As regular readers you’ll know by now that the weekend not only means long lie-ins and getting lost in the city but also my weekend sweet treat! One of my closest friends, actually someone who I consider to be my family, has been stating for the past 4 years that she is coming to Paris but one question that is at the forefront of our minds is how can she possible enjoy any of those luscious patisserie creations given that she is coeliac. That was an issue but then Helmut Newcake opened and it no longer is. This is a patisserie and brunch place that opened just behind Canal St Martin and is 100% gluten free and not only serves food but has recreated all those French patisserie standards: tarte au citron, religieuse, eclair etc!
As you enter Helmut’s you are immediately greeted by the dazzling array of cakes on offer, being coeliac doesn’t mean a lack of choice or certainly not at Helmut’s. There are a few bars for solo dining and in the back a bright, airy conservatory with an abundance of natural light to sit and brunch with friends.
On the rare occasions when I eat with friends, they will tell you, I am indecisive and often suffer from order envy as I term it – where my friend orders the thing I was hesitating over and choose something else instead which I later regretted. Here, I stood in front of all of these cakes and the indecision started to jig about in my mind. My favourite cake is lemon tart, actually anything with lemon in it is a perennial favourite, closely followed by tarte tatin that caramelized apple with soft pastry but then again the Paris Brest concoction of puff pastry filled with hazelnut whipped cream and topped off with toasted almonds is delicious. If they did the mini cakes I may have chosen all three but they didn’t and I had to choose as I feel the body heat of the queue of people behind me. I chose the salted caramel religieuse – so called – as it reputedly looks like a religious monk!
After sitting down with a nice cup of tea on my sofa, I settled into the task of eating the salted caramel religieuse and what a religious affair it was the airy choux pastry, unctuous filling and sweet icing. Every mouthful was savoured and I certainly would never have guessed was gluten free. There was no odd after taste – this is the A-list of gluten free patisseries and it is right here in Paris! All that awaits is for my friend to fly on over to Paris for me to go back to Helmut’s although I may not be able to wait another 4 weeks let alone 4 years!
Where? 36 rue bichat 75010 Paris
How? Metro Republique (line 4)
Open when? 7 days a week: Monday to Saturday 12h – 19h30 and Sunday 10h – 18h
Pricey? Pretty standard costs of around €4 upwards for a cake