If you've been reading my blog for quite sometime now, you will clearly realized that
I'm an cookbook junkie. I love reading cookbooks like people read novels, I like ready about the story behind what made this particular recipe special or other suggestions we could do to make it more extraordinary. I think like most people my family and friends do not get my fascination in buying cookbooks when I can readily get recipes online, which I must admit I do so too. It's just that sometimes, well..in my case most of the time. I want a cookbook that I can take to bed and plan on what recipe I should try next. Another reason is...please don't get freak out...i like the way they smell and the whole process of removing the seal of a newly purchased book is wonderful. I know I know I'm a geek but hey, I'm a happy geek :)
I must admit being a cookbook junkie, has some pitfalls too, sometimes I can be impulsive buyer. I have this ritual of before buying the book, I see to it that I read reviews from Amazon readers, but sometimes I get really really excited and just buy the book come what may. Then on my way home I regret it or as I'm reading it, it wasn't as great as I thought it would be. But then that impulsive attitude of mine has sometimes resulted good too. Like this book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme written by Dorie Greenspan. Didn't buy the book because of the author, although she is good in her own way, but because of the name Pierre Herme. Pierre Herme is the king of the French pastry world and is called "the Picasso of Pastry" by Vogue. He is that GOOD! His patisserie in Paris is always packed with people, outside there's a line of waiting people eagerly waiting to have a taste of his creations. Hopefully, in my lifetime, I get a chance to visit Paris and step inside Pierre Herme and meet the man himself. Although come to think of it what will I say? I cannot speak French! As if it would really happen right? I'm thinking that you CANNOT go to Paris and NOT visit Pierre.
My mind has been wondering off again, well back here in Manila, it's my dad's birthday, (technically this post is few days off, well... life got in the way did't have the time to post this until know when I'm at home and have a tummy ache.) I finally got the chance to use my copy of Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme which I got years ago on sale. The book is packed full of recipes that I couldn't wait to try. I then decided to try something simple yet looks utterly complex a Chocolate Concorde. Chocolate Concorde was belived to be created in the 1970's by a French pastry chef. Even now after so many years Concorde did loose it's charm. A Concorde is a a cake made of meringue layers filled with creamy chocolate mousse instead of pastry cream or buttercream which is what most often used in cakes. The chocolate mousse not only taste yummy but it also seals in the meringue layer within the cake itself to retain its crunchy texture. The exterior of the cake is decorated by sticking some chocolate meringue logs created using the same mixture for the layers. Each logs are randomly but gently cut to fill the outer perimeter of the cake. I was actually disappointed that the recipe yielded a short Concorde, but I was wrong. Its utterly decadent that a small slice is enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. As the cake stayed in the fridge the chocolate logs softened and turn into chewy sweet meringue which is a great contrast with the crisp meringue layer inside.
This being my first recipe from Pierre Herme, it's not bad. No practice needed to be able to create something different and everyone can enjoy. Happy Birthday Pa!
P.S. My dad's actual birthday is last Nov. 30 same as Bonifacio Day here in the Philippines. Andres Bonifacio was one of the greatest hero our country ever had. He fought for our freedome against the Spanish Occupation more than a hundred years ago.