Even the fittest, leanest and most strong-willed paragons of virtuous eating, like myself, allow ourselves little indulgences, and when we do we really like them to be completely satisfying. That’s why my visit to Eclair at the Bay, now in Byron St between Aldi and Bang Bang Thai, was so good – head pastry chef Pavel and his partner Mary have brought to Byron European pastry of a very high quality.
Pavel worked for several years in Michelin-starred restaurants in London, where he learned that not only flashes of creativity (éclair means lightning in French), but also rigour and consistency are needed to bake desserts made from choux pastry. I bought quite a selection, which my family and guests enjoyed. Their range includes Eclairs, Profiteroles, Chouquettes, Craquelins, Paris-Brest, and they also have beautiful Chocolate Raspberry Mousse cakes, a selection of tarts such as Lemon Meringue, White Chocolate Ganache and Strawberry, Salted Caramel Toffee and nuts. If you like craquelin, a choux baked with a little biscuit on the top that will bring some crunch and texture, they have Passionfruit Italian Meringue Craquelin and also Strawberry Basil Craquelin!
My teenage daughter seemed completely satisfied with the lemon eclair, and she can be a tough critic.
Whilst the ‘éclair’ is sometimes thought to refer to the fact that they can be eaten in a ‘flash’, others believe that the glistening frosting resembles lightning. I must say that the glaze – the elegant final touch, creates an immediate attraction to these little masterpieces, which have delicate and artistic touches like little purple flowers, or roast hazelnuts, or a light dusting of gold dust on the vanilla eclairs.
They’re simply beautiful, but there was one particular slice of cake that had such a perfect, glistening exterior that it required my mustering all my (to be really honest, rarely utilised) willpower to resist adding it to my existing selection. But that would have required another whole box … and now I have an excuse for a second visit.
Pavel and Mary started their éclair business in 2020, and would be familiar to many from the local markets. They are very grateful for all the reviews and comments they have received from their community since they opened their pastry shop in Byron just one month ago now, and would like to invite everyone to come in, indulge in their sweet treats without guilt, and learn about what they call the ‘Art of pastry’. Turning up at the shop is the best way to commence what can be the elegant, luxuriant and delicious experience of enjoying these creations, but you can also pre-order cakes, tarts and many of the other items for birthdays, weddings and all special occasions, and pick them up at the shop.
Order: eclairatthebay.com or [email protected]
Shop 3a, 1 Byron Street, Byron Bay