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classic patisserie swap-meet or baking group

A recent discussion around the lack of traditional pastry available in the area leads me to ask the board at large:

Is anyone interested in a baking swap meet, or some kind of baking club where we aim to assemble lovely, delicate, luscious and perhaps challenging sweets to fill the french pastry void in the Boston area?

I'm not an expert baker but willing to try, wanting to learn, and eager to share the spoils of my experiments, so please weigh in if you have interest in joining me in this culinary odyssey.

Baking skills are certainly not required, just a passion for eating and/or making patisserie and the ability to contribute...something. Be creative!

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  1. That sounds like a great and fun idea.

    BTW - Have you tried Cafe Vanille on Charles St. or at the Chestnut Hill mall? How about Athans in Brookline? Cafe Japonaise in Brookline or Porter Square?

    6 Replies
    1. re: robertlf

      These have all been covered ad infinitum:

      - Cafe Vanille: really not that tasty at all
      - Japonaise nice bakery, the Adzuki cream puff is great, but other then that no real Patisserie
      - Athan's most stuff lacks real flavor, though I am a fan of the Chocolate Jamaica

      None of the above have the breadth and depth of a real patisserie

      1. re: StriperGuy

        How about Panera or Au Bon Pain? Needless to say, I jest. It is rather sad that we don't have anything on the level of even the most garden variety patisserie. Now I'm craving a Diplomat. Can't someone strong-arm Delphin into reopening somewhere? I thought his cakes were tremendous when the shop was in Brookline, though I never tried his pastries.

        1. re: nsenada

          Oh, man. I did try the pastries, often, and I miss that shop SO much! That's also the first place I ever had French macarons...sigh.

        2. re: StriperGuy

          But what about Canto 6, Flour, or clear flour? Are those too much bakery and not enough patisserie?

          1. re: bikey

            None of them are patisseries.

            Honestly, it's not like there's a particularly large French population in or around Boston -- why would anyone even expect there to be French-style patisseries around here?

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              I agree, but people seem to be real passionate to compare some of Boston's bakeries with French-style patisseries. Boston bakeries should be compared with other Boston bakeries, not bakeries in Europe.

              It doesn't help anyone tring to find a decent Brioche in Boston when it's compared to what someone can get in France.

      2. It does sound like a fun idea, and I'd love to join you - with my collection of pastry cookbooks!

        1. Thanks for posting, as I mentioned I am not a real baker myself. I would suggest including some contact information so interested people can contact you.

          1. This is a great idea! This is happening in the Davis area http://community.livejournal.com/davi...
            but it's not pastry focused...

            1. A suggestion of another possible way to go would be a Boston version of SF's "Food Wars" (www.sffoodwars.com). Their competitions are open to both food professionals and home cooks, and have the benefit of raising funds for community feeding programs.

              If Napoleons were chosen as the contest food, the event could be promoted as "The Napoleonic War".

              1. Folks, we've emailed lisa13 and asked her to post another thread which adheres to our guidelines for Chowdown organizers. Please feel free to continue the discussion of patisserie available in the Boston area, but we'd prefer to keep the RSVP and organization of such an event offline. Thanks!