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Friday, July 9, 2010

Le Patissier – Raspberry Charlotte

How could my wife and I go to a French bakery and only get a croissant and no dessert?  We didn’t!  While I ordered the Almond Cream Croissant at Le Patissier in Corvallis Oregon, my wife ordered a more exotic pastry: Raspberry Charlotte.  I am sure it was hard for her to choose, as all the dessert pastries in the display case looked wonderful.

I thought the Mont Blanc desserts looked delicious and it was not until I returned home and looked at the pictures did I realized that they have little faces drawn in white icing.  Those are the same smiles we had on our faces when we were at the top of the Aiguille Du Midi which is just below the summit of Mont Blanc, the highest peak of the Alps.

There were so many desserts from which to choose.  I always enjoy eating the fruit tarts, and éclairs.  However, we had never eaten a Raspberry Charlotte, so it was a new adventure for us.

While we ate, I managed to arrange a trade with my wife for a bite of my Almond Cream Croissant for a bite of her Raspberry Charlotte.  In some ways, I wish I had ordered the Raspberry Charlotte.  Looking at the dessert, I thought the outside layer was a hard cookie (like lady finger’s) similar to the recipe I made for Chocolate Russe.  However it was actually a light sponge cake that is baked in a sheet, the back is trimmed to make it thinner and more flexible, and then it is cut to the correct length to fit around the outside of the dessert.

The filling was a very light and flavorful raspberry mousse sitting on a circle of sponge cake and topped with dense whipped cream and white chocolate shavings.  I enjoyed my bite and my wife really enjoyed the remainder of the pastry.

I think that it’s a good thing that the La Patissier is about 79 miles (one hour and fifty minute drive) from our house, because that distance helps me space the amount of time between visits to sample their pastries.  I did get a reference from a friend on a French bakery in Portland, so the next time we go on one of the city walks, I may have to go by and check out their offering.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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