No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to ‘Angelina’ the famous tea rooms on the Rue de Rivolli. First opening in 1903, this where no other than Coco Chanel took her breakfast every morning, and you can do the same for around 20 euro.
Granted, it has lost some of its former splendour and, as my mother pointed out, the carpets are beginning to fray. But it is still worth the wait in the sometimes quite long queue outside, to indulge yourself in a little bit of bygone decadence.
‘Angelina’ is famous for its ‘signature dessert’ ‘Mont Blanc’ and I am not even going to try to compete; but in the true spirit of ‘A Taste of Two Cities’ I have brought together elements from both sides of Channel to create a ‘cheats’ version, which is far simpler to make, and still delicious – and gets the ‘Ooooh factor’
For the record, when I go to Angelina I always take a jug of their unbelievably good hot chocolate served with a huge dollop of fresh whipped cream on the side. You just could not manage to eat a dessert as well as drink this, and believe me it is sublime……….On the occasions when I have taken a dessert, which are delicious, I have opted for a pot of Ceylon tea, but always looked whistfully at those with jugs of hot choc…………….
To recreate my own version, I simply bought some ready-made meringue nests from Marks and Spencer (simply the best with a light, brittle shell and gooey, caramelised middle) topped with some ready prepared ‘crème marrons de L’Ardeche’ ( Tins of ‘Faugier’ ‘creamed chestnuts can be bought at Sainsburys in the UK – I used ‘Reflets de France’ in my dessert, as I like the ‘morceaux de marrons’ giving it a nuttier texture) And crowned with a blend of crème fraiche and mascarpone cheese (crème fraiche alone is a little too runny). But if making this in the UK then a good whipping crème will do the job very nicely……….
1 Meringue nest per person
A table spoon of crème de marrons (creamed chestnuts) per meringue
A good dessert spoon of crème fraiche mixed with a dessertspoon of Mascapone cheese
Simply stack them up just before serving and wait for the praise………
I am thinking of creating an entire section devoted to recipes using crème de marrons – what do you think…………………………..