On New Years Eve, my friends and I walked out of L’Restaurant Fancy and decided that one dessert shared among four was not nearly enough satisfy our enormous sweet tooth (In addition to the fact that we none of us were convinced that what we’d consumed at L’Restaurant Fancy could be classified as dessert at all). So, in celebration of the holiday and enjoying each other’s company we indulged and, like good little gluttons, went in search of more.
We fought the cold, coastal air bundled up in double layered socks, warm hats and wooly sweaters. No flimsy New Year party dresses for us. We were on a mission to start the year with stomachs full of delicious dessert. With the help of our carefully trained noses, finding an encore dessert proved to be instinctual… Of course, being in Boston with restaurants waiting around each street corner and bakeries hiding strategically in surrounding neighborhoods our instincts merely guided us for a quick jaunt across the street. So, perhaps it wasn’t so much a “mission,” as it was a deliberate frolic.
Our cravings were answered with the reliable and appetizing Pate a Choux. Choux pastry, or “cream-puff pastry,” like an old friend, doesn’t ask for much – only eggs, water, milk and butter- and always validates itself as a palate’s trustworthy companion, whether in the form of an éclair, or a gougére. Well-versed in both savory and sweet applications, Pate a Choux’s versatility makes it a classic in both culinary and baking worlds and was exactly the time-honored treat we were seeking.
We enjoyed our three Pate a Choux pastries sliced in half, gorged with vanilla ice cream and loaded with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar (accompanied by both beer and wine). The pastry’s lightness (or “puff”) produced by the magic of eggs and science, combined with the cold, dense creaminess of the ice cream, slowly being melted by the drizzled chocolate was a perfect dessert to warm up our palettes for the taste of the new year, sharing it with friends and savoring all of life’s delights. It was the first of many desserts of the New Year.