First it was the cupcake. Then it was the macaroon. Now, with the opening of specialist patisserie Maître Choux in South Kensington, choux pastry has taken centre stage.
I first spotted Maître Choux on the Little Big Bell Instagram account a week or so ago – the vision of bright, bold and beautifully designed éclairs soon stopped me in my scrolling tracks….
Maître Choux is the brainchild of brilliant young pastry chef Joakim Prat, who came to London to take on the role of Joël Robuchon’s Head Pastry Chef at L’Atelier, before moving on to Mayfair’s The Greenhouse.
Joakim held the same position at Can Fabes in Barcelona (now sadly closed), meaning that Maître Choux is the only pastry shop in the UK with a three Michelin star experienced chef at the helm!
Choux pastry is a light dough that rises in the oven, leaving the inside soft and hollow and the outside golden and crispy. A staple of every patisserie in France, it is a very malleable yet simple bakery base. In the hands of Joakim, it is transformed into something quite extraordinary.
Wanting to offer customers a quality of dessert hitherto found only in the most exclusive eateries, Joakim spent months perfecting Maître Choux’s range of éclairs, choux à la crème and chouquettes (empty choux pastry casings that are traditionally eaten in France for breakfast or as a snack.)
As visually stunning as they are delicious, Joakim’s hand-crafted designs are baked throughout the day in the state-of-the-art kitchen at Maître Choux’s South Kensington shop. Some of the choux can even be filled upon ordering for incomparable crispiness.
Bringing a contemporary twist to a classic French speciality, these are veritable works of art. Éclairs range from Salted Butter with Home-made Caramel and Arabica Coffee to Persian Pistachio and Spanish Raspberry Pink, whilst the choux à la crème include such irresistible varieties as Tahitian Vanilla and Italian Lemon. All make the perfect dessert, indulgent snack or gift.
It’s an impossible decision… which one would you pick? Above we have the Summer Strawberries vs the Tahitian Vanilla & Roasted Pecans vs the Very Dark Multi Origin Chocolate. Hmmm.
The core range is complemented by regularly changing specials that introduce new flavours and visuals to showcase Joakim’s extraordinary creative talents. Although primarily a patisserie, Maître Choux also offers seating for a handful of customers. Here guests can accompany their pastry with a cup of the finest quality teas and coffee, as well as a thick hot chocolate made from a legendary Basque recipe provided by Joakim’s grandmother.
Visit Maître Choux at 15 Harrington Road, London SW7 3ES to taste for yourself the éclairs, choux à la crème and chouquettes! The shop is open Monday – Friday 7:30am – 7pm and Saturday 10am – 7pm.
If you can’t visit the shop yourself, follow Maitre Choux on Instagram (#maitrechoux) to see more of their incredible creations.