In recent years, single-product gastronomy has become rather trendy. But what is it exactly? Allow us to elaborate!
It‘s definitely not a new concept: just think of Bordeaux patisserie Baillardran’s cannelé since 1988 or the iconic waffle from Méert, the famous establishment in Lille that was founded in 1849. More generally, there have been pizzerias, sandwich shops, chip shops and ice cream shops. However, the single-product concept has been popular for the last ten years or so, with the expansion of shops in large cities. Whether in cooking or pastry-making, it all comes down to a chef specialising in a single product by offering it in multiple flavours and textures. Strawberry doughnut, mango cheesecake éclair, salted macarons, charcoal ice cream...an abundance of choice and an endless imagination are necessary. The challenge is to constantly renew your range, centred around a flagship product, by always offering new creations.
Brussels is home to many shops specialising in single-product pastries. Here is our selection.
In this shop, you’ll discover the Brussels waffle as you have never tasted it before! Michelin-starred chef Yves Mattagne (Villa Lorraine restaurant) revisits the capital’s culinary speciality by offering both sweet waffles (of course) but also savoury ones. From beef tartare to chicken, from foie gras to shrimp, the waffle is now a dish in its own right. You can even opt for a vegan waffle. Prefer the sweet version? If so, you can obviously choose the traditional waffle, but why not try one with pineapple, apple, blueberry or banana filling? Yves Mattagne created all the recipes. The waffle dough is based on the traditional recipe and is made in-house every day. To enjoy one of chef Mattagne’s waffles, head to the Bois de la Cambre.
This new establishment is based on the original concept of combining art and gastronomy. It’s simple: tuck into a delicious cookie a delicious cooking while you marvel at works of art. The biscuits are home-made with local products and are prepared on the spot, which will surely whet your appetite. The pastry chef is dedicated to working as locally, ethically and sustainably as possible. As for the flavours, go for the classic cookie but make sure you also try the other varieties with marzipan, dark Belgian chocolate, etc. So, off to Ixelles for a gourmet and cultural break in this art gallery-cum-cookie shop!
As you can tell, this bakery is all about doughnuts, a true American specialty. As Belgium’s first doughnut shop, their goal is to offer high-quality versions of the delicacy: fresh & home-made with local, organic and seasonal products, all according to a traditional method. The idea is to innovate by revisiting the traditional doughnut recipe and giving it a Belgian twist. The doughnut dough can also become a brioche dough. In terms of varieties and flavours, how about violet, cuberdon and lavender; rose; pistachio and white chocolate; marshmallow; oreo; petit beurre; or speculoos? Head to their Saint-Gilles or Sablon shops.
(c) Chloé Sengier
In chouconut, you get choux pastry, doughnuts and cookies. These are the three delicacies that the two Breton pastry chefs, Baptiste Mandon and Giovanni Malecot, offer you in their tea room. They revisit choux pastry, which dominates the counter when you enter their shop. From mango and passion fruit, to strawberry and bergamot, to raspberry and basil, you're spoilt for choice. The tastes and colours of this delicious treat vary according to the season and the two craftsmen try to reduce the sugar content of their pastries as much as possible. They are also freshly made, by hand, every morning. To enjoy these choux pastries, make your way to Saint-Gilles or Uccle.
Lilicup, stands for Leila and cupcake. Leila Strebelle is the pastry chef of this shop and tea room and her speciality is the cupcake, although she also offers other Anglo-Saxon pastries such as cookies and scones. Born in the pastry chef’s home kitchen, this place was the first Belgian store to specialise in cupcakes. Treat yourself to one (or more!) of the many versions of cupcakes made by hand, on the same day. Over time, discover new varieties and new flavours. Cupcakes with a peanut butter centre, vanilla, violet icing, decorated with toasted and caramelised pecans, etc. There’s something for everyone here. Some recipes are even gluten-free and butter-free. And if you’re only a little bit peckish, they also serve mini cupcakes. So, do yourself a favour and visit their stores in Uccle or Ixelles!
This pastry shop, now a store and tasting room, has been serving Portuguese sweets since 1982. Joaquim Braz de Oliveira and his son offer you, among other delicacies, pasteis de nata, a creamy pastry filled with a Lisbon-style custard. This place is a genuine institution where you can taste the traditional pastel but also the two chefs’ own creations, which vary according to their desires and the seasons: pasteis with speculoos, chocolate, coffee, pine nuts, coloquinte and even port! Their range is extensive and you can even opt for gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives! You're sure to find something you’ll love! In addition, all their pastries are home-made and handmade. Visit Forcado at their two addresses in Saint-Gilles and Uccle.
(c) Vincent Plumier