When I lived in Paris 6 years ago, my apartment was directly above a pâtisserie, which meant ungodly smells would waft in through my bedroom window at all hours of day and night. And in the morning I could essentially roll out of bed, down the stairs, and before my eyes were even fully open, have a chocolatine in my hands. Why I ever left that place, I still wonder. Anyway, just before I left Paris, I met a fabulous girl named Kat. We recently reconnected on facebook and it turns out she ended up going to pastry school in Paris! And that she now works at a gorgeous little pastry shop in Montreal called Pâtisserie Rhubarbe. So since Sunday was my grandmother’s birthday and I was in Montreal for the occasion, it was a perfect time to visit Kat AND get a cake for my mami.
It was so nice to be in Montreal. My dear lovely aunt Marie Anne who works at La Maison du Roti prepared the most exquisite birthday brunch with wild boar & fig pâté, pâté en croute with rabbit and hazelnuts, and a heart throb of a cheese called Le Secret des Lys (The Secret of the Lilies), from Bourgogne. After we ate, my aunt and I talked about food and cats for about 4 hours straight. That's my idea of a perfect afternoon.
As for dessert, well, as you might imagine it is quite difficult to choose only one cake at Pâtisserie Rhubarbe… Plus I was feeling slightly intoxicated and distracted by the sight of all the OTHER pastries (!) In the end I went for the gateau choco-citron (and a necessary box of macarons). The cake was composed of 3 layers of pure bliss: a brownie-like bottom layer, a lemon-curd middle layer, and a velvet smooth chocolate mousse as a top blanket. I have never experienced a lemon & chocolate combination like this before, and let me tell you that I almost shed a tear when I ate the last bite. I would like to crawl inside that cake and live there, forever and ever... but more importantly, my grandmother loved it too! Bonne fête mami! Merci Patisserie Rhubarbe!
While I don't have a recipe for you today, this lemon chocolate combo thing is really something that deserves further exploration... here are some recipes from 2 of my favorite blogs that would be well-worth trying: Foodiva's Lavender-Honey-Cardamom-Lemon Dark Chocolate Tart and Cannelle et Vanille's Chocolate and Meyer Lemon Love. Ooh la la!