The 11th in Ladurée‘s series of 150th anniversary pastries — one for every month of 2012 — is La Duchesse.
This moist cake features walnuts, a light chestnut mousse, bits of glazed chestnuts and a mini meringue. It is is topped with silky milk chocolate fondant and encased in delicate sheets of chocolate.
La Duchesse draws its inspiration from a vintage form of one of today’s classic French pastries. Prior to 1850, “pain à la duchesse” or “petite duchesse” were the names given to what are known today as éclairs.
They were composed of various types of pastry (not just pâte à choux) filled with chocolate, coffee, pistachio, chestnut or vanilla crème pâtissière and covered with chocolate fondant.
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Photo: © Ladurée