For those who wish to spend the day doing as the French do, try indulging in butter, cream and oh-so-sweet chocolate. One of French experiences to be had in Seorae Village is a taste of some of France’s most known-for culture ― desserts.
The L’Ecole Douce is a baking school located in the village where students have the opportunity to learn the art of French baking by owner and noted patissier Jeong Hong-yeon.
Jeong has always held a deep passion for French pastry making and has competed twice as an invited Korean representative at France’s Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, an international artisanal baking competition held in Paris every few years. His love for French desserts is what prompted him to open his own bakery in Seorae Village to offer locals a taste of the French country.
According to Jeong, one of the important aspects of Seorae that people should understand is that it is not the number of French restaurants or cafes in the area, but rather the different atmosphere of the neighborhood that is the most important factor.
|Students of the L’Ecole Douce baking school in Seorae Village learn to make French pastries. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)|
“The area was never really that French to begin with,” said Jeong, who has been in Seorae Village for the past six years. “But the thing about Seorae Village is that it’s more of an unseen French village. It is more the feeling and ambience of the neighborhood than it is visually French.”
The L’Ecole Douce is not only a baking school, but it is also a kitchen that sells its many sweet and heavenly creations to the dessert-loving public. The desserts that are created at the L’Ecole Douce baking school are sold in tandem at the school’s Hotel Douce dessert shop and caf branches, with four locations across Seoul: Seorae Village, Insa-dong, Garosu-gil and Seoul Finance Center in Jung-gu.
“Here we create all sorts of French ice creams and other classic French desserts, with most of our ingredients being imported straight from France ― even the butter,” he said.
Hotel Douce sells a wide variety of homemade French pastries, clairs, cakes, chocolates and, of course, countless chewy macaroons in a rainbow of colors, where each bite is worth indulging in such a guilty pleasure.
“What makes French desserts different from all the rest is that the baking process is very complex and requires a lot of attention,” said Jeong. “But I think the biggest differences are the unique flavors, the multiple textures and the sweet smells.”
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com