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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dessert for Breakfast

The Red and Black from Fleur de Cocoa

Sometimes I feel to full to truly enjoy dessert after a big meal. The obvious solution is to eat it first, as an appetizer, while I'm still feeling hungry and take a bit more of my dinner home as leftovers.

This morning I decided to have a dessert for breakfast because I'd been to Los Gatos last night and couldn't imagine not visiting Fleur de Cocoa. I just made it! They were closing in ten minutes so I had to hurry and decide what to get. Usually I order a Marion described as "A seasonal marion blackberry dark chocolate mousse dome with dark chocolate sponge cake."

But last night I wanted to try something new so I ordered the Red and Black, an award winning dessert I'd seen in their pastry case for years but had never tried.

The red and black consists from top to bottom (in layman's terms) of a single, fresh, dusted with confectioner's sugar raspberry and bit of decorative dark chocolate atop a dark chocolate glaze followed by chocolate mousse filled in the center with a raspberry coulis over a thin disc of chocolate sponge cake on the bottom. The thinness of the cake is similar to the joconde sponge cake I learned how to make in my first Daring Baker's Challenge earlier this year. And it was delicious!

Fleur de Cocoa’s Pastry Chef, Pascal Janvier, began learning about pastry making in Normandy, France when he was 13 years old and later received his Masters in Pastry and Chocolate in Paris. Years later he came to the United States to teach American pastry chefs how to make French pastries. Eventually he opened Fleur de Cocoa, where he offers classic French pastries, cakes, and tarts, adding his own artistic touch and variations. Many of his offerings are seasonal as he believes in using fruits when they are in season.

His attention to detail is visible and his expertise is confirmed each and every time I enjoy one of his desserts. You can enjoy them too any time you're in Los Gatos by visiting Fleur de Cocoa. Just take a stroll down North Santa Cruz Avenue and you'll see his shop near the movie theater.

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