Saturday, July 11, 2009

Europe: Favorite Dessert

Ah, the gaufre. Pictured above, this is the dessert that emerged as my favorite while in Europe. I ate them in both Paris and Barcelona and they were delish. There were two stand outs; one is the half eaten picture above (and it was all I could do to stop eating long enough to snap the pic) from the Cafe Musee near the Rodin Museum and the other was from a street vendor we found when we took a wrong turn a few blocks from our hotel, also in Paris (not pictured). The picture of the two together was taken in Barcelona, and while pretty they weren't as good as the ones in Paris; they were a bit heavier and slightly burnt. (I got a bad one and several mediocre ones in Paris, too; the worst was from a vendor outside the D'Orsey Museum; blech.) The best ones were light and crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, served fresh and warm from the waffle iron. The one from the Cafe Musee was topped with powdered sugar and a vanilla ice cream (yes, the yellow stuff is vanilla ice cream) that was to die for; the contrast of the cold ice cream and the warm waffle was heavenly. The toasty warm gaufre from the street vendor was topped simply with powdered sugar and was the perfect dessert to eat on the walk back to our hotel on a cold Parisian night.

I was so excited to have fallen in love with something I thought was so very French, but I've come to learn these are actually a type of Belgian waffle. I've looked for recipes on-line and there are quite a few, but I'm not about to invest in a waffle iron so the gaufre will have to remain the stuff of memory. (And since you can see I ate many, many of them while in Europe, is it any wonder I gained 9 pounds while I was over there!?!)

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