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Gateaux de Mariage

Look into the window of any Parisian patisserie and you'll see romance, all done up in butter, eggs, sugar, and flour. The French tradition of pastry is as august and ardent as the tradition of amour. It is little wonder, then, that these creations make such stunning gateaux de mariage, or wedding cakes. The gateaux on these pages would certainly be at home in a patisserie, as that is essentially where they come from.

In 1886, a produce purveyor named Auguste Fauchon opened a food shop on the Place de la Madeleine, in Paris. A little more than a century later, the venerable house of Fauchon came to New York City; its pastry chef, Florian Bellanger, created these gateaux for us in a mix of Old World authenticity and New World ingenuity. He used sweets that date as far back as the Middle Ages (fruits confits) and the Renaissance (macaroons), combining them with equal parts whimsy and elegance. Above all, he employed the very French ideal that gateaux should taste as wonderful as they look. That ideal can be attributed at least in part to Antonin Careme, one of the fathers of French grande cuisine. Careme's penchant for beauty, decoration, and fancy answered the early-nineteenth-century aristocracy's call for formality and ritual in all aspects of life, including food. His employers were the most powerful members of European society, and his works were gastronomical and architectural wonders. In Bellanger's gateaux we find Careme's legacy. These cakes, though, for all their pedigree and history, are fresh and fantastic. With confections like these, you can satisfy your own desire for luxury, for ceremony, and, especially, for passion on your wedding day.

The Charlotte
The Megeve
Boites Roses
Pyramides de Sorbet
Fruits Confits
Portions of the Cakes

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