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Smells Like L'Esprit de Chocolat

Pain Au Chocolat says: "Screw your diet. You can't resist me. Take another bite."

I’m feeling very French this week.  As in, all I want to write about are topics related to France.  C’est jolie, non?

As holiday jingles fill the brisk air and I walk along the sidewalks perusing shop front windows, I am always grabbed by the decadent scents of freshly baked pastries.  While my inner voice pleads “behave! behave!” the sweet aromas get the best of me.  There is something remarkable about the sensory pull of blended butter and chocolate.  It’s like I have rabies and I go rabid for baked goods (similar to zombie terror).

Of late, I have been having a croissant fetish, a particular craving for Le Pain Au Chocolat.  The perfect pain au chocolat combines a flaky croissant with a not to sweet chocolate hidden inside its fluffy center. Clafouti (915 Queen St. West or East) a neighbourhood favourite, bakes fresh croissants daily.  A newer french patisserie on the block, Nadege (780 Queen St. West) creates different varieties such as pear & chocolate or almond chocolate.  They also create guimauves (marshmallows) with flavours such as cassis or pistachio.  Your mouth is watering isn’t it?

My most nostalgic french dessert is profiteroles, a cream puff pastry filled with fresh whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate.   When I visited Paris in university, my friend T and I ordered profiteroles for dessert in a quaint sidewalk cafe complete with red gingham tables and wrought iron chairs.  Sharing this decadent dessert on a sunny summer afternoon, it was by far one of my favourite memories of that trip.

Delicious profiteroles waiting to be devoured.



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