Lately, I have been living it up during the weekends - what with great taco adventures, local dance performances and sushi and of course, last weekend's Jazz Brunch at TW Food. You would think I could do with a weekend off...but when you are loving what you are doing - that's the last thing you want;)
If it is possible, this weekend continued the trend of fun and tasty treats and, as you will see, made me feel very much like a young child again - but who wouldn't with a chocolate bar in the morning and a Grand (diamond themed) Ball in the evening!?
The chocolate bar at Cafe Fleuri in the Langham Hotel, is something I have always wondered about, but which has seemed somewhat surreal to me. How could you possibly have a brunch of just chocolate? I figured there must be some catch. When I arrived on Saturday morning to meet a friend, I quickly surveyed the scene and was able to surmise in under 10 seconds, that the team at Cafe Fleuri, had gone and created a paradise of my sweetest delights. When you walk in and the first thing you see is a beautiful chocolate fountain...things have obviously been done right!
After a first tour around, I quickly realised that I had a challenge on my hands...and it takes a lot to challenge my sweet tooth - so you can imagine my euphoria. Luckily, my friend had a fantastic idea and we agreed to divide and concur, trying not to get two of anything so as to try the most, and waste the least.
The buffet is organized with stations in the middle going from milk to dark chocolate and then surrounded by specialty stations. Everything is done with care and precision, there is no sloppy buffet display at Cafe Fleuri! Above we have one of their milk chocolate cremeux and if is possible to imagine, it was as delicious as it was pretty...and every piece was presented in like form.
It was impossible to decide where to start. The create-your-own cupcake station? Or maybe the coldstone-esque ice cream bar with an array of different toppings folded into your ice cream right in front of you?
Of course you could also go for the sweeter side with their cotton candy station..but I steered clear of that one, my mission was purely chocolate related:)
In the end, we assorted various bits and bobs and ended up with a first collection of goods as picture above. (Just so you know, we made about three more trips of this size...needless to say, I was on quite a sugar high!). Our favorites from this first batch was without a doubt the flourless chocolate stack (so gooey and rich) and the bourbon and peanut crunch cake (because when do peanuts and chocolate not go together!?) I was not a fan of their chocolate brulee, which, in fairness is difficult to pull off in a buffet where it will be sitting around and lose its crisp, torched topping and the right temperature altogether.
My personal favorites, and indeed, the only thing I went back for seconds of, was their banana, bacon tart. I know, what in the world is that!? Simply, it is a banana cream with a big chunk of banana, topped with thick meringue and a piece of bacon, all held together in a 64% extra bitter guayaquil shell...ummm yes please! Everything about this little bite was perfect, the salty bacon made well with the sweet meringue and the smooth texture of the banana came together with a crunch from the shell..it was really something:)
My favorite station was definitely the 'chocolate crepe station' - pick your crepe (vanilla or chocolate) and your filling (white, milk or dark chocolate, bananas, coconut, mixed berries or almonds) and then, if you wish, pick your poison (aka liqueur), to have flambée-ed as a finishing touch. I went with a vanilla crepe, with milk chocolate and mixed berries and a St Germaine flambée. It was expertly put together and the fire from the alcohol (which I tried my best to capture), was spectacular.
By the end of our time there, although I had been drinking copious amounts of water, my head was starting to feel the effects of the sugar, but that did not mean I was incapable of enjoying one of their warm, chocolate bread puddings. I was absolutely taken away by the quality of this dessert. I got their right as the station had been filled. The pudding was moist and rich, with the perfect strike between a crisp top and gooey center. I was delighted to finish off my meal with a bite of this. (And then some pretzels for MUCH needed salt...)
After this trip to paradise, I had to hydrate quite a lot because I was due to attend Le Bal du Diamant, which is the Boston Ballet's annual Black Tie benefit. I was in one of the performance excerpts that are a tradition for our ball, and some of my friends were modeling a gorgeous line of jewelry and fashion-wear from Tiffany's. I think we can safely say we were all in a dither:) After that, we get all dressed up and saunter off into the scene where, after a drink and a mingle, we generally dance the night away.
I felt like a princess the whole day, flitting from chocolate castles to diamond castles. A day like this is pretty near perfect for a foodista on pointe:)