicago location. Understandably, throughout the autumn lines remained consistent, but we wonder how ATM transactions drop off during the cold Chicago winters!




Some of the custom cutters available from SugarCubedShop on Etsy.

Custom Cutters--Update from December 2012

While an recent Etsy search no longer turns up any products from SugarCubed, as shown left, there's a very active Esty producer of custom cutters called Plastics in Print on the site. There are some great chevron cutters in various sizes, different designs of thought bubbles, and much more.


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