Fauchon: Parisian Sweets & Desserts in Nasr City
It’s no secret that Cairenes love to indulge in a little sweet something, and cafes in Cairo have seen numerous specialist dessert joints pop up across the city to give them a run for their money. With over 100 years of dessert expertise, renowned Parisian brand, Fauchon, brings luxury sweets and gourmet pastries to the city. We visited their Nasr City branch inside the Sonesta Hotel for an authentically French sugar fix.
Located to the right of the lobby entrance, Fauchon boasts its uniform fuchsia and black decor throughout the small, but well-organised space. Large glass display cabinets show-off a range of delicious looking desserts, whilst shelves are crammed full of colourful merchandise. Although this branch provides a cafe-style seating area, no menus are available, meaning that hand-picking from the counters is the only way forward.
Fauchon are famous for their macaroons, but also offer a whole range of sweet and savoury treats. We spotted boxes of interesting mini cheese crepes (30LE), cheese crackers (107LE+), jars of mustard (115LE) and tins of the French delicacy, foie gras, starting at 275LE for just 65grams. A range of fruit jams were priced at 120LE whilst a vast range of flavoured and herbal teas lined a whole shelving section; an attractive, middle-sized box of green tea was priced at 255LE. Cake loaves start at around 30LE, personal sized pastries begun at 20LE and large cakes, perfect for special occasions, included ‘Reve Gauche’ chocolate mousse (170LE) and ‘Charlotte Framboise’ (165LE). Their signature macarons are priced by weight (210LE/kg), as are sugar-coated chocolate nibbles (250LE-390LE/kg).
Many of the Fauchon products are attractively packaged and ready to be given as gifts; chocolate and jelly assortments come in pretty heart-shaped tins (150LE) or in the shape of a teddy (160LE), while decorative china vases start at 700LE, and ready-made gift baskets packed with Fauchon’s most popular items cost upwards of 1000LE.
Rarely found in the capital, we opted for two small marzipan pieces (6LE each), one chocolate éclair (20LE), two chocolate covered biscuits (3.60LE) and a 250gram selection of macarons (52.50LE). Considering the marzipan pieces were shaped and coloured to look like different pieces of fruit, we were surprised to find no difference in flavour. Unfortunately, the outer layer was a little harder than we’d envisaged, whilst the sugary inside was particularly potent and lacked a real almond flavour. The biscuits were soft, fresh and incredibly chocolaty, while the éclair was slightly too rich for our tastes, with a bitter dark chocolate layer of icing on top and a milk chocolate cream filling inside a sausage of soft pastry, which seemed slightly over-baked – or stale – on the outside.
With 250grams of macarons, we filled a small box with 15 pieces; five banana, five raspberry and five chocolate. Each one was divine and tasted better than we had imagined, with crunchy outer shells and a gooey centre bursting with flavour. We were also offered a taste of the flavours we didn’t pick; coffee and double chocolate, both of which were also exquisite. There’s no debating that Fauchon stays true to its reputation for the best macarons in town. The brightly coloured boxes range from small to extra-large, making the small pieces of heaven a tempting option for those mandatory dinner-party gifts.
Although much of the imported produce is fairly pricey, Fauchon’s locally made sweets and pastries are reasonably priced when compared to its competitors, and make for delicious, up-market snacks or gifts.