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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Tea drinking is a centuries-old practice with a rich history steeped in tradition. And fine purveyors across the world are enhancing the experience by offering tasting salons within their retail shops.
From a pretty Parisian parlor, to an ancient Shanghai landmark, to a charming atelier in Brooklyn — check out my slideshow on Food & Wine featuring tea company boutiques that master the celebration of this ancient art.
Image: Bellocq Tea Atelier
New Orleans is world-famous for its savory cuisine — a unique combination of Creole, Cajun and French flavors that produce the city’s indigenous culinary landscape.
Yet over the past several years, the Big Easy has been gaining recognition for the sweeter side of things. More and more New Orleans restaurants are employing acclaimed pastry chefs, who are elevating the level and quality of desserts across town. There’s been an emergence of local sweet shops and pastry boutiques that offer far more than pralines and pecan pie. And just last week, The Big Gateaux Show brought world-renowned pastry chefs together for a theatrical cake competition and tasting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience.
One of the pioneers of the city’s pastry movement is Tariq Hanna, the celebrated chef-owner of Sucré. Upon visiting New Orleans several years ago, Tariq noticed that the local dessert scene was somewhat uninspired. “It was the same four desserts everywhere.” Tariq mentioned, “Bananas Foster, beignets, pralines and bread pudding.” Determined to bring something new to NoLa’s dining culture, Tariq opened Sucré in 2007 — a bright, inviting sweets haven in the Garden District that specializes in exciting, handcrafted desserts and confections that weren’t typically found in area restaurants at the time.
While in New Orleans last week, I had the pleasure of joining Tariq at the oh-so-charming Sucré to delight in some of his signature delicacies. Feast your eyes on the striking array of French macarons, fine chocolates, handmade marshmallows, decadent desserts, cupcakes, gelato & more featured in the gallery below.
After a generous sampling from Sucré and several other indulgent creations from Zak Miller (Coquette), Kelly Fields (August) and Phillip Lopez (Root), N’awlins officially put me in a sugar-filled state of bliss. Clearly, a new desserts standard has been set in this city and it was thrilling to witness so many restaurants stepping up their game. Afterall, there’s no better way to cap off all that savory cuisine than with a sweet finish. Or a few.
For more sweet inspiration, check out this clip to see what Tariq Hanna has to say about Sucré and find out which New Orleans treats chefs John Besh, Johnny Iuzzini, Ron Ben-Israel & more can’t get enough of.
Filmed during the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience at the The Big Gateaux Show event and throughout the weekend festivities. Learn more about New Orleans pastry culture in this great article on Nola.com.
Stay sweet New Orleans!
Rich dark chocolate ganache gets kissed by hazelnut liqueur. The result? Decadence at it’s finest.
Celebrated chocolatier MarieBelle has paired up with Frangelico to unveil an indulgent new truffle flavor just in time for the holidays—the Frangelico Ganache. Blending creamy dark chocolate with luscious hazelnut, this melt-in-your-mouth confection also reveals notes of vanilla, coffee and almond. And it’s quite stunning. MarieBelle founder, chef and chocolate artist, Maribel Lieberman, incorporated hues from the Frangelico bottle into the beautiful sunset-colored mosaic design on each truffle.
Last week, I attended an intimate media gathering at MarieBelle, to celebrate the new flavor. The boutique itself is gorgeous. A luxurious chocolate haven, evoking European sophistication and old-world charm, nestled into SoHo’s Broome Street. Attendees settled into the shop’s darling Cacao Bar—a cozy cafe offering sweet nibbles and hot cocoas—to experience the Frangelico Ganache.
Maribel warmly greeted guests and excitedly debuted her latest creation. “These artisanal holiday truffles embody the flavors of the season, blending the hazelnut flavor of Frangelico with the gourmet taste of high-quality dark chocolate.” And to perfectly complement the flavor nuances in the confection, Master Mixologist James Moreland was on hand to stir up three Frangelico-based dessert cocktails (recipes below).
Beginning November 15th, Frangelico Ganache truffles will be available at the MarieBelle retail location in New York City, online at MarieBelle.com and at select department stores nationwide. They come packaged in a variety of sizes, each wrapped in an exquisite ribboned box that is uniquely Mariebelle.
Life is always sweeter with chocolate, and these truffles make a delightful gift that any chocolate lover will enjoy. And to sip while you sweet, try these tasty dessert cocktails from James Moreland:
Frangelico Truffle Cocktail
1 oz Frangelico
1 oz SKYY Vodka
¾ oz cold espresso
Shake with ice and serve up in a cocktail or martini glass. Dust with dark chocolate shavings.
1 ¼ oz Frangelico
1 ¼ oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Grand Reserve Rum
1 ¼ oz sweet vermouth
Shake with ice and pour over ice into rocks glass.
1 ¼ oz Frangelico
2 spoonfuls sour cherry macerate
¾ oz cherry brandy
Shake hard and strain over rocks in a Collins glass.