In France, the éclair is revered, and you will find a unique version of it in every patisserie. Filled with creative cream fillings and covered with exquisite icings and toppings, eclairs have become one of the most popular choux options in the world. Eclairs have come a long way in the world of fine pastry – from humble origins in Europe to a multitude of variations, all of equal deliciousness. So when we heard that Cairo has its own specialised éclair bar in Sheikh Zayed’s Arkan Plaza, we couldn’t wait to try it out.
ChouChou opened its doors this month with a variety of aesthetically pleasing eclairs. The anticipation of trying the lovely marvels was real, and once we heard they were open, we went on the second day of their soft opening. Their cosy yet charming store is just next door to L’audree at Arkan Plaza extension. Their selection consisted of 12 different flavours of eclairs, praline cream jars, and original choux balls made by their Head-Pastry Chef, Joakim Chambon. Since there were a dozen flavours to choose from, we opted to try only six this time.
After much deliberation, we decided on the Blueberry Cheesecake (90 LE), ChouChou signature éclair (100 LE), Dark Chocolate (90 LE), Exotic (85 LE), Vanilla & Pecan Nuts (105 LE), and the Red Fruit Tart (85 LE). The choux dough itself was perfectly fluffy and light, but if we had to choose a favourite, it would be the Vanilla & Pecan Nuts.
They used real vanilla pods for the filling, which made a huge difference to the flavour – and the crunchy texture of the pecans complemented the overall bite perfectly. If you are a fan of chocolate, then the ChouChou signature or the Dark Chocolate would be perfect for accompanying coffee or tea. However, the Exotic éclair comes in second place for us, as the passion fruit filling was balanced and bright. The Blueberry Cheesecake and Red Fruit Tart eclairs are more suitable for people who like subtle fruity tones, not strikingly bold flavours.
We enjoyed our visit to Chouchou, and we are looking forward to trying the rest of their selection that’s filled with creative flavours like rose and basil. The calm interior tones of the store and minimal design approach are very soothing but sophisticated at the same time. Yes, their prices might be high, but it’s a great option when you’re looking to splurge on quality.