In the pastry hall of fame, an éclair (formerly a duchess’ bread in the 19th century, or a ‘small duchess’ because it can be eaten in dainty mouthfuls) is a patisserie originally from Lyon, France.

The éclair is filled with chocolate or coffee cream, or sometimes pistachio or vanilla. The top is glazed with icing to match the filling. When glazed with caramel, it is called Jacob’s [magic] wand. The most common éclair is composed of puff pastry exterior that envelops a crème pâtissière.

Its average size is about that of a small hot dog bun (just right for an afternoon tea break), although there a mini pastry version (petits fours) of the éclair called “Caroline” according to the late premier pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre.

But the French are never known to leave well enough alone. Fauchon, a vendor of the finest of fine groceries and delicacies in Paris, has come up with the “Eclair Mona Lisa”, filled with almond cream. A jaw-dropping and mouth-watering combination of art and gastronomy that’s just… too good to eat.

Bon appétit!

Eclair Mona Lisa
Fauchon, 26 place de la Madeleine 75008 Paris