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VivreManger

Jacques Genin

34 posts in this topic

Report has it that Jacques Genin, creater of the most amazing caramels in the world, allows the occasional visitor in his studio. What else to call the site of such a product? Last spring I called him to learn if I could arrange a visit. The only day I had free was Saturday and that did not work out. This spring I have a better schedule and I hope to arrange a better day. Although he normally sells his sweets only to retailers, restaurants, and hotels, he has been known to sell to his visitors.

Has anyone visited him over this past year? Does anyone have any information that might be useful in setting a visit in the future?


Edited by VivreManger (log)

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I visited the atelier last July, that was my third visit. You typically have to call and get an o.k first

I found Jaques to be a very pleasant and accomodating type. you buy by the kilo, wheather

chocolate or caramels, and they are among the top of Z top of Z top

Tarek

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I am doing research for an upcoming trip to Paris and found this thread. When we were in Paris in March we went to see Jacque Genin. All we had was an address from the hotel and a map. There is no listing on the outside of what looked like a low residential building so we pushed the bells with no names on them. Someone buzzed us in and we went up the stairs to an apartment with an open door. It turned out to be Jacque Genin's residence and luckily his daughter was home with him. Jacque speaks little English and our French is fine for ordering in restaurants but little else. We were able to score a kilo of mango caramels which we are hoarding. He was very nice especially since we just appeared with no warning. What he did mention is that he was thinking of opening a shop in the US-either in LA or NY. We spoke up in favor of NY. I think this will be within the next year.

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I am doing research for an upcoming trip to Paris and found this thread. When we were in Paris in March we went to see Jacque Genin. All we had was an address from the hotel and a map. There is no listing on the outside of what looked like a low residential building so we pushed the bells with no names on them. Someone buzzed us in and we went up the stairs to an apartment with an open door. It turned out to be Jacque Genin's residence and luckily his daughter was home with him. Jacque speaks little English and our French is fine for ordering in restaurants but little else. We were able to score a kilo of mango caramels which we are hoarding. He was very nice especially since we just appeared with no warning. What he did mention is that he was thinking of opening a shop in the US-either in LA or NY. We spoke up in favor of NY. I think this will be within the next year.

Lucky you! Those Passion-fruit Mango Caramels are killer - some of my favorites. If I may ask, how much was he charging for the kilo?

My favorite of his chocolates is the Tonka Bean though he may not be able to see that one here in the US.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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o.k now the withdrawal symptoms are raging, i need some of those caramelsjava script:emoticon(':angry:'), Last year he was charging fifty euros per kilo, which is about half what the top

dogs- Herme, Roger, Hevin and the rest are charging, I wish he shiped his products to the U.S

Tarek

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It was 50 Euros for the kilo. We kept it taped up until we reached home and then took a count- 107 of caramels. We returned on March 24th and we still have 58 left. The debate is now whether to score another kilo when we go in June for our anniversary.

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I am doing research for an upcoming trip to Paris and found this thread. When we were in Paris in March we went to see Jacque Genin. All we had was an address from the hotel and a map. There is no listing on the outside of what looked like a low residential building so we pushed the bells with no names on them. Someone buzzed us in and we went up the stairs to an apartment with an open door. It turned out to be Jacque Genin's residence and luckily his daughter was home with him. Jacque speaks little English and our French is fine for ordering in restaurants but little else. We were able to score a kilo of mango caramels which we are hoarding. He was very nice especially since we just appeared with no warning. What he did mention is that he was thinking of opening a shop in the US-either in LA or NY. We spoke up in favor of NY. I think this will be within the next year.

Lucky you! Those Passion-fruit Mango Caramels are killer - some of my favorites. If I may ask, how much was he charging for the kilo?

My favorite of his chocolates is the Tonka Bean though he may not be able to see that one here in the US.

John,

Do you know what he adds in the way of fruit flavour (ie juice, puree) and when in the process? I'd love to play around with this.

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I am doing research for an upcoming trip to Paris and found this thread. When we were in Paris in March we went to see Jacque Genin. All we had was an address from the hotel and a map. There is no listing on the outside of what looked like a low residential building so we pushed the bells with no names on them. Someone buzzed us in and we went up the stairs to an apartment with an open door. It turned out to be Jacque Genin's residence and luckily his daughter was home with him. Jacque speaks little English and our French is fine for ordering in restaurants but little else. We were able to score a kilo of mango caramels which we are hoarding. He was very nice especially since we just appeared with no warning. What he did mention is that he was thinking of opening a shop in the US-either in LA or NY. We spoke up in favor of NY. I think this will be within the next year.

Lucky you! Those Passion-fruit Mango Caramels are killer - some of my favorites. If I may ask, how much was he charging for the kilo?

My favorite of his chocolates is the Tonka Bean though he may not be able to see that one here in the US.

John,

Do you know what he adds in the way of fruit flavour (ie juice, puree) and when in the process? I'd love to play around with this.

The fruit purees are added right at the start.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Do you know what he adds in the way of fruit flavour (ie juice, puree) and when in the process?  I'd love to play around with this.

The fruit purees are added right at the start.

Ok, I'll start playing around with this and see what I can do. I have some passion fruit I've been saving in the freezer.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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The fruit purees are added right at the start.

Ok, I'll start playing around with this and see what I can do.  I have some passion fruit I've been saving in the freezer.

When you figure it out can you post some directions? I would like to try making them as well.

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Jacques has been considering something in the US, but he was concerned about the butter. He's perhaps working on another project perhaps closer to home. You can get his chocolates in Paris at Pain et Sucre on the rue Rambuteau as well as from him.

If you've never had them, Heni Le Roux's salted-butter-caramels are astounding. He ships overseas.

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Jacques has been considering something in the US, but he was concerned about the butter. He's perhaps working on another project perhaps closer to home. You can get his chocolates in Paris at Pain et Sucre on the rue Rambuteau as well as from him.

If you've never had them, Heni Le Roux's salted-butter-caramels are astounding. He ships overseas.

When I was in Paris in mid-March, Pain de Sucre co-owner, Nathalie Robert, told me they were no longer carrying Genin's caramels. Genin is right to be concerned about butter in the US since his caramels depend on an exquisite use of its ingredients.

As for LeRoux's products, are they available in Paris?

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When I was in Paris in mid-March, Pain de Sucre co-owner, Nathalie Robert, told me they were no longer carrying Genin's caramels.  Genin is right to be concerned about butter in the US since his caramels depend on an exquisite use of its ingredients. 

As for LeRoux's products, are they available in Paris?

wow, that's a shame! ever since we went I've been dreaming about more of those! did they say why they're not carrying them anymore??


52 martinis blog

@52martinis

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She may have changed her mind. So it is worht a call. She did not say why.

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Henri Le Roux's 'CBS' caramels are available at A l'Etoile d'Or, Denise Acabo's shop at 30 rue Fontaine near Pigalle (métro: Blanche). I recommend nature, although the ones flavored with lime, chocolate, and dark tea are excellent too. He's also at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris in the fall as well.

Highly recommended!

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Ok guys, first experiment completed and this is where I need the input of folks who have tasted these caramels before.

I had a lovely ripe mango on the counter that I could smell everytime I walked by, so I pureed it - getting about 150 g of puree.

I went through all my candy books and Chocolates and Confections was the only one with a recipe that added fruit puree. Greweling's suggestion was to add the puree just before it reaches finished temperature. I hoped by adding it at the end I would retain more fresh fruit flavour.

I made my usual caramel and when it reached 118 C added the puree which had been warmed. This immediately dropped my temperature back down to 107 or so and I had to wait for it to boil back up again to 121.

The caramel has a lovely subtle mango taste, certainly nothing in your face about it. I think my next experiment will involve adding puree in substitution for part of the heavy cream and adding it at the same time I add the cream. I think I'll also add a little citric or tartaric acid just to punch up the fruit flavour a bit.

So, those who have tasted these caramels before - strong fruit flavour or subtle fruit flavour?

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Ok guys, first experiment completed and this is where I need the input of folks who have tasted these caramels before.

I had a lovely ripe mango on the counter that I could smell everytime I walked by, so I pureed it - getting about 150 g of puree. 

I went through all my candy books and Chocolates and Confections was the only one with a recipe that added fruit puree.  Greweling's suggestion was to add the puree just before it reaches finished temperature.  I hoped by adding it at the end I would retain more fresh fruit flavour.

I made my usual caramel and when it reached 118 C added the puree which had been warmed.  This immediately dropped my temperature back down to 107 or so and I had to wait for it to boil back up again to 121. 

The caramel has a lovely subtle mango taste, certainly nothing in your face about it.  I think my next experiment will involve adding puree in substitution for part of the heavy cream and adding it at the same time I add the cream.  I think I'll also add a little citric or tartaric acid just to punch up the fruit flavour a bit.

So, those who have tasted these caramels before - strong fruit flavour or subtle fruit flavour?

For the caramels I remember, the passion fruit flavor is strong and the mango is subtle.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I still have several Genin caramels, mostly ginger and mango, which I have kept refrigerated since returning to the States in March. If you wish a comparison test test, I am happy to offer myself as a guinea pig.

My own experience is that Genin caramels have a very strong fruit flavor, the mango being more assertive than the ginger. However I have not tasted the passion fruit so I lack that point of comparison. It may very well be that compared to the passion fruit, the mango is subtle.

So if you want to send some of your mango caramels I am happy to receive them. If you are willing, contact me via PM and I can send you my coordinates. To make it easier for you, over the next few weeks my wife and I will be in Montreal so you needn't bother sending the samples to the States.

By the way what was the origin and provenance of the mango? Have Alfonso mangos made it to Canada from India? Thye are supposed to be exceptionally good. So far I have only tasted canned Alfonsos.


Edited by VivreManger (log)

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Ok guys, first experiment completed and this is where I need the input of folks who have tasted these caramels before.

I had a lovely ripe mango on the counter that I could smell everytime I walked by, so I pureed it - getting about 150 g of puree. 

I went through all my candy books and Chocolates and Confections was the only one with a recipe that added fruit puree.  Greweling's suggestion was to add the puree just before it reaches finished temperature.  I hoped by adding it at the end I would retain more fresh fruit flavour.

I made my usual caramel and when it reached 118 C added the puree which had been warmed.  This immediately dropped my temperature back down to 107 or so and I had to wait for it to boil back up again to 121. 

The caramel has a lovely subtle mango taste, certainly nothing in your face about it.  I think my next experiment will involve adding puree in substitution for part of the heavy cream and adding it at the same time I add the cream.  I think I'll also add a little citric or tartaric acid just to punch up the fruit flavour a bit.

So, those who have tasted these caramels before - strong fruit flavour or subtle fruit flavour?

I don't think I ever tasted one that was just mango when I worked there - just the Passionfruit-Mango combo. Also, as I recall we cooked it to 123C, pretty close to what you're already doing. We also chilled them a bit just before cutting to help them retain their shape. I like to make these with the Boiron purees; however, there is a world-wide shortage of passionfruit, I'm told, so I've had to use another brand which wasn't as good.

Kerry, I like your idea of adding the puree later to retain more flavor; though it's hard to imagine these puppies being any more flavorful as they already are!


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I still have several Genin caramels, mostly ginger and mango, which I have kept refrigerated since returning to the States in March.  If you wish a comparison test test, I am happy to offer myself as a guinea pig. 

My own experience is that Genin caramels have a very strong fruit flavor, the mango being more assertive than the ginger.  However I have not tasted the passion fruit so I lack that point of comparison.  It may very well be that compared to the passion fruit, the mango is subtle. 

So if you want to send some of your mango caramels I am happy to receive them.  If you are willing, contact me via PM and I can send you my coordinates.  To make it easier for you, over the next few weeks my wife and I will be in Montreal so you needn't bother sending the samples to the States. 

By the way what was the origin and provenance of the mango?  Have Alfonso mangos made it to Canada from India?  Thye are supposed to be exceptionally good.  So far I have only tasted canned Alfonsos.

I'll be happy to send some along to Montreal, PM me your info.

These were just the standard mangos we get here from Mexico I think. The other varieties of mangos carried in some stores look like the good phillipine mangos but don't taste anything like they should. If I can't smell them, I don't buy them.

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Ok, so here is the recipe for my first experiment. It was sent to me by John DePaula who made caramels in Genin's antelier while he was working in France.

100 grams passion fruit puree (Boiron brand)

100 grams mango puree (Boiron)

100 grams heavy cream

60 grams butter

40 grams glucose

220 grams sugar

1/4 vanilla pod

Cook to 123 C.

I didn't use the vanilla pod, just added a squirt of my favorite Haitian vanilla.

They were a bit soft, strongly fruit flavoured.

I sent some to John, who says compared to the originals not enough of the mango flavour came through, there was not as much caramel flavour. As John noted the mango flavour isn't really distinctive but it serves to temper the sharpness of the passion fruit.

So my next trial I will cook at a lower temperature for longer to see if I can get more caramel flavour, and take it a couple of degrees higher to make it a little firmer. If I don't get enough caramel flavour that way I'll add a bit of milk powder to increase the lactose and protein. This should result in more of the Maillard reaction, which is what results in the browning and caramelized flavour.

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I should clarify that:

a) This is not Jacques' recipe, though we are trying to replicate the flavor & texture

b) I thought the last attempt was too much mango and not enough passion-fruit flavor. For me at least, I thought the passion-fruit flavor really overwhelmed the mango. The mango seemed to play the role of vanilla i.e. more of a subtle note to mellow and round-out the sharpness of the passion-fruit.


Edited by John DePaula (log)

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Another thought is to cook all except the passion fruit, add it closer to the end of cooking. Perhaps the passion fruit would come out more strongly that way.

I've got to start by changing just one thing at a time. I always tend to make too many changes at once, then I don't know what worked and what didn't.

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I did do a side by side test comparison between Genin and your caramels. Admittedly the Genin caramels were not fresh. I had bought them in mid-March and kept them in the fridge, but they keep pretty well.

I compared your mango and mango-passion fruit to his mango-passion fruit. The taste was in the same ball-park. I think you got as close to the taste of his mango-pf caramels as one could imagine. However your mango only were very different. To my taste it was not as good as your other or his.

However the real difference was in the consistency. Yours had a typical caramel slight sticky waxiness. That is they stuck to the teeth. On the other hand his simply melted in the mouth. The consistency was in the same in your more cream and less cream versions.

I do not know how Genin achieves this exceptional consistency, but it is unlike any other caramel I have ever tasted.

I know you are working on taste, but in my opinion you are pretty close already in the batch that you were kind enough to send me. I enjoyed them very much. But the real difference is the melting consistency. A few suggestions as to what might make a difference, from an admittedly inexpert judge: First might you reduce the glucose and increase the butter and sugar. I suspect that glucose stickies up the candy and butter and sugar should make it softer and more easily melted.

The other thing to note, which might run contrary to my first suggestion is that your candies retained their shape at room temperature less well than Genin's. Lastly his candies are about 1/2 the size of yours.

Again thanks for the privilege of tasting your caramels. They are wonderful. If I have any criticism it is simply because yours are being compared to the best, probably in the world.

Good luck with the next batch.


Edited by VivreManger (log)

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I did do a side by side test comparison between Genin and your caramels.  Admittedly the Genin caramels were not fresh.  I had bought them in mid-March and kept them in the fridge, but they keep pretty well. 

I compared your mango and mango-passion fruit to his mango-passion fruit.  The taste was in the same ball-park.  I think you got as close to the taste of his mango-pf caramels as one could imagine.  However your mango only were very different.  To my taste it was not as good as your other or his. 

However the real difference was in the consistency.  Yours had a typical caramel slight sticky waxiness.  That is they stuck to the teeth.  On the other hand his simply melted in the mouth.  The consistency was in the same in your more cream and less cream versions. 

I do not know how Genin achieves this exceptional consistency, but it is unlike any other caramel I have ever tasted. 

I know you are working on taste, but in my opinion you are pretty close already in the batch that you were kind enough to send me.  I enjoyed them very much.  But the real difference is the melting consistency.  A few suggestions as to what might make a difference, from an admittedly inexpert judge:  First might you reduce the glucose and increase the butter and sugar.  I suspect that glucose stickies up the candy and butter and sugar should make it softer and more easily melted. 

The other thing to note, which might run contrary to my first suggestion is that your candies retained their shape at room temperature less well than Genin's.  Lastly his candies are about 1/2 the size of yours. 

Again thanks for the privilege of tasting your caramels.  They are wonderful.  If I have any criticism it is simply because yours are being compared to the best, probably in the world. 

Good luck with the next batch.

The recipe posted above was not the one in the caramels I sent to you. Those were my basic caramel recipe with a few tweeks. There certainly was a problem with sticking to the teeth. The recipe above uses much more butter and much less glucose relatively, so you are bang on in your suggestion.

John received the same caramels that you did and found the one that was 1/3 cream, 2/3 puree stuck so badly to the cello that he couldn't unwrap it. That variation had the closest flavour to John's recipe, however the texture wasn't right. It did have a more pronounced caramel flavour.

I really do need someone to go to France for me and pick up the originals though so I know what I'm comparing them to. Any one heading to France soon?

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       A classic of the French culinary canon is Quenelle de brochet. As Julia says in Mastering the Art I, "A quenelle, for those who are not familiar with this delicate triumph of French cooking, is pâte à choux with a purée of raw fish...formed into ovals or cylinders and poached in a seasoned liquid. Served hot in good sauce, quenelles make a distinguished first course. A good quenelle is light as a soufflé..."

      Quenelle de brochet, sauce américaine
      Yes it is. And indeed it was. Our main course, which we shared because we wanted to save room for cheeses, was Bourride, a Provencal fish stew that might be known in places like Nice as bouillabaisse. Here, the fabulous fish fumet is stocked with halibut, mussels, clams, and Santa Barbara spot prawns. Served alongside, toasted baguette slathered with aïoli. Suck the head of those prawns, dip the bread, and pretend you're somewhere other than Chinatown - it's easy enough, once inside, because this is a lovely space.
       
      Our 3-cheese selection (all American) was swoon-worthy to Significant Eater, and served alongside was an accompaniment of 3 different beverages, which I don't really know if everyone gets - or if Daniel was just being extra nice to us.
       
      Speaking of nice, the service staff is super. There was a horde of people working on both the floor and in the kitchen. The front of house people were professional, yet casual. There have a been a few notable restaurant openings this year, where service has been a bit "clumsy." Not here, where everyone is on the same page, and that enhances the experience greatly.
       
      What else can I write? Well, I am sad we didn't get to enjoy dessert - we just ate too damn much, but next time! And while we were unexpectedly treated like old friends, with 3 comped dishes from the kitchen and a couple of glasses of champagne when we sat down at our table, I looked around the restaurant any number of times, and everyone sure looked happy. The wine list is extensive - maybe that's part of the reason? There are tablecloths on the tables. There are comfortable chairs. Reservations are taken. All grown-up stuff. But most of all, once you taste this cooking, I think you're going to be happy as well.
       
      Le Coucou
       
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