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Published October 23rd 2012
Sweet, sweet autumn
If the Olympus had a food delivery service, the gods' table would be filled with desserts from Le Café Anglais. Delicious, carefully and beautifully decorated, with an amazing texture and an interesting story behind them, the desserts served beneath the chandelier of starry lights are heavenly treats with a difference. Out of the large selection of elegant sweet courses, three stand out due to their superior taste, striking appearance, and fascinating origin.
1.- Millefeuille of Honeyed Figs Millefeuille –which is French for "a thousand leaves"- is basically made up of three layers of puff pastry. In Le Café Anglais, there is a creamy filling in between these layers which consists of whipped cream, crème fraîche and honey. Along with the pastry cream, there is a range of figs which have been previously cooked in honey. To give it a final touch, the top is glazed with confectioner's sugar. The result is a delicate dessert with an exquisite flavour and a lovely appearance. A divine work of art!
2.- Black Forest Revisited Black Forest –originally from south-western Germany- is named after a specialty liquor distilled from tart cherries known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch (wasser). Rounds of chocolate sponge are layered up with chocolate mousse, which has been flavoured with Kirsch, giving the cake a characteristic cherry pit taste. The cake is finally topped with whipped cream, the kirsch marinated cherries, and shaved chocolate. A beautiful appearance and a peculiar flavour that is worth every sinful bite make Black Forest Revisited a must-try dessert. The price is £8.50.
There are conflicting stories about the origin of this wonderful dessert. However, most of them agree that it comes from a mistake. According to research, the first Tarte Tatin was created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, in the 1880s. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. The story tells that Stéphanie started to make a traditional apple tart but carelessly left the apples cooking for too long. To cover up her mistake, and the dark colour of the burnt apples, she put the pastry base on top and put the whole pan in the oven. She served the upside-down apple tart and it was a success among the guests at the hotel. An alternative story tells that one of the sisters, while making the cake, dropped it on the floor, and to rescue its appearance, turned it upside down. However, this might be less credible. Anyways, I can vouch that the Tarte Tatin in Le Café Anglais has not fallen on the floor.
The process of making the Tarte Tatin is hinted in the story. First, they cook apples with sugar and butter so they are caramelised. Then, they put pastry on top of the apples and, subsequently, the whole pan in the oven. Its fruity sweet taste is absolutely delicious. The price is £7.50.