time of year again. And that only means one thing: time to start
thinking about the holiday baking. In Paris, bakery windows fill up
with Bûches de Noël (Yule log cakes) and bourriches (wooden
crates) of oysters are piled up at the markets. The chocolate shops are
crammed with people, buying multiple boxes as gifts, and people splurge
on caviar and Champagne, one of the few things that go on sale in
France during the holidays.
you don’t see is the use of pumpkin in desserts. A tart or pie (or ice cream)
made of squash might sound funny, especially to non-Americans, but
helps to remember that pumpkins, and other squash, are technically
fruit. One could also point out the classic Swiss
Chard Tart from Provence (which is in a whole other
category), and Melanzane
al cioccolato, eggplant with chocolate sauce, which I like.
(Which one could argue is good because it’s smothered in dark
chocolate.) But I don’t think everything goes with chocolate:
A friend tried the hot chocolate with oysters at a famed chocolate
shop in Paris, and after her description, I wasn’t rushing over there
to try a cup.
that last image out of your mind, I present pumpkin cheesecake with a pecan
praline sauce, that has nothing not to like
about it. Cream cheese and sour cream, a buttery cookie crust, and a
brown sugar and bourbon-tinged sauce loaded with crunchy pecans.