The Eclair: A History, a Recipe, and a Nod among the “World’s Best”

Executive Chef Tariq Hanna: He Does Eclair

Executive Chef Tariq Hanna swears by the éclair rule: “a bakery is only as good as its éclair.” Check out his interview with NOLA.com below!

Hey y’all! It’s been way too long. But don’t worry, this post is chalk-full of (cream-filled with?)  excitement. Since our last post, our éclairs were named among, “the world’s best” by Food and Wine Magazine. Now, not only can you pick up one of these delicious pastries in our boutiques, you can also get them delivered directly to your door via Good Eggsour official partner for local delivery here in New Orleans!  We strongly recommend this post be enjoyed with éclair in hand.

Sucré Does Eclair

After the nod (seems like more of a head banger?) we received from Food & Wine Magazine, we got to thinking: what exactly makes one of these french classics a   contender among one of the world’s best? Chef Tariq has been telling us for years that the éclair is the cornerstone to any great patisserie. It only took a month of exclusive dedication to the pastry in our stores to convince our local fans, but it seems the rest of the world has finally caught on, too. So what is it about this unique, torpedo-shaped pastry that differentiates it from any other pastries you may find it nestled between?

What’s in a Name?

Much like anything characteristically french, its origins are romantically shrouded in mystery, blurred by local legends and competing tales. Whose bakery? Which monarch? How much flour? There’s even disagreement around the origin of it’s name éclair— the french word for lightning. Some contend it’s due to the bright, glossy glaze, while others fiercely assert its due to the speed at which they’re usually consumed. Maybe in this case, we agree to disagree?

A name you’ll often come across (or maybe not so often, since the odds of you googling “history of éclairs” are slim to none), is that of Marie-Antoine Carême, a famous pastry chef among French nobility during the 19th century. Perhaps THE most famous. This guy was internationally renowned, or as internationally renowned as you can be in the 1800s, and he did it all without the help of Food Network and in the wake of the French Revolution. And have you ever seen one of these chef’s hats? Yeah, he created that too.

Keep it Simple: Pâte à Choux

For a man who is credited with the creation ofthe recipe for éclairs is surprisingly simplistic. Pâte à choux, the foundation of any éclair (as well as gougères and profiteroles) is a dough made of butter, water, milk, sugar, and eggs. Similar to the way Louisianans concoct a roux, the dough begins with milk and/or water being added to butter in a pan. Flour and a pinch of sugar and salt follows. The mixture is then piped into the oblong shape synonymous to éclairs.

And the final touches? The filling, the glazing, the toppings, oh my! This is truly where an éclair “finds itself.” Traditionally, éclairs are filled with chocolate or vanilla pastry cream, and topped with a ribbon of chocolate ganache. Yet in true haute cuisine fashion, the rule is such, that there are no rules. Chef Tariq has dreamt up éclairs encapsulating everything from s’mores to apple pie. L’Atelier de L’élclair in Paris sells only éclairs and is credited with the invention of the savory version of this light and airy treat, with “fixings ranging from foie gras to smoked salmon. For now, I think we’ll stick to the classics!

Our Macarons are Gluten Free!

At Sucré, we pride ourselves on the quality of each and every one of our products. We make it a point to use the absolute freshest ingredients available, which is exactly what makes our treats so delicious! When you love and eat desserts as much as we do, it’s important to make sure you’re using the best ingredients. This is especially true when it comes to macarons. Our signature macarons are made from meringue-like cookies with luscious mousseline sandwiched in the middle, and come in spectacular colors. In fact, all but one of our macarons are gluten free.deen1

With macarons, the texture, the flavors, the filling, the freshness and the quality of the ingredients – all these elements play a vital role in the deliciousness of a macaron. All it takes is one small misstep to ruin the finished product. When a chef cuts corners, you can taste the shortcomings in every bite. At our confectionary, Chef Tariq Hanna’s skilled teams make these mouthwatering treats by hand – not by machine – to ensure the same exceptional quality in every batch. This is how we consistently achieve the perfect balance of crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Our festive Sucré macaron trays are custom made to ensure that our macarons stay perfectly intact! With this much tender loving care involved, it’s finally possible to indulge your sweet tooth without the guilt!

Here’s a list of all our gluten free macarons:

Signature Macarons – These are available all year round!

 

–       Strawberry Macaron

–       Almond Macaron

–       Hazelnut Macaron

–       Pistachio Macaron

–       Salted Caramel Macaron

–       Chocolate Macaron

–       Bananas Foster Macaron

–       Pecan Macaron

–       Chicory Macaron

–       Chocolate Covered Macaron

Seasonal Macarons – Available as they come into season. Keep a look out for these!

–       Mardi Gras Macaron – Filled with King Cake inspired buttercream

–       Valentines Macaron –Filled with white chocolate ganache and raspberry jam

–       Easter Macaron – Carrot Cake Macaron filled cream cheese buttercream blended with carrot cake

–       Mother’s Day Macaron – White Chocolate Lavender Macaron filled with white chocolate lavender ganache

–       Summer Macarons – Blackberry Lemon Macaron filled with lemon ganache and blackberry jam, Peaches & Cream Macaron filled with peach ganache and peach jam

–       Fall Macarons– Peanut Butter & Jam Macaron filled with peanut butter ganache and strawberry jam

–       Holiday Macarons – Double Dark Chocolate Macaron filled with chocolate mousseline finished with a dark chocolate drizzle, Peppermint Macaron filled with peppermint buttercreammacz

 

 

Add a Little Sucré to Your Wedding!

At Sucré, we understand how important it is to have everything absolutely perfect on your big day. As perfectionists ourselves, we are well aware of the need to have every miniscule detail beautifully in place; it’s how we create all our tasty treats! You can have some of that special Sucré magic at your wedding with any of our 3 wedding options, from charming favors and decadent cakes to mouth-watering dessert receptions.

When it comes to planning your wedding, few decisions are as delightful as choosing your wedding cake. From the traditional to beyond, our chefs will design a one-of-a-kind creation as memorable as the day itself. Whatever the theme, whatever your desire, we can customize and cater to your every need in our signature Sucré style. The choices are endless. Add your own twist to our classic cakes to perfectly suit your color scheme and style or give us a challenge to create something uniquely you. We love creative couples! Whether it’s classic or creative, you can be sure your guests will remember the dress and the Sucré cake.

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To make your day even more memorable, send your guests home with a sweet Sucré party favor. We have a variety of options to suit your style. Our 2-piece favor boxes are available in silver and white, classic green and brown, and Mardi Gras themed – it’s always a party with Sucré! Choose your favorite flavor macarons or chocolates, or a combination of both, to fit into your 2-piece box. Want more? Our charming pink purses can fit 2, 4, or 6 pieces of Sucré chocolate for that extra sweetness! Your guests will thank you!

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Still not enough? For the ultimate dessert experience that’ll really make an impact, allow Sucré to host your party with a decadent dessert reception. Pick from our seasonal repertoire or have us pick for you. There is nothing sweeter than an elaborate setup of Sucré’s most gorgeous treats that aren’t even available in stores. It’s created specially for your big day. Whether it’s a macaron tree centerpiece or a teetering tower of cupcakes, whichever Sucré option you choose, one thing’s for sure, your guests will leave with a sweet taste in their mouths!

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Sucré’s Award-Winning King Cake

King Cakes are a very special and long-held custom unique to New Orleans, a city that thrives on distinctive culture and cherished traditions. It’s hard to speak of New Orleans without mentioning Mardi Gras and the Carnival season that leads up to it, and every New Orleanian knows that you can’t truly experience Mardi Gras until you’ve savored a King Cake. The city’s talented chefs pride themselves on their creations of this beloved pastry, and locals persistently scour the city’s plethora of restaurants and bakeries to find their favorite King Cake. King Cakes come in a variety of flavors, fillings, and forms. These pastries are simple and delicious, but any true New Orleanian will tell you that in order to truly celebrate the Carnival season, you need a King Cake that is crafted with expertise.

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Sucré’s Executive Chef Tariq Hanna, named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in the U.S., embraced this cherished New Orleans tradition when he arrived to The Crescent City. He began by diligently studying what locals love about King Cake. After months of research he came up with his own unique take on this centuries-old tradition. Sucré’s King Cake combines a treasured custom with modern culinary sensibilities, earning the title as “the city’s first 21st-century King Cake.” We promise you will not find anything like it in New Orleans or elsewhere! 

Sucré uses only the highest-quality ingredients, beginning with crafting handmade Danish dough with a sweet cream cheese filling. After being baked to perfection, it’s covered with a light sugar glaze and coated in brilliant tones of purple, green, and gold glitter, and lots of it! Our King Cake has a distinct look that captures the unmistakable spirit of Mardi Gras. The light buttery pastry, combined with the sweetness of the filling, cinnamon and sugar, creates a heavenly tasting experience best shared with friends and family. It is guaranteed to be a highlight of your Mardi Gras celebration!

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Don’t just take our word for it! Simply look to local and national food critics, from the Times Picayune to the New York Times, who have been raving about Sucré’s version of this sweet New Orleans treat. Over the years, our King Cake has been judged against the best in the region and Sucré has come out on top every time. Here are just a few accolades and recognitions we’ve received:

➜ In 2011, the Washington Post hosted a blind taste test for some of the best King Cakes in New Orleans. The winner? Sucré. “Sure enough, the combination of whipped cream cheese filling and buttery, yeasted bread wowed our testers,” said the Washington Post review. 

➜ The Times Picayune, the local newspaper, proclaimed Sucré a 2012 favorite, calling it “the city’s first 21st-century king cake.” 

➜ Saveur magazine prominently featured our king cake in 2011 as a distinctive New Orleans favorite.

Do you want to enjoy your own authentic Mardi Gras celebration but you’re too far from New Orleans? Don’t worry, we can bring New Orleans to you, wherever you are, with a delicious Sucré King Cake!

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Meet Our Entrepreneurs

 

Founder Joel Dondis

Founder Joel Dondis

If you’ve ever been to one of our shops, it should be no surprise that there is quite the personality behind our company. Joel Dondis is the entrepreneur and restaurateur behind Sucré. With the help of their team, Dondis and award winning Executive Chef Hanna have provided the New Orleans community with a sweet boutique in which they can celebrate all of life’s joyous moments.

Sucré creates an atmosphere where employees are encouraged to work together and continuously be on a path of growth, striving to learn something new every day. Not only does the Sucré team have a passion to better understand business and development, but they’re invested in the community as well.

Sucré honored New Orleans with their first chocolate collection. The New Orleans Chocolate Collection is a combination of classic flavors including the Blangé, inspired by Bananas Foster, and the Magnolia, reminiscent of Praline Pecan.

New Orleans Magazine recognized Dondis as Restaurateur of the Year in 2008, and Chef Hanna as the Best Pastry Chef in New Orleans in 2007. Dondis is also the founder of Joel Catering and Event Planning as well as La Petite Grocery, both which have seen great success in Louisiana.

Executive Chef Tariq Hanna

Executive Chef Tariq Hanna

It’s clear that Sucré’s success is a direct reflection of the dedication that Dondis, Hanna, and their team have for the company. As a team, they continuously learn about the high quality ingredients available locally and best ways to prepare gourmet confections. This allows their guests to know they can enjoy a delicious sweet treat every time they step foot through the door. Every confection is handcrafted into a masterpiece; Sucré wouldn’t have it any other way!

Encouraging their team to focus on their passion and thirst for knowledge, Dondis and Hanna inspire their team to test their perceived limits. From baking in the kitchen to promoting the company, Sucré’s focus is excellence. Sucré offers a warm environment for personal growth, with the belief that there is always something more to offer. The Sucré team is inspired and ready, eager to learn more about what they do and the community that loves them.

So if you are in New Orleans or just in the mood for a handcrafted confection, be sure to stop by Sucré or shop online at shopsucre.com. Not only will your belly be happy, but your mind can be at ease, knowing your macarons or chocolates were handcrafted with inspiration and heart.

The Difference in Quality Ingredients

Have you ever tried something that just didn’t taste fresh? Maybe you were genuinely excited to try a special dessert, and you were immediately disappointed by the mediocre taste. One of the worst feelings is waiting to treat yourself, and then being disappointed by your special dessert. You don’t want to waste your special rewards on less than delicious desserts.

Fresh, quality ingredients truly make a difference when it comes to being able to enjoy your food. You can taste the difference in every bite. The flavor, the texture, and the overall experience depend on the ingredients that are used to make the food.

Did you know Sucré uses Louisiana cane sugar, produce, and dairy to make their gourmet confections? All of Sucré’s confections are handcrafted with the finest ingredients. Executive Chef Tariq Hanna has won numerous awards, including being named one of the Top Ten Best Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine in 2012. Chef Hanna and his team use fresh ingredients that enhance the rich flavor of their macarons, artisan chocolates, and other gourmet confections.

A renowned chef and quality ingredients make a perfect match for a sweet boutique shop in New Orleans. So if you are craving something sweet, and you want to make sure it’s made with quality ingredients, be sure to stop by our shop or order online.

Did I mention our confections are gorgeous, too?

Here at Sucré we take pride in our products. Not only do we deliver quality confections that taste delicious, but our sweet treats are beautiful themselves. Our macarons come in an assortment of flavors and colors. We believe in paying attention to detail. Our products come in gorgeous packaging that makes for wonderful gifts. When you are in the mood for quality desserts, shop Sucré!

Sucré Executive Chef Tariq Hanna named one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in North America

Sucré Executive Chef Tariq Hanna named one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in North America

Dessert Professional Magazine honors New Orleans pastry chef for his prized chocolate confections

New Orleans, LA – Sucré Sweet Boutique and Confection Studio in New Orleans is pleased to announce its executive chef, Tariq Hanna, has been named one of the top 10 chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine.

This prestigious distinction is awarded to accomplished chocolatiers across North America who exhibit superior craft, creativity and skill with the use of chocolate. Hundreds of chocolatiers from the United States, Mexico and Canada are evaluated for the competition each year. Only ten are named the best for their ability to not only show exceptional culinary talent, but also demonstrate unique efforts that help elevate the chocolate industry as a whole.

The award was presented by Dessert Professional Magazine, which is widely recognized as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the confectionery and culinary industries.

“I am truly honored to receive this distinction,” said Chef Tariq, who has been the mastermind behind all Sucré artisan chocolates and confections since its founding in 2007. “I want to thank Dessert Professional Magazine, as well as our talented staff who help make Sucré the definitive dessert and confection experience.”

This is one of the latest of many accolades in Tariq Hanna’s illustrious career. Chef Tariq was recently invited to serve as a U.S. Culinary Ambassador through the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership. As a culinary ambassador, Chef Tariq will be called on to create state dinners for foreign dignitaries, as well as visit other nations as an ambassador for American cuisine. He will also participate in educating youth on the growing movement toward healthier eating in the American landscape.

In 2011, Chef Tariq was named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in the United States by Dessert Professional Magazine. He was also a finalist for Chef Magazine’s Chef of the Year award in 2008. Born in Nigeria, Chef Tariq moved to the United States in 1986 at the age of 18 and began his culinary education at Oakland Community College in Michigan.

“Chef Tariq’s vision and expertise are the foundation of everything we create at Sucré,” said Joel Dondis, founder. “From our gourmet truffles to our signature French macarons, our unique offerings are truly extraordinary because of his talent and hard work.”

For more information on Sucré, Chef Tariq Hanna or our award-winning confections, please visit www.shopsucre.com or email info@shopsucre.com.  For more information contact Virginia Saussy, vsaussy@shopsucre.com or 504-708-4366.