I've been following Belle Epoque Patisserie for a while now on social media, and it was a delight when I finally had a taste of one of their delicious creations at The Chocolate Show this year. Knowing how much of a sweet tooth I am, I was undoubtedly excited to then be invited to Belle Epoque's first Christmas log tasting event at the boutique on Upper Street in Islington.
But first, a bit of background about Belle Epoque...
Belle Epoque Patisserie began when Eric met Hulya in 2000, its history intimately connected to their extensive travel experiences around the world. When they found an 18th Century building in the heart of Stoke Newington, they embraced the opportunity and transformed it into a pastry shop, which opened its doors in November 2002. Decorated with bargains and treasures collected over a decade in markets over the Channel and England, the boutique was quick to become a popular destination for Francophiles as well as locals.
For about a decade, Belle Epoque was the only bakery squashed into a small basement, the wonderful aromas of freshly baked croissants and brioche famously reminded its neighbours of Paris in the small hours.
It was not until 2012 when a new kitchen unit and centralized production site was acquired, and with exclusive customers like Selfridges, Belle Epoque is definitely fluorishing in the independent bakery industry.
The newer shop which opened in Upper Street in July 2014 has a much more chic and contemporary design, with an extensive selection of high quality sweets and savouries.
The first Christmas log was called Childhood, which combined the simple and nostalgic flavours of chocolate and vanilla that we used to love as children. It was made of moist chocolate sponge soaked with Tahitian Vanilla syrup, a layer of Caribbean chocolate cream and piped light Ivoire whipped ganache. All these beautiful flavours rolled into a log and finished with a velvet dark chocolate mist.
It was incredibly light and smooth, and was my favourite one of the collection.
The second was Stars, a pistachio madeleine sponge with cranberries and crunchy pistachios, vanilla creme brulee, and raspberry cream, all encased in a lightened white Opalys and Pistachio mousse. This festive Christmas log was covered in a glossy red fruit glaze and decorated with chocolate stars.
I particularly liked the crunchy biscuit base which gave it a bit of texture.
The third Christmas log was named Enchanted Forest, a cherry heart surrounded with a creamy Bahibe centre, crunchy streusel and encased with a light Opalys mousse.
It was a nice twist on the traditional Black Forest cake, and I liked the fact that the flavour of the cherries was not too sharp or overpowering and blended well with the chocolate.
Made with finest Valrhona chocolates and seasonal fruits, all three of the Christmas logs would surely be a great addition to anyone's Christmas table.
And to ensure that you don't miss out on these limited edition creations, don't forget to plan ahead to avoid the havoc of last minute Christmas shopping.
If you place and order and make full payment in advance, you can also avoid the manic queues and swiftly collect your readily packaged Christmas log(s) from the counter.
I have always had a love for independent bakeries, and I would recommend a visit to Belle Epoque Patisserie for some treats (and mince pies!) to tantalize your tastebuds.
Check out belleepoque.co.uk for more information.
Thank you to Eric and Hulya, and all the wonderful staff at Belle Epoque for a lovely evening. I look forward to returning soon.
The Cheekster, signing out x