L-R: macarons from Jean-Paul Hevin; Michelle's Walnut Torte
Originally uploaded by ajkinik.
Later last night, we celebrated Benoit’s birthday some more with une fête at his apartment. We drank, we talked, we listened to Nigeria 70 and DJ Rupture, and we worked up an appetite for dessert. And then something wonderful happened.
Hermine arrived with her friend Val and her mother. Hermine’s mother had just arrived from Paris, and not only had she braved the snow and cold in order to make her way over to Benoit’s place, she had brought a surprise: a box of chocolate macarons from Jean-Paul Hévin (!). We were stunned: macarons from heaven, quite literally. Michelle unveiled the little treasures inside Hévin’s beautiful box and Benoit promptly blurted out that they looked like “des p’tits hamburgers.” Somewhere, I’m sure Jean-Paul’s ears were burning. Anyway, the box made the rounds and we each tried one. Mine was made with grated coconut and had raspberry preserves in the center: absolutely fantastic. It was simultaneously simple (in terms of appearance) and intricate (in terms of flavors), it was the very definition of elegant.
Afterwards, the treats continued. Hermine cut Michelle’s Walnut Torte into thin wedges, so that everyone could have a taste, I administered the fresh whipped cream, and we made that poor torte disappear. It was so good Val was inspired to ask for Michelle’s hand in marriage. I’ve never seen her blush so badly.