Bonbons & All That Good Stuff

With the the holidays here in Paris, I had nothing better but to do than to eat a bunch of delectable chocolates and pastries only to finally enroll in a gym because I was done with myself. It would be quite different if I didn't actually live here and was here only on vacation but I felt the guilt.  Like a caveman who just discovered fire, I paired these sweet deliciousness with different types of wines..sweet wines to be exact.

As an ode to the art of gluttony, I invited two of my friends over to have an exquisite afternoon of indulging in the perfect lunch of sweets and wine. I set out to find traditional and non traditional desserts native to France with the help of Bunny (www.BunnyAubert.com), a sweet tooth aficionado. She helped me choose three French desserts, which were displayed for our drooling,  as they embody what living in France means to me. Bunny grew up in the baking world, where her mom was a baker who owned a tea house in New Jersey.  She specialized in home baked goods such as fresh Madeline cookies and her infamous Coconut Cake, which I tried to coerce Bunny into bringing back to Paris. Her response was "not if you want me to come back with a nub" and I responded "well I think the nub is worth it." Needless to say, she came back with no cake and her fingers in tact. What a pity.

My girlfriend Marjorie Preval, who is a photographer, took lovely pictures as she participated in this sweet venture, to help you imagine the pain that I go through in my life everyday.  Like myself, both of these ladies left the east coast in the United States and moved to Paris.

We started the dessert fest off with pastries from Les Choupettes de ChouChou, famous for their high end cream puffs. They are a spin off of the French pastry puff, Les Chouquette, a small piece of choux pastry sprinkled with sugar and sometimes filled with custard or mousse. Les Choupettes are light and airy, filled with a delicious, slightly sweet mousse that goes impeccably with Demi-Sec Champagne and probably a sweet Champagne if you can find it. Every time I visit their quaint bakery in the heart of Montemartre, bite size Choupettes are always baking, ensuring they are given to you fresh and warm,  making it a little too easy to pop in your mouth. This will also give you an excuse to visit Montmartre, one of Paris's most beautiful areas. We bit into this warm creamy warm puff pastry and married it with a Demi-Sec champagne. Our eyes rolled back, our mouths forming a deep smile as it set the tone of what we were going to enjoy next.

Next, the wonderful world of Le Merveilleux, a crunchy Merengue disc topped with a dollopof assorted cream and coated with different toppings such as shaved chocolate. They are very light and airy. We were obsessed with a Merveilleux called "L' Incroyable"  a.k.a The Incredible. What makes it incredible .... Spéculoos. This spiced biscuit tastes like a Graham Cracker and Gingerbread had a baby. Shaved white chocolate covers this Spéculoos cream which makes it nothing short than mouthwatering. Even though, Sauternes traditionally does not pair well with chocolate, it went remarkably well with the buttery white chocolate. It just worked.

The French traditionally end their meals with fromage so we decided to end our bonbon escapade with Chocolats Apéritifs au Fromage (Chocolate Apéritifs with Cheese) which ended up being our absolute favorite. Who would not want chocolate wrapped around soft cheese? We indulged in the Roquefort et noix de pecan (Roquefort Ganache with Pecan nuts) which I paired with a Sauternes, a sweet wine made from Sauvignon, Semillon, and Muscadelle grapes. Blue cheeses like the Roquefort is a classic pairing with a Sauternes wine.

We parted ways a little tipsy and high off of sugar and promised each other we wouldn't do this again. But guess what? 

This is Paris.

Would you like to experience the same decadent experience we did? Click here.

Wines I used for this tasting are:

  • Malard Demi-Sec Champagne 

  • Chateau Lange-Réglat Et Fils 2011 Sauterne

Photography by Marjorie Preval

Bonne BoucheMonique Benoit