February 26, 2016 by Emma Bentley
The croissant is so passé. My social media feeds this week (I’m looking at you in particular, Facebook) have been clogged with supposedly scandalous chatter of straight vs curved croissants. It’s pure semantics. Anyone who knows their butter from their margarine knows that the croissant was not created equal. So while we wait for the online world to straighten out their knickers, let’s put the spotlight on some of the more unusual pastries that you can find in a Parisian boulangerie.
This morning, I tested a chausson au speculoos. It caught my eye because it’s not something you find very often. A chausson aux pommes, yes. Literally in French, it means a “slipper of apples” but more commonly, we’d say an apple turnover.
The twist here is the addition of speculoos. If you’re not familiar with the word “speculoos” – first of all, why not?! – you may know the taste from those little brown sugar biscuits that tend to accompany your coffee.
Speculoos, also occasionally spelt “speculaas“, is Belgian speciality. It combines sugar and butter with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. In short, pure deliciousness in the form of a paste or a shortcrust biscuit.
-> Yes, you can find a spreadable Speculoos paste to apply liberally to your morning toast!
Anyway, back to the chausson. It’s a really good pairing. Whilst not over-powering the apples, the addition of speculoos provides a substantial kick of cinnamon. It’s like taking the classic American apple and cinnamon pie filling, putting it in a French butter casing and giving it a Belgian accent.
Using crumbled biscuits as a topping is an interesting addition. It gives a satisfying crunch to the pastry which contrasts nicely with the smoothness of the apples. Definitely recommended!
So where can you find this chausson au speculoos, you ask?
At La Badine de Martine on rue Crozatier in the 12th. (n.b. closed Thursdays.)