A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a Holiday Cake tasting at Pomme Palais, a new French gourmet cafe from Chef Michel Richard. Pomme Palais is in The Palace Hotel at 30 East 51st Street (between Madison and Park Avenues).
The patisserie itself is brightly lit and spotlights the big, modern cases of various yummy treats.
The have some packaged goodies ready to go along with the individual items in the case. (We actually went back and grabbed some candy bars when we were in the area a few days later)
I was only able to attend for a bit, but we were treated to some amazing pastries in the time I was there.
The patisserie was described as “whimsical” in the overview and that is a great way to explain it.
The Macaron Cake was an “almond vanilla sponge cake layered with chocolate mousse, coated with dark chocolate, and decorated with macarons for playful color and texture”
It was a beautiful and playful cake and was quite delicious.
Though it didn’t sing the way some of the others did.
I was a big fan of this one. I am not a huge cake fan, so I liked that this was layers of different textures without much traditional cake cake.
We also tried the Charlotte Cake “with fruit, apricot, raspberry, passion yogurt mousse and lady fingers. This cake can have a mousse filling with any fruit the customer prefers.” This was good but not on the top of my list.
The Orange Creme Brulee Cheesecake was something special. It was described as “a creative twist on the classic cheesecake and flan.” True to description, this was a perfect balance of cheesecake’s creamy denseness (but not too dense) with a flan like top. And the orange added a nice flavor essence.
The Lemon Eggceptional Cake was a beauty. It was described as “layers of sponge cake, lemon curd, French meringue, topped with white chocolate lemon eggceptionals.”
This was very nice and a light and fluffy cake, though lemon isn’t my favorite.
My second favorite cake of the day was the Tart au Pomme which was “puff pastry with thin slices of apple, pastry cream, topped with sugar.”
The apples on this just popped with flavor. A perfect texture and the perfect balance of tartness and sweet.
But my number one favorite of the tasting was the Chocolate Fleur d’Automne: “Chocolate flower on top of cake with almond meringue and chocolate mousse.”
What can I say? I’m a chocolate girl! This was an exceptional balance of textures and richness with sweetness and a hint of crisp from the hard thin chocolate on top. I absolutely loved this cake and even though my tummy was quite full by this time, I ate every last bite of this one.
Though, alas, I couldn’t finish the rest. I felt awful wasting so much great dessert.
I had to leave just before the cut into the most adorable of the treats: Michel’s Snowman: “White meringue Snowman wrapped up with a sugar scarf and marzipan-chocolate hat… he carries a rosemary stalk ‘tree’ and includes raspberry sauce.”
You prepare this by rimming the plate with whipped cream and filling the hollow base of the snowman with ice cream. Sounds like my kind of dessert! I absolutely love hard meringue. I was bummed I didn’t get a chance to try this one, and when we went back a few days later to get some candy, they were all sold out. I’ll just have to go back!
But seriously… how adorable is this guy?
Near the end of the tasting, a very jovial Chef Michel Richard came out to say hello. He is quintessentially French, and while almost a little too friendly with the ladies, he was very happy to ham it up for the camera. He was incredibly happy and seemed genuinely excited to be sharing his creations with us.
We were sent home with a lovely box of candy.
And each bite was better than the last. I am very picky about my candies, and these were exceptional.
I have been to many patisseries in NYC (and around the world), baking is my first love, and I am a dessert person to the extreme. I wasn’t expecting to like this place as much as I did, and the desserts were really fantastic and original. The only other place I’ve had desserts as noteworthy is at Dominique Ansel. (Though Chef Ansel will always have my heart)
I would never have known to stop by Pomme Palais had I not been invited to try these cakes, so this was one perk in which I was more than happy to participate. I was very thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to go back (and try that snowman)!
Cakes range from $20 (for the snowman) to $42 (for most of the full cakes). Quite expensive, but worth it to impress at a party. And the individual pastries are probably reasonably priced for a nice snack near Rockefeller Center or before a Radio City performance. (They also have some non-dessert foods that looked quite good). And the candy bars we got a few days later… awesome.
Highly recommend a stop!
Note: While I was privileged enough to do this tasting for free, all opinions expressed are my own.