Paris and Patisserie; Sadaharu Aoki – Black Sesame Eclair

In my planning post I imagined my dream afternoon in Paris, and in that dream I was tucking into a black sesame eclair from Japanese patissiere Sadaharu Aoki. I discovered this delicious fusion of Asian flavours and French pastry back in November 2013 but it has proved elusive on subsequent trips. That particular trip to Paris was part of our post wedding year of fun, culminating in our honeymoon to japan. Given that japan is home to the creator of this éclair, you may have assumed like me, that finding another while in japan would have been easy, and you would have been wrong and disappointed just like me. I managed to get hold of salted caramel, green tea and even the seasonal sakura, and maybe it was just sulking on my part, but they didn’t live up to the black sesame version.

So on this trip, the black sesame éclair became my main target. Knowing I was going over a pulic holiday I even went ahead and e-mailed to ask on what days they would be open. The shops themselves were shut, but the kiosk at Gallerie Lafayette would be open across my whole trip. I panicked for a moment that I had booked a trip to Paris in vain. I just wasn’t expecting a public holiday on a Thursday and I missed out of Chocolat Chapons chocolate mousse bar because of this miscalculation.

I thought they looked a little different than before, and comparing the picture from 2013 (left) I would say they look remarkably different to the original, but the taste was every bit as divine as I remembered the glossy sweet fondant top was still studded with toasted sesame seeds, the black sesame lending its colour to the fondant. 

The light choux pastry shell was crisp and chewy and generously filled with a delicate black sesame pastry cream. 

It is the savoury notes in the roasted sesame seeds that make this éclair so unique and moreish. After devouring the first, I soon turned my attentions to its little friend.