Would you like to provide your lunch guests with a real experience – a memorable moment to recall well after the event is over, on par with a delicious meal enjoyed on a busy Parisian boulevard?
From decorations and music to the dishes served, the key elements to creating a party to remember are intrigue and surprise, feelings that pleasantly transport us from everyday life to a few delightful hours in the moment. It may sound like a real challenge to create this special moment, but we promise, it's easier than it seems. And why not seek such gastronomical inspiration in the City of Light itself? For example, have you ever tried a dish popularized over the years in Paris called Café Gourmand? This after-lunch dessert is comprised of an espresso served with at least three mignardises, also called petits fours or "mini-desserts". Parisians commonly order it in brasseries, cafés and restaurants.
Getting a Café Gourmand is like having everything on a dessert menu in miniature versions, so you can try a variety of treats without the guilt. What makes Café Gourmand particularly fun to order is that you never know what you're going to get – maybe macarons, a tart, sorbet – it could be anything! Because you never know what's coming – unless you cheat and ask in advance, of course – there's a feeling of anticipation and intrigue. So when it finally arrives – surprise! When serving this at your own parties, you will love watching your guests as the dish is placed in front of them. All eyes curiously track the contents of the plate as it arrives. There's often a brief moment of silence before everyone starts to speak, ask questions and express delight because, even though it can be made very simply, Café Gourmand appears very creative and refined. The carefully arranged mignardises complement and contrast.
In addition, a Café Gourmand can be served with different desserts each time, so you can impress your friends again and again. When it comes to choosing the recipes, you don't really have to be a top chef to make a Café Gourmand. When you place the dessert items next to each other with the coffee, it all seems to magically come together. Try something simple at first, like a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a small cup and some fresh, ripe raspberries. Last, but not least, you may want to round off a Café Gourmand with a nice golden touch such as a Ferrero Rocher. The best part, of course, is actually savoring it. Tasting the bitterness of the coffee with the sweet varieties of the desserts becomes a veritable sensation of flavors, a delicious discovery. The enjoyment of the Café Gourmand, the French Touch and the conversation will all converge for the memorable moment you hope to create.