Living in this dessert paradise for more than four years, I have tried more than 120 dessert shops / bakeries / tea houses, but more locations are yet for me to discover. In Paris, one can easily find some special desserts from different countries. This time I will introduce you to a shop specializing in desserts from Morocco in North Africa. These Moroccan crescent-like “cakes” are called Gazelle Ankles / Gazelle Horns.
This tea house was recommended to me by a friend who loves desserts. When he was working in Paris, he passed by this store by chance and was attracted by the beautiful and artistic design. He then invited me and another friend to try it for brunch.
Since that time, I have been missing their Gazelle Horns and almond milk. Last month, I invited some other “dessert enthusiasts” to try it out. Though small in size, it is simple and beautifully decorated. The tableware used in the shop is handmade by a ceramic artist. The style is neat and upscale. Adorable desserts and exquisite decorations make it an ideal place for taking pictures and sharing them on social media.
We had to try their specialities – Gazelle Horns and authentic mint tea. Most of us ordered the set menu of “Initiez-moi (Make me Discover)”, which includes four Gazelle Horns and a cup of tea. Being gluttonous, I ordered a larger one “Bouleversez-moi (Overwhelm me)”. In addition to the Gazelle Horns and tea, a special dessert was also included in this set menu. The shop offered 8 different Gazelle Horn flavors (six on the menu and two new ones), and this really did ”overwhelm me”, because I wanted to try them all. After a lot of distress, I finally chose the second and sixth to eighth Gazelle Horns in the list below, as well as almond milk French toast and a cup of almond milk (homemade with cacao bean from Plaq) hot chocolate. And my friends all chose the famous Moroccan mint tea with roses.
- Almond Paste and Orange Blossom Water
- Almond Paste and Rose Water
- Lemon Almond Paste and Cardamom
- Toasted Almond Paste and Sesame
- Cocoa Almond Paste and Bergamot
- Piedmont (a region of northwestern Italy) Hazelnuts
- Saffron Almond Paste and Fleur de Sel (“flower of salt” in French)
- Bronte (a town in the province of Catania, Italy) Pistachio and Fleur de Sel
When my almond milk French toast came, I had to resist the urge and “let my camera eat” first. This French toast is made from French brioche fried with almond milk and orange blossom, plus a slice of hard (honey) syrup and a scoop of almond milk ice cream. The toast is crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. It smells of almonds when chewed, and it is not sweet and not greasy at all. The ice cream has a light almond flavor. When it is eaten with the crispy syrup and toast, the warmth, softness, hardness, and crunchiness meet in your mouth at the same time, which is very exciting and interesting. I took another sip of hot chocolate, my taste buds felt the highest enjoyment, tasting the sweetness of chocolate thanks to the (orange blossom) honey, a little bit sour in sweetness.
Before I finished eating the toast, I was attracted by the Gazelle Horns. I couldn’t help putting them in the mouth. Of the four flavors, I preferred the Piedmont Hazelnuts and Pistachio Gazelle Horns. The hazelnuts and pistachios are also more prominent and delicate, as they come from famous Italian areas. Bronte’s pistachios are characterized by a strong bright green color, with a very obvious aroma and flavor, and the Pistachio Gazelle Horn is the softest of the four. The Saffron and Rose water Gazelle Horn are also very good, but unfortunately the taste is slightly overwhelmed by the almonds.
The first time I went to Maison Gazelle for lunch, I tried their two special desserts. The first: Baghrir Pancakes. This famous Moroccan snack / breakfast is famous for its thousands of holes, and its softness, like a sponge, which absorbs all sauces. And it looks beautiful – pancakes and plates are sprinkled with dried fruit and nuts. This thousand-hole pancake is topped with the famous Amlou sauce. Amlou sauce is a mix of roasted almonds, honey and argan nuts, full of nutty aromas and sweetness of honey. It is mouth-watering for almond lovers. The second: Atlas Bowl, a healthy dessert, contains Fromage Blanc, homemade orange blossom oatmeal, Amlou sauce and seasonal fresh fruits. The Amlou sauce makes the whole dessert much more delicious.
Maison Gazelle is a dessert shop full of colors and flavors, with a simple and luxurious design, plus authentic Gazelle Horns, pancakes, almond milk, mint tea, and Amlou sauce. If you are in Paris, here is a decent place for an afternoon tea that you must not miss.
Environment / Atmosphere: 4.5
The tea house is located on a side street in the 11th District. It is not big. The decoration is simple and noble, with matching gold and white, yet it is not over the top. Unless there are many guests, it is very quiet and comfortable. Eating pastries and drinking tea here, leisurely, makes us forget about any trouble that we might have. If we could see a lake and mountain view outside the window, it would be perfect.
Dessert appearance / design: 4
The Gazelle Horns that I saw from the photos on the Internet are not as beautifully decorated as the real life ones in Maison Gazelle. The beauty of Gazelle Horns increases our appetite. The design and decoration of other desserts are also very pretty and go well with the tableware.
Gazelle Horns have a traditional and distinctive taste. The sweetness of the dessert is moderate, and the taste is subtle and delicate. It is supposed that it is made of fresh and quality ingredients without adding flavor enhancers.
Waitress(es) provide(s) fast service, and they are proactive and friendly towards customers.
Price-performance ratio: 4.5
The price of speciality desserts is quite expensive (if ordering not in a set menu). Two of them are cheaper than when I first went there. If I order a set menu, the price is reasonable. Gazelle Horns are 2.5 euros each, which is a reasonable price in Paris. The beautiful environment of the shop is accompanied by delicious desserts, and the price / performance ratio is quite high.
Address: 2 Rue Jean-Macé, 75011 Paris
Phone: +33 7 68 09 05 86
Metro: Charonne and Rue des Boulets (line 9), Faidherbe-Chaligny (line 8)
Price: Gazelle Horn 2.5€ each, specialty desserts 8-10€, tea 6€
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm