Paul Croteau Confections had approached a bunch of local food bloggers to sample Mr. Croteau’s creations. He is currently the pastry chef of Campagnolo Restaurant and Refuel restaurant, and now he’s ready to “spread his wings” and open a confection shop of his own.
We were invited to Refuel restaurant to have a tasting. Unfortunately I was not able to make it but I was offered a sample pack of the goodies to be picked up another time.
First up were the Patés de fruits (pronounced “pat de fwee“), which were essentially fruit puree boiled down to a concentrate and thickened. Raspberry and Passionfruit were the flavors.
They were both very intensely flavored, and obviously pretty sweet. They were pretty soft and gives no resistance when you bite into it. I guess I was expecting more of a gummy texture but I don’t think that’s the point of pates de fruits anyways. I much preferred passionfruit to raspberry mostly due to the fact that the raspberry one tasted a lot like those hawthorne patties Asians have when taking Chinese medicine….if you know what I mean.
Next was the Almond square which was described to me as sort of like a florentine cookie. It was flavored with nuts and candied citrus peel set into caramel with a cookie base. This was very, very oily though, and I felt the whole morsel was overpowered by the citrus peel.
Wrapped in the wax paper was the Soft salted caramel, which I was excited to try. I’ve always wondered how salting something sweet would intensify the flavors.
Now I had mixed feelings about this. I did like that it was certainly a new combination of flavors for me. Right away you are hit with the slight saltiness which melts into the sweetness. And that was kind of the problem. It was too soft and melted too quickly. Mind you I liked the fact that it didn’t stick to your teeth and quite honestly the flavor was actually very very good. If only it was a little bit firmer then to me personally it’ll be perfect.
Next was the Grignotine and it was one of my favorites. It was quite simply candied walnuts hazelnuts covered in chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder. Simple. Awesome. You can probably keep eating this without thinking as it was not overly sweet. Even more awesome?? The hazelnuts are locally sourced~! Seems like PC Confections try to use local products as much as possible 😉
The Nougat contained nuts such as almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts, covered with chocolate on two sides. Personally I would’ve liked more nougat than nuts so it’s not my favorite. That’s not to say it wasn’t good. Just personal preference 😉
Last but not least, were the Macarons, which were my most anticipated items. Available for sampling were salted caramel, pistachio, and double chocolate. I was quite happy to know that there’s going to be another place where I can get my macaron fix.
First thoughts, these macarons were definitely bigger and larger than what I’m used to. They had a nice crust which was quite hollow and it was also chewy in the middle. Perfect.
Now I’ve never really been a chocolate fan, so the double chocolate didn’t really do anything for me. I actually didn’t find it especially fragrant of chocolate, it was just sweet.
The pistachio was very creamy, almost tasted like white chocolate cream.
My favorite though has got to be the salted caramel. Unlike the wrapped piece, the caramel part actually wasn’t that sweet, as the pastry part was sweet enough already.
Now currently there is a Paul Croteau Confectionery kiosk in Oakridge Centre, but they are actually planning to open an actual store. I will be waiting for that to get me some macarons!!
Update Sep 10/2010: The storefront version of Paul Croteau Confections will be opened above the Campagnolo Caffe on 1020 Main Street. Tentative opening is at the end of September!