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During my adolescence, I remember dad taking me to a pastry shop all the way up in Broumana. Owned and run by Victor Rbeiz, Pâte à Choux cakes were special, freshly handmade with love and passion, a passion that has run for many generations. Pâte à Choux made the best and finest cakes and sweets way before big commercial factories existed. Places like Pain D'Or, Moulin D'Or, Wooden Bakery among others have not seen the light back then. And to be honest, mass production is lessening the country's level of fine taste.
In Broumana, Victor Rbeiz and his two sons, Marwan and Makram, created majestic pieces of cakes. Up until today, I believe that every piece they create is more than just cakes, but more like the keys to heaven. Bahamas, Rose Noir, Hanold or Caramel Mille-feuille are a few of the many signature sweets.
Pâte à Choux still creates until today in their four different branches: Broumana, Antelias, Verdun and Sodeco. I would definitely recommenced their Sodeco branch, owned and managed by Makram Rbeiz, one of the most professional and generous people in this industry.
Years have passed and Pâte à Choux still offers the same quality and taste that few master today. Considered in my opinion as one of Lebanon's top pastry shops - including La Mie Dorée, Noura and Canelle - I often pass by their Sodeco branch to enjoy their finest creations. The crunchy fresh croissant, dark chocolate cakes, thin light mille-feuille, banana caramel eclair, chocolate ball and much more - premium sweet bites that promise to activate different areas of your taste buds.
My favourite of all is the Bahamas... The Bahamas cake, invented by Pâte à Choux a few years ago, but copied unsuccessfully by many. It is the only cake that makes me want to close my eyes after every bite. A mix of soft ingredients between bananas, creamy and a fluffy cake texture... melt between your tongue and palate without even having to chew anything. You feel softness, tenderness, passion, aromas, sweetness and much much more.
Yesterday, we brought home a couple of individual cakes. Just look at the Bahamas that stands out from the others.
The Pâte à Choux Bahamas is a round cylinder-shape individual cake covered with chocolate. What's inside is the big surprise: A yellowish cake that looks like a hamburger, a thick 2cm piece of cake at the bottom covered with Banana flavor pastry cream (crème pâtissière) embracing a few pieces of ripe banana slices all covered by another layer of yellow sponge cake. Simple! On the outside, is a thin layer of Crème Chantilly that is covered again with a robe of rich chocolate. Just imagine!
The second your fork touches its exterior surface, it slides down easily and softly. Make sure to eat it, as is, to feel the three distinctive layers.
Every single ingredient is uniquely prepared, adequately sweetened without any sophistication. Simple yet extraordinary. When I say: "I close my eyes while enjoying my Bahamas", I literally mean it. Go try it for yourself, and you'll believe me.
Pâte à Choux or Choux Pastry, is a light pastry dough used to make profiteroles, croquem bouches, éclairs, French crullers, beignets, St. Honoré cake, Indonesian kue sus, and gougères. It contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs. Like Yorkshire Pudding or David Eyre's pancake, instead of a raising agent it employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry.