Café Gourmand = Gourmet Coffee

The best way to describe a café gourmand is probably to define it as a small cup of coffee with  accompaniments. The term gourmet coffee does not do it justice.

You can vary the accompaniments according to your mood or the season.  On this occasion, I chose home-made verrines de poires, macarons, calissons and a home-made coffee ice-cream (see post of 6 April 2016).

Calissons are a speciality from Provence that we use as part of the 13 Desserts of Christmas and that are essentially made from marzipan, royal icing and candied melon on a very thin base of wafer. They are eaten all year round, though, and Aix-en-Provence has traditionally been associated with the best calissons-making confiseurs, partly because the almonds are grown locally and partly because ” Good King René” (le Bon Roi René) and his wife enjoyed eating them.

A café gourmand is a dessert in its own right.

Bon Appétit!

 

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Verrine de Poires sur Coulis de Mangue = Pears on Mango Coulis

To make up a café gourmand, little verrines (small glasses) of fruit balance the sweeter elements, such as macarons and calissons. The coffee itself is a coffee icecream to allow a seasonal change. There is no addition of sugar to the fruit so it is guilt-free if you are dieting, although bear in mind that there is a little syrup in the elderflower cordial.

Serves 4:

2 ripe mangoes

4 ripe pears

Elderflower cordial, home-made

A few fresh mint leaves to decorate

1. Peel and quarter the pears, place in a saucepan containing the elderflower cordial (see recipe of 5 July 2014), and stew gently for 5 minutes. Let the fruit cool off and dice into small cubes. Reserve.

2. Peel and cut the mangoes and whizz.

3. Fill the verrines with the mango coulis, refrigerate and add the pears just before serving. Decorate with mint leaves.

Bon Appétit!