Maison Blanc is the French Boulangerie and Pâtisserie originally created by two-star Michelin chef Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons fame. It first opened in 1981 in Oxford, and today brings a little slice of France to 14 locations in the South of England. Maison Blanc serves a selection of freshly baked artisan breads, pastries, savouries, cakes and pâtisserie which are all hand finished.
I was lucky enough to sample some of the Maison Blanc celebrations cakes for my birthday recently with my office colleagues. First up was the delectable Fraisier, a light mousseline cream made with crème pâtissière and cream which was soft whipped to achieve a smooth, almost mousse-like consistency. Layered on a vanilla sponge base and topped with fresh strawberries and a white chocolate glaze, it was heavenly and lusciously light.
A tentation was a showcase in decadence. Raspberry soaked almond and chocolate sponge had been layered with chocolate and raspberry scented ganache to produce a beautifully rich and luscious cake with hints of raspberry. Finished with a shiny chocolate glaze, the cake was a feast for the eyes.
Also delicious was the chocolate surprise box, a lovely pistachio and almond sponge alternately layered with a rich and creamy chocolate and raspberry ganache. Topped with a whole mixed berry jelly, the surprise element came when you lifted the 72% premium dark chocolate box to reveal the cake. The box had been sprayed with gold powder to give it a glamorous finish.
These cakes were divine and a great birthday treat. Maison Blanc also offers a seasonal café menu that includes a selection of lunch options from filled baguettes and sandwiches, to salads, soup and savouries. There’s also a breakfast menu, with choices ranging from Scottish smoked salmon platters to a classic Le Parisien.
Cekebration cake rating: 4/5
Price range: Cakes range from £17 – £35. Cakes serve 10.