Finding the Tastiest Pastries

Columns Foodie Fare

February 24, 2013

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

The glass display case at Patisserie La Palme D’or is truly tantalizing. Filled with colorful, delicate desserts, the display is likely to present a dilemma for customers. With so many options, it can seem nearly impossible to chose just one or two.

Located in Ala Moana Center, La Palme D’or is a pastry shop that combines Japanese and French influences to create tasty, light desserts. While it might be hard to choose from its appealing collection, here are a few options.

For starters, Mont Blanc ($5) is not to be missed. With rich chestnut cream, a hint of rum, fresh whipped cream and almond cake, Mont Blanc is a smooth treat. It’s so good, in fact, that it is fit for royalty. Executive chef Akiko Kimura created this one when the emperor of Japan visited the Islands in 2009.

Kona Chocolate ($4.60) is a decadent chocolate lover’s dream that Kimura created a few years ago on Valentine’s Day. After being discontinued for a while, the dessert has recently made a reprise. It features chocolate almond sponge, chocolate hazelnut crunch, Kona coffee ganache and milk chocolate cream.

Kimura is constantly creating new items at an impressive pace, and as a result La Palme D’or is frequently adding desserts to its menu to coincide with seasons and holidays.

One new item is Baked Chocolate Cheesecake ($4.95), which features light cheesecake topped with milk chocolate cream and cookie crust. Kimura says that La Palme D’or’s cheesecakes are among its most popular items. Created in Japanese pastry fashion, the cheesecakes are lighter and fluffier than those you might be used to.

Another new dessert is Sweet Bliss ($4.95) — and it truly is a blissful creation. It is comprised of berry mousse and coconut white chocolate mousse on top of a coconut pineapple sponge cake.

For Girls Day, La Palme D’or has created a special Girls Day Cake ($38), which will be available until March 3. A colorful three-layer cake, it is a combination of pistachio, vanilla and strawberry. In between layers, the cake is filled with cream and strawberries. Place your order for The Girls Day Cake as soon as possible.

Next up for La Palme D’or will be something seasonal for spring and summer.

“Maybe during summer, I will do something with local mangoes,” Kimura teases.

On the Side

La Palme D’or has been sharing Japanese-French pastries with the Islands since opening its doors in 2006 at Ala Moana Center. When the shop first opened, many customers weren’t used to this type of pastry — executive chef Akiko Kimura says that Japanese-style desserts often are lighter and not as sweet — but it quickly gained a following.

“The taste is Japanese,” Kimura explains. “Japanese style is more delicate and fine.”

Kimura has been crafting tasty pastries at La Palme D’or since 2009, shortly after arriving in the Islands from Japan. Before that, Kimura had been training and working in Japan for 13 years.

“I am always making something new,” she says.

In keeping with its Japanese-inspired cuisine, La Palme D’or imports certain products from Japan, including green tea powder, Jell-O powder, flour, as well as a special wrapping that helps to keep the desserts moist.

In addition, many of its ingredients are all natural: La Palme D’or does not use any corn syrup, genetically modified flour or eggs, or artificial sweeteners, additives or preservatives.

La Palme D’or also utilizes local ingredients. Some of its desserts feature local fruit. Coffee-flavored desserts often make use of Kona coffee. Rum-filled desserts utilize run from Maui.

Patisserie La Palme D’Or

Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, HI 96814

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