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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Salé Sucré: Maadi Sweets and Treats
Sweet shop Salé Sucré has many venues in Cairo, including Mohandiseen and Roxy. Maadi’s side street branch is aesthetically pleasing while offering a range of delectable cookies, cakes and oriental sweets. With large glass windows displaying sleek cases of tantalising sweets, you can’t go wrong.
While Cairo suffers no shortage of good bakeries full of tempting cakes and yummy biscuits, Salé Sucré has something of a neighbourhood cult following. Upon entering, the smell of freshly baked sweets rushes to meet you as you browse through the wonderland of baked goods. There is a wide variety of cakes in the left-hand side display case, from rich black forest cakes with decorative cherries and chocolate shavings to creamy cheese cakes with brightly coloured berry glazes, in addition to fruit and chocolate concoctions. Prices range between 50LE and upwards of 200LE for a special occasion cake.
The central display case carries every cookie, petit-four and tartlet that you could dream of in a variety of bright colours. You can buy chocolate and walnut petit-fours, date cake or berry tartlets by the kilo, which should cost around 60LE to 100LE. You can either hand-pick the selection yourself or choose a ready-made selection of flaky biscuits, chocolaty petit-fours or fruit and custard tartlets.
While the shop is dominated by miniature sweets, large cakes and sweet breads, a section of the counter is also stocked with savoury pastries, cheese and mini-deli sandwiches. These are also sold by the kilo, with an average of 60LE per kilo.
With Ramadan upon us, patrons can find all their favourite Ramadan desserts here, starting from a 1/4 kilo box. The oriental sweets are artfully arranged on tall silver platters, including the basbousa, which is the perfect blend of sweetness, konafa of every kind, and sticky pastries with both nuts and cream.
The prices are quite reasonable: a kilo of petit-fours and mini-cakes starting at about 80LE, and 1/4 kilo oriental sweets starting at 35LE. For the divine taste and sugar rush that Sale Sucré induces; this is not a bad deal. The service is great; the staff are spot on with orders and eager to help you choose from the baked delicacies on display.
Cupcakes took Cairo by storm almost five years ago, but with dozens of cupcake specialists and pastry shops trying to bleed everything they can out of the simple baked good – think konafa cupcakes, et al – it’s about time for Cairo to latch into a new dessert. Having recently opened in Downtown Katameya Mall in New Cairo, we headed over to L’Éclair Paris, fully open to the possibility of becoming addicts infamous Parisian delicacies.
Browsing through the display, of the outdoor-located shop, we were mesmerised by the diversity of flavours ranging, from fruity ones including blueberry, mango, passion fruit and apple crumble, to the more dense chocolate and cream flavours, including Nutella, Kitkat, white chocolate and caramel, vanilla, red velvet and mocha.
L’éclair Paris also offers savoury fillings including turkey and cheese, smoked salmon, mixed Cheese, and roast beef and cheese; perfect for breakfast or brunch and they are also available in miniature bites.
After initially having a hard time settling on which éclairs to try, we opted for a mishmash of different flavours; a marshmallow vanilla éclair, white chocolate and caramel, mocha, crispy Oreo and chocolate-strawberry (22 LE each).
From the savoury choices, we ordered the smoked salmon éclair (35LE) stuffed with Philadelphia cream cheese, fresh smoked salmon and capers. Despite being sceptical at first about the savoury éclairs, we were quite surprised by how the ingredients were balanced with the flavour of the dough which was really light and tasty without being too sweet.
Generously stuffed with cream flavours, our sweet éclairs were all made of perfectly light, authentic choux dough and tasted absolutely delicious. The marshmallow vanilla one was topped with mini marshmallows and was stuffed with vanilla cream, though one of the highlights was the white chocolate éclair, thanks to its delicious white chocolate croquant pieces, caramel drizzle on top and cream caramel filling.
The mocha éclair, was, on the other hand, every coffee-lover’s dream come true; it’s infused with coffee cream with a tiny coffee cup made of chocolate on top, while the crispy Oreo was somewhat heavy, being stuffed with Oreo cream and crushed Oreos, with the dough discernibly crunchier than all the others. Perhaps the chocolate strawberry éclair was our favourite; strawberry cream filling and its heavenly chocolate coating – we needn’t say more.
Overall, we had very little to complain about with what L’Éclair had to offer and we left with light surprisingly tummies, thanks to its incredibly light and well-made choux dough. L’Éclair’s location can be easily missed by man - it's essentially a large stall - but it’s worth seeking out.