What I Miss Most About Paris: the Cafe Gourmande

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It’s no surprise that I generally always miss Paris. I think everyone who appreciates Paris misses Paris, right? Do you?

I miss the scent of the grey streets in the early morning after a night of hard rain. I crave the afternoon aromas of freshly baked bread and the imagery of sharply-dressed business men lopping off the knob at the end of a loaf on the their fast pace to the train.

I think about the oysters all the time. They’re not from Paris, of course, but the varieties trucked in from the seaside of Brittany and beyond are tiny, plump, sweet, and so different from the humongous varieties I know so well in New England.

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I miss the sparkle of Le Tour Eiffel. I didn’t necessarily enjoy visiting the tourist landmark laden with all the typical tourist paraphernalia, but staring at the sparkle from afar felt like a little bit of heaven, built just for me. I think it’s designed to make you feel that way.

But … I miss this sweet dish the most.

Many cafe menus across the city feature a pleasing final course that makes an otherwise gorgeous French meal even more lovely. Instead of a single hefty dessert, the Cafe Gourmande is assembled by filling a plate with a neat espresso and three tiny desserts. Each sweet is just a bite or two, enough to satiate a sweet tooth without making it impossible for you to take that long walk home or, even more likely, climb multiple flights of stairs to your snug flat. I did that a lot.

This treat is entirely interpreted by the bistro that serves it. I invited Heidi over to have a taste of the simplest sort Chez Maggie. This is a whiz of a dessert for a dinner party as it comes together so easily, especially if you buy the best maker sweets from the local market.

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Cafe Gourmande

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 madeleine (or your favorite tiny cake)
  • 1 macaron (or your favorite cookie)
  • 1 mini-puff pastry shell, baked
  • 1 tablespoon passion fruit curd
  • 1 strand lemon zest, without pith
  • 1 shot espresso

Directions:

  1. On a dessert plate, arrange the madeleine and the macaron.
  2. Spoon the curd into the pastry shell and garnish with the lemon zest. Arrange this tart next to the madeleine and macaron on the plate.
  3. Just before serving, pull your shot of espresso into an espresso cup and place it on the plate.
  4. Serve immediately.
Photos taken and styled by Heidi/White Loft Studio.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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