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Café Gourmand is the little dessert trend in Paris, the kind of dessert that everybody loves! Almost 40% of the Parisian bistros, brasseries, and restaurants propose this fairly recent Parisian dessert on their menus, and you definitely need to try one when you visit Paris!
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What is Café Gourmand?
Despite the name, the café gourmand (gourmet coffee in English) is not a modest dessert. Not even a little bit.
Launched a dozen years ago in Paris by the restaurant chain La Criée, the café gourmand consists of a coffee – usually an espresso – plus a selection of pastries and desserts in bite-sized form.
A café gourmand can be in more or less generous forms, and it costs between 5.50€ and 6.50€.
Since its launch, the café gourmand has become one of the French’s favorite desserts, without however dethroning the crème brulée, the profiteroles, or the floating island.
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Why Parisians Love the Café Gourmand so Much?
The café gourmand has many virtues, apart from being delicious:
The price, between 5 and 6,5€, allows you to treat yourself without spending too much. In Paris, traditional desserts cost between 7 and 8€ in a mid-range restaurant.
You can finish your meal faster because the dessert and the coffee arrive at the same time
The dessert tray, filled with pastries and ice creams, contains a little bit of everything, then you get to taste more than one! And because of its small size, you feel slightly less indulgent.
Café Gourmand Ideas
Unlike other Parisian desserts, there’s no set items that must appear on a café gourmand plate, so it depends on the chef’s creativity. This gives floor to endless café gourmand ideas! Below, some tips for preparing a café gourmand at home.
1. The café gourmand has to be beautiful. There is a composition side to it, ideally with a mix of textures, colors, and small containers.
2. Ideally, on a café gourmand, there is something chocolate, something with fruit, and a mini madeleine or mini-pastry (canneles, financiers, macarons, meringue…)
3. Usually, there’s also a local specialty (or the restaurant’s specialty).
4. I like a bit of ice-cream because it gives a touch of lightness to the café gourmand and allows to play with the hot /cold contrast.
Café Gourmand Presentation
As mentioned above, the café gourmand has to be BEAUTIFUL! The café gourmand is a pleasure for the taste buds but also the eyes.
Traditionally, the café gourmand is served on an individual plate, small dish, or slate.
The cakes can be prepared in standard size and then cut into small portions for the café gourmand.
All creams, mousses, compotes, and other preparations of this style are cooked traditionally and put in small containers afterward for the café gourmand.
Please think about the environment and don’t use containers, little spoons, or forks in plastic. There is always an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. 💚