Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Delightful French Confections

Today began much like any other day, except perhaps for the elevation of my mood (blame it on the sunny morning, the coming of spring, or the excitement of knowing I was going to try something new today). The day progressed much like any other, but as the workday drew to a close, I decided to make a fun little stop on my way home home.

My "something new" for the day became a post-work snack trip to a little French bakery/cafe near my office - La Bonne Bouchee. I've been here several times for lunch, but I've never tried any of their sweet treats before. Which, if you've ever seen the massive amount of beautiful treats they have displayed in this place, you'd praise me for my willpower.

I chose 4 lovely little confections: a raspberry meringue, one chocolate-dipped madeleine and one plain madeleine, and a bag of petit French macarons.


They all looked and smelled fantastic. I ripped open the bag before I even started my car. The chocolate-dipped madeleine was the first and the best. The chocolate created this wonderful soft shell around the fluffy, light cookie that had just the subtlest hint of almond. For some reason, and despite the fact that I grew up very far from France, this madeleine reminded me of my childhood. I can't quite put my finger on it, but somehow it brought me joy.

The raspberry meringue continued on the road to bliss. It was like cotton candy for the discriminating palate! There's still that airy puffiness, but the flavor is truer and not so sickeningly sweet.

The petit French almond macarons were no disappointment. Each one was better than the one before it! I was actually excited to come to a red stoplight, just so I could sample another macaron. The almond flavor is just so good! It's delicate, yet has a really nice, sweet nuttiness. I highly recommend them! (They also received a shout-out in last month's Sauce magazine... check out the article here.)

I think the lesson to be learned here is that a plain old Tuesday afternoon can be greatly enhanced by divine treats such as these. And that trying something new from someplace familiar can turn out to be a great experience.

My first attempt to make each day more exciting and pleasurable? I think we can call Day 1 a success.

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