Smuggling une gâterie Parisienne [Chocolate-Caramel Tartlets]

chocolatecarameltartletMaybe it was the smell of cold December air, or the fact that I could understand everything and be understood perfectly, but after living in Huelva for a few months, Paris felt like an old familiar city. (Obviously still amazing, magnifique, and huge, but strangely familiar all the same.)

Shakespeare&co., crêpes, and red-nosed statues?

Shakespeare& Co., crêpes, and red-nosed statues?

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I had heard about Ladurée and their famous macarons from friends and from food bloggers who raved about the expensive little treats.  Not wanting to make a big deal about finding my dessert, I was happy that we just stumbled across one of their pretty shops as we wandered through Saint-Germain.paris3

Macarons don’t travel well so I opted to splurge on a jar of their caramel au beurre salée to bring home and share. After managing to get my caramel through security at the Paris airport (it totally didn’t occur to me that caramel might be a no-no for flying, and I was flying Ryanair– there was no way I was going to check my bag.  Thank goodness for nice security guards!) I knew I wanted to make a special little treat with my Parisian souvenir.caramel

The chocolate-caramel tartlets from David Lebovitz was the perfect recipe; decadent, but bite-sized tarts with a caramel centre, chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of sea salt.  These tartlets look more complicated to make than they actually are, which is always a fun trick.  I also loved that in his post he talks about the superiority of caramel in Paris — a sign that it was the perfect dessert for my Ladurée caramel!  Mr. Lebovitz gives you instructions on how to make your own caramel, but I wanted to use my Ladurée stuff which made an easy recipe even easier.

Sunsets and sparkles at the tower.

Sunsets and sparkles at the tower.

I realize that on January 2nd, some of you may still be sticking to silly resolutions of giving up dessert and such…but these tartlets are worth it, I promise.  (Everything in moderation, right?!) Bonne annéee, bonne santé et bon apétit!

Hump Day Harmonies: La Vie En Rose

Despite my bedroom having become fairly chilly and damp in this Spanish “winter”, it’s still pretty hard to leave my little bed and head to work some mornings, damp plaster walls and all.  But I have a lot to look forward to — including a trip to Paris this weekend — so I crawl out of bed with Édith Piaf set as my alarm. I have been to Paris once before, but that was almost ten years ago, so I feel like this trip will be quite different.  If you have any suggestions for a Parisian weekend, please send them my way!

Sure, this might be a clichéd choice for a song when talking of Paris, but I don’t care– I’ve got la ville-lumière on my mind, and that definitely brightens any hump day.  This is one of my absolute favourite renditions of the classic song ; quirky, talented, and oh so lovely, Pamplemoose puts a great spin on this one….it has a certain je ne sais quoi?? Alright, I’ll stop. À bientôt!