August 19, 2008

Merienda à la française, part 2

After the revival of le goûter with my newly found madeleines, I have had recurrent dreams and cravings for another French snack staple – chocolate baguette. Easy, fast, cheap and extremely delicious, this is the recipe for anyone looking for a sweet treat in the middle of the afternoon. Back in college, I would be too busy (or lazy) to concoct complicated recipes. The baker down my apartment block would sell crusty baguette and I would stuff a bar or two of my favourite Milka or Aldi chocolate in it and voilà! Odd how I forgot about this simple pleasure… In Manila, I get my bread from James the Baker. He bakes traditional French pain de campagne (farmer’s bread) and pavé rustique (rustic bread) as well as baguettes, croissants, whole wheat breads and more. He’s on the pricier side, but his products are tasty and of genuine quality, with no preservatives nor added sugar. As for the chocolate, I have yet to find a good brand at a reasonable price here in Manila. I was never fond of the artificial flavour of U.S. products and Valrhona is simply to extravagant for daily use. So, until further notice, I still have to order my choco-fix from Munich, whenever my family visits me. I like my baguette au chocolat better with milk chocolate, but connoisseurs would probably opt for darker chocolate. There are a lot of variations of this all-time favourite. I also found out that this seems to be a traditional childhood snack in the Basque country as well. Here’s a more refined recipe I discovered on one of my favourite dessert blogs - Cannelle et Vanille - which incorporates olive oil and fleur de sel. Can’t wait to try that one out!

James "The Baker" Romdane
Contact- 0929 486 0234

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