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The noble simplicity of luxury | Nour – Art of desserts

Many people can bake dessertshowever, only a very few don’t settle for good but aim for absolute perfection instead. Nour – Art of desserts is a dream fulfilled with meticulous care and compromise-free perfectionism about how a piece of dessert becomes a true work of art.

I have always been fascinated by pastry-making, and as a fan of the genre, I soon had to realize that what’s available on the market is not even remotely close to the knowledge and talent of Hungarian confectioners as well as the richness of ingredients. The reasons for this are manifold: cooking habits that were created by the shortage economy and remained here due to the world wars as well as practical recipes based on the principles of socialism. According to these, desserts should be cheap, have a long shelf-life and should look good in the counter for days. They should be frothy, creamy and more extraordinary than a pie baked at home. It’s no wonder that it felt refreshing when roughly ten years ago the food revolution reached the confectionary industry too. Truly great and high-quality places appeared, where confectioners worked with expertise, using premium quality ingredients. Of course it came with a price—literally—there was no way the prices could be kept at 300-400 Forints (approx. 1 Euro). However, anyone who tasted a pastry of this kind understood the difference instantly. Then development was followed by stagnation: even though the street food, bakery and bistro culture flourished, nothing really stirred up the muddy waters in the field of desserts.

This is when Nour popped up practically out of nowhere in Budaörs. The shop was completed with hard work and great efforts in one and a half years—Alexandra Kecskés, the owner of the place didn’t leave anything to chance: she knew exactly what her vision was and how she wanted to implement it. As a little girl, she was always blown away by special pastry shops, and later she traveled Europe where she encountered a great variety of flavors, shapes and other impulses. She started dreaming of a salon where instead of baking pastries they rather created desserts, and her wish finally materialized a month ago in Felsőhatár Road. The location might seem surprising at first, yet on a second note it is an important infrastructural node, as it is located just on the border of Budapest. A further advantage of the location is easy parking, but one can also access it via public transport from Budapest’s Déli Railway Terminal.

The most important principle of the owner was to never go below perfect quality, this is why she invited the best experts to collaborate. The logo was designed by Eszter Laki widely known among food brands, while the brand identity is a work of Brandmakers. The interior was implemented by Goodroom Harmony, style consultant Ádám Bihari was also part of the team as art director, while the staff uniform was designed by the Hungarian brand Plié. The interior is just like desserts: clean, noble, aspiring for harmony in every element and creating luxury without showing off. Speaking of desserts—in addition to Alexandra, Nour’s most important creator was Michelin star chef Eszter Palágyi, who contributed to the creation of the collection consisting of ten pieces with her vast expertise and preciseness. As the goal was to impress customers with quality and not with overly extraordinary flavors, the counter offers reinvented popular classics that are easy to be understood for all.

Each of the pieces comes with a little twist, game or wink. Some pieces allow us to enjoy the free interplay of textures, such as in the case of the pistachio Hédoniste, where pistachio appears in four versions, or the classic Nour Brest, where the crunchiness of the choux dough meets runny peanut praline and soft mousse. In other pieces we are surprised by flavor combinations, such as in the case of the La Roquette dessert cup, ruled by the trio of curd, peach and rocket. The most exciting of all is perhaps the thematic signature dessert, the Nour Monodessert, which is a complete reflection of Alexandra. 

The tremendous layers, including melting salted caramel and silky chocolate mousse, are complemented by a tiny surprise, a touch of popping candy, finishing off the tasting as fireworks in a manner putting a smile on the taster’s face. This is, by the way, also available to order as a full cake, which comes in a custom-design hat box and a scent designed by Paris-based Hungarian parfumier Viktória Minya for the dessert. Complex, exciting, liberating—I even had a chance to smell the perfume, which brings out the depth of chocolate and peanut fantastically. The French impact can be felt in everything: Nour itself is also a French name with Arabic roots, meaning a serious yet modern character.

The signature dessert will vary each month, giving shape to the memories and experiences of the owner. In addition, they will also offer ice cream and salty bakery products (including pogácsa filled with truffle mascarpone cream), making the time spent complete for everyone. In the long term, they plan to open a shop in downtown Budapest and even abroad, but until then, make sure you visit their Budaörs location for an experience that will put the universe of desserts in a whole new dimension.

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