Previous Post | Home | Next Post
June 28, 2012
Often in life and so often in food, it's the little things that count ... a lot, which is why I was so struck by the difference a generous sprinkle of crisp chocolate crumbs made. And I was struck twice in the same evening.
Michael and I started our evening at Fish La Boissonerie, where the new chef is making light, beautiful and really, really delicious food. After so much good food, we decided to share a dessert: chocolate ice cream with warm cherries ('tis the season here) and chocolate crumbs, lots of them covering the ice cream and the fruit. The chocolate and cherries were a classic combo, but the crumbs made it memorable.
Happy -- and sated -- we said goodnight to Mateo at the bar and headed home, wondering how it had gotten to be almost midnight. As we passed Le Comptoir, we waved to Mao at the bar and she grabbed us and said, "You have to come in and taste the new dessert." Before I could get "Thank you, but ... " out of my mouth, we were tucked into a table.
Remind me to never say 'no'. Why would I have said 'no' to this (sorry for the fuzzy picture, but it'll give you the idea):
What you're looking at is a very light and foamy chocolate mousse, cherries, coffee flavored crisps and the crumbs.
Seeing the crumbs twice in one night -- twice in less than an hour -- felt like permission to declare it a trend. And so (remember, you heard it here first)" I hereby declare chocolate crumbs a Parisian trend.
Of course I had to make my own crumbs the next day. Sadly, I didn't have my favorite cocoa -- Valrhona, which is wonderfully dark -- so my crumbs aren't as dark as Fish's or Le Comptoir's, but they were mighty tasty on top of: a strawberry tart,; coffee ice cream; and yogurt mousse.
I also caught Michael just nibbling on them, une bonne idee! I made my crumbs 'straight,' but the recipe lends itself to spicing up -- try adding cinnamon or allpsice or even vanilla.
If you make the crumbs (the recipe follows) -- and, of course I hope you will -- let me know how you use them.
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 (packed) cup light brown sugar (lump-free)
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I recommend Valrhona)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 1/2 tablespoons (2 3/4 ounces) cool unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Toss the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt together in a bowl. Drop in the butter, reach in with your hands, and start rubbing and squeezing the ingredients together until you've got a rocky-road mix and you no longer see butter. Cover and chill the streusel for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Turn the crumbs out onto the baking sheet and, using your fingers, rub the streusel so that you don't have any (or at least not many) large lumps.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, mixing, stirring and turning the streusel twice, until the crumbs have separated into small grains. The crumbs will look sandy and you'll have a few pebbly pieces here and there. Let the crumbs cool on the baking sheet -- when they're completely cool, they'll be completely crisp and ready to have fun with.
I'm keeping my crumbs in a tightly covered container on the counter, but they can be refrigerated or frozen.
, Fish La Boissonerie
, Le Comptoir
Restaurants, Chefs, & Artisans
| June 28, 2012 8:28 AM
Oh my goodness! These look like the perfect addition to my ice cream sundae habit I've developed.
| June 28, 2012 12:12 PM
Your neighborhood is my neighborhood when I stay in Paris. So I thank you not only for the recipe but for the story. 2 of my favorite restaurants in the 6e.
| June 28, 2012 12:21 PM
I'm reading the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook (by Christina Tosi), and she relies quite a bit on crumbles like this. She also gives a nod to other chefs she's worked with (Wylie Dufresne is the only one I can remember off the top of my head) who used edible "dirt" or "soil" in their desserts. So I think it's entirely justifiable to call it a bona fide trend!
| June 28, 2012 2:00 PM
Crumbs seem to be the new foam. I have had rye and pumpernickle ones in Iceland, graham and chocolate ones on dessert, and other variations here in the states. I do love them as they add a nice texture I just hope they don't get overused.
Thanks for the recipe!
| June 28, 2012 4:05 PM
Yum! I definitely hope we start seeing these delightful crumbs all over!
| June 28, 2012 11:32 PM
I'm with Michael! I could eat these straight. Or mixed with granola and served over vanilla ice cream.
Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
| June 29, 2012 6:41 AM
I love the idea of cocoa crumbs and have had them a few times in some semi-molecular meals (they call it "dirt"). Very pretty and very tasty. A trend I can get behind!
replied to comment from Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
| June 29, 2012 7:51 AM
Mardi, while you're in Paris, let me know if you see some crumbs and 'send me the dirt' :) For sure you're going to see a lot of interesting bread crumbs on savory dishes - they're everywhere - but keep me posted on the sweet ones you find. Merci.
replied to comment from Jules Someone
| June 29, 2012 7:52 AM
Jules, I think you're going to have fun with these! Let me know.
| June 29, 2012 11:29 AM
Oooooooh...I can't wait to make a batch of these. They sound wonderful. Cherries are in season here and cherries with chocolate is a marriage made in heaven. Thanks for sharing this....
| June 29, 2012 7:36 PM
I'm so excited.... Sunday I'm cooking brunch for 20 ish people and I'm making for dessert your Strawberry Shortcakes ... Eureka. I'm thinking it would be so great to sprinkle some of your fabulous cocoa crumbs on top of the billowy whipped cream and berries. Yay, thank you for sharing your new Paris trend.
| July 2, 2012 12:44 PM
I just had the idea now, to infuse the cocoa crumbs inside a buttercream such as classic buttercream, italian or swiss meringue buttercreams in filling for a cake such as chocolate cakes or vanilla cakes.
I hope the crumbs are crunchy enough to give that crunchy texture?
Cakes By Whales
replied to comment from Sarah
| July 3, 2012 7:16 PM
Sarah- I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Thanks so much for your comment and enjoy your next ice cream fix!
replied to comment from Susan Apel
| July 3, 2012 7:17 PM
Susan- Thanks so much for your comment. I adore my parisian neighborhood and am glad you feel the same way.
replied to comment from Katje Sabin
| July 3, 2012 7:19 PM
Katje- I think we have an official trend! Thanks so much for writing in with more information.
replied to comment from Nadine Lomakin
| July 3, 2012 7:21 PM
Nadine- "Crumbs seem to be the new foam" - Great quote. Thanks so much for writing in.
replied to comment from iluvsweets
| July 3, 2012 7:23 PM
iluvsweets- Thanks for your sweet comments. I hope you enjoy this combination- please let me know what you think of it.
replied to comment from AmyRuth
| July 3, 2012 7:25 PM
AmyRuth- Good luck with your Sunday Brunch. I think that cocoa crumbs would be a great addition to the strawberry shortcakes. Please keep me posted!
replied to comment from Olawale Taiwo
| July 3, 2012 7:26 PM
Olawale- Infusing cocoa crumbs inside of a buttercream sounds like a great idea. Thanks so much for your comment.
| July 4, 2012 6:57 PM
Susan Apel's comment could also be my comment. That's my neighborhood. Rue Chomel has become my home-away-from-home when I'm fortunate enough to visit Paris. I must have been ordering the wrong desserts the last time I was there. I didn't have chocolate crumbs on anything, but I'm already fantasizing about what I will make with them. Possibly dip homemade marshmallows in the crumbs?
| July 6, 2012 11:10 AM
I sell cookies at our local farmers' market and sometimes have a few leftovers. Have been freezing them with the thought of making a variety of dessert sauces and including them. Love the thought that my cookie "dirt" will be so au courant. Must also say that your hot chocolate recipe from the "Paris Sweets" book is amazing and puts me in mind of the bottled chocolate drink sold at Maison du Chocolat. I have served it hot and cold and have even frozen some into wonderful ice cream. Thank-you, thank-you.
| July 7, 2012 10:54 AM
Happy Chocolate Saturday Dorie,
My heart went pitty pat as I cleaned 20 ish perfectly enjoyed plates of your strawberry shortcakes with freshly macerated organic strawberries, smattered with blueberries and billowy lightly sweetened dollops of whipped cream. Topping it all off with an unexpected surprise of cocoa crumbs. The plates were clean Dorie, meaning they handed me their empty plates with a smile. Its the best! Thank you for sharing.
replied to comment from Eileen
| July 7, 2012 1:02 PM
Eileen- Thanks so much for writing in and weighing in on this neighborhood. Homemade marshmallows with cocoa crumbs sounds heavenly to me too.
replied to comment from jean beck
| July 7, 2012 1:14 PM
jean beck- I think the patrons at your local farmers' market are lucky to have you around! I am glad that my post has given you a new idea for frozen leftover cookies. Thanks for your sweet comments and I am glad you enjoy the hot chocolate recipe from Paris Sweets.
replied to comment from AmyRuth
| July 7, 2012 1:17 PM
AmyRuth- Hooray! Thanks so much for writing in to let me know about your party. I am glad that the strawberry/blueberry shortcakes with whipped cream and cocoa crumbs were a big hit. I think that empty dessert plates and smiles are a wonderful compliment for the chef!
| July 19, 2012 3:47 PM
MMMM delitious, i like cocoa.
Chocolate is my favorite candy sweet.
replied to comment from Cesar Meneses
| July 22, 2012 6:46 PM
Cesar- Thanks for your comment. I am glad you enjoyed this post.
| July 24, 2012 11:26 AM
Yikes too good! I just hollowed out a perfectly ripe peach a tiny bit, filled the cavity with the crumbs and baked in my toaster oven until soft and bubbly. Fabulous instant chocolate peach crisp for breakfast!
| July 24, 2012 2:58 PM
I made them as written (Callebaut dutched cocoa, with a little bit of black cocoa for color). We used them to dress up chocolate-peppermint pudding (my family's favorite variation of the pudding from Baking) -- pudding plus fresh whipped cream and chocolate crumbs. And a spoonful of crumbs alone is perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up.
| July 24, 2012 6:21 PM
I'm going to try using these crumbs instead of cookie crumbs in a chocolate crust. I'll bet it will be great with my favorite Tall & Creamy Cheesecake recipe from "Baking From My Home to Yours."
replied to comment from Barb
| July 25, 2012 8:38 PM
Barb- Your comment made my day. I am so happy you enjoyed your chocolate peach crisp- it sounds heavenly.
replied to comment from Eliza
| July 25, 2012 8:39 PM
Eliza- Thanks so much for your comment. I think that cocoa crumbs plus chocolate-peppermint pudding would be a fabulous combination!
replied to comment from MMinNYC
| July 25, 2012 8:42 PM
MMinNYC- Thanks so much for your comment. It sounds like a great idea to me- best of luck!
Jeff @ Cheeseburger
| August 6, 2012 3:20 AM
This cocoa crumbs looks amazing. I can't wait to make them this weekend. I'll try adding cinnamon.
replied to comment from Jeff @ Cheeseburger
| August 6, 2012 7:50 PM
Jeff- Great idea- I bet cinnamon would be a great addition to the recipe.
| August 15, 2012 12:36 PM
Love this recipe! I have never seen anything like this. I love the new trend...
replied to comment from Teri Smyth
| August 15, 2012 9:36 PM
Teri- I hope you enjoy this recipe!
| August 29, 2012 4:48 AM
WOW!That sounds yummy!Thanks for sharing the recipe!I wanna have a try!
Cool Cake girl
| September 15, 2012 1:38 PM
Wow, The mousse looks to die for. I can't wait to get into the kitchen... :)
replied to comment from Cool Cake girl
| September 15, 2012 9:36 PM
cool cake girl- Hope you enjoy every last bite!
replied to comment from Cool Cake girl
| October 30, 2012 5:14 AM
I know! I was just thinking what fruits can I assort it with, since I'm not a fan of cocoa or coffee... I'm thinking raspberries. I'll get back to you if you want to know how it turned out ;)
| November 1, 2012 5:23 AM
That mousse looks amazing! Unfortunately I don't really like chocolate or cocoa, do you have any suggestion of fruits this could go with?
| November 5, 2012 6:20 AM
I'm craving right now COCOA CRUMBS.It sounds so delicious.I can't wait to ge home and spoil myself with this recipe.Thanks for the informations!
| November 7, 2012 5:48 AM
Hey,Dorie!Your recipes are great and tasteful!And this one is no exception.I'm craving Cocoa Crumbs now.Can't wait to get back home from the office and spoil me!
replied to comment from Alexir
| November 7, 2012 2:32 PM
Alexr- Merci for your sweet comment! I hope you enjoy the cocoa crumbs.
| November 8, 2012 9:37 AM
Hey,Dorie!You have an amazing website and your recipes are wonderful and tasty.I spoil my childrens with them and they are so happy.Thank you!
replied to comment from Epilare
| November 10, 2012 7:19 AM
Epilare- Thanks so much for the sweet comments. Your children are lucky to have you in the kitchen!
replied to comment from Perdele
| November 10, 2012 7:22 AM
Perdele- Thanks so much for writing in. I hope you spoil yourself and enjoy every single cocoa crumb!
replied to comment from Lima
| November 10, 2012 7:26 AM
Lima- You could try raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or even blueberries. Best of luck with your delicious experiment!
replied to comment from Bona
| November 10, 2012 7:29 AM
Bona- I think raspberries are a great idea. Please let me know how it turns out!
| October 11, 2013 5:02 PM
Did not prebake cocoa crumbles. Placed around jam topped sugar cookies. Using your suggestions on technique. Thank you Dorie cookies turned out wonderful.
replied to comment from susan s
| October 11, 2013 8:14 PM
susan s- I am thrilled you enjoyed the cocoa crumbs. Thanks for writing in.
Leave a comment
I've been having a terrible problem with spam, so to help, please fill out the CAPTCHA box below. Write your comment, enter the squished words you see in the CAPTCHA box -- don't forget to separate them by a space -- and then hit 'submit'. It's annoying, I know, but hated losing your sweet comments in the spam. Thanks so much -- xoDorie
View Previous Entries